About

The Regular Stranger in the taxi

Did I say he had only 5 months to his wedding day?

Dear me; what did I know?

All I thought about was the new friend I had made in him

You know that moment where you get too comfortable and finally end up at his house

A good Christian he was!

We also had something in common; his church

I had been to his church before so we kinda knew the same people; wow!

Anyway he was the stranger in this taxi I boarded almost daily after work.

At first it all seemed strange that I met this stranger at the same point.

By the way he was legit too; working for one of the biggest national corporations; kind of cool you know

He was that ideal friend who had “made it in life” at an early age.

After many taxi rides together we got close….

Until one day that seemed innocent.

What didn’t click was the fact that the moment I entered his house, I heard the locks on the gate close.

Hmm; by the way he also shared an apartment with the landlord (so I had no suspicions)

Forty Five innocent conversation minutes went by (he’s patient huh) then,,

Bang! Weird revealed! “Can you help, I wanna lay my bed but we need to keep this conversation going”

The ninja mode in me got activated and I let him know I had to take my leave,

Guess what; with fiery eyes, after ten minutes of bargaining he let me out of his house but well, the gate was closed

Then another ten minutes of pleading went by and we finally walked to the gate; Mr Weird tried to do what he wanted with my body, right out his Landlord’s apartment.. but well after some struggle I managed to scream and he let me out. I cut connections with him then.

Five months down the road, the fool calls to inform me of his wedding date…. Of course I pretended not to remember who he was.

(My heart told me to go disorganize the wedding ceremony; but well.. )

I guess God calmed me down…

My body, emotions felt filthy once again, the thoughts of him, I felt for the woman he was marrying, I loathed him, I hated the smell of his cologne, even when I smelt it on someone else I met by the road, I would frown or turn back…

Hmm;; a few months down I have to say I rose up, forgave myself and tried to lighten up. The next time I saw him was different, I had no hate in me..

It all takes time and energy to rise up again, It takes forgiveness, sometimes therapy and courage but above all; LOVE!!

To people that listen to us without throwing the “all is well” bit at us, to you that try to understand and not judge us even when we judge ourselves. Thank you! Healing is a process!!

 

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Diaries Of  The Adventure Gal  – Sipi Falls Kapchorwa

It’s really been long since I last wrote, should I say I lost my mews? Not so sure though to be real I’ve had some events happening in this little world of mine. Hmm where do I Start? The most recent adventure I embarked on with a group of awesome strangers that became friends, some business partners and long-time friends.

Departure

So we all converged at Watoto church down town and set off on what later turned out to be about 4 hours journey to Mbale town. It was a lovely morning for the Mazima Adventures Safaris crew after a long hectic month. We went through Mukono to the famous Namawojolo where all kinds of tasty meat, gonja and drinks are sold. (if you’ve never stopped by for some Muchomo, you’ve never travelled to Eastern Uganda) After about 15 minutes of refreshments the excited travellers were good to go; we went through Mabira forest to “Najembe that is also known for some tasty meats .

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From the start of the journey we had awesome travellers who interestingly got along like they had all come from one family; it was so fun, conversations became communal since everybody contributed which made the journey seem shorter.

Jinja-Mbale 

Our next stop was Java house Jinja, the lovely strategically located coffee house full of tourists transiting to and from different parts of the country. Here we had some that were ready to grab lemonade or a snack, a stretch after the long journey from Kampala; then proceeded and our ride got more interesting as we passed through different districts and towns like Iganga, Busembatya then finally came to the wonderful Mbale town where we were to spend the night. Here we had some views like the clock tower on Republic Street, the view of Wanale Mountain, then proceeded to have lunch. In Mbale town we had different activities like swimming, steam bath, sauna; enjoyed night life then prepared our feet and minds for the next day’s adventure which was the hike to the 3 breath taking Sipi falls in Kapchorwa district.

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Sipi- Kapchorwa

We set off for Kapchorwa on Sunday morning which took us about 45 minutes; while in Kapchorwa we got help from tour guides who led us through communities to 3 magnificent falls on Mt Elgon. The hike was fun, a little exhausting, beautiful green scenery, along the way some precious stones mined from the slopes of the mountain being sold and conversations with some of the residents. During the hike we came across what is called the natural bridge, the natural pool where the water from the falls flows, splashes, makes music, refreshes. It just feels rejuvenating after a long hike.

