Everything Uganda: From Your Projects – A Day in the Life of a School Cook

Everything Uganda: From Your Projects – A Day in the Life of a School Cook

. By Eric Barigye Welcome back to our weekly blog that explores a particular aspect of Uganda life, to learn more about the people, place and Charity Projects which host our Adventure Like No Other. This week we return to the projects being supported by the 2020 event! . Bugabira Primary School is our oldest and longest-running partner! This school and its pupils have been part of the 7-Day Adventure since the beginning, with runners continuing to fundraise for their causes. Starting in 2015 with poultry and solar projects, then a kitchen in 2016, followed by a classroom block, toilets and playground area in 2017, and a staff accommodation block in 2018, our International Runner’s golden legacy is clearly seen on this hill in Masaka. You may also recognize the school uniform – below big smiling faces – from the personalized welcome photos we share soon after you sign up! Meet the 37-year-old school cook Mr. Kasirye Peter! Having joined the school almost a decade ago, Peter was born, raised, and currently lives less than a 20-minute walk away from the school. He makes this walk every morning at 7:00 AM for the school day.  . Peter’s Day Upon arrival at about 7:30 AM Peter begins with washing his 6 saucepans of varying sizes. After they are clean, Peter gets two separate fire stones going. With his experience, it takes him mere minutes to get the wood that sits in between 4 stones burning!  He sets the biggest pan first on the fire and fills it with 140 litres of water. He then sits another pan on the second...
Everything Uganda: Trees of Masaka Part 1

Everything Uganda: Trees of Masaka Part 1

. By Eric Barigye Welcome back to our weekly blog that explores a particular aspect of Uganda life, to learn more about the people, place, and this week – the trees that surround our Adventure Like No Other!  . Uganda has lots of trees! Some numbers put forest and woodland cover in the country at 49,000 km² or 24% of the total land area. These trees are of a very wide variety because they are found in different habitats such as open water systems, wetlands, dry forest, woodland, thicket, bushland and even semi-arid parts. Today, however, we are going to focus on trees in our locale, Masaka. Let’s get started! . . . Umbrella Tree We begin with the Maesopsis Eminii (pictured left and above), which is known as “Musizi” in Luganda and Umbrella Tree in English. Indigenous to Uganda, this large tree grows in low moist tropical forests. It is a leafy semi-deciduous tree between 10-30 meters. It often has a clear bole (the trunk of the tree) to 10 m, and horizontal branches, with the crown flattened when young but becoming more rounded with age, creating the umbrella shape. Usually used as a shade tree in coffee, tea, cocoa and cardamom plantations, its leaves are used as fodder for animals. The bark makes good roofing material. The wood is used in light constructions for items such as boxes and crates, millwork, plywood or core stock. The tree also provides fuelwood and charcoal. . . Back Cloth Fig Tree Next we look at the Ficus Natalensis known as “Mutuba” in Luganda and Back Cloth Fig in English. With...
Everything Uganda: From Your Projects – A Day in the Life of a Stationer

Everything Uganda: From Your Projects – A Day in the Life of a Stationer

. By Eric Barigye Welcome back to our weekly blog that explores a particular aspect of Uganda life, to learn more about the people, place, and this week, once again, the projects that will be hosting our 2020 Adventure Like No Other!  . This is the latest addition to our series “From Your Projects!” where we are sharing stories from the beneficiaries of our selected 2020 Charity Projects. This week we meet 1 of the 10 business owners Youth With A Vision (YWAV) has taken under its wing!  Sylvia is the 33-year-old business owner of God Cares Stationery. It is located at an ideal location by the main entrance of both Masaka Regional Referral Hospital and within the grounds of Masaka School of Comprehensive Nursing. Sylvia’s path to ownership was greatly assisted by Youth With a Vision’s loan support system and microfinance scheme. Starting out 5 years ago, Sylvia worked for the previous owner and learnt the trade from them. Then in 2017, she learned of YWAV through a friend. She went for a meeting with the organisation and signed up for their short business course which they offered. It taught her how to write a business plan, manage finances, how to do bookkeeping, and how to save. It was also around this time that her boss told her of their intent to leave the business. By then, Sylvia knew she had the training as well as the experience to take over the business so she went to YWAV and asked for a loan (which forms a part of their youth microfinance scheme), so she could buy her boss...
Everything Uganda: Birds of Masaka, Part 3

