Monday, June 1, 2009

Charging Baboon and Mob Justice

We made it to Kibale National Park safely and are now back in Kampala for a few days. We've had two interesting experiences that we want to share with you.

We were sitting on our couch with our backs to an open window when we heard the familiar sound of a "galloping" baboon. We turned around to watch them pass by (which is always entertaining) when we were startled to find a large male baboon charging toward the window directly at us. We weren't in any real danger because our window has both a screen and bars. It came within a few feet of the window before it stopped short at our window and flashed its teeth at us in a clear attempt to show us that it 1. wasn't afraid of us and 2. we should be afraid of it. I ran outside with a pan and ran after it making all the noise I could and trying to look really scary, although I'm sure I looked funny to anyone else who happened to see me. At least Krista was supportive of my banging-pan display.

The other experience happened as we were unloading

off the bus from Kibale. The bus lot in Kampala is a very

busy place with buses and people all around. I heard some commotion outside the bus where the luggage was being unloaded. There was a group of people gathered around a man who was holding his body sitting on the ground as if to protect himself. The people around him were grabbing at his clothing and hitting him with papers, ropes, and different fabric pieces (this is what your average person at a bus “station” in Kampala is carrying around with them apparently). Before long the man’s shirt was torn off and he was trying to run away but he didn’t make it far before the crowd knocked him down again. I lost sight of him for a moment as the crowd closed in around him. The next thing I heard was a cheer from the crowd and I saw the man running, completely naked, out of the lot down the busy street. Then we saw some of the people from the crowd walking away with his torn pants and shirt as they were going through is pockets. It seems as though we was trying to steal something and the crowd decided to inflict it’s own sort of punishment against him.

Otherwise we are having fun catching up with everyone here and getting settled back in our house.