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The 2nd and 3rd falls can be accessed by going through Sipi River lodge and the nice bridge that also gives you a wonderful view (good for camera shots). Here we also came across the Sipi cave a nice rocky view; we had to get into the water for a shower (literally). The feel of the pure water splash is just heaven so prepare to get all wet or a little wet in case you really want to enjoy this trip.We finally headed back to Mbale then Kampala.

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For better viewing, it’s better to visit the falls in the rainy season for when the water levels are high, it’s lovely to watch and listen to splashing on the rocks.

A huge thanks to the Mazima Adventure Safaris team, our customers and all who make life happen.

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Don’t Sugarcoat It

I had to reblog this. From a strong woman that went through *HURT* she was raped a few weeks after she gave birth by the father of her child but after all this she came out strong! Dear woman(married/single) speak up!. This is Strong!!
Got from https://rubycardinal.blog/2018/06/02/dont-sugarcoat-it/

The Art of Trying

I told him to stop.

And by who, I mean Kylie’s biological father.

I was only 4 weeks postpartum of having my first child that completely ripped me and I had to get stitches.

I wasn’t completely healed.

I told him to stop.

I said no.

He said “your fine”, ” it will be okay.”

I forced my legs closed. I only had so much force.

I’m pushing him, yelling at him. Saying no. Screaming STOP!

As he pushed himself into me. I went to a different world.

I was silent.

He kept going, no worries for him as my own vagina ripped.

I had a tear or two. But then I sucked it up.

Just deal a little bit longer, Felicia.

You can do this.

Maybe that’s why I float.

Because in a 5 minute span, MY BODY was taken from me.

It was permanently marked.

Your not pretty…

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I Left Same-Sex Romance for Love

Came across this article and it landed in my inbox at the right time. In the past month; I and some friends have really talked about this and I hope it clears out some issues. Written by Rachel Gilson.

Some highlights

  • We have only one life. The greatest tragedy is to waste it by forcing ourselves into someone else’s mold.
  • When my temptations are strong, I can remember that each and every one of us is born sexually broken, but not so broken that we are beyond re-creation in Jesus. His gift of sexuality can be reclaimed and experienced as originally designed, whether in celibacy or opposite-sex marriage, as we grow in knowledge of him and knowledge of self.
  • But a yes to Jesus clothes us in righteousness, stands us up in dignity, and blesses us with purpose. A yes to Jesus frees us to discover the gifts he’s given us, and even more shockingly, to discover that right where we are weak, he is strong. A yes to Jesus pulses us with a life so vibrant that we realize this indeed is the authenticity we have always craved, because we are connected to life itself, and all God’s promises to us are yes in Christ.

Sources: I Left Same-Sex Romance for Love

 

School Violence: How Can We Keep Students (Our children, friends, neighbours) Safe?

Hey readers, just something here. I have had a chance to interact with many school going children and many suffer silently or are just not paid attention to. Some go through traumatising situations right from homes, neighbourhoods and all sorts of places that they go to.

School violence is in many forms some of which include physical bullying, cyber bullying, student to student or to teacher fighting, psychological torture or even different forms of harassment like sexual, gender based among others. It has become more pronounced in the last about three years around the world and this can at times get as deadly as student or visitors’ random shootings at students and school staff.

Violence involves hurting a person or something and sometimes leads to death. School violence has become so rampant in the past years that it is alarming and a real issue to different school boards and the entire world at large. Surprisingly, the violence is normally by youth and a small percentage of teenagers which has led to triggering minds of the concerned parties into thinking about the necessary precautions to curb this vice. Some ways to keep the students safe are discussed below;

Improve on home and family conditions. Most violence starts at a tender age and this is because children witness it right from their homes and their neighborhoods. Children that tend to witness abuse between parents or fellow peers tend to get emotionally affected and end up retaliating by  becoming violent. Proper upbringing and parents desisting from violent tendencies can help increase on safety of children at school.

