Friday, 2 October 2015

Fun Facts about Uganda

Here are some of the interesting things you should know about Uganda. I have learnt quite a bit during my tours and I thought I should jot some things on my blog. You do not have to take it personal. Live a little and laugh more.


  • In Uganda all the manicure and pedicure is performed by male counterparts and they are so good at it! 

  • Only in Uganda do they eat a Rolex and a Commando.

  • In Uganda people will lift there brows up if they are meaning to say "yes" without saying a word.

  • We say sorry even if it is not our fault.

  • Some Ugandans are somewhat inaudible. Have you been to a shop or pharmacy and the person behind the counter doesn't feel like talking you but you keep asking them to repeat themselves? Me neither. 

  • Some are really slow walkers. Have you walked behind some people on Kampala road or some street? Its like people are on holiday. The walking pace is Zombie like.

  • We have over 50 languages spoken in Uganda. We are pretty ethnic.

  •  Uganda is the country with the youngest population in the world.

  • Uganda has got about 6 banana species/types. Yes, you heard me right.

  • I don't know if its the same in other countries, but in Uganda you are punished in school for not speaking English. We learn the hard way, no wonder most Ugandans speak English hence making it easy for foreigners. 

  • We have the most boda bodas (Motorbikes) on this continent. Use that helmet often when you use one.

  • Uganda has manufactured bark cloth for centuries hence this being mentioned on the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list.

  • There is more of a "bromance" in Uganda. This is where you find male friends holding hands together or shoulders without being sexually involved. This is very common, don't be surprised when you see this.

  • Uganda is one of the biggest coffee growing country in the world, but here people prefer to drink "chai" tea to coffee.

  • Uganda's capital Kampala, is one of the busiest and safest city in Africa. 

  • Kampala, Uganda's capital is among the top 10 cheap cities to live in as a foreigner in Africa.
 To be continued. If there is anything that you want to be added on here, inbox me and I will do it.
     
     

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Foodie?



Are you a foodie? Do you seek out any new culinary adventures where your tastes buds come alive? Well this post is for you! WARNING: Do not read this on an empty stomach.

It’s been suggested by many clients that I do a food tour. “Zulaika,” they say, “Kampala is such a unique place. The sights are good, the people are friendly, but what about food? I want something yummy for my tummy. What do you suggest?” After about a year of planning, I’ve cooked up a plan.


How did I do it? Well, I’ve conducted meticulous research, consulted market trends and organized focus groups before determining that…okay who am I kidding? I ate. Yes I ate. I admit it. I sampled and I snacked, ‘cause this girl loves to eat. You see, dear reader, I myself am a foodie. If it’s unique and safe to digest, I’ll give it a try. And this past year I’ve opened my mouth to many a delectable treat.
Did you know Uganda's biggest export is coffee? Look at these smiles after a cup of Java!


Of course we Ugandans are known for not being shy when it comes to satisfy our appetites. How does grasshoppers fried with onion sound? What about white ants? Not appealing? Don't worry. My tours are not like an episode of "Survivor". If you don't have an appetite for it, neither do it. However many are curious to try something unique to our country. To that I say, put down that energy bar and crunch a grasshopper. It is 100% protein!

Now if you have a weak stomach, that's ok. I will try not to laugh as I pity you with sad eyes. Grasshoppers are really healthy and good to eat. Still don't want any? Then more for me!
However these delicacies of insects appear seasonally, not through out the year.
White ants! Yes, she ate them and liked them!



Mother nature is good to Uganda. She has blessed us with so many yummy fruits. How does a sun kissed mango sound right about now? Good, huh? Let me show you how we prepare it with a knife. I am sure you don't know how peel it our way. Voila! You are also allowed to do it by yourself.

Mango Mania!


UK's got bangers and mash, Thailand has got Pad Thai and Uganda has got a Rolex. No, not that expensive Swiss watch; I am talking about our fast food delight or street snack. It is a rolled chapatti filled with eggs, onions, tomatoes, green pepper and cabbage. Now we are talking, right?

