Sunday, September 12, 2010

Really, This is the Equator!!

Who ever thought we would be on a mission in Africa right on the equator?
There ought to be a park, a reserve, a monument, something to really designate this special place here on our world.  But no, just a few souvenir shops and  a yellow line across the road but still pretty exciting to stand on the Equator.  Bet you have never had your left foot in the Southern Hemisphere while your right foot was in the Northern Hemisphere.(well actually you may have as the Equator passes through about 10 countries)

Come on now, let's get a little excited.  This is the equator, you know, that intersection of a sphere's surface with the plane perpendicular to the sphere's axis of rotation and containing the sphere's center of mass.. . .  the imaginary line on the Earth's surface equidistant from the North Pole and South Pole that divides the Earth into a Northern Hemisphere and a Southern Hemisphere.(That def.'s for you Lincoln and Ethan and Kade) 
That's right The Equator - it is right here in Uganda just an hours drive from Kampala.  We crossed the Equator the first time we went to Masaka.  The road is dusty as it is all under construction but it is there and we got to transverse it July 22, 2010.
Here on ther Equator we experience the quickest rates of sunrise and sunset in the world.  It is daylight and within 10 minutes it is dark.  Same in the morning,  it is night and in 10 minutes it is totally light.  There are12 hours of day and night throughout the year (or almost). 
Their is a unique experiment they do at the Equator.  For a price they will show you the gravity pull in the different hemispheres.  You stand on the southern Hemisphere side of the Equator and watch water go down a drain.  The water will circle clockwise.  Then you go 20 feet over to the Northern Hemisphere side and watch the water drain and it drains counterclockwise.  If you stand right on the Equator the water just swooshes down the drain hole without circling either way.  Pretty amazing!

You can have such an experience by paying 20,000 Ugandan shillings for the privilege.  But only if you have Ssimbwa along with you who tells the man that you are rich Americans and can afford the big price.  Actually we got the privilege for about $2.50 after Farrell refused to pay the muzungu price.
Eddie and Ssimbwa were with us  for our first Equator experience and they seemed to enjoy watching our "first" and agreed to pose for us.  There are probably a hundred pictures of them at the Equator floating around the world with all the missionaries they have taken to see this landmark.
Well, it was one of those firsts for us, one of many in Africa.  Don't think we will forget this first for a while.

Oh, and by the way, it seems that the little experiment is not as valid as we thought .  It all depends upon how the water was introduced and the geometric structure of the drain.  I could have done with out that little bit of reality - I got pretty enthralled with that experiment.


Tiffany said...

Too fun. I remember the thrill I felt when I visited the 4-Corners area of Utah. This must have been so much better!

Kimberly said...

That is so cool! We might just have to come visit and try it for ourselves!