Monday, December 18, 2006

Walking to the Lake

This weekend I expanded my garden--it's now got a 30 meter perimeter chicken-wire fence, I transplanted the lettuce, tomatoes, peas, and cucumbers that survived the murderous onslaught of my fertilizer, and I planted more tomatoes, peppers, corn, carrots, and watermelon. The termites came out of the wood-work (ha! that's the lamest pun ever) on Sunday, but hopefully my scary-to-handle-especially-having-read-most-of-Silent-Spring insecticide will work.

On Sunday I finally did something other than eating a tall stack of french toast and reading books all day (although I did that too). I was worried I wouldn't be in shape for Kili in a few weeks, so I decided I needed some exercise, and I finally walked all the way from my house to Lake Victoria. I discovered a new route in Uganda that's much shorter than any in Kenya, so I walked across the border (about 3 km from my house), then basically headed due south from there straight to the lake at the village of Majanji, about 30km away. I pretty much haven't done anything since the marathon, so I was happy that I could still do my normal 3+ mph pace. The lake was beautiful and I had fun helping kids pick mangoes on the way.

me at the lake

goats along the way

chairs along the way back. I really wish I 'd noticed to get my shadow out of the picture, because the lines they were making in the sun looked really cool.

a couple days ago the team and I ran into some flooding

Also, I finished reading Sam Harris' The End of Faith. He says some interesting things about religious moderates (basically that moderation is a myth; all the crap about stoning people in Leviticus is just as canonical as the Sermon on the Mount, so moderates are really just being poor followers thanks to centuries of reason beating down their witch-burning and Inquisition-prone beliefs (Christianity has a pretty easy retort for some of this)), but the most startling is what Harris says about Islam: basically every offensive thing that liberals think people in red states might say about Islam is actually true (they all love Osama, they treat women poorly, they're hell-bent on conquering the world and killing all the unbelievers, etc.) and since these people with 14th century beliefs now have 21st century weapons, we are in for some serious trouble. I prefer to think differently: most Muslims are moderate, and just as many people died from self-inflicted cirrhosis of the liver, lung cancer, and obesity related illnesses as from terrorism on September 11th in the US, only the liver and lunger cancer stuff happened again the next day, and the next, and the next. Not to mention traffic accidents, heart disease, cancer, and the developing world's AIDS, malaria, TB, and plain old freaking diarrhea.

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