The old adage ‘We make plans and God laughs’ made so much sense to me on Sunday. And this time God wasn’t chuckling. He had that table hitting, tummy hurting, rolling on the floor kind of laugh at our plans to go to Kidepo Valley National Park. As you’ve probably imagined, this is about how nothing went according to plan.

Wait, what was the plan?
It was a solid plan. A plan that took one year to make. The group in Kotido was to meet the group of Kaabong and off we’d go to Kidepo Valley National Park. The plan was to camp at the camping site in the park. The plan was to have an early morning game drive, after all when else will you see the lions or the leopards for that matter? The plan was to take lots selfies and have the following hashtags #Kidepo #camping #excursion #mycoberssiteisbetterthanyours #Karamoja #funtimes…. I get carried away really easily when it comes to hashtags. However that was the plan. It was a solid plan, if I say so myself.
 
So, what went wrong?
Everything!!! Read the plan we had?  Now read it again. Nothing went according to plan. And when I say nothing I mean zero. Nought. Zéro. The plan started crumbling on Saturday. The Kotido group that was supposed to be in Kaabong by 3:30pm latest, arrived at 10:30 pm. It had rained so heavily on Saturday that the roads were almost impassable. I was told that on their way to Kaabong, the car got stuck on a seasonal river that had obviously started flowing and they had to push it out of the river. All this in the night. So the camping plan? It became a sleepover plan. However, we still wanted to catch the early morning game drive so we planned to leave our residence at 0400 hours. I was so excited I only slept for two hours! No kidding!! That 0400 hours plan? Yeah it didn’t work either. I tend to hate the phrase ‘African time’ because I try as much as possible to make sure it’s not applicable as regards to me but you know Africans and our pathetic time keeping? Eventually, we set off at 0430 hours. It was a smooth journey for only 25 minutes. Then, the  car just stopped. I really wish I could give you details but I’m lousy at car things. What I do know though is that we were stuck for 15 minutes in the dark in the middle of nowhere. Whatever it was that was wrong was fixed and our journey continued on, not too smoothly though. There were a few times we skidded off the road but got back on track. The third time we skidded, we weren’t too lucky. We drove right into a puddle and just like that, we were stuck! 
 
The sun was hardly up when we got stuck.
 
When photos were part of the plan you take them no matter what!!
It’s all fun and games till you see steam coming out of your car. This is what people who know about cars call ‘heating up’ I hear.
We were  told we were in a place called Kapedo that was only 7kms from the national park. Imagine being so close to your destination and yet so far. There was no Airtel network and MTN could only manage one bar of signal. I honestly have never felt so clueless and helpless about a situation. Right about this time we were holding on to the hope of a Good Samaritan. And as luck would have it a soldier passed by and promised to get us a tractor that’d pull us out. That was at 0800 hours and we’d been there for one hour. However, two and a half hours later there was still no sign of a tractor and still not one car had passed by us.
The place is beautiful though. And yes, this is still Karamoja.
1100 hours had better luck though. Some people on their journey to we don’t know where helped us out after reprimanding us for not being well equipped with spades and shovels. Spades and shovels!! They pulled our car out of the mud. And right after doing so the tractor came. That tractor reminds me a little of how in the movies the policemen show up right after all the hard crime-fighting work has been done.
 Pulling the car out of the mud. Yes people, these are the roads that have been making news all week long.
When the car was brought out, we realised that the hose pipe had been damaged and definitely required repairing. There was no one in sight and our Good Samaritans had left. All our energies were then directed to fixing the car. We eventually called the national park to send engineers to help us out. At this point time we were all hungry. We’d gone through so many phases of hunger, even nausea that the only option left was sleep. I think I need to describe this hunger better. You see because we wanted to catch the morning drive so badly we went without breakfast. We had packed a few daddies and biscuits that we finished way before the car stopped the first time. It was hours since our last real meal. While people were debating on whether to turn back to Kaabong town or to continue to Kidepo when the car was fixed, my stand remained the same ‘whichever got me food fastest’. And as though that wasn’t bad enough, the clouds were turning dark which basically meant that if it rained, the roads would be worse than they already were which would mean that we’d have to remain in Kapedo hungry and all alone.
My ‘I’m hungry, get me food now!’ Selfie.
So many cars past us by afterwards: NGO cars, personal cars, inquiring about the situation but nobody really helping. There is one car that passed by us that I remember vividly about. It was a sleek black car with a government registration number. I didn’t get to see who was in but just like the rest, he inquired and went on his way. The same car did pass by again about two hours later, however, by this time, the park engineers had already come. This time though I recognised him. He stopped to greet us and it was the Minister of Ethics and Integrity: Hon. Fr. Lokodo Simon in the flesh without any security detail. He did speak to us and he was really kind. He apologised for not thinking to bring us food. Apparently he didn’t expect to find us again, still stuck. So you can imagine his surprise when he passed by the third time and found the same fatigued faces of stranded university students he’d left behind with a messed up car that was still being fixed. He immediately ordered the one of the park officials to be drive us to the park in one of the pick up trucks the engineers had come with. So yes if you did see a bunch of overly excited uni students at the back of a pick up in the news that was us. I have never seen people so excited to be on a pick up truck. And as we were being driven to the park, I saw the sky change, it was clearing and at that point, I knew in my heart that our luck was changing.
How many times do you get too sit at the back of a pick up truck and be this happy about it? No seriously, how many?
 
