Eng. Dr. Godfrey Mwesige _ Tribute

The passing of Eng. Dr. Mwesige hit most of us who knew him, very hard.

When I joined Makerere University in 2007 for my undergrad I remember being so confused about what I wanted to do, but also, knew exactly what I wasn’t interested in. I entered the Construction Management class and along the way, one of the module lecturers was Dr. Godfrey Mwesige, who ended up becoming my final year research supervisor.

My interaction with him was academic and then morphed into a mentorship and one particular day he asked why I did not opt for Civil Engineering since I had a particular interest in numbers. I told him that I was not interested in designing anything, and to me, that’s what Civil Engineering was about…designing structures. To me, it was hard stuff and I told him I was not about to choose the hard life. Although, I was quite brilliant by the way (insert laugh) but that path wasn’t it for me. Another person in his position would’ve probably found this a very unserious way of taking on life but after listening to what my reasons were, he understood and surprisingly, had a number of encouraging things to say to me.

When final year came, I had no topic…during the course I’d been focusing on keeping my GPA stable and basically hadn’t thought about the end; so when he asked what I was going to research on, I legit said I didn’t know. Lol. (Ps: there is power in acknowledging you don’t know something and that you are clueless…it gives someone a good place to start in trying to help you.) He asked if there was anything in construction project management I’d always wondered about and gave me a few days to come back with an answer. He was into roads, transport and the like and I asked if I needed to have a topic along those lines to make ‘his work’ of supervising me easy. He noted that provided it was engineering-related, it didn’t matter the subject. The closest I’d come to being interested in roads in the past was when I was really young and wanted to be a traffic police officer. (It’s amazing that years later, I work closely with them) But yes, growing up, I imagined that being a traffic officer was such an easy job (again, choosing the easy life has been my life’s goal). I always thought all they had to do was stop cars and then release them, like how hard was that? And so, that was my goal for a while; until bodas came into the picture and I heard I had to do muchaka muchaka as well. I left that dream. 😂

Back to what I was saying…The days passed and when we met next he asked if I’d found something and I still hadn’t. There was construction work happening on one of the structures of the Faculty of Technology as it was called at the time (It is now the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology), and I randomly thought out loud how long it’d take the team to finish and if it was something that could be forecasted; there and then we had a topic. He told me to go find answers to my own questions and that’s how I got a topic. I remember asking him if I’d find work after I graduated and he told me the only way to find out was by graduating, first and this included getting my research done and finished on time. It wasn’t anything in transport and he willingly accepted to take it on offering all the guidance he possibly could. I finished (and passed) the research and was cleared to graduate in 2011 and with a far from shabby CGPA.

Supervisor extraordinaire then suggested I present same research in a paper at that year’s International Conference on Advances in Engineering and Technology. I didn’t think I had written enough sense let alone present it before important people, professionals at that, at my very small age. Lol. I asked if there were other young people going to present and when I saw the list, some of the presenters had been my lecturers, others, people whose work I’d read when I was doing my study and others people from ‘outside countries’ who seemed very important. I felt like he was setting me up and told him I didn’t think this was my table to be at. He insisted and offered to co-author the work, polish it and physically attend the conference to present some other papers of his. This was agreeable and we did it and somewhere on this website, (<— click this link) you will see my name.😎 🙂  The paper is somewhere here.

His words did come to pass and right after graduation, two months later to be exact, I found work… and the kind that had me packing my bags and moving all the way across the country to work as the Resident Construction Manager for the AfDB funded construction of Mbale Central Market for three whole years. By default, he became one of my resumé referees for this job and later correspondences and each time I had something to apply for, he spared the time to write my recommendations, a different one each time. He never at any time asked that I draft my recommendations for him to sign at the end, he would write them out himself and share them, and I’d read them sometimes and wonder who he was writing about! Where I’d give myself a 7, he gave an 8.5. For most of the applications I ever made with his recommendations, I got accepted.

