Tuesday, 16 August 2016

The Self-Sabotaging Behaviour that I Needed to Release...

Not trusting my gut when it comes to people.

That is the behavior that needed to change in me. I am learning to do this a lot more.

For the last few years I have not trusted my natural instinct. I have not trusted myself. When my gut told me that someone was really NOT good for me, I ignored my internal voice if everyone around me liked that person. 

Then one day, a colleague had the sense to tell me about myself. I really needed that conversation because, every moment of every day I was doubting myself and my ability to get things done. I was scared all the time. I had gotten so used to being scared that I just accepted fear as constant companion. I lost my ability to be assertive, all because I let a bunch of people get to me.  I was hoping and praying that I could mold myself into something different. Someone who fitted in more easily. I think God knew I needed that particular conversation. I really think God saw that I was struggling with myself and he said, 

“ Wait a minute young lady, I don’t make mistakes, I made you for a purpose sweetheart. I know what I am doing. Trust me”

God spoke through this person. As I mentioned earlier, my colleague firmly told me about myself. This person insisted that I stop hiding in the background and be myself. They told me that I was doing a good job and that I needed to show more confidence in myself. That person basically gave me back to myself through that conversation ( a real Oprah aha moment).
One valuable extra piece of advice they gave me,

“Stop panicking!”

I used to panic because I doubted my ability to handle the situation. When I forced myself to stop being so anxious, I started to change. I accepted that I can only give my 100% and leave the rest to God. I now trust God to do what I have asked. I trust that God has my back. I learnt to trust myself and know that I can handle the situation. God does listen and respond. It’s a relationship. It’s a friendship for which  I am grateful. All those private anxious thoughts I had, I had no idea he was watching and listening.  It’s probably the reason I have gained weight, I can relax a little. I can have fun. I am comfortable with myself. 

I trust my gut, if it tells me someone is not good for me. I trust it. People show you who they are eventually, trust God when he says it’s not for you.

Monday, 15 August 2016

#SaturdayAdventures : #100Kweekend with Mulembe Trekkers - Sipi Falls

Best view for a cup of coffee right?

If you have not enjoyed some of the marvels of Uganda, then you are NOT living your life. If you are a Ugandan, then let me just pray for God to give you some wisdom, cause in the words of Tamar Braxton, 'You need to get your life!' Well I got my life.  KrazyTrekker is allowing anyone to see Uganda for extremely affordable prices through her tour company Mulembe Trekkers.  I finally got the chance to visit Sipi Falls for 100,000ugx. I was a little bit hesitant at first, but my good friends said I should go for it. So I did.

Now for 100,000ugx, I didn’t really expect much, just the basics. I saw the advert on Facebook and called the number provided. I spoke to someone who called Pyler. I asked him three times to repeat his name, 

“Pyler with a P?” 

“Yes Pyler with a P” 


 On Wednesday when I finally mastered the courage to book the trip  we confirmed 1.45pm as our meeting time. Pyler didn’t show up till 4.00pm.  I asked a few questions, he answered what he could. He promised to send an e-mail as he left.  No e-mail came. Not surprised, it’s a 100k trip after all. Being the hyper anxious person that I am,  I had to call on Friday afternoon to ensure the trip was still taking place.Thankfully it was.

On Saturday morning,  I arrived at Nakumatt Oasis 15 minutes early to find no one there, even though Pyler had insisted they would leave at 7.00am . Why I didn’t I think about African time? Ummmm…. 

We left Nakumatt at 8.00am only to drive around town in circle to collect more ‘trekkers’. The group was a little bit frustrated, we murmured our complainants as we left Kampala

I sat next to a girl called Christine. She’s from Canada.  Christine is not her first name, she has a Vietnamese name which sadly we all can’t pronounce, and to save us from butchering her God-given name with our accents she calls herself Christine. In her spare time, Christine and her parents bike around Canada. Coolness. Real Coolness.

Anyways back to the story.....

The group was an interesting mix of Ugandans, foreign students and expats. Another person I am introducing you to is “I, I, I, Me, Me, Me”. That’s the name I have given him.  “I, I, I, Me, Me, Me.” immediately dominated  all discussions from the get go to establish himself as the ‘experienced’ expat in Uganda.  He spent the long journey singing local songs and shouting random sentences in luganda to everyone’s amusement. It was very hard not to pay attention to him in the small cramped taxi. I was slightly offended. Then I remembered I had left to study abroad when I was quite young too, I wonder how obnoxious I sounded all those years ago. I hope I have been forgiven...

For your entertainment, here are some of  “I, I, I, Me, Me, Me” famous quotes about Uganda from the trip:

“You see these people they are just doing nothing. These people don’t do anything except wait for us. I mean that’s how it seems."

“You’ve had diarrhea since you got here[Uganda] bro!”

“Wow ...so while you guys were living in caves we were busy inventing cars…I mean that shows you a clear divide right?”

“Can you open the window? If you are not going to open the window go and sit somewhere else!”

We arrived in Mbale at 1.00pm, and took a rest at Mbale Resort Hotel. I could feel myself getting dizzy from hunger, so I marched myself up to the hotel restaurant and tucked in to their buffet. I didn’t even ask the price and until  I was done eating. I didn’t really care because I'd saved a lot just by coming. Remember It’s 100k trip! The food was good, hot tasty, fresh and not fried. A welcome meal after a long journey. Then I sat by the pool and caught up on my favorite blogs while waiting for the next bit of the journey.

