Returning to the roots of those who have walked here before us

With an increasing frequency of more universal messages arriving to my ears, I feel a oneness and inherent belief that despite the whiteness of my skin, my source is here within the lands of Africa. In fact, colleagues of mine this past week even said as such; “are you sure you aren’t really African Miss?

From this, it makes complete and natural sense that my mother should have made the difficult (yet well-worth it) efforts to meet hectic visa requirements and end up here in Africa beside me, albeit for only 10 days (due to her busy schedule and multitude of commitments). In the 1940s my grandfather was here in Nigeria, and some 70 years later, so now has been his daughter, beside her daughter in fact. She brought with her letters of people who loved my grandfather for his kindness, and she was able to see firsthand, what the difference is like for life here in comparison to wherever “there” may be.

In some ways, it was such a rushed time having her here, having only landed here myself some two weeks prior. Of course, the initial intention had been that she would have been beside me sharing my affair with Uganda. But come she did, regardless of where the “here” now was. Thankfully, due to my adaptations to African ways of living from my Ugandan time, I was able to adjust relatively quickly and speedily to my new surroundings, such that by the time she arrived, it was smooth enough for her and I had many things in place. I have not yet really traversed the lands, but I rapidly began to suss out the ways of them and be able to support my mum with the intense adjustments she had to make from being in the UK to being here in Nigeria.

Continue reading “Returning to the roots of those who have walked here before us”

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Now. New in Nigeria.

Life twists and turns in so many ways, and almost a year ago to the day, I interviewed for, and made the final decision of, a move to Uganda, East Africa. Now, in 2017, I move forwards to another moment in time and find myself landing upon a new lily-pad – this time by the name of Lagos, Nigeria. This was a highly unexpected and unforeseen move, for various reasons, yet here I found myself, treading the waters of footsteps that have gone before me …. even those of my late grandfather, who worked in this country (though further along the coast) as an engineer over 60 years ago. In this change of an un-designated and thus un-mapped story of my wanderings, I walked forwards towards a new wabi-sabi; discovery of beauty in imperfection; the acceptance of the cycle of light and death.

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Continue reading “Now. New in Nigeria.”

The time thief. By what can it be measured?

Just less than six months ago, I sat, bewildered and uncertain, as I boarded a plane from London Heathrow to Entebbe, Uganda. My heart ached in ways that I hadn’t felt for eons of time and my inner excitement was stirring yet confused. And I found myself stepping onto the East African soil for the first time. I watched as a silent observer to my self, how I responded to all that was occuring and I reflected on the passing of time, wondering what on earth this concept really means to us all, when it can vanish in instants whilst it can also expand out into unknown and at times, inconceivable lengths. Continue reading “The time thief. By what can it be measured?”

Relishing the source of friendship, mother earth, and opportunity

Repeatedly during my time here in Uganda I have pondered upon time, as a transient and inconsistent concept that spans out across moments like lifetimes, and makes others fly past so fast that I have to pinch myself to know whether or not it was real or imagined. With my recent injury and some other hecticness of life and its practicalities, time and I have been embroiled in deep conversation once more.It became clear that I needed to play with it somewhat, in order to celebrate the arrival of christmas in one of the ways I had been wanting; to be with some of my beautiful new (yet old – our souls have known each other for eons) friends, I had to recalibrate the calendar and bring yueltide forwards. Change was yet again on the horizon, as has become the most constant of happenings in my living breath and I was no longer set to be returning to Uganda after December. My heart was aching, yet it was not the time for sadness. Continue reading “Relishing the source of friendship, mother earth, and opportunity”

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”

Making the best of a mishap, Milege calling…

With my knee being so vulnerable and unpredictable, it has been a little troublesome to move around and enjoy the spirit of Uganda in ways that I have been doing previously. However, the approach of the Milege festival, hosted at the beautiful Botanical Gardens, Entebbe, has been a goal for me over this episode. Come rain, shine or fall (hehe excuse the pun), I was determined to get there providing it didn’t feel like it would be a setback for my physical health. As I knew that the set-up that it would bring to my mental health would be fruitious and rewarding. One of my closest Ugandan friends was part of the crew, and although sadly another one was unable to attend (due to performing in another amazing festival in Rwanda; talented young man that he is), it was important to my heart to get there, even if it meant me sitting on a chair for the whole time.

I had visited the Botanical gardens on my very first day in Uganda, so I already knew about the magic I felt in that place. And I so wanted to absorb more arts, culture and music from the Ugandan people. Continue reading “Making the best of a mishap, Milege calling…”

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.”

Twists and turns of Africa

As I have been stating on more than one occasion, I have been developing a love affair with Uganda and all that it has brought into my life and before my eyes.

I have made conections with a multitude of people, and feel blessed to have so many dear friends around me, especially given that I am only just entering my fourth month here.

It  has been such a joy, especially after some turbulent times in work situations, to experience yoga on the hill at sundown, to share supper with a friend and his sons, to sit on the veranda of a South African friend’s and partake in a Braii amongst friends, to go and dance and soak up art and culture with my Ugandan friends, to meander around markets and start to finally get offered items at their actual prices rather than the mzungu price, to zip around town on the back of a boda with the wind in my hair and the sun on my face, to listen to beautiful music whilst I watch the birds overhead as I sit on the rooftop of my apartment, and so on.  Let alone to consider all of the amazing trips I have been so lucky to have already been on, with relative ease of last-minute decision making and minimal costs.

However, when illnes strikes, all of this fades into the background. Continue reading “Twists and turns of Africa”

Quirks of Kampala

Having now been here in Uganda for what feels like longer than I can remember (apparently it has only been just under three months, which doesn’t seem at all comprehendable to me), I thought it may be time to step back and reflect on what it looks like to “live” here.

It is far removed from any life that I’ve known before, yet as I also follow a Monday-Friday (sometimes Saturdays too) work schedule, in some ways one can also forget that there is any difference at all … Continue reading “Quirks of Kampala”