Searching for Sunrise

My stomach growls. I stand less than fifty metres from the Nile river, just North of the Nalubale/Owen falls hydroelectric dam, making a mental note to my future-self that one piece of bread with a thin layer of peanut butter does not count as breakfast. I’m not yawning yet, but less than four hours’ sleep is telling my eyelids to stay shut.

The air feels like late spring back home: cool and wet, yet comfortable in a t-shirt and shorts. I see a half dozen wooden boats near the dam. Moses, a coworker and friend from Arise and Shine Uganda who lives on the land where we stand, explains they are fishing for talapia. Sunlight appears on a hill many kilometres away on the opposite side of the river. The clouds are bright pink that slowly swallows on purple remnants of twilight. I flick my camera’s power switch and wait to line up the right shot.

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Off the Grid

Spending nearly every summer of my life in a cabin less than 10 meters from a lake in the middle of British Columbia has a profound effect. Toilets and sinks fed by pumped lake water, electricity derived from solar panels, propane-powered refrigerators, and an hour’s drive to the nearest approximation of civilization (and at least two to the nearest hospital) all become a reminder that city life is pretty easy.

Sound and noise are different when you’re close to the middle of nowhere. I live close to a highway, so absolute silence is rare. Wind blowing through trees; calls of kingfishers, eagles, loons and ospreys; and occasional boat and ATV motors are as noisy as it gets at the cabin.

There are so many stars at night that I cannot pick out the constellations I could easily point out from any city sidewalk. I am truly sorry that I do not own a time-lapse-capable camera – I cannot show you that night sky.

However I can show you some of the vistas around my family’s cabin by the lake. The following are (very large) panoramic photos that impart a slice of my summers past.