Everything Uganda: Birds of Masaka, Part 3

. By Eric Barigye Welcome back to our weekly blog that explores a particular aspect of Uganda life, to learn more about the people and place that play host to our Adventure Like No Other! This week, we continue to look at the wildlife of Masaka… . If you missed the previous parts of this series, please find Part 1 here and Part 2 here. As always in this series, we are led by our guide Wycliffe who tells us about the birds he shows the International Runners during a 2-3 hour nature walk through the town, seeing the birds in their natural habitats and spotting wildlife,  during the week. . . Long-crested Eagle We begin with the Long-crested Eagle featured in the photo above. It is a distinctive eagle when perched due to the long, shaggy crest and all dark plumage. The adults are blackish-brown with long, thin feathers growing from the rear of the crown which is held erect to form a crest. The eyes of adults are bright yellow but can be darker in females, and the cere and feet are yellow, paling to white in males. The juveniles are similar to the adults, but the plumage (the bird’s collective feathers) is lighter in colour, the crest is not developed, and their eyes are grey. It breeds all year but most eggs are laid from July–November. The female lays 1-2 eggs. . . African Harrier Hawk The African Harrier-hawk is a medium-sized raptor. The upperparts, head and breast are pale grey. The belly is white with fine dark barring. The broad wings are pale grey with a...
Everything Uganda: From Your Projects – A Day in the Life of a Clinical Officer

Everything Uganda: From Your Projects – A Day in the Life of a Clinical Officer

. By Eric Barigye Welcome back to our weekly blog that explores a particular aspect of Uganda life, to learn more about the people, place, and this week – the projects that play host to our Adventure Like No Other!  . We continue our series “From Your Projects!” where we share stories from the beneficiaries of our selected 2020 Charity Projects. This week, we go to Community Health Empowerment Relief Agency (CHEDRA) to meet Betty who is a Clinical Officer for this organization!  Nakiruuta Betty is a 25-year-old who was born and raised in Rakai which is about 51 kilometres away from where she works now. Having decided on a career to treat people when she was only 13 years old, Betty started looking for the best place to use her skills when she finished her studies last year. Having heard of CHEDRA from a friend, Betty got started ‘googling’ the organisation and found she loved everything she was seeing – so much so she emailed the organization immediately declaring her interest to join! Luckily for Betty, the Director of CHEDRA (and Board Member for the Marathon), Mr. Kigozi Moses, makes it a point to meet everyone that approaches him for work. After their meeting, Moses told her sadly he had no job available for her. However, showing her seriousness for the role, Betty kept checking-in with him with friendly messages over the next three months until he gave her the opportunity she sought. He persistence paid off! I met with Betty in person and she told me about her Mondays… Her days begin at 6:30 AM. She gets...
Interview with two UGM Runners – Rosie Campbell & Jessica Bishop

Interview with two UGM Runners – Rosie Campbell & Jessica Bishop

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. Rosie and Jess were our highest fundraisers for the 2019 Uganda Marathon, raising an incredible £27,000 for the charity, HvSMF. Below they chat to us about choosing this charity, fundraising, race day, and meeting the community at a Charity Projects on ‘Legacy Day’. Plus, they share some of their favourite parts of the trip, which they describe as: “amazing from start to finish“.      1. What made you both sign up to the Uganda Marathon and was it what you expected? To be honest we signed up not realising how it would snowball into being one of the best experiences of our lives. We have both done a marathon before, (London and Stockholm) but we wanted to throw ourselves into a marathon in a country we had never been to before. We also wanted to experience a marathon with the extra challenges of the terrain, heat and humidity. Was it what we expected? Yes and more! It exceeded every single, absolutely everything, we could have possibly imagined! It was one of the most rewarding and life-changing weeks – we could not recommend it more.   2. You fundraised a fantastic amount for The Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund (HvSMF). Could you tell us why you chose this charity and how you went about fundraising? We chose this...
Everything Uganda: How to Make Beaded Earrings

Everything Uganda: How to Make Beaded Earrings

. By Eric Barigye Welcome back to our weekly blog that explores a particular aspect of Uganda life, to learn more about the place, and this week – the style of the people who host our Adventure Like No Other!  . Jewellery has been important to African cultures since time immemorial. It is among the earliest places where people first wore and made jewellery. For example in Kenya over 40,000 years ago, beads were made from different materials, mainly wood and different stones. For Uganda, jewellery has even formed the basis for various tribe’s early stories and myths!  As time moved on in Africa, native craftsmen have improved and developed their jewellery-making techniques, and today those products are some of the most beautiful pieces in the world. One such craftsman is Mr Henry Bidandi, a 33-year-old from right here in Masaka! Having learned the skills from his elder sister, Henry has been working in crafts for 5 years now at Emily Craft Shop (named after his sister). In fact, he helped make the Uganda Marathon bracelets which our International Runners wore for 2017’s 7-Day Adventure!  This week, he teaches us how to make a glass beaded earring… What do you need? Firstly, a clear idea on the colour scheme for the earrings, and then small glass beads of your preferred colour (s), along with black thread, needle and hooks. Once these have been acquired, we can start the stitching! After threading the needle Henry puts the first four beads through the needle. He then loops his needle and sends it through two of the four beads. When you pull...
Everything Uganda: From Your Projects – A Day in the Life of a Pupil

Everything Uganda: From Your Projects – A Day in the Life of a Pupil

. By Eric Barigye Welcome back to our weekly blog that explores a particular aspect of Uganda life, to learn more about the people, place, and this week – the projects that play host to our Adventure Like No Other!  . We begin a very special series named “From Your Projects!” This series will be sharing stories from the beneficiaries of our selected 2020 Charity Projects – the very organisations which this year’s event is supporting! First is Martha, who is one of the 175 pupils attending Primer Junior Day and Boarding School! Martha (pictured front left below) is a twelve-year-old in the first candidate class of her young school. Primer Junior School is only 3 years old but they have made enough progress in that short time to be handed a centre number from the authorities. This means they can now put forward their pupils of Primary Seven for national examinations and Martha is the big hope of this groundbreaking class!  . . Martha’s family hails from Bukomansimbi, which is almost 40 kilometres away from the school but her single mother worked hard and found a place at the boarding school for her daughter, one which fits her budget whilst providing good quality education. Martha has helped her mother in return by continuously winning half school bursaries through her good performance at school. Martha told me about her school days which begin as early as 6 A.M. Upon waking, Dormitory chores begin. These include laying the bed, taking dirty clothes to the washing bay and cleaning the dorm floor. Once that is done she can prepare herself for...
Everything Uganda: Birds of Masaka, Part 2

Everything Uganda: Birds of Masaka, Part 2

. By Eric Barigye Welcome back to our weekly blog that explores a particular aspect of Uganda life, to learn more about the people and place that play host to our Adventure Like No Other! This week, we continue to look at the wildlife of Masaka… . If you missed Part 1 of this series, you can find it here. This week our guide Wycliffe tells us more about the birds he shows the International Runners during 2-3 hour walk through the town, spotting wildlife, during the week. These are some of the birds which can be seen: . Starting with the one pictured above, which is the Red-eyed Speckled Pigeon or (African) Rock Pigeon, it is a pigeon that is a resident breeding bird in much of Africa, south of the Sahara. It is a common and widespread species in open habitats over much of its range, although there are sizable gaps in its distribution. It is a large pigeon at 41 cm in length. Its back and wings are rufous, with the latter heavily speckled with white spots. The rest of the upperparts and underparts are blue-grey, and the head is grey with red patches around the eye. The neck is brownish, streaked with white, and the legs are red. . The Red-eyed Dove is a largish, stocky pigeon, typically 30 cm (12 inches) in length. Its back, wings, and tail are pale brown. When flying, it shows blackish flight feathers. The head and underparts are dark vinous-pink, shading to pale grey on the face. There is a black hind neck patch edged with white. The legs...
10 Reasons to Run the Uganda Marathon in 2020

10 Reasons to Run the Uganda Marathon in 2020

. January can be such an exciting time! It’s an opportunity to make exciting plans for the year ahead and ensure it’s a year to remember! And if you’ve got the urge to do something a little different this year, which involves things like travel, taking on a challenge, meeting new people and making a difference, then the Uganda Marathon – An Adventure Like No Other might be just the answer! Here are ten reasons to take part in the Uganda Marathon this year… . . #1 It’s (so much) more than a race – it’s a 7-day Adventure! Our slogan, ‘An Adventure Like No Other‘, plays a key part in explaining what the Uganda Marathon is. Yes, the race is a brilliant, special, unforgettable experience, but there’s a lot more to the week as well. To sum it up in a few lines: It’s a 7-day festival focused on helping, and connecting with, the Ugandan community. They’ll be visits to grassroots charity projects, including the one you’ve chosen to support. Plus, it’s the chance to organise a sports day for local children, experiencing the Ugandan culture, explore the local town, experience locally sourced entertainment and make new friends. Then, take on a big challenge at the end – in support of the community you’ve spent the week with! . . . . #2 Have an unforgettable race experience – for all abilities The focus of the race is very much on using the challenge to help the local people and as a result, it has a great community feel to it. By this point, Day 6 when we hold...
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