He followed up regularly to check if I was enjoying the work I was doing (making reference to undergrad confusion) and this one day I told him I was enjoying it but it was repetitive so I was getting bored. He told me that eventually I would find something that I’d be passionate about and wouldn’t bore me. Never at any one point did he recommend a career detour or alternatives, he always simply said whatever it was, it would come. Years later I joined City Hall and he was one of the consulting engineers of the different road projects and I remember him laughing at me and claiming that I’d finally seen ‘the light’ and when I later ventured into road safety and told him, he said I’d finally ‘arrived’ and noted that I knew where to go in case I needed guidance; he literally knew everything about our roads from those within to those at the farthest border. And whenever anyone asked him something about roads or traffic or road safety, if he didn’t have a response off head, and he always did, he’d refer you to a study he had done or someone else had done. Forever willing to help, teach and share knowledge and be part of the solution, always. And he was extremely brilliant too, everyone who worked with him and even those who studied with him (I have been fortunate to know some), will tell you how intelligent he was. With a lot of humility, knowledge and passion, he gave his best to his work and actively.

I don’t know if I have ‘arrived’ as he claimed, I certainly feel far from it, but it was good to know that in this life, the country’s best traffic and road safety expert was cheering me on, always and all ways.

Rest well, Eng. Dr. Mwesige.


The November Grinch that tried it…

On the late night of 9th November / early morning of 10th November, my younger brother got really ill. He had spent the day at the hospital (which shall not be named because I am angry at them), where he had taken himself, spent the entire day waiting to see the doctor and after seeing one at close to day end, he was given medication, he got an uber and got back to his home. The reason for those details is to let you know the kind of person he is. He can do so many things himself and will try and do them without inconveniencing anybody.

That night at about 1am we got an emergency call that he was very unwell…Now for someone who is never thaaaaat sick, this was very alarming and right then in the very late night, he had to be picked from his house and rushed to the hospital. He was extremely unwell, could barely breathe and was coughing up a lot of blood. It was nothing like we’d ever seen before!

On arrival at Life Link Kyaliwajjala (putting the name here because they did a commendable job), the closest hospital we could think of, the team on duty quickly received him and did what they had to do to save him. This included getting him on oxygen right away and finding a way of having him get some sleep…he had not slept at all because of the coughing.

By sunrise, he was coughing a lot less, had got a few hours of sleep but was still on oxygen. My parents had not slept, they kept their eyes on him the entire time…

Upon observation and getting results of immediate tests, the doctor, following consultation with his colleagues elsewhere, advised that my brother urgenty gets transferred to the National referral hospital for better / specialised management. He said he was certain the kind of medication he needed to get, would be there. This is when I knew something was terribly wrong and everything was happening so fast! He was put in an ambulance re-connected to the machines he’d been on while on ward and whisked away to Kiruddu National referral hospital (also putting their name here because what an amazing job they did too!) Also, I remember the doctor asking if we had a preferred hospital and my mum said, we didn’t because this has never happened so we had no idea what to do! As if saying we were not experienced in such matters, and she was right, we were not.

Let me write briefly about the ambulance ride…

While at Life Link, I was there, both our parents and then two cousins. When time to move came, mum of course was not about to leave his side so she rode shotgun and then the nurse let my cousin and I sit at the back with her, and my brother as we helped with holding his bed in place in the event of any swerving by the vehicle. This was the first time I sat in an ambulance, I had never been inside one and actually, neither had any of us! “We” had never been this sick before. In fact me as me I have never even fainted! Lol! The most I come to falling sick is terrible flus that knock me out and give me a fever for like 2 days and after that, I am good. I can count the times I have had actual malaria.

Everything about the ambulance was fascinating… I looked around at the machines in awe and everything was working, even the clock! It was 2pm. I know this isn’t the case for all of them, given stories of our health care system, so this was a pleasant shock. I actually took a photo of the inside. Also, I don’t know if the ambulance beds are a standard size, but poor man’s feet were off the bed because of his height! ☺ That gave us a good laugh especially considering the family has even much taller people.

