Tag Archives: East Africa

Bucket List

Over the last few year I’ve ticked a few things off my ‘Bucket List’. While spending the Easter holidays in Cape Town it occurred to me that I don’t think I’ve ever actually sat down and wrote a Bucket List. So I did. I back tracked a few years, but here it is. I’ve set myself a task of completing it by the time I’m 30 (minus adopting a child). Four years of fun ahead.

In no particular order:

1. Bungee Jump (tick)

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Victoria Falls, Zambia 2009 (Ok, so this pic is of Ash, mine resulting in vomiting, much to the locals amusement- ‘You are feeding the fish”)

2. Live in Africa (tick)

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Over my 26 humble years I am privileged to have spent a total of 30 months in this beautiful continent: Kenya 1998 (1month), East Africa 2006 (6 months), Uganda 2008 (1 month), South/East Africa 2009 (6 months), Uganda 2011 (1 month), East/Southern Africa 2012 (6 months), August 2013- current (9 months)

3. Sky Dive (tick)

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Cape Town 2014

4.Run a marathon (tick)

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May 2012

6. Travel the World (tbc)

7. Learn another language (tbc)

8. Climb Kilimonjaro (tbc)

9. Set up a hostel (tbc)

*Read previous blogs if interested more in this dream!

10. Adopt a child (tbc)

I am so glad to have had the above experiences. Living in Uganda makes me appreciate the simple things in life, aswell as the wonderful opportunities I have had to explore the world. Although at times it’s easy to forget- I am grateful.

Life in Kampala continues to be as busy as ever. I can’t believe I’ve been here for 9 months. I’ve confirmed staying at the school I’m teaching in for another year which is a mix of emotions. I’m enjoying life and appreciating the beauty of the everyday things, plus equally missing life and friends back home.

I have a busy and fun year planned. Home at the end of June to visit my nearest and dearest, a months travel to South America, back to Uganda with family visiting in August. October’s holiday is open… suggestions welcomed.

All in all 2014 has treated me well so far, including a fun beginning of the year back home in Northern Ireland, meeting some weird and wonderful people from around the globe, weekend in adventures in Jandira village and amazing holidays to Mombasa and Cape town. I’m looking forward to the forthcoming months amidst my (at times) confused and unsettled mind.

Last note- write a bucket list- and do it!

 

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xxx

 

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The grass is greener where you water it…

I’ve been doing a lot of reading recently and the same theme keeps reoccurring- appreciating each day for what it is.

Easier said than done.

After my move to Kampala in August I was constantly questioning whether or not I had made the right decision in moving here, constantly imagining what I’d be doing had I stayed at home. This thought process resulted in me feeling hugely unsettled and unhappy and not making the most of the beauty and opportunities around me.

I’m coming to realise that maybe there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ choices in some decisions. I’m realising it’s about making the most of the path you’ve chosen, and not wishing to be on another one.

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Here are a few snippets of books/blogs I’ve been reading:

“I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living now.” Paulo Coelho

“If we view today as less than tomorrow, we choose to live in the imagined picture of a story that hasn’t happened, sacrificing joy and adventure that could be ours in the present.”

“No matter what you would change about your current circumstances, there are advantages, freedoms and joys that will be gone in life’s next scene. Don’t miss today because you are imagining that tomorrow will be “better.”

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/whole-life/life-won’t-begin-your-next-milestone (Thanks Ash Fulton for sharing)

“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow has enough worries of it’s own.” Matthew 6 v 36

“Happiness, not in another place but this place, not for another hour but this hour.” Walt Whitman

So here’s to 2014.  A new year for new friendships, new adventures,  mysteries and challenges. I’m going to try to appreciate the everyday, the ‘ordinary’ and the beauty of the circumstances I find myself in daily. Because…

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Worth living through every up and down!

Hopeless Wanderer

This month has been another reminder of why I feel in love with Uganda. Here are some photos from my half term break.

Lake Mburo National Park
Sunset Lake Mburo National Park

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Lake Mburo National Park
Storm Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Bunyonyi, Kabale
Lake Bunyonyi, Kabale

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Crater Lakes, Fort Portal
Crater Lakes, Fort Portal

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I have always had a love for travelling, along with the desire to in some way help those less fortunate than myself. From the age of 18 I took part in various volunteer teams and trips abroad. Although I always had a wonderful time on this trips I always returned home with a feeling that I hadn’t made much of a difference. Asking myself questions like- ‘What difference will painting a few walls really make?’ I don’t mean in anyway to diss volunteer programmes, however, I do have the opinion that they have often (not always) more impact on the volunteer than those who they set out to help. And this, if it changes peoples attitudes to the developing world isn’t a bad thing. This is an interesting read on the topic: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22294205

During my time spent travelling Africa over the years, I often felt a sense of guilt. I was surrounded by poverty yet living the dream backpacking along the coast of zanzibar, white water rafting in Uganda, safaring in Kenya. It was in 2009 whilst travelling with the lovely Ashleigh and Amy that we realised that travelling and development could go hand in hand. We began to come across various types of community development businesses, mainly hostels aimed at independent travellers. These all had a similar ethos- providing cheap and comfortable accommodation for backpackers while at the same time creating employment for the local community. Often these were non-profitable with money going back into the local community to aid various micro finance projects, schools, orphanages, child sponsorships etc.

There are tons of these type of places across East Africa. If you can travel, and put your money in the right places, i.e. grassroots organisations, you will be helping people at the same time. Often (in my opinion) a lot more that paying thousands of pounds to a UK based charity.

So, in 2009 we had the dream of getting involved in some kind of community development hostel/guesthouse/volunteer centre. That dream is now in the very early stages of becoming a reality. I will update with more information when plans are confirmed but until then if this is something you would be interested in supporting in any way please get in touch.

And finally….Come and visit Uganda!