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...
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...
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...
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