Uganda's legendary Rolex.

Capturing the making of a mouth watering "Kabalagala"-Ugandan pancake.




You also have to try a 'Kabalaga" a Ugandan pancake! It is a mouthful, just saying! No one has tried it and didn't like it. I know, I am on a ROLL with this post.

Enjoying a local lunch.


Good snacks, happy faces!
So bring an appetite when you walk with me.It will be my pleasure to take your taste buds on an adventure. There is more to sample, don't worry about skipping some items. And of course let me know about any food allergies beforehand. I'll make sure this journey is safe. Your tummy will thank you! Now let's eat! BON APPETIT MY FRIEND!

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Mother nature calls you!





“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”
-Henry David Thoreau, American Poet-

Listen...do you hear that? The birds sing for you. The rain washes your frustrations away. The sun bathes your skin in a wondrous glow. It is the sound of Mother Nature calling. If you’re a ‘city slicker’, you probably don’t hear her voice, but if you listen deeply, beyond the sirens, honking cars, and car exhaust, lies a place of complete and total serenity.



Mountain Rwenzori beneath the clouds.




My job takes me all over the big city of Kampala. I know every nook, every corner of this vast place, and I love it. But I also love the reconnection with the Earth. Being immersed in a forest brings me to the deepest essence of life. Recently during Easter weekend I had a chance to exhale and breathe deeply, voyaging to a wondrous paradise called Fort Portal. Located in Western Uganda, this small town lies right up there with Zanzibar as one of most unforgettable trips of the past year. We stayed in the picturesque village of Kifuruka. The area is colored emerald green, with the wondrous Mount Rwenzori (third largest in Africa) always hovering overhead. It acts as your north star, a big brother looking out for your well-being. The air is fresh and crisp, and as the sun sets, wisps of lavender ribbons paint the sky.




My friends and I enjoying the view of one of the crater lakes.
One of my friends getting immersed in the Mahoma waterfall.


When night falls, as the stars awaken and the cloud mist clears, a crescent moon bathes you to sleep. My very first night there, I was deeply moved by the sound of silence. Utter and complete stillness. So still, I could hear my own heart beating. I wanted to hold my breath, as inhaling and exhaling made too much noise. There was absolutely no movement, no breeze, no recognition of air even. It was the sound of nothing, and everything. It felt like all life, and death, and beyond, was contained in one space. This was the most peaceful, knowledgeable, coherent moment I’ve ever experienced. It was heaven on Earth, the absolute bliss of nothing at all. Upon the dawning of a new day, I was immediately comforted by the cheerful hellos from frogs, insects, and birds welcoming me to a new beginning. Behold, the nurturing power of nature!


My friend and I jumping away in the nature.




The benefits of reconnecting with the natural world are well documented, and I can vouch for its incredible rejuvenation. The Japanese call it “Shinrin-yoku,” or a ‘forest bathing trip.’ Richard Ryan, lead author and professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, says: “Nature is fuel for the soul. Often when we feel depleted we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature.”
I can’t agree more professor!

“People with a greater sense of vitality don’t just have more energy for things they want to do,” he adds, “they are also more resilient to physical illnesses. One of the pathways to health may be to spend more time in natural settings.”


A beautiful crater lake in Fortportal.


So if you are feeling the stress of big city life, peel back the layers, the frenzy, and the noise. Reconnect with the Mother who gives life to us all, Mother Nature. There have been moments upon returning to Kampala where my mind has wandered back to that simple place. Whenever the traffic frustrated me or the boda bodas assaulted my ears, I have just exhaled, and pictured myself back on that road, that mountain, those clouds, that gorgeous crescent moon. Stillness. Peace.



All green everything.
I was very excited to go on walking tour in the nature.






                                                     Mother Nature calls you! Embrace her!