Loss

It’s March, the month we celebrate women. But away from women empowerment, girl child education etc etc, another issue stands out to me that I feel I must bring up. Loss. Because as a woman, it is a lot more that a four letter word.
How many of your friends have kids? Probably an easy question to answer if you’re my age (between 20 and 40).
But let’s go a little deeper. How many of your friends have suffered a miscarriage, a still birth, or procured an abortion?
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Notice how you’re struggling to answer? Loss. That Unmentionable loss. If you’re African, a curse. A sign that your grandmother didn’t sacrifice a fat enough goat when you were born. Or that you’re mother’s misgivings have been passed on to you and your womb. How often do you hear a woman who has lost a pregnancy refer to it out loud or in passing? As much as abortion is illegal in my home town, we know the statistics; So, how many times do you hear your girlfriend talk about the roller-coaster of emotions to follow months after. The one who lost a pregnancy at 24 weeks, how often will you hear her mention the phantom kicks, the continuing lactation, the emotional storms as her hormones try to regularise?
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Is she allowed to be frustrated out loud? Is she allowed to grieve a baby that she never held or kissed. People are quick to tell her to keep a stiff upper lip and that the feeling will pass. “It wasn’t meant to be, it’ll get better, stay strong,” you say. So when it doesn’t, she’s left wondering what is wrong with her.
That unmentionable loss.
The abortion, because she was in no place to have a child, mentally, physically, financially. She weeps for that child with every passing day. The pain that follows. The kind of trauma that is more than just physical. Yet nobody offers comfort because she ‘brought it on herself’. She rejected god’s blessing and therefore deserves every bit of pain.
How many of your friends have suffered postpartum depression?
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A form of loss in itself. A loss of the ability to bond with your child. A laborious loss. Did you just tell her to get over it? Did you tell her that eventually she will love her child. Did  you wonder why she said she felt crazy  because she doesn’t? These unmentionable losses. I come from a culture where a  woman is meant to be quiet. ‘Ling Thi!’, basically shut the fuck up about whatever is bothering you.
This month of March, dubbed the month for women. I dare you to speak up. For our sisters, our mothers, our wives and the klandes too. I hope this month, the unmentionable can be discussed openly and honestly discussed.
Whiskey & wanderlust.
♣♣♣
T.J.P.

“Pen & Paper”

I won’t make up some lie about being so busy that I didn’t have time to write. I’ve had all the time in the world. I won’t say life has been running at 1000miles an hour, for me it has been dragging by torturous and slow. Like that sloth from Zootopia. Willing itself to move faster but ending up lagging even more.

I can’t say what amount of strength it will take me to put this up. I’m sure I don’ have it. Writing my old love, I abused you for monetary gain and left you in the dirt for over a year. To the point that I fear, I no longer speak English these days. Anyone who texts me would be able to tell that I went from grammar nazi to just barely punctuating. More voice notes less paragraphs. I don’t have it in me to spew out what is buzzing around in my head and making my finger tips itch. I’m afraid. Of whoever reads this piece, of every comment that will be dropped, of how many shares and like I’ll get. Ramogi forbid I put myself out there for 2 likes and a ‘You go girl’ from my best friend. Guy’s I’ve got anxiety and a weak heart. iKent! Fear.

Doubt. Doubt that what I used to be so sure of, the thing inside me that makes my fingers twitch with excitement whenever I get a new notebook. Doubt that after misusing it so, so I could make a little more money and be ‘happy’, after the beating that thing has gotten, doubt that it even exists anymore. Perhaps I stopped reigning blows a little too late and it has died. Doubt that I will ever be good enough or if I ever was to begin with. Guilt. That I killed the only thing I truly loved and that fully loved me. Pen and paper.

So guys, despite crippling fear and paralysing anxiety I am back. To whoever is listening, or the dark black hole that is the internet.I’m picking up my pen (laptop,iPad, desktop keyboard, Whareva! it’s 2017 and technology is scary). Hoping it will get me through my troubles now like it always has in the past. And maybe even get  someone else through theirs. Because in my world, everything is okay if you just have a pen and some paper.

I need an outlet. Nimechoka kulalamika kwa upweke.Aol! I am convinced I cannot be the only one scratching and scraping through life like this and I want to talk about it. All of it. Family, Emotions, Money!, Love, Sex, Exs, Friends, Work, Health and everything in between. I want to tell you all of my stories, and I pray, tell yours too. I want to be my own hero for a change.

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And maybe one day I’ll have my own radio/T.V. show and we can put all this shit on air for some dime and a couple giggles.