The ambulance journey was scary…your low speeds advocate (read: me) was having a panic attack and yet I knew we had to get to the hospital as quickly as possible. At some point a driver who was either sleeping or on phone or simply heartless drove straight at us and did not move to the side at all that the ambulance driver within just a few feet from this other car, had to swerve sharply and we missed a head on collision by a few seconds! The bed nearly toppled. When we got to Jinja road and the mother of all afternoon traffic jams had piled up, no high pitched siren sound could save us. This vehicle either had to get wings and fly or find a way of getting out of the lane. The latter was most practical and so the driver climbed the high kerb to get us into the lane of oncoming traffic. if you know your way around Kampala, I am talking about the Jinja road mid island kerb; it is quite high. At the back, we held the bed in place tightly so it didn’t topple….and again slow speeds advocate was now on panic level150. I then realised there’s a lot more that is required for our transportation system especially for emergencies and I was quite sad because I don’t even know where we need to start, as a country. How is it done in developed countries? How do they ensure emergency lanes on roads exist and are enforced? How far from this are we?

On a ordinary day in traffic jam, I panic when I hear a siren, get angry when it’s just an entitled person bullying the rest of us, but worry even more when I realise it’s an ambulance trying to make way through the gridlock. I worry about the occupants in it because any minute lost is precious to them. On this day, we were the occupants of the ambulance. I was living the nightmare I dreaded. Some days, the ambulance might even be empty…But that’s because it is probably rushing to pick a patient. So I say, when you hear / see one, whether you suspect it is carrying charcoal or ferrying someone late for a flight (we have heard such crazy stories), just. give. way! What / who it’s carrying or where it’s going shouldn’t be your problem because it could easily be you in it wishing other motorists had moved aside in time.

My dad chose to drive by himself and meet us at the hospital so that he didn’t have to drive so fast; and again, because we were not experienced in these matters, the old man went to a wrong hospital! Lol! He got there and asked them if the Life Link ambulance had arrived only for them to tell him it hadn’t and when they asked him what hospital it was supposed to go to, they laughed and told him he was at the wrong one. He later found his way to meet us. In hindsight, I think the decision to drive alone was also to calm himself a bit.


On arrival at the national referral hospital, given that our earlier doctor had made some calls, we were readily received. The ambulance team (driver and nurse) ensured that there was a bed with similar ‘things’ they were going to get him off in the ambulance so that they re-connect him to exactly that. So for a few minutes they did not get him out until they saw where they were going to put him. The team that received us found a bed with the same ‘things’ and out he was wheeled. Hours later, he was still on oxygen support.

The days that followed were filled with anxiety and my mum still had not left his side, she was not about to and showed no signs of going anywhere. Relatives, my friends and my brother’s friends, his football team and rival teams came by to visit him and on some days mother looked like a kindergarten teacher asking his friends who’d show up in crowds to wait aside and come two at a time and for a few minutes, lol. We didn’t know he had so many friends! He is such a quiet person but after this one of my friends joked that maybe it’s us he’s quiet around. 😅 On one of the days the doctor exclaimed that we had carried the whole clan! If only he knew that my real worry was the whole clan finding out their own was not well…we would have needed our own tent outside. 🙂 One of the doctors asked what position in the family my brother is and my dad responded, ‘third’. The doctor asked, ‘out of how many?’ And dad responded, ‘three’! I could tell that the doctor sort of now understood the ‘fuss’ and had no further questions for the evening. lol.

The days were also full of hope because each day he looked better than the previous one and showed signs of improvement to the point that the people that saw him on the first two nights / days told other people his condition and when the other people came the next days, he didn’t look badly off that they thought they’d been lied to by the earlier team. On some days, he’d be surrounded by about 5 doctors and this sight worried me so much. It looked like something out of a movie. Each day was a miracle in itself.

The service at the hospital…again, we had never been to a referral hospital so didn’t know what to expect per se, however, I could tell people were worried each time someone asked what hospital we were in and I mentioned it. Some even asked, WHY THERE? Our ‘why’ was because we had been praying since the emergency occurred, that God would fix it and that he’d guide the doctors so we were not about to disagree with what the doctor who made the referral had recommended. Again, we were not experienced in this and were not about to bring any kajanja in it.

