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...
Interview with a UGM Runner – Kate Kelly

Interview with a UGM Runner – Kate Kelly

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. Kate, a teacher from the UK, joined us as a solo traveller for her first-ever visit to Africa, as she wanted to get out of her comfort zone and do something different! Below she talks about this, connecting with her chosen project, staying in Marbou Village, and making life-long friends. It’s an experience which she describes as ‘every bit of what I anticipated and a whole lot more besides!’      1. What made you sign up to the Uganda Marathon and was it what you expected? One Saturday afternoon, back in 2018, I received a WhatsApp message from somebody who had been to Africa and had heard about the Uganda Marathon. There was a link in the message, so I clicked on it to find out more. I had never been to Africa and, at the then age of 53, I thought that maybe it was time for me to do something very different and to get out of my comfort zone. One of the key things which attracted me to this event was the fact I could fundraise for a project and I would actually get to spend time there. When do you ever get to do that when fundraising for a project which is elsewhere in the world?  For me, this was a massive...
Interview with two UGM Runners – Laura Fenton & Alton Thelwell

Interview with two UGM Runners – Laura Fenton & Alton Thelwell

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. Laura & Alton joined us in Uganda to run their first-ever half marathon. For Laura, it was a decision she made months before to challenge herself in 2019, and for Alton, a last-minute one to join Laura on her trip! Below they tell us about this, their nerves about the race, their gorilla trek experience, and connecting with the community at their respective projects – a business empowerment project for women, and a remote primary school in the Ssese Islands. As Alton sums it up: “It truly is an amazing experience and something I will remember for the rest of my life.”      1. What made you both sign up to the Uganda Marathon and was it what you expected? Laura: It was my friend Amy who initially discovered the Uganda Marathon. She is always keen for a new adventure and challenge so she spoke to me about it one night over dinner and drinks. After some consideration, I decided to sign up and from that day on it was a complete mixture of nerves and excitement. I’ve never run a half marathon before so I knew this would be a tough challenge for me but I had decided at the start of 2019 that I really wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone this...
Interview with a UGM Runner: Jean-Louis Button

Interview with a UGM Runner: Jean-Louis Button

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. Jean-Louis (JL) was one of our first participants to join us on the adventure whilst still attending university. Below he tells us about signing up and juggling the costs of uni, what Ugandan project he chose to fundraise for and why, and also about his visit to Eco Brixs – a recycling initiative trying to deal with the problem of plastic waste in rural Uganda. Describing it as a “once in a lifetime trip”, here’s his account of the week…     1. What made you sign up to the Uganda Marathon and was it what you expected? I was looking for my next sporting challenge online, tempting with the idea of an ultra marathon, but I then stumbled across an advert on Facebook advertising the Ugandan Marathon and how it was a “race like no other”. As I’m someone who really enjoys volunteering work and also pushing my boundaries, I thought this sounded too good to be true! Once I checked out a few videos on YouTube and read some reviews from other runners, I was sold! As I am a student and always tight on money, it did take me a little while to commit to the project initially. But after sending a few emails to the lovely guys and girls at the Uganda Marathon...
Interview with a Family of UGM Runners – The Amstels

Interview with a Family of UGM Runners – The Amstels

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. Roland, Patries and 8 year old Jackie joined us as a family for the Week-long Adventure, and then after, went on one of our extension tours of Murchison Falls. They were looking for an event they could do together as a family, which offered running, but also much more: travel, a return to Africa and a chance to help a community. Patries, the runner in the family, participated in the marathon event, with Roland, originally not planning to run, deciding to run the half-marathon in the days leading up to the race! Read all about their adventure below, in what Roland sums up as: “the best family trip we have made, ever.”     1. What made you sign up for the Uganda Marathon? As a family trip, did it meet your expectations? Patries: I did one of my first international marathons in 2018, got a real buzz from it, and was ready to do some more! The Uganda Marathon did not only tick the box of ‘international marathon’, but it also brought a lot more: our love for Africa, the opportunity to (re-)connect with the people, and most of all, the opportunity to do good for the community. It is fair to say that initially, we had some concerns about safety and whether the trip would...
Everything Uganda: A Day in the Life of a Masaka Cobbler

Everything Uganda: A Day in the Life of a Masaka Cobbler

… 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 will spend a day in the life of 30-year-old Masaka cobbler, Buwembo Paul. He was born and raised in Masaka, the Nyendo area to be specific. With his father being a builder and his mother a farmer it was destined for Paul to find work with his hands.  After completing secondary school in Masaka, his parents sent him to a vocational school where he completed his 2-year training in his trade. Once he was back home Paul begun the journey that brought him to where he is now, 8 years later.  Based on one of Masaka’s main streets along Elgin Road, Paul leaves his house as early as 6:30 to make the 3-mile journey in order to have his place open by 7 AM. His box containing all his equipment, 2 benches, and a seat, plus a couple of sacks containing customer’s shoes, are retrieved from a nearby store he rents. It takes minutes to have it all set up with the aid of his partner.  . Given that he is on a busy street in the middle of town, he often finds he has waiting customers. But he makes sure to have his breakfast before 9 AM as well. Paul does restorations (prices depend on damage), mending (2 to 3,000 shillings) and polishing (1,000 shillings). However, if an order is placed he can also make his own shoe too...
Interview with a UGM Runner – Phil Sutcliffe

Interview with a UGM Runner – Phil Sutcliffe

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. Phil joined us from the English Midlands to take part in the event. A teacher and keen runner, he shares his insights of Race Day and what made him decide to sign up to the event. He also tells us about what it was like to attend the event solo, and how he made his decision of which Charity Project to support! . . 1. What made you sign up to the Uganda Marathon and was it what you expected? I put in my annual London Marathon ballot place entry as usual last year, and when I didn’t get a place, yet again, I thought I would look at doing a more interesting and challenging marathon elsewhere. This marathon had popped up on my Facebook timeline a few times and I thought it looked fascinating. It seemed to offer so much- a challenging run, a chance to get to know and understand a bit more about how another society/culture worked, and a chance to meet some like-minded people and to do something that benefitted a local community. I felt that I would be making a more lasting impact than I would on another flat big city marathon. It also just about fitted in to the UK Spring Bank Holiday leave period, so I knew I would be...
With great sadness, we are postponing the 2020 Uganda Marathon to May 2021.Read our full update here
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