Whiskey & Wanderlust

♣♣

T.J.P.

 

Inspiration

Please don’t be offended when I don’t pick up that book you recommended with such gusto. I’m not a reader. I’m a writer. I hate to read. Always have. I’d much rather get lost in my notebook. Scribbling down plans, dreams or just emptying the thoughts in my head.
My mind goes at 200kph. In 2minutes I’ve pondered over what a non-ocd, anxiety free person would think in an hour. To me it feels like an immense pressure weighing on my head and then I get it. That tickle. That urge. That itch, to pick up my pen and get lost in my imagination.
You should read more, I hear all my age mates say. They’re into book clubs and read  Oprah’s choice every year. I’d rather just have a piece of coal and white paper thanks. I’d rather be lost in my own world, where everything is what I make it. Where nothing is permanent. If I don’t like what I have I can cross it out and start over. I can arrange my own inspiration. Rather than be stuck poring over the words of yesteryear.

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For this reason, I allow myself to be held captive in the embrace of her blank pages. Warm, waiting, for me to decide between poetry and strategy. Or better yet, a delicious blend of the two.

Whiskey and Wanderlust

Stories from my 20s: Screaming inside

Ever been screaming as you fall through a dark dark tunnel?

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You know what I mean. Something colossally crazy is happening and although you seem calm on the outside but in your head, you’re screaming “Noooooooo!!!” As you fall down a dark dark tunnel.
Great example:
So these days I work in radio, part time. It’s a great way to release my pent up feminism. It’s been a life long dream to be on air so the excitement of everyday is only out weighed by the fear of fucking up. I’m a rookie. The proverbial “memo” scares the crap out of me, more than dolls. And dolls creep me out a lot!
So last week on the show, in the enthralls of an argument my cohost said shit on air. And my eyes widened as I imagined how the UCC agents would come and take him away, leaving me to do the show alone (I’m really selfish). And there I was, screaming down a tunnel at the idea of running a prime time show on my own.

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I find that when you’re in your 20s, this happens in every aspect of your life, not just at work. Because so much is happening when you’re at this age; you’re starting your career, you’re finishing school, you’re building friendships, you’re finding who to spend the rest of your life with, you’re becoming a new parent, so much.

It could be when he asks you to marry him and you’re not sure how many times you’re supposed to feed and walk a husband.

It could be that your girl’s family wants south African cows for dowry.

Your dad just got the diagnosis and it’s not good news.

When you thought he pulled out but a few weeks later you’re nauseous and late.

Perhaps you just said no to something you should have said yes to. So what do you do?
You go home, put on your PJs mix yourself a stiff drink, put on some bad TV and just scream on the inside.

Sad thing is, from what I can tell, it doesn’t end in your twenties…

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Honesty & Happiness

I’ve been holding myself back from blogging. Mostly because I feel like I’ve lost my way.
When I started to write something it didn’t feel right. Maybe because of the twists and turns of life, maybe not.

Onwards to 2016…
2015 was such a rollercoaster for me. And even though there were so many highs that I am so grateful for; the lows were epic and painful. They nearly outshined the good.
I have to say for sure meeting a certain Zambian goddess was the highlight of 2015.  I’m glad for all the adventures, coffee and sisterhood. Friends can be found in the strangest places.

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I’ve learnt that family is everything. They always have your back.

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I learnt to love my continent, and spent 90% of my weekends exploring her. I look forward to a lot more overland travel.

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Uganda is amazing. Everyday I fall in love all over again.

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2016 is the year of honesty and happiness for me. I’m only doing things that make me feel good. Because sometimes you need to say f*#k this shit and do whatever the hell you want. I’m choosing me, from now on.
As for the blog, I want to start telling stories. African stories.

No spoilers but so far 2016 is looking pretty amazing…

Happy New Year!
Whiskey and Wanderlust.

December in Kampala

As Christmas draws near, companies are winding down, schools are closed and the holiday spirit is setting in. If you’re planning on spending the holidays out of town, travel advisors from Jovago.com say you better make your reservations early because hotels are getting booked to capacity by travelers from all over the region. . In Kampala, the best way to enjoy the season is by going out. There is no shortage of events to keep you occupied as we wait for the end of the year. Here is what December has to offer.