The team at the national referral hospital did a tremendous job! I thought that part of the group that received us were interns because I read their institution names on their coats but I was later told that these were medical students. Now that I think about it, the so many questions they had make a lot of sense. Also, they kept constantly checking on him even when we were moved to a different bed on a different floor which was 5 floors up, they kept coming by and taking notes whenever they could. Also, all services there are free of charge i.e. our taxes at work, including the medicine…but there is a private pharmacy within, in the event that your prescribed meds aren’t available in the general pharmacy. We made use of the private pharmacy on some occasions and it was always fully stocked and even when they didn’t have the specs you needed, they’d find for you the exact one from outside. I couldn’t help but wonder why the “person” that supplies the private pharmacy with variety doesn’t supply the general one as well.

All the tests that could have been done were requested for and done, on one of the days, he needed to be taken to another hospital for the test and the team at City Ambulance quickly made that happen. I remember calling them when I was at work, far from the hospital and telling them to go pick him, take him for his test and return him to Kiruddu. They immediately did this before we could even pay a cent to them. The person on the phone told me, lets first get him, you will pay later. Let me tell you, the number of times I held back tears in that week were countless, because of the worry but also the different ways God was showing up for us. Someone walked to my desk and asked if I’d been crying and the answer was really no, but because I had been crying on the inside, my face must have shown.

The tests (all of them…some even done multiple times) turned out negative, he was not in danger and the worst was over and seven days later, we were discharged.

Small small recap of discharge day…

I had posted my candles (which work by the way, you should rent them sometime), that we get discharged the week when things started looking better.

The candles worked, well, God did and on the morning of Tuesday 16th my mum texted to tell me that we were getting discharged. I’m using “we” because this was no-longer about my brother alone in the hospital, in a way we were all hospitalised, just that, sadly only he felt the physical pain. So we were getting discharged.

She later that morning called to tell me the doctor was done giving them the green light and it was home time for us….meanwhile that was the same morning that blasts had gone off in Kampala and this was after the second one that was on the road not so far away from work and now we were trying to evacuate the premises. So I literally told her, oh that’s great to hear that we’ve been discharged, I have to run, there’s been a blast in town! I couldn’t imagine her confusion. How you’re getting ready to take one child home from the hospital and the other is somewhere running from a blast! They watched the hospital TV and saw what had happened in town. Long story short, we agreed they would find their way home and I would try and do the same.

A short story about another young man…

On one night, a young man (call him Luke) was wheeled in, visibly, in pain. Unfortunately the person that brought him then left him alone; we realised this when he struggled to get his back pack to get bed sheets to lay his bed.

When we spoke with him and asked if he had someone coming, he told us his mother was home with his younger siblings. That sort of gave us the answer because we were not sure if it meant she was going to leave the younger siblings home by themselves. He asked us for some water to drink and when he downed a mineral water bottle in seconds, we knew something wasn’t right and decided Luke was going to be our person for as long as we were there.

That night he had a pain episode, we later learnt from the doctor who was doing his evening round that Luke was a sickler. The doctor was able to determine this from the personal file Luke had and when we informed him (doctor) that Luke had no care taker, he was really saddened. He immediately got to work, went picked some medicines that he needed and tried to stabilise him. At this point everyone else on the ward had taken interest in Luke’s health so there was someone ready to feed him, or help him turn or help him to the bathroom. He’d found a small family of strangers. Even when everyone clearly had someone else they were looking after.

When my brother got his meals, he always asked that some went to Luke, even if it was simply some fruits…he shared them with him. When someone came by to take the lunch order, Luke’s had to be taken as well. When people came by to visit us and brought us plenty of things that we couldn’t even store, ‘our patient’ instructed that we share everything we had, with Luke. My worry was what would happen to him after we left, seeing as we were on our way to full recovery. I prayed that either someone from his home would have come or, he would be discharged as well.

Two nights before we were discharged, another young man, in a similar condition as Luke was brought to the ward and they became friends, almost like they knew each other. It was ‘comforting’ because this meant he had someone to talk to. I was glad because God had answered my prayer for him. What I didn’t know however, was that God wasn’t done yet; on the morning we were discharged, Luke and his friend too were given the green light to go! So we were not leaving him there! He was going to his home just like I had prayed!

I don’t know if we shall ever cross paths again or even where, but I am so glad that this very strange situation had us in the ‘right place’ for when he would need us.

