Notes from the field, by student Justin Dubois: "Tooth can lost"


McGill Reporter - Notes from the field

Tooth can lost

By Justin Dubois
On the drive from Arua in Northwestern Uganda to the Ikafe Refugee Settlement, some 60 kilometres east, one comes to a steep incline in the country road. Small water streams have carved miniature canyons in the traveler’s path. Where the ruts don’t prohibit the passage of vehicles, sharp rocks protrude from the reddish East African earth. From the top of this incline, I glance in the distance at the endless sparse yet rich shrubbery, trees and crops typical of this area that borders the Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Although I cannot name most of the vegetation, I do know that it produces the most delicious and sweet fruits and vegetables I have ever tasted. I also know that that the livelihood of most people residing in the region – including the refugees in the nearby settlements – is intimately tied to the greenery’s yield.

However, carved in the rock face, a conscientious traveller’s warning reminds those on the road not to let their attention stray too long: “Tooth can lost. Be to careful 2009.” I hope to myself that this is a mere warning and not the result of actual experience...