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September 25, 2006

Weekend with Frontline

This weekend I traveled to Mbale with the crew from Frontline. They were filming some of the businesses funded through Kiva via The Women's Initiative to Eradicate Poverty.


There weren't too many shots of me, I spent most of my time ducking so I wouldn't get in the way of the shot. I think if I make it in the documentary, I will be "Van Passenger #2". Still it was fun to watch the shooting and all the people interviewed were good sports even when they had to stop and ask the same question multiple times to get the shot right. Of course we drew a crowd everywhere we went!


It'll be fun to watch to final product and see if any of the footage I watched get filmed actually shows up on TV.


Lots more photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/carlhaynes/sets/72157594299646824/

September 20, 2006

Frontline Visiting

This weekend a film crew from the PBS show Frontline will be visiting to do some filming for a segment they are doing on Kiva. They will be traveling around filming some of the IDP camps and businesses funded by Kiva. Hopefully, yours truly will get to make an appearence if I don't get left on the cutting room floor. The segment is due to air on Halloween.

September 16, 2006

My House in Mukono

Here is are some pictures of my house in Mukono:

The Street leading up to our compound, they are building a school in the background. The compound has 5 houses, two unattached and 3 attached, I'm in one of the attached ones.


The front of our house.


The view from the porch:


Our water tanks:


September 13, 2006

The worst internet connection in the world

Now I'm understanding why Uganda Telecom has stopped selling the internet phone I am using, they no longer work!

I've had about two usable days since I've got it back. The problem seems to be on their back end, I can connect to them no problem but their proxy server kills connections constantly so I get a bunch of empty web pages whenever I look at anything!

Its gotten bad enough that I am now looking to either move to a house with a phone line or try to rent a small office. I looked into satellite connection here but they are ridiculously expensive as opposed to ISDN which is just expensive! Both are equally slow.

Anyway most of my time has been spent trying to get East Africa Tech Ventures off the ground. When my connection works I am going to try to start updating my blog there with the business side of things and leave this to the more sporadic personal side of life here.


September 4, 2006

The Latest Scoop

OK, after more than a month, I'm back in Uganda and online. Here's all that's happened (well most of it anyway)

1) I took a trip to Europe and visited London, Ireland, Paris and Rome. It was very interesting returning to a world of stop lights and drinkable tab water. We did the quick tour, fitting in the louvre, eiffle tower, Notre Dame, and more in Paris and all the highlights in Rome as well all in a little more than a week! All I can say is I miss cheese, oh how I miss cheese.

This trip was planned before I came to Africa and I though I would use it as a gage on how long I would stay here, if I dreaded coming back, I would pack my bags and head home. If I felt like I was returning to my home, then I would stay. The good news is that I was looking forward to returning to Uganda sooooo.....

2) I've moved to Kampala and will be sticking around awhile. I've hired a lawyer to incorparate a business (East Africa Tech Ventures) and will be processing my own work visa. My hope is to pick up some contract programming from the US and do it from my home here. I'm also hoping to commercialize some of the software I've developed for TiVo, primarily apps.tv. We'll see how it goes, all else fails, I return to Silicon Valley and get a job!

3) I've rented a small two bedroom house a little outside Kampala, in Mukono. It's about a 15 or 20 minute ride into town (sometimes an hour!). It's a brand new house in a compound with 5 houses, two unattached and three attached, I have one of the attached units. The biggest problem so far is water. The landlords had an illegal connection and got busted and had to pay about a $1000 to get a real hookup. This meant two weeks of no water while they were pretending that they had the money to pay for it! Luckily there's a borehole nearby and I was able to pay someone to bring me water everyday. The water is finally back on though like electricity, it's sometimes on. I've been told the water is on for 48 hours then off for 48 hours. When it is on, I have a large tank that fills and is used when the water is off so in theory I would never notice when its off...in theory.

That's about it, mostly I've been running around trying to get things settled, dealing with immigration, they wouldn't give me another extension on my visitor visa as I've been here since April, thus the need for a work visa.

I'll post some pictures as soon as I upload them to Flickr.

September 1, 2006

I'm Alive!

I'm back! Hope you didn't miss me too much.

Will post details of my trip and other juicy bits when I get a chance!