I kept telling myself that I would write about this whole experience once we were through it, one to tell you the magic that happened in a hospital so many seemed to have written off; and two, to remind you that no prayer is too small…and if ever you’re at a point where you can’t pray for yourself, ask someone else to. I believe the prayers of strangers in different languages and from different faiths for us during this time, must have made so much noise in heaven the angels must have asked God what the commotion down here was. And he came through! ❤


To everyone that prayed or even thought about us, Thank you!

Merry Christmas!

Knock Knock…

Yup…that’s me knocking at my own door because I have not been here in over a year! Wild! The WordPress layout looks different.

2020 happened, was long and yet short because of all the confusion that was happening, it did not give us time to understand what had befallen us! Lol! And so it just hit me the other day that this blog must be the most dusty thing on the World Wide Web and I made a mental note to return once I got the motivation / energy to. I can’t say I have got either of those, but here we are anyway. The last time I was here was on this day and I was ‘talking’ about travel…no surprises there. In my other life, I want to be paid to travel and nap. Where should I send the manifestation candles? If you know, please point me in the right direction.

2021 came with so much energy as if to show us that 2020 was just a teaser. What in the world have the last six months been? We started off okay-ish happy to have crossed over from the hole that was 2020 only to have a mad upgrade! Also, just to mention 2020 was not all terrible vibes, some dope stuff happened as well that I am forever grateful for.

The pandemic came at us with a new type of madness, the President called it a different “tribe” and what’s worse is that there are many tribes! When we studied mutation in biology class, we thought we’d never hear of it again…years later we have a mutating virus that will not let us catch a break!

The last six months, yes I know June still has a few days left but you get the drill…the past six months have shown us how vulnerable we all are, especially as a country. How we are all one hospital bill away from poverty and how we really need each other to survive. The second wave of the pandemic came at us fast, really fast! As Ugandans we are always on vibes, a lot of the time and I remember last year, people asked (jokingly or not) if anyone knew anyone who’d actually got sick. To some the virus was a joke and they didn’t think it was really there but instead, a news item and some foreign thing that apparently Africans were immune to, thanks to mululuza and whatever it is we were given in the stone age. The lockdown was eased, we went back to small small getting together and generally ‘being Ugandan’ as per usual.

The first half of the year has traded us unimaginable loss, physical and emotional pain, anxiety and uncertainty. We have all been affected in one way or another and the question about anyone actually knowing someone who’s been sick etc…does not apply anymore because we have all been someone; we have all been contacts and or actual victims. This time it did not only come close to home but has been in all our homes, our relatives, our colleagues and our friends. We have reached a point where WhatsApp statuses are depressing because every single day someone in your contacts has lost someone. Where phone calls are scary to take because the news on the other end is constantly about someone who is ill, or passed on. It has been and still is such a challenging time and the sad part is not knowing when it will end.

The lockdown in itself is meant to help manage the situation but let us not be blind to the fact that there are so many people who this state of being locked down greatly affects; and before you participate in a conversation about the current situation, especially the lockdown, make sure you are not speaking from a point of privilege. Everyone is dealing, and differently. Check on your people, even those that might not be necessarily your people. Ask someone how they are and actually listen to them speak. When someone tells you they are sick, do not ask them where they got it from, chances are they do not know and this question might not be very helpful considering that now, we can contract it from anywhere including our own homes. And when you do find out you’re infected, please notify your contacts so that they can check as well; do not feel terrible about it. AND when someone you have been in contact with notifies you that they are unwell, take it in good faith and simply get tested, they’re not to blame for anything.

At the moment, everything seems lost and we also, just might be lost. However, what we still have and should have is hope that this will get better. Hope in a power stronger than us. Hope in God and a God of healing & restoration. He will come through for us, and I know this might not be comforting or something people what to hear because it doesn’t help fix the situation. Don’t ask me why he’s silent, I also don’t know but I know that eventually, he will come through.

In case you do need emergency contacts during this time, here’s those I’ve seen work hopefully they will come in handy for you.

  • Ambulance within the GKMA —- 0800990000 or WhatsApp on 0792-310-927
  • TeleMedicine — Rocket Health – *280# or 0800277015 or WhatsApp on 0790512074

Stay safe and don’t lose hope just yet; encourage the next person and extend hope and kindness to them. Don’t be that person filling the WhatsApp group with triggering messages, propaganda and graphic images. To be honest, we all already know the pit we are in, no need to dig it deeper by constantly reminding people.

