Select Page

By Jessie Stone
Learn more about Jessie Stone here

February 17, 2006

One of the great things about life is that you never know what’s going to happen next. Since last April, I had been corresponding with a reporter from ABC World News tonight named Mike Lee. He seemed really interested in coming to Uganda and seeing our project and the mighty Nile. Many emails went back and forth and finally right before hurricane Katrina, Mike was coming to Uganda. I was very excited. Then Hurricane Katrina came and that was the end of that so life went on and I went back to Uganda and did not hear from Mike for awhile. Then in late October, Mike said that Nightline wanted to come visit us, so I thought great that sounds cool. They were supposed to be coming in the beginning of December and that was going to be great. Then, the day before they were coming, I got a phone call from Mike in London and now they were not coming. I was definitely beginning to feel like a human yo-yo, but it was also becoming a bit comical as no Hollywood script writer could have made this up! Well, the long and the short of it is that Mike Lee and James the cameraman finally came to visit us for 10 days in December and we had a great time with them. I say we because at that time, they were visiting me plus Jessica Mugerwa, soft Power Health’s local Malaria educator, some of our volunteers from Canada and Australia, Dustin and Ryan, Polly Green, who was in Uganda filming for Nomads, and Alex Nicks who was there helping to make the Soft Power Health fund raising video for this year.

One of the great things about this visit was that Mike and James were truly interested in what we were and are doing both on and off the water. Originally, I thought Mike would just want to cover the Malaria story but luckily he was interested in everything. James was ready to stay longer and learn how to kayak which was also very cool. So Mike and James followed us to a number of Malaria education sessions and net sales, and came along when we were doing work on the clinic too like painting and beautifying it before our official opening. And they wanted lots of footage of Nile special, lots and lots of footage and luckily, Alex, Polly and I were happy to oblige, especially when Mike said things like, “Now I want you to crash Big”. At the end of that day, Mike and James were dying to get on the river so we got them surfing on Nile Special with a boogie board.

They also wanted to do a trip down the river, so amazing river woman Jane Dicey got out her raft and rowed them down the 2 day section. That was a great and funny trip too because I had a POV camera strapped to the front of my Star, and I was basically bow stalling down the river. I was also worried about getting surfed and having this very expensive camera get ripped off my boat! The funniest part of the day though was the satellite cell phone interview from London where one of Mike’s correspondents interviewed me while we were going down the river. It was truly a strange experience to be chatting with this woman in London while floating down a very wild and primitive section of the Nile. Modern technology never ceases to amaze me! We ended the river trip with a night at the Hairy Lemon and the next day I gave Mike his first kayak lesson. He did great and was really comfortable in the water. It was great to have Mike and James visit and to find out about all the amazing places they have been and what they have seen in their life times. Needless to say, I hope and I think Mike and James will be back to visit the Nile again. And the ABC news piece should air sometime in the next month or two.