Yes, it was a real pick up truck!
 
Denis!! No one beats him at being optimistic. No one!! 

The ride was a lot of bumpy it was so much fun. The entire experience of being stuck for over eight hours taught me a lot about myself and also about many of my friends. Like how Denis is literally the hope of hopes and me? I need food to survive. I learnt that about me. When we eventually did reach Kidepo Valley National Park, we forgot our fatigue, our hunger and our troubles. We had finally made it!!
I’d definitely love to continue, however, recounting the events has gotten me fatigued. Another day maybe?

‘Oh, you are going to Karamoja?’ They asked. ‘Make sure you pack light. It’s really hot there you know!’ That was last year. And I did pack a little light with a few heavy clothes and I got the shock of my existence. Kaabong, the place I’m at was colder than Kampala and it wasn’t even the rainy season!!!! I tried to pack better this time round but I won’t lie this weather never ceases to surprise me. It’s the rainy season now and gets as cold as 14 degrees Celsius. To you guys who have winter, that is pretty warm. However, I’m a tropical kid, that in my world is the definition of freezing.

I came to Karamoja expecting dry grass and thickets with naked men with spears all over the town. The very thought of it embarrasses me. However, if I were to play the blame game, I’d blame the media for showing us only what they want us to see. What I found here is not I grew up seeing on the television. Okay, a little is true but the negative parts were a little….scratch that too exaggerated. I promised an unbiased version of the Kaabong I’ve spent quite a while in.

This is my favourite hangout spot in this entire place. It’s the offices of an NGO called Mercy Corps. It has the craziest view ever!!! I’m obsessed, literally!! Also the offices have wifi. I’m a city girl!! You can take me out of the city but you can’t take my obsession with wifi out of me. Also, I insist the view is everything.

This is the view. Nothing like the gods must be crazy apparently.

 

While I’m still obsessing over the view, this swing, because no one ever outgrows their love for swings.
   

Whoever said that the whole of Karamoja is hot and dry definitely hadn’t been here.



Did I mention these adorable dogs? They are so likeable and this is coming from someone who isn’t a big fan of animals . Poor things were looking for some sun. I don’t blame them, it’s  that cold!!

   
And this is how Kaabong says goodnight.  

 

 

Well I guess y’all already know by now that I’m a medical student. Yeah I’m not going to bore you with how much I’m totally in love with pharmacology. One of the many perks of the programme at my university is that once a year we get to travel to a hard to reach area and actually see first hand the health situation of our country. Wait, this should be more interesting. Anyway, I’m almost three weeks in an underpopulated, extremely hard to reach area – it took us two days to get here – at the upper most corner of Uganda. Yes!! Get your maps out! I’m in Karamoja and making the most of this place. 

I plan to show you Karamoja the way I see it!! And come on I’m a dental student so heck yeah I’ll have photos of me in a coat! 

This is my Karamoja experience. 😊 

Disclaimer: I’m not good at photography. Only my selfie game is strong.

oscars black logo

The Oscars were last Sunday. Exactly a week ago. If this was instagram I’d say #latergram but honestly I needed to internalise the fashion. Some stunned, others well..at least they are rich. Some grew on me and others were plain hideous (I’m sorry Nicole Kidman!). So here’s the most talked about fashion and style at the Oscars.

The red carpet darling Emma Stone brought it. If it’s possible to lust over fashion then I have an unending crush on her red carpet fashion. She was the perfect seaweed goddess. The colour was an acquired taste but her style is so versatile, fun and damn-straight bringing it. Definitely one of my best dressed!

emma stone
Scarlett Johansson’s look has me like that blue and black dress or was it white and gold dress that was going around. Some people loved it but I loathed it. That hideous necklace and the hair. I’m not quite sure which I hated more the hair or the necklace or both. The dress was beautiful and well, I can’t even begin to describe how amazing her body is.


Whatever Jennifer Aniston wore, she wore better than her SAG awards dress. That dress was boring. This one seemed a little too safe as well. Not exciting to look at all!

jennifer aniston
Reese Witherspoon though, absolutely stunned on Sunday night! Ignoring the fact that she had already worn white to the SAG awards, it is safe to admit that white is an amazing colour on her and the black detail had me hooked the moment I saw her. She was dressed like the movie star that she is.

reese witherspoon
Nicole Kidman’s, well that I’ve spent a week trying to accept but have failed. I have no kind words for this dress. Its outright hideous I didn’t even get the designer name (alright fine, it’s a Louis Vuitton!). What was with the colour, the hemming and the red band that was absolutely out of place?! Definitely one of the worst-dressed that night!

nicole kidman

Lupita Nyong’o. I need a moment to take in just how exquisite this dress is. Francisco Costa out friggin did himself. 6000 pearls!!! People how much more haute fashion do we want on the carpet? And her hair and make up? Slay girl, slay!

lupita nyong'o
Movie star moment!
Cate Blanchett is simply not human. She was everything in that Maison Margiela dress. Such simplicity in the makeup and accessories and the dress! The contrast the turquoise necklace made with the black? Amazing amazing amazing!!! She was every bit a movie star in it.

cate blanchett
With Jennifer Lopez, well who was surprised? Plunging neckline gold bedazzled dress? The only thing missing was the thigh-high slit and more cutouts. She looked really beautiful but its getting old, especially with her!

jennifer lopez
Hot momