Sometimes, it's easy to forget, amid the turmoil of day-to-day working life, just how lovely our working environment is.
The AAC/Kilimo Trust office building is located high on Mbuya hill, Kampala, in a substantial and mature garden. It is cool, and removed from the bustle, noise and dust of the city. It is also endowed with a wonderful array of plant and animal life, including a substantial family troupe of Vervet monkeys (a bold member pictured, waiting for a chance to purloin any lunchtime left-overs). These monkeys are a mixed blessing: while they are a welcome reminder of nature's tenacity and adaptability to urban life, they also have the potential to cause significant damage. On two occasions I have found Vervets foraging in my car - on the second occasion the intruder successfully escaped with an apple -, and once there was a brief stand-off in my office over the sugar bowl before he fled, empty-handed, through the open window.
The real stars, though, are the birds. This morning, I was lucky enough to see a pair of crowned cranes over-flying the compound. Residents include two pairs of hornbills, numerous touracos, barbets, sunbirds and at least one pair of owls. And there are countless visitors, among which are my favourites, a pair of spectacular Big Blue Touracos,which occasionally crash through the treetops with their characteristically loud calls.