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An Ode To Crows

Crows are not exactly something that comes to mind when a person things of a place like Uganda. Nevertheless, these iconic birds are in fact everwhere on the African subcontinent. With their glistening black feathers and dirty white chests, these birds are unmistakably present across the whole of Uganda – from Kampala to Adjumani and everywhere in between. You might be wondering why I would be writing a blog post about crows. Well, let me tell you a short story that should clear things up for you.

Yesterday, after recording a backpack journalism record eight interviews and endless hours of B-roll footage at St. Mary’s Assumption Girls Secondary School the exhausted group of nine students and three professors set off for one more interview with a local journalist named Sharon. The intrepid group had tried to interview Sharon the day before, but a rain storm stopped the interview short of completion. As a result, the group decided to try and finish up Sharon’s interview the next day if there was a bit of time after visiting the girl’s secondary school. Luckily, there was a bit of time and the group was able to interview Sharon.

Sharon works for a local radio station on the grounds of the Adjumani District Office of the Prime Minister. Apart from being a government office compound, this particular location was actually a popular gathering place for a large murder of crows. However, Carol informed us that this was in fact not a murder of crows, but rather a large plethora of them. Then, for some odd reason, she went off on a tangent about her love for the word plethora and how she felt as though this word simply wasn’t being used often enough. Irregardless, Tim felt as though this word was overused and asked Carol why she loved it so much. Undeterred by Tim’s pessimism, Carol declared that henceforth the word plethora should thus be used with greater frequency.

Anyhow, back to the crows. As the group set up for the interview the only sound that could be heard was the shrill cry of the crow. The crows droned on and on with a sound so repulsive that  each and every member of the group cringed in unison. In order to get rid of the pesky crows, the group of students and professors decided to send their humble guide Herbert to deal with them. Herbert decided that it would be a good idea to try and fling large stones at the crows perched high upon a radio tower in the Office of the Prime Minister’s compound. Instead of scaring away any of the crows, Herbert instead made the entire group laugh with his unconventional throwing style. After a while, Tim decided that he would try and help Herbert to scare away the crows. He had about as much success scaring away the crows as Herbert did.

With no choice but to record the interview with Sharon, the group was forced to proceed in spite of the horrific shrill cry of the crows.  Each cry of the crows caused more and more pain to the intrepid group trying so desperately to interview Sharon. Without much luck, the group proceeded to interview Sharon and hopefully recorded some footage that was salvageable amongst the shrill  crys of the African crows.

To the Crows I have the following to say, “shut up!” Nobody wants to hear your shrill cry echoing across the Ugandan landscape. Seriously, try being quiet for a change. It might actually make you a more likable species of bird.

This blog post goes out to Ben who thought it impossible that I could write one about our group’s favorite species of bird. I would also like to dedicate this post to Carol. I think she’ll find that all of her favorite words were used in it.

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If Memory Lane were a Photo Album…

When I studied abroad in Rome last year, one of my favorite professors forbid photographs. He would take us to the most beautiful churches in the world and go absolutely ballistic if he saw a student snap a photo.

Despite my initial annoyance, I learned how to appreciate whatever was in front of me (something very hard to do nowadays). Besides filming and updating the Snapchat, I didn’t take pictures during my time at the border.

Thankfully, my classmates did.

Here are some of my absolute favorite people/memories:

Lil' John. Our tour guide for the desert walk.
Lil’ John. Our tour guide for the desert walk.
Fr. Neeley and Daniela
Fr. Neeley and Daniela. Two awesome interviewees!
Desert walk selfie!
Desert walk selfie!
Some of the CUbackpack team
Some of the CU backpack team
Dinner/Dance Party!
Dinner/Dance Party!
Shrine in Tucson, Arizona
Shrine in Tucson, Arizona
Entrance to Mexico
Entrance to Mexico

(Photos do not belong to me)