  1. La Beaujolais Nouveau. Taking place at the Kabira Club on Wednesday 9/12/2015. It is the festival of the new wine, hosted by the French Embassy. The event is sponsored by Total, Le Chateau, Bollore Africa Logistics, OGAS and Jovago.com just to name a few. If you like fine wine and French food then La Beaujolais Nouveau will transport you to Paris on a warm summer’s evening.
  2. Abryanz Style & Fashion Awards. If you pay attention to social media you would know about the ASFA’s. Numerous Ugandan celebrities and influencers have been asking for votes in different categories ranging from Best dressed to Best Make-up artist. This is where it all leads, an elegant gala night at the Kampala Serena on the evening of 12/12/2015.
  3. Blankets and Wine. It’s back and it is bigger than last time. Blankets and wine this month brings you Swahili Nation, the Kansoul and Myke Ouma. It is set for Sunday 13/12/2015 at the Uganda National Museum from noon. The event only comes around every three months and is not to be missed!
  4. Patoranking and Diamond Platinumz Concert. The battle lines have been drawn and it is said to go down at the Lugogo Circle on the 18/12/2015. The music battle has been long anticipated as Patoranking let it leak to the media in September that he was planning a trip to the Pearl of Africa.
  5. Christmas Cantata. It happens on the last week before Christmas. A musical put on by the Watoto church completely free of charge to spread the Christmas cheer. If you love this kind of productions make sure to look out for details online.

About Jovago
Jovago.com is an online hotel booking service with offices in Lagos (Nigeria), Nairobi (Kenya), Dakar (Senegal) founded by Africa Internet Group and has MTN and Millicom as investors. Jovago.com, Africa’s No.1 booking portal, facilitates the booking process for its users to provide them with the best hotel booking experience with fast, transparent and easy-to-use services. Jovago.com has over 25,000 local hotel listings across Africa and over 200,000 hotels around the world.

 

 

 

Gifting the constant traveller

 

Last minute Christmas gift shopping is what makes the season so special. There’s no need to be anxious about what to get for your friend who is always on the road. Here are five perfect gifts for the constant traveler.

  1. Power Bank: The best thing you could give anyone, traveler or not, is a good quality power bank. Some can hold enough power to fully charge a laptop twice. In 2015 everything we have uses power, and the best thing to have on a long trip is fully charged electronics!
  2. Universal Adapter: Because incompatible appliances are enough to make you pull your hair out! Every traveler has experienced the disappointment that comes with wanting to plug in your computer and realizing your plug won’t fit.
  3. Bluetooth speakers: While you’re on the road, you may have the sudden urge to turn your hotel room into a movie theatre, or better yet, have an indoor dance party. Wireless speakers make sure you have the best sound wherever you go.
  4. Waterproof phone case: These days everyone wants to take their phone to the pool or the beach. Don’t miss out on great shots for fear of your phone getting wet. The waterproof case is a great gift for the selfie lover who doesn’t want to worry.
  5. Some more travel! The ultimate gift for a traveler is definitely more travel! Jovago.com has e-gift cards for the season. This means you can buy a gift card for any amount and give it to your loved one to spend on a hotel of their choice.

 

About Jovago
Jovago.com is an online hotel booking service with offices in Lagos (Nigeria), Nairobi (Kenya), Dakar (Senegal) founded by Africa Internet Group and has MTN and Millicom as investors. Jovago.com, Africa’s No.1 booking portal, facilitates the booking process for its users to provide them with the best hotel booking experience with fast, transparent and easy-to-use services. Jovago.com has over 25,000 local hotel listings across Africa and over 200,000 hotels around the world.

Never visit Rwanda!!

The land of a thousand hills is quite a bore if you ever thought about it. I had to endure living there for almost a year back in 2012. Kigali has been described as one of the most beautiful cities in the world by people who were obviously out of their minds. Here are a few reasons to never visit Rwanda.

  1. The capital city is filthy. Kigali city is a dusty town, her streets are full of garbage and barely any buildings.                                                          kigali1
  2. Rwanda has no wildlife. There is no reason to visit a place that has no animals beside mosquitos and ants.                                                                  kigali3
  3. The Rwandan culture is really boring. Rwandan culture is not special and there is nothing interesting or beautiful about it.                               kigali4
  1. There is nothing remarkable about this country. The Rwandan country side is flat and unattractive to look at.

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  1. The people are so cold and unwelcoming. If you are planning on visiting Rwanda get ready to be lonely and feel very unwelcome.

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Despite all these reasons, Jovago.com has a number of hotels listed all over Remarkable Rwanda.

 

About Jovago
Jovago.com is an online hotel booking service with offices in Lagos (Nigeria), Nairobi (Kenya), Dakar (Senegal) founded by Africa Internet Group and has MTN and Millicom as investors. Jovago.com, Africa’s No.1 booking portal, facilitates the booking process for its users to provide them with the best hotel booking experience with fast, transparent and easy-to-use services. Jovago.com has over 25,000 local hotel listings across Africa and over 200,000 hotels around the world.