Another way to help keep students safe is through different kinds of therapy. Traumatized students tend to channel pain through hurting others or themselves when they fail to get help and guidance. For instance psychotherapy can be offered to help students find a safe haven to discuss and get help from professionals which in turn helps them clear their minds of negativity. Some school going children respond better to age mates’ counsel so in this case it would also be advisable to start up peer to peer counseling. By this, many that were feeling unsafe could confide in their peers.

Schools are also encouraged to offer drills in crisis management and preparedness to students. This helps keep them alert all the time. They are made aware of their surroundings and hence ensure that the place they spend most of their hours is secure and violent free.

Security at school should be considered high priority by the heads. This would help scare away criminals and also helps children come to terms with the fact that there are consequences of violence in schools. Many children have a daring mind and hence a relaxed security system can be a trigger for them to carry dangerous weapons in to school. Tight security measures can be ensured by wholly entrusting schools with reputable security organizations. Surveillance cameras and monitors can be another measure to ensure security in schools.

Some other measures that are at times under looked that could ensure students’ safety in schools involve self-examination, self-control and awareness. Involving activities like meditation, quiet reflection times can cause students to become aware of their surroundings and the people they associate with. By these activities self-evaluation and personal time helps bring to light what the student may feel uncomfortable about and hence getting proper ways to address them.

Educate school going children on the dangers of drug abuse as these drugs that many use trigger negative behavior. Many harmful drugs are traded on streets of many neighborhoods which puts children in danger of purchasing them and consuming them. Measures to reduce this practice can also contribute to reduction of violence in schools.

Suggestion boxes should be set up in school premises and anonymous avenues of reporting bad behaviors are another way to ensure that violence in schools is reduced. Many students and pupils have a lot to contribute to school safety but fear the consequences that may come with it. Suggestion boxes could be a good avenue to help them speak out against violent behavior and also help expose those that may be involved in bad behavior.

There are more ways in which school violence can be curbed like through punishing bullies, adequate school monitoring, cameras, and patrol among others. This all is made effective if parents and education sector work hand in hand to make communities better places for children of all backgrounds to co-exist.

 

Just a little drop; a little more..

Even when I try to sribble it on paper
All that comes out is red
I mean blood red
For the heart bleeds
It bleeds for humanity
It bleeds for our shame

Where did we go wrong?
Where did we dump all the sweetness;

All the humility?

Why can’t we just look beyond our religious affiliations
Or beyond our tribes?
Or just look ahead?
“As long as it’s not in my backyard,” some say
As long as it does not affect me!

Well let me bring this to you
However far away a bad situation may seem
It can never be so far away
It can be transmitted like a plague.
What if we cared just a little?
What if we served more?
What if we only had a glimpse
Of the world through our creator’s eyes?
Just a little bit..
Just a little drop matters!

                          -Phoebe-

 

Google Image credit to Kelii

That Cut

Seasons come and go

Snow falls and melts

People love and hate.

Great memories once cherished,

                              Now faded.

You see being desperate

All in the name of fate

Led to that hard step

A stride to the opposite side

Once considered “The first love”

Now Turned into “that cut”

Though all the pain  reduces;

It never really ceases.

-Phoebe N Hannie-

Your First Pay Check Should Be Your Start to Retirement Planning

I may not have followed this rule from the start but let’s say I hope someone out there considers it.

About 80% of the world’s third world countries’ youths work to earn the “daily bread”. Have you noticed that most of the employed youths only live for the next day? Where could the problem be?

In Africa, most individuals start thinking of retirement at least at 50 years of age. The average retirement age in Africa is about 65 years though not official. In the UK for example there exists a way in which someone can calculate when they can retire.

The question that comes to mind then is, “when should one start planning for retirement?” The moment you get your first pay check is the time to start planning for retirement. Many schemes have been set  up that help individuals plan for retirement some of which include; Investment clubs , fixed deposit accounts, retirement accounts, real estate, low risk investments like Certificates of deposits and Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) among others. Another way to help ensure secure retirement is to set a monthly target – that way you strive to hit the goal in all possible means.

Did you know a big percentage of working individuals rely on the social security funds to plan for retirement which is about 10% of gross monthly pay that the employee voluntarily surrenders to a government institute; so by retirement age, an average individual is able to clear out their security funds within 3 years of retirement yet they may still have 30 or more years to live. This leads to one bouncing back to odd jobs or relying on family for funds.

