Tuesday, November 19, 2013


We are at Paraa Lodge for 3 nights, and I am looking forward to relaxing.  It is beautiful and sprawling, and our room looksmover this part of the Nile, which bisects  Uganda's largest National Park.  450 species of birds make this park home, along with big game. Each morning we rise EARLY to a spectacular African Sunrise and hop on our dependable Land Cruisers and off we go to spot anything that moves.  The area is mostly savanna land with huge expanses of high grasses and incredible vistas as far as the eye can see. 
As we were slowly moving thru the park, we noticed a group of men with uniforms, coveralls, some type of surveying instruments, guns, caution tape, and glum faces.  Maybe a crime scene here in this vast open park?  Nooooooo........ OIL!   Oil has been found in one of the most remote beautiful places in the world......the Chinese are funding the exploration,and the India is supplying the machines, and some labor along with a few Ugandas.  They have quietly been exploring and drilling and are about to start pumping!!!  It would be like some other country finding oil in Yellowstone NP and drilling and pumping.  We were all so shocked, and just gobsnacked.  I was going to take a few pics out the window, but was warned not to.  Very serious.  We saw truck after truck driving the waste used in the drilling process out of the park.  We saw the wells.  We saw these very serious people surveying more spots.  We saw it all.  Sureal. Ham is upset about so many ecological issues...which are so valid, but also sees the mixed blessing it could bring to his country if handled properly, which is the big condundrum.  Uganda is very poor.  These other countries are rich, and once again, money speaks, and the people and the planet will probabaly lose.  I write this because it was not only shocking to us as park visitors, but in the following days we saw so much evidence of this ying and yang pull, and a glimpse of the future....maybe good, but probabaly bad.

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