Whisper a prayer whenever you can, and you always can.

If you’re new here, please check all my other rumblings, it might make for a good pastime for the lockdown.


Tried to escape reality the other day, risking getting locked out. The reality was right here when I got back! Lol!
You Can’t Wait Until Life Isn’t Hard Anymore before You Decide to Be Happy; Nightbirde.

Jem’s travel guide for beginners…

Where I always am, mentally.

I’ve had people ask how I do my birthday trips so here’s the how-to, when-to and what-to of it. Well, I’ll try to do that in the simplest form possible.

All through my 20s I had dinners with some of my close friends for my birthdays. It didn’t matter who was available or not available in a particular year, but when February came, I was always ready. As the years went by, I decided 29 would be the last of this tradition, mainly because it had become so routine – although one that I loved and looked forward to, but also, because I wanted to do something more personal going forward. I decided that every year (God-willing) for my birthday, starting with 30, I will travel to a destination on my bucket list. Who knows maybe the 40s will bring something else.

And so it begun. Thirty was in Mombasa with my Esther. The ideal plan is a solo trip, but having Essie along on this one was definitely better than the ideal plan. It was a gift in itself. We’re quite different and yet the same in so many ways, she starts where I stop and vice versa.

Thirty one was in Seychelles and it was such a dream come true.

Thirty two, this year, was in Bali, Indonesia and a bit of Istanbul, Turkey. Two birds with one stone, what a bonus!


So I am going to break this down into when, with whom, how and other things one should be cautious about.


Planning is everything, guys. It really is. And I think personally, I am at an advantage because I totally dislike last minute things, delayed decision making and confusion. This is also why for this particular activity I prefer solo trips because I don’t have to consult so many people about any decisions and therefore, things move faster.

My birthday is in February, however, by August – September, I already know what I want to do for the next birthday and also, finalize the plans for that, at the very latest, October. Again, planning is key. The trips don’t come cheap, definitely, but if you give yourself a workable payment plan with the agency of choice, it is doable. So it is best to plan months in advance, and preferably off-season months because during that time, prices are a bit low. Definitely lower than if you wait another month or so.

With whom?

Like I said, for myself, solo-travel is preferred. However, if you have to choose company, choose people that will make the planning process stress-free. If ya’ll cannot peacefully plan a small small get-together or even road trip without having petty back and forth fights in your whatsapp group, you have no business planning a vacation together. Choose like-minded people, and also, less is more. A small organized unit is much better than a squad of chaos.


First of all, for convenience, find out your destination country’s visa requirements. I try to do a visa-free destination because we all know how complicated and life-draining some of these countries’ visa application processes are. However, feel free to choose wherever.

When it comes to cross-border travel, you have to be extremely careful especially regarding the guidelines. Personally, I do not like moving up and down and prefer having an agency to deal with whatever has to be dealt with. If you come to think of it, the extra fee the agency will charge you for the service, is probably what you’ll spend yourself moving about.

When I decide on where I want to go, I contact an agency and tell them this is where I want to go, please give me a quotation that includes everything. To and fro travel, necessary transfers, accommodation and activities. I have also learnt that travel insurance is something that is recommended so you might want to factor that in as well.

For the three vacations I have done so far, I have used three travel agencies. I am not experimenting, but I am picky when it comes to service delivery and when I encountered even the least discomfort with one, I looked for another. Reason I let go of the second one was because they booked me into a hotel and my booking caused a double booking and as a result, they had to move me between hotels during my stay… again, the kind of confusion I don’t want. Petty, yes, but if I am paying for a service, I do not expect this kind of thing.

