Posts in community engagement
Beating The Drum Has A Different Meaning in Uganda

One of the most enjoyable things for me in Uganda is watching people dance, sing and beat the drum.  It is fascinating to watch as their hips gyrate to the music and their hands beat the various drums. 

Drums are used for dance but they are also used for ceremonies, rituals, healing and of course worship.

When I visited UKC (Uganda Kids Canada) on my first day in Uganda, I was treated to a drumming and dance session by the kids and their master Yusuf. 

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Bringing Your Taste Buds Alive With The Fruits in Uganda

Growing up in Canada I would dream of the stories my parents would tell me about the fruits they had in Uganda; mangoes that were double the size we get here and tastier as they come straight from the tree, passion fruit, dragon fruit, oranges that look like limes but are super sweet and more.

When I first visited Uganda in 2007 I could not wait to taste all of these incredible fruits that were so tasty and so big and again on this trip that was the one thing I could not wait for.

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In Uganda Smiling Is Infectious

The one thing I found in Uganda that no matter where I went or who I met, they were always smiling. From people who sold you fruit to the guides that took you on excursions to people you met on the streets – their wide and open smiles were infectious and you could not help but be happy.

Uganda has been affected by wars, by the tragedies afflicted on them from the years of govern under Idi Amin and their current president but nothing gets them down. Being one of the poorest African countries, they are richest in natural resources and a people that leave your heart singing with their smiles and gracious attitudes.

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Boda Boda in Uganda

Need to get somewhere but you don't have a vehicle? Need to do your shopping? Most likely in Uganda, you would jump on a Boda Boda! In most cities across Uganda, you will see cars owned by the middle class and the Boda Boda used by everyone else.

What's a Boda Boda? It's a motorcycle built for one, however in Uganda it can carry everything you can imagine; equipment, groceries, bananas and people and sometimes all at the same time. It's the craziest thing I ever saw and with the traffic I was so afraid the motorcycles would topple in front of our car.

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The Children I Fell In Love With In Uganda

No matter where we went on my tour of Uganda, we were greeted by beautiful smiling children. Did not matter if they were collecting water from the local stream to take back to their village; walking miles and miles, going to and from school on the side of the road; or greeting me, when I came to do some community engagement. They were always smiling, laughing and in some cases mischievous, which made the encounter that much more fun.

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My Meeting With Two Masai In Uganda

On our way from stopping to take the obligatory photo at the Equator sign to Lake Mburo, we came upon two Masai brothers walking towards Kenya- some 400 miles away.

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Why Community Engagement Is Important When You Travel

Many times you will see amazing and beautiful photos of wild animals and landscapes on social media that your friends or family might have taken on their trips to Africa, however how many times do you see photos of them engaging with the local communities? Out of all the experiences I had with my past trips to Uganda, it has always been the engagement with the local communities that filled my heart the most.

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My Very First Dance Lesson In Uganda

The day after I arrived in Uganda, I was up and out the door for a drive to UKC – Uganda Kids Canada, which is approx. 32km outside of Kampala. In Canada 32km would take you less than 1 hour, however because of the state of the roads and the traffic, this short distance took us close to 2 hours each way. My friend Maylynn Quan started this initiative a few years ago. The local kids and her had collected 8000 plastic bottles and built this amazing brick bottle hut, so that Yusuf (otherwise known as Byks) and Josephine, who live and work the land along with their children can teach music and dance to the local kids.

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Update On Trip To Uganda in 2019

The other is Triple F City Tours where I will be taking people (travelers, amateur or enthusiast photographers) to Uganda in 2019. A big part of my tours is to give back by training local girls in the art of photography and having the travelers/photographers who are coming on the trip, lend a hand in the training - thereby changing their lives and the lives of the girls.

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