We arrived in Kapchorwa around 7.00pm,  Just in time for the gorgeous sunset, the views of the mountain were just …just…. here look at this wonderfulness…

Yap...this was the transport.

I won't say much about the accommodation. I think if you are an outdoor's person and you love Backpackers , then you'll love it.  Pyler chose to inform only a few of the guests that there was no shower, bathroom or readily available hot water. Moreover he chose to warn the boys and not the girls. It’s a 100k trip after all. We had a rolex (chapati and egg wrap) by the bonfire and went to bed. I survived the night. It's very cold, please carry multiple sweaters, warm pyjamas and two pairs of socks if you are planning on going.

Now for Sunday..... what can I say about Sunday, except that it was amazing!  See the pictures for yourself…

Our tour guide

About two hundred years ago, according to the tour guide, some of the Sebei tribe moved into these caves with their King.

The journey to the second waterfall

I nearly fell in....

The waterfalls are not just a tourist location, local people use the water for their daily tasks

The trip made the ladies warrior women.

Apparently  young men from the Sebei trip are circumcised in this cave

We used the same pathways as the villagers, so a pair of comfortable boots or trainers really makes a difference. It's a long trek, with three beautiful waterfalls to see. There is even a opportunity to get wet standing under one of them. However make sure you have a water proof bag for all your gadgets. Also, be prepared to spend atleast three hours walking.

A nice place to catch our breath while the rest of the group went abseiling

Fresh Ugandan Coffee

Would you abseil down this cliff, right by the waterfall?

I suggest you give Krazy Trekker a call and thank me later.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Dear Queen - Your Voice

Dear Queen,

I saw this posted on facebook by Elizabeth Gilbert and I had to write to you(myself) again.
For a while now I have been privately reflecting on my voice. 

What is my voice? 

All those internal conversations while driving home in the evening traffic have been filled with that question.

What is my voice? 

Even those last minute conversations with God before I fall asleep are filled with that question. 

What is my voice? 

What would I tell you about our voice if I met you?  What was my voice like before? How has it changed? How have we changed our voice by the circumstances of our life? Did we ever have a voice?

This whole writing thing forces you to look within. It really forces you to search within yourself. No one told me how much of writing whether fiction or non-fiction requires one to pull out pieces of themselves. Maybe I underestimated the depth of it. I am glad I did not dwell on it so much in the beginning. I would have been too scared to write.  Now here I am looking for pieces of myself to leave in my stories to make them human.

What is my voice?

I don’t have a clear distinct voice. 

I really don’t think I have one yet. 

I know who I am supposed to be.

I know what I need to achieve.

I know people’s expectations of me. 

But if you ask me who I am…. well we’d need to refer to God for the answer…

You know what is so funny about this? I am not upset about it. I am actually glad I can be at a place where I can separate the difference between what I am supposed to do and who I am. I have space to choose. I can navigate a bit better instead of hoping it all comes together the way it’s supposed too. Isn’t that maturity? 

Yes, I like this.

That was a little taste of my voice for you. Some confidence and trust in my ability to handle uncertainty. 
We have come a long way my dear. 

Let’s keep growing.

Let’s enjoy this next phase of finding our voice.like what the picture above says...I will catch myself.

Until I write again.

All the best,

Monday, 8 August 2016

10 things I love most about the place I was born and raised.

Oh gosh where do I begin? I am taking part in Writers Write WLD. I am late by a whole week. The above title is today's writing theme so here is my list…
  1.  We got to play outside. During weekdays we didn’t watch more than one hour of television a day. There were only two channels before DSTV, so we learnt to play outside and use our imagination. We also learnt how to  enjoy reading books. This is before I got to secondary school, unfortunately it was all downhill from there….now I love reality TV
  2. We went to church every Sunday as a family. People used to dress for Sunday Mass in those days. Until I learnt how to read, I used to spend my time looking at all the ladies' outfits, the shoes, the hand bags, the dresses… God please forgive me.
  3. When they bought you a soda it was a treat! A plate of chips was a treat. Fried chicken was treat. Now its an actual daily meal for some people...
  4. We ate together as family, which meant we watched TV together. We watched The Cosby Show, Roots, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Family Matters all together as a family.
  5. My school had great school lunches, never had posho and beans for lunch. Not once. Not never!
  6. My father insisted we ALL learn how to swim, that meant swimming lessons on the weekend and swimming lessons after school, no excuses!
  7. If I behaved myself my big brother would let me ride my tiny bicycle to the local shops with him (kiosks).
  8. On Christmas eve we would go out as family and look at the Christmas light decorations on all the big commercial buildings around the city. It was also when our parents did the bulk of the Christmas shopping. But it’s not last minute people, it’s Africa!
  9. Power cuts were fun. We were not addicted to so many little gadgets like phones and laptops in those days.  We would sit together with one candle or a lantern and tell stories. Once, one of  my brothers convinced me it was the end of the world and Cyclops was coming...
  10. My parents would buy food in bulk. We used to sit in the back garden and help snap beans or sometimes we’d be in the kitchen with our Mum making a big batch of fresh passion fruit juice to be stored in the freezer for the week.