Spirit of like-minds, beauty and mischief

Many of my weekends in Uganda have been spent on the road; travelling around to seek new sights, meet new people, learn new stories. It is not a bad thing when I also spend time in Kampala however, as I have many friends here and there is much fun to be had.

I have been slowed down, a little against my will, but I have used this as another form of opportunity; I have explored the city in new ways, through friends and mischievious play, and I have also uncovered some hidden gems that many are unaware of.

After the enjoyment of Milege, I found myself with a phone full to the brim of new friends and offers of meeting up to share company, food and time together. Continue reading “Spirit of like-minds, beauty and mischief”

Seizing the day, Sipi-style

Uganda is an incredibly diverse country.  There is some massive wealth here in Kampala, and from those in  the west, (from what I hear; this is the president’s land).  The rainy season has barely touched us here in Kampala, and there are some 50 districts across the country that have people dying from famine due to the arid lands caused by this lack of water.  Meanwhile Ugandan friends in the west send me reports of torrid rainfalls, putting a stop to all best laid plans and causing damage to property and lands.

It fascinates and intrigues me how there can be such diversity in a land-locked country, that in comparison to others, is not that huge in size. In my time here, I have actively sought time and space to explore its different corners as best I can. Sickness put a stop to it for a few weeks, and although I have developed a wonderful community of friends (better named as part of my family in all honesty), I was itching at the bit to get back on the road. Continue reading “Seizing the day, Sipi-style”

A saunter down South…seeing more of the homeland, soaking up more art.

Almost a month ago now, I was blessed to spend time in another part of the continent by visiting some more treasures of this earth in South Africa. I had been invited as part of a birthday celebration and for the opportunity to get to know some wonderful people in person, rather than simply through the form of cyber-space.

Admittedly, the journey began with trepidation on my part, as I had been very ill for the time leading up to it. The flights however were already booked, my health was gradually improving and not only that, when feeling a bit forlorn, what better way to feel significantly better than to go on a holiday and be around loved ones. Continue reading “A saunter down South…seeing more of the homeland, soaking up more art.”

A search for tranquility … a discovery of mishaps

Work has been very busy here, and although I have been used to having a half-term break between the September – December school term, my current workplace here in Uganda does not have that.  So the idea of working straight through from August 15th to December 16th was quite a change to my routine.

Needless to say, when we received a very last minute email to inform staff that we had Monday 12th September off, due to Eid-al-Adha, I felt a huge excitement wash over me and a huge smile landed itself on my face.

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I began the long weekend with a Braai, enjoying time with new friends as the fire slowly roasted our meat and the smell of delicious tastes wafted through the air. Continue reading “A search for tranquility … a discovery of mishaps”

Remembering how to be a philocalist (part two)

It was so refreshing for me to have left the concrete suburbia within which I presently live, to once again return to the sensation of being in Africa. I had lost sight of it very quickly and I knew that I needed to act on this before I became further swept up into a confusion of neither being here nor there. Continue reading “Remembering how to be a philocalist (part two)”

Remembering how to be a philocalist (part one)

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that it is all around us, (if only we remember how to look).

I have now entered my third week of working here in Uganda, and quite honestly I lost this ability almost immediately upon commencement of this. Whilst I won’t go into the finer details of why, I can simply state that communication is hugely vital in pretty much all aspects of life. When making the minor decisions such as to leave the entire “life as you know it” in order to fully immerse yourself into the unknown, having some form of clear communication channel around this is somewhat useful. At least it is for me. Thus when I found myself at my new workplace on day one, in a role entirely different to the one I thought I had come for, I was utterly thrown. In fact, I was devastated. Continue reading “Remembering how to be a philocalist (part one)”

Where the wild things really are

As the sun rises, so do the Impala.
As the sun rises, so do the Impala.

For my first experience of an African safari, I took the advice of a friend and opted to go on tour with Red Chilli Safari, beginning from their hostel in Kampala. It has quite a spectacular setting given its nearby location to the hecticness of the city. Dinner and meeting new people on my first night there, after watching the sun go down over the hills whilst sipping a cold Nile Special, led me to an early bedtime, ready for an early rise.

Each of the following three days continued in the same manner, with each one beginning around 6am. It is not for those who want to lie-in that is for sure!

Continue reading “Where the wild things really are”

Tell me a story

It feels like a distant memory already, since I was in Heathrow airport, questioning: if I would be granted a visa to enter Uganda; worrying that my bags would be too  heavy (after multiple re-packing attempts and panics back home) meaning I could receive a mighty fine or be left with the dilemma of what else I could possibly remove from them; and wondering why on earth I was leaving, when I was feeling so incredibly pained to be saying a goodbye in the physical form to people. Continue reading “Tell me a story”

Family matters

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The move over here has not been done lightly or without a lot of mental preparation, and I know my self well enough to know that it is not something that will just settle into normality in an instant.  There has been more practicalities to organise than I could possibly have anticipated, and I am incredibly pleased that this process actually began quite a few months ago due to this.

My emotions are strong and my sleep erratic.  Yet my eyes are open, my smile is wide, and my heart beats loudly. Continue reading “Family matters”

What does time really mean?

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Only a week ago, I was walking barefoot through the green fields of the South Downs, with people I love dearly.  I am now sat in a tropical garden in Entebbe, Uganda, alone.  Yet with these people and more, in my heart and thoughts.

I arrived here at 5am on Friday 29th July, feeling disorientated, bewildered and curious.  And time has been fluctuating through many continuums ever since.

Whilst at the airport still in the UK, I was struggling to catch my breath due to the enormity of the change I had created for myself, when a tiny, beautiful, little baby walked over to me and just held onto my finger, looking me straight in the eye for a passing moment.  That to him, probably felt insignificant and minute.  Yet for me, caused time to stop, for a while, and my breath returned.

Continue reading “What does time really mean?”