As a saver with Mazima Retirememnt Benefits Scheme in Uganda; a scheme that allows individuals save as low as UGX 1000/ a day an equivalent of about USD $0.25, I always look back and agree with that the CEO re echos

“To those who do not expect their children to be their retirement insurance policy.” >> Livingstone Mukasa<<

May we consider lifting the retirement burden off our children’s shoulders!

According to The Balance (a website on financial empowerment)“… the best way to retire early is to start planning ahead. You’ll need to save a lot, find ways to live on less – or, even better, do a bit of both.”

We all need the Good life, but let us face it, isn’t it better to work when we still got the energy, can access the resources needed and then enjoy later?

 

Are Entrepreneurs Already Covered at Retirement?

Another category is the entrepreneurs – the self-employed population. At times it seems obvious that self-employment means enough funds, a secure future but this should not be the case. Learn to separate business finances from personal finances, set a monthly pay like any other employee to ensure that personal needs do not encroach on business funds.

Most young or upcoming entrepreneurs get a mentality that retirement is covered, “after all the business is mine”. The business being yours does not guarantee future funds; the trick is to save as you would, like any other employed person and in the long run work smart for your business to yield returns that will keep funds coming in even at a point when you are unable to walk into your business to supervise. Work to a point where money will yield more money.

Last reminder; Save, save and Invest to retire happy and comfortably.

 

image source https://binvested.com.au/retirement-facing-extinction/

 

 

First Impressions Really Matter- Hospitality at Primate Lodge Kibale Forest National Park

A visit to Kibale Forest National park in Kanyanchu along Kamwenge road led us to the awesome, lovely and cool primate lodge , part of the Great Lakes Safaris Uganda. As the Mazima Adventures Safaris Crew (what we normally call the team) moved about in the western part of Uganda; our main area was the beautiful Fortportal town though as adventurous souls, we decided to move to Kibale Forest National Park.

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The distance from Fortportal town took us about 40minutes, on one of the best roads, well labelled with so many humps mainly because the area is habitat for some animals. The views were so natural, fresh and cool. Along the road; a few metres before the national park you come across wonderful flora and fauna, lake Nyabikere among others. As you get towards the park, you get to see some carefree primates chilling by the road like the bosses of the area. Into the park is the Kanyanchu visitors information centre where all information about the tour packages, guides’ can be found, then further inside is the beautiful Primate lodge.

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Oh my, the hospitality of staff is just on another level, the cool breeze, the African look is another heaven. There we got a chance to liaise with a wonderful gentleman Wilson , so attentive and patient. He answered all our questions and offered us a tour around the place before we even requested for it. Before we got there we thought it was for only high end customers but interestingly, it caters for all. The cottages are so lovely, cool, so African and named according to some species in the park like Kingfisher bird, Francolin bird among others.

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Besides the cottages are luxury tents and a tree house. The cottages are strategically located at some point residents get to see some primates pass by.

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Generally, it was a wonderful experience as our friend Wilson explained to us. To be sincere I didn’t want to leave Kibale NP, but well all good things come to an end. Thanks to all that do their best to boast African tourism and the awesome Mazima Adventure Safaris team for the good work

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Oh the Hassle – Life stories

Oh the Hassle

We got through the daily hassle

With heads laid on a wooden or metallic;

Not so comfortable but a get-used-to bed.

Springy for the privileged few

Oh! Did I mention the little 2 inch mattress?

For once upon a time,

We were all little, innocent, happy;

Well, at least we thought we were.

 

Ever heard of those communal work tales?

You know the good heart stories

Sharing with neighbours

Almost everything and nothing

From a matchstick or salt to a polythene bag

Oh the times we witnessed!

Let me also tell you about the pretence

That we witnessed daily

The times mothers boiled plain water for a show to neighbours

To prove that there was always food

For they had to witness

They actually had to believe that firewood

Was doing its intended purpose

The daily banana leaves with nothing underneath

The meat soup we had to endure for the sake

The 6 beef pieces for a 12 member family

After all if it’s meaty, it’s meat right?

I would go on and on but well,

That’s life; let’s not get too comfortable.

By – Phoebe N Hannie