Botany, no fooling

Never mind it is April Fool’s Day. What happens if you are a German traveling and fall in love with Uganda? You work hard, buy 72 acres of land near Fort Port and set up a guest farm. You employ people, you accommodate visitors. You can even provide German style salads with the meals (although better because everything is locally grown). Kluge’s Guest Farm is more fun to think about that River Blindness so I am not going there for the moment. Rather, if I could get any of the black and white col0bus to hold still for a photo I would be really happy. Otherwise it is like seeing a plumy tail striped like a skunk go flashing by in the canopy. I have hope…

a black and white blur, the best I ever got....

a black and white blur, the best I ever got….

Our program today ran well in spite of the two people with onchocerciasis thinking that there could not be a group of white doctors coming especially to see them. After all, it is the first of April.  Once we had that sorted out, the day went well.

the guilty fly

the guilty fly

But let me just leave it with: you do not want River Blindness. You do not want worm filaria traveling around your body, accumulating under the skin and seeking a home which they may well decide to find in your eyeballs. More cases every year than Ebola (but same with measles, malaria and a number of other miserable diseases).  But then there are those who have taken the mosquito netting and turned it into fish-netting to feed their families. The Health District is trying to get them to stop. My thought is it might be better to find an organization to get them fish netting so they have an ability to use bed nets for their intended purpose.

The rest of the day we spent on medical and herbal botany. I have been entertaining you with animals and birds. Now on to plants, flowers and strange looking seeds…

on to the plants!

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The Tooro Botanical Gardens grow plants and herbs  representative of that which is found in the Albertine Rift. They dry, process and sell herbs to supplement their income and run a nursery of plants for sale.  Our guide today specialized in these plants and explained the use of all. Some of it makes sense, some it pretty far fetched.  It just makes me wish that pharmaceutical companies spent a bit more time looking at the army of botanical compounds and a bit less time running panels of chemicals “almost but not quite identical” to known drugs. That is not how you discover something new…

Artemesia

Artemesia

two monkeys - would have been nice to have my zoom lens

two monkeys – would have been nice to have my zoom lens

organic lawn mower

organic lawn mower

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seeds on the bottle brush

seeds on the bottle brush

bottle brush - actually pretty soft

bottle brush – actually pretty soft

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passion fruit

passion fruit

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tree house

tree house

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Artesema dried and chopped. ready to be made into tea

Artesema dried and chopped. ready to be made into tea

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