Interview with two UGM Runner – Holly Thomas & Mark Mennear

Interview with two UGM Runner – Holly Thomas & Mark Mennear

Here we interview runners who have participated in the Uganda Marathon, so they can share their stories and experiences from the 7-Day Adventure. After all, it’s their involvement which makes the week so special, from the impact they have on the Charity Projects, to the community feel they give to Race Day. Holly and Mark were looking for a marathon in Africa when they stumbled across the Uganda Marathon. Hooked by the idea of doing an event which was more than just a single race, they decided to take the plunge. Below they tell us about this, their entrepreneurial approach to fundraising, and how they connected with the local community across the week. ‘Unique‘, ‘life-changing‘ and ‘an experience everyone should take the time to do‘ is a few of the ways they describe their time on the Equator…     1. What made you both sign up to the Uganda Marathon and was it what you expected? Holly: Running is a special hobby of mine and last year I decided to create a lifetime goal to run a marathon on every continent. My second continent was Africa, so when I started to do some research, the Uganda Marathon massively stood out for me. It seemed like a crazy idea at the time, but weirdly the marathon was actually just a small (but amazing) part of the whole trip. Yes, it was challenging – but the week wasn’t just about running a marathon, it was about building connections, having new experiences, and sharing stories with a new community of incredible people. It was like nothing I had ever experienced. Mark:...
Everything Uganda: Birds of Masaka, Part 1

Everything Uganda: Birds of Masaka, Part 1

. . By Eric Barigye Welcome back to our weekly blog which explores a particular aspect of Ugandan life, to learn more about the people, place, and today – the wildlife that plays host to our Adventure Like No Other. . . This week we will be looking up at the sky and seeing which of our feathered friends fly passed! Masaka and Uganda, in general, is a very green place with many water bodies scattered across the area. This means birds have a lot of opportunity to nest before taking flight again. To tell us more I called on Wycliffe, a native Ugandan, who grew up in Masaka and worked with his family in their local guesthouse for many years. From an early age, Wycliffe was fascinated with wildlife and his goal was to create a business to blend his business acumen with his passion for Uganda’s natural resources and training as a safari guide. During the Marathon week, Wycliffe leads a 2-3 hour walk through the town where some of the birds below can be seen!  The Shoebill Stork (pictured above) is distributed in the freshwater swamps of central tropical Africa. This wonderful bird occasionally visits the Masaka Nabajjuzi Swamp. On a lucky day, it can easily be spotted in its statue-like posture because of its slow movements and tendency to stay still for long periods. The plumage (ie. the feathers) of adult birds is blue-grey with darker slaty-grey flight feathers. The breast presents some elongated feathers, which have dark shafts. The juvenile has a similar plumage colour but is a darker grey with a brown tinge....
Everything Uganda: How to Make Grasshopper Pizza

Everything Uganda: How to Make Grasshopper Pizza

. By Eric Barigye Welcome back to our weekly blog which explores a particular aspect of Ugandan life, to learn more about the people and place that plays host to our Adventure Like No Other. . . This week we will be learning how to make our very own Grasshopper Pizza from Marathon friends, Plot 99 – a local restaurant and coffee house based in Masaka. We are currently in Grasshopper Season (November – December) and the flying insects are a very popular snack for many in Masaka. Mr. Masereka Isaac, the chef at Plot 99, will be telling us how he infuses this local delicacy into one of the world’s most popular foods. He has been a chef since he was 21 years old and 7 years on he is still very much growing his craft. Inspired to go into the kitchen by his Uncle Edison, also a Chef, Isaac knew what he wanted to do right after college and went to catering school to achieve his 2-year course. After that he was referred to Plot 99 by his friend who worked there and he was taken on. Like a good chef, it wasn’t his first time hearing the words “Grasshopper Pizza” when his boss brought him the idea. Isaac had learned of the concept when listening to a radio show about a food festival in the capital city, Kampala. He knew he could pull it off. We start with the dough which includes warm water, olive oil, yeast, salt, sugar and white flour. After the dough is kneaded, he keeps it in a warm place for about...
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