Let me first summarize the pros and cons of working at a petrol station coffee shop all day:
PRO: Delicious and rich café mochas, ice cream sundaes, good bread
CON: Licking your lips as your aforementioned delicious food arrives and finding a gritty layer of dirt has settled over them
PRO: Infocom wireless hotspot (comparatively cheap at 3,000 ush/hour)
CON: White Sony Vaio now has a gross reddish tinge, no matter how often I towel it off
PRO: Cute patio outdoor seating with green umbrellas
CON: Pretty hedges and palm trees do a crap job of blocking out the black fog of diesel exhaust and constant settling of red dust from Bombo Road (see above reddish tinge)
As some of you already know, I’m staying in Uganda. You all predicted it. No, no, no. Not forever. The planned three weeks has now morphed into seven weeks, as I move on to some new and exciting work in the north.
Speaking of, the Juba Peace Talks formally ended yesterday. The trusty Daily Monitor printed a full front-page montage with a huge headline reading “Peace Talks End,” leading most people (or me and Kate) to think that they had failed. In reality, the parties in Juba just signed the monitoring and implementation agreement – a final step before the formal signing of the accord, which is scheduled to take place on April 5. The Monitor also included a bulleted list of important stages in the peace process (courtesy of source: wikipedia), which began in July 2006. Since then, the LRA and GOU have signed agreements on cessation of hostilities; comprehensive solutions; accountability and reconciliation; permanent ceasefire; and disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR). While the signing of the peace accord will be a historic moment and a huge step forward for northern Uganda, there is still a massive amount of work to be done to ensure that the peace is actually sustainable. I’m excited to be heading back up north immediately following the upcoming signing, where I’m sure many people will be talking about what’s next.