Menachem Kuchar
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East African Experience

In June 2011 I spent a week in East Africa with Rabbi Shlomo Riskin and three other travel companions. We moved around quite a bit. This is a partial photographic journal of where we were and what we saw. I have written a travelogue which provides much information.

The photographs presented here are divided into ten galleries. As visiting the Abayudaya people was the main purpose of our trip, you will find four albums dealing with them and their villages.

The Abayudaya Tribe have been practicing Judaism for nearly one hundred years though they have not been converted by Orthodox means. They live in nine villages of which we visited three. We also visited the home and final resting place of the founder, Semei Kakungulu. The Abayudaya are indistinguishable from the surrounding native population. As such some of my photographs of the village people are not members of the tribe.

 Addis Ababa
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 Animals -- Nairobi National Park and more
 Nairobi, Kenya
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 Visiting the Abayudaya Tribe in Putti, Uganda
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 Kakungulu House in Gangama at the foot of Mount Elgon -- King Kakungulu was the founder of the Abayudaya Tribe, bringing his people to Judaism

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 Visiting the Abayudaya at Nabugoye, Uganda
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 Visiting the Abayudaya at Namanyonyi, Uganda
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 Mbale, Uganda
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 Country Market, Uganda
On our drive back towards Kenya, we passed a market by the side of the highway . . . so we stopped to take a look
 African Portraits in Black & White

In January 2013 we returned to Uganda and Kenya. This time Jill also joined us. Much has developed over the year and half since our previous visit. The catalyst for this trip was to attend the wedding of our friends, Ruthy and Tarphon. But we had a very busy time. I'll be writing about it soon. Stay tuned.

For the present, these are some of my photographs.

  Morning Prayers at the Putti Synagogue
  The Mikve in Putti

We had come back to Putti to convert some people and to marry some. For this purpose we built a mikve, out in the countryside. These photographs record our visit to check the mikve, and then on the following day, the mikve in use.
  Shira and Enosh's Wedding

While Shira and Enosh have been practising orthodox Judaism since they were born, now that they have been formally converted they needed to be remarried. These are photographs of their wedding in the old synagogue in Putti.
  Ruthy and Tarphon's Wedding

While we spent two very hectic days in Putti, the highlight, and the reason for our trip at this time was for the wedding of our friends Rutthy and Tarphon.
  A Return Visit to Namanyonyi

I had hoped to arrive in the village at about 2 p.m. in order to give me ample time to photograph in good light, but as last time, we didn't arrive until after 5 p.m. Other than the photographs taken in the synagogue, the townsfolk shown here are not necessarily Abayudaya.
  In and Around Putti
  The Two-wheeled Taxis of Mbale
  The Maasai People of Kenya

Are these the poorest people in the world? They are certainly amongst the most colourful.

You can also see my photographs from South Africa.


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