 

Social Media for the Travel Industry

 

I’ve been working in the travel industry for a short while now and there is always something new to learn. I recently spoke at the Social Media Summit UG (#SMUG15) about destination marketing and wanted to put down on paper (internet paper) some of the things I spoke about.

Here are a few things to help you if you are in the travel industry and wanting to learn how to use Social media to better your business.

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In the 21st Century social media has taken up a huge part of our lives. Social media these days is not just about telling your friends about your day. It is now a very important marketing tool for companies interested in reaching their clients on a personal level. Jovago.com experts encourage players in the travel industry to make the most of this tool. Here is a little advice about how to make social media work for you in the travel industry.

  1. Be your community’s concierge. Inspire, engage, add value and help your audience plan their trip. You need to use your social media to show your audience the first class service that you will deliver.
  2. Create a social tourism information booth. Provide useful information and updates to your audience that would help them make a decision about their next trip (local events, news etc). If your social media is informative, travelers will automatically always check it to find out what’s happening whenever they want to travel.
  3. Encourage travelers to tell their travel stories. By encouraging the community to share their stories, you are giving them an outlet. Their stories will not just be fun, but also helpful to others planning their trips.
  4. Show people what they’re missing. Use candid shots and action photos to show your audience what they could be enjoying. The power of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is your best bet in encouraging travelers.
  5. Encourage your clients to ‘check in’ to your business. Apps like Foursquare and Facebook allow people to check in when they arrive at a place. Try to inject some fun into checking in with promotions and competitions, this way they’ll be excited to do it.
  6. Listen to and engage with your travel community. Their experiences and their complaints, use your social media to address complaints in real time. Being actively responsive to all issues from your clients online builds and image of a caring enterprise, people love companies that care!

About Jovago
Jovago.com is an online hotel booking service with offices in Lagos (Nigeria), Nairobi (Kenya), Dakar (Senegal) founded by Africa Internet Group and has MTN and Millicom as investors. Jovago.com, Africa’s No.1 booking portal, facilitates the booking process for its users to provide them with the best hotel booking experience with fast, transparent and easy-to-use services. Jovago.com has over 25,000 local hotel listings across Africa and over 200,000 hotels around the world.

Garuga for the Weekend

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This post is long overdue! My bandits and I spent a weekend in Garuga two weeks ago. You know I can never resist a roadtrip!

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Thirty minutes from Kampala city, Garuga is a lesser known lakeside paradise. Garuga boasts of untouched beaches and multitudes of bird species. If you are planning to escape the city this holiday season, but don’t want to deal with multitudes of travelers, this is the place to be.

Stay

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There are a number of hotels available for both budget and luxury travelers. Country Lake Resort is a   great mid-range hotel with great amenities. For a triple room full board you will spend UGX 550,000 or about $160. For more accommodation options you can always go onto Jovago.com and take advantage of the best price guarantee as well as the Christmas discounts.

Activities

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Being right on the lake, there is no shortage of water sports. Everything from jet-skis to kayaking can be found in Garuga. If you are more of a passive traveler, boat rides are available. Two hour long boat rides cost UGX 100,000 and you can have up to 10 people on board. Early morning boat rides are perfect for spotting the more than 20 bird species in the area. Fishing trips can also be arranged by your hotel.

Food

You know the luo in me must prevail!

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While in Garuga you must eat the fish straight from the lake! This area is lucky to have numerous delicious species of fish. The fish is always fresh and you can nearly taste the Nile in every bite! Due to amazing weather, there is fresh fruit all year round for you to load onto your plate.

Going Out

Garuga is quite close to Entebbe town. For revelers with itchy feet, Entebbe offers a vibrant nightlife quite like that of Kampala. There is always a club or bar to go for serious dancing. Also most hotels in Garuga have their own discotheque with resident DJs. This means you can easily shake a leg just metres away from your room.

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About Jovago
Jovago.com is an online hotel booking service with offices in Lagos (Nigeria), Nairobi (Kenya), Dakar (Senegal) founded by Africa Internet Group and has MTN and Millicom as investors. Jovago.com, Africa’s No.1 booking portal, facilitates the booking process for its users to provide them with the best hotel booking experience with fast, transparent and easy-to-use services. Jovago.com has over 25,000 local hotel listings across Africa and over 200,000 hotels around the world.