For my recent trip to Bali, I used TravelNeza. I had seen reviews by acquaintances who had used TravelNeza before, for group trips, destination weddings etc and they were good. I also got directly in touch with the person in charge, Laura, and I made up my mind on using their services. Best decision ever. They do have group trips running all year, however, I wanted to have my own solo trip so I asked them to arrange for that. I was given the quotation and a very flexible payment plan. Again, I will not get tired of saying it, planning is key. To have the pressure off yourself, make sure you do not work with unrealistic timelines and in the words of Bob Carter, Poor planning on your part does not necessitate an emergency on another person. If you want the agency to plan your dream vacation, you owe it to them to be at your best as far organization goes; have your documents in check and updated, and submit them when asked for. Tell them exactly what you want out of your trip, they will incorporate all the activities and all you’ll have to do is wake up each morning and be chauffeured to wherever your itinerary says you’re supposed to be.

I stayed at FuramaXclusive ocean beach hotel, a choice suggested by the travel agent, and it was perfect. If you’re ever in Bali, I’d highly recommend it. They have the friendliest team and my stay there was smooth to say the least. I even felt extra loved! Each time I went out, someone at the reception would ask me where I was going and who my driver was, and then they’d give me tips on how to find my way back in case for some reason i fail to.

Read up everything you can about your destination, the weather, the time zones and currency among others. Also read up all other things that could affect your travel as a tourist, as far as your health and safety goes. Currently the corona virus is one of the world’s biggest problems and the tourism industry’s biggest blow. Every single day, I kept track of the spread, what countries it had been confirmed in and what destinations were at risk. As of today, the time of posting of this blog, Indonesia is still free of the virus. Their tourism industry has been greatly affected by the disease spreading in other parts of the world especially China because this is where most of their tourists come from, but there have been no cases reported or confirmed in Indonesia and Bali itself. I had to read all of this before my travel and even during the stay. This is subject to change with every passing day, so keep yourself updated, always. It is very important.

Ensure that you have all the necessary contacts on you, for your agency and those of their partner agency. They normally work closely with other agencies in the countries they operate in and this is what makes your experience a smooth one. Whenever I had a glitch, I would contact the TravelNeza office in Kampala and they would immediately contact their partner and in no time, I would be sorted. There’s a day I lost my driver. 😀 I had to text Laura in Kampala (with an 8hr difference) who then called her colleague in Bali who then helped me find my driver. The fact that I can never be stranded at any one point is why I use a travel agency, because I sort of become their responsibility. 🙂 And it’s nice to feel safe.

Ps: If you ask me to recommend a travel agency, TravelNeza, any day! I was very impressed with their services and professionalism. I will definitely be going back.

So to wrap this up, if there’s one thing you should pick from this, proper planning is everything. When done adequately, it halves the pre-trip stress and sometimes, takes it away completely.

Once a year, go somewhere you have never been before. –Dalai Lama


Title: Front-desk Manager

Someone said to me today that I’d make a great front desk manager.

Me: is it? How so?

Her: I have seen you several times stop and ask people in the corridor if they were lost or needed help and on other occasions I’ve seen you walk people to the offices they were looking for. The first time I thought you personally knew the client, however, on another day I noticed you came from elsewhere found this person and stopped to ask how you’d help. I have also seen you get up from your desk to take someone to the right office after they ended up at your desk, lost.

Me:…….. speechless. Also thinking, I’d probably be fired from that job because clearly I’d never be at the front desk because of all that walking.

I later said my thank yous for what I believed was and received as a compliment.

I have been on the receiving end of this before. Government offices where people can’t be bothered. Where the only help they’ll offer you is pointing you in a direction that has 8,564,786,754,588,712 other offices and somehow, that is supposed to help you get where you’d like to go. I know exactly how one feels when this happens because I have received that kind of ‘help’ before.

When I joined the ‘other side’ I told myself that I will never be that person who simply points. At the end of the day, everyone has their own battle of things they’re fighting that I certainly do not know about. The best thing I can do, is make their day a little bit lighter, even if that means giving them 5min of my time and helping them not have to go through having to walk around seemingly aimlessly meeting dead ends.

So, here’s to being better humans and acknowledging that everyone at one time will need help from another person, here’s to purposing to be that front desk manager because you don’t know when you’ll need one yourself.

Happy Christmas count-down! Yes, it’s coming. 🙂


The Nalongo Chronicles

Double the fun, double the trouble: all the best things come in pairs.

Madam Madiba

The Queen of Afrika laughs with angels.

Letters to Ladies

Tissues for She Issues


''Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life , and there are few who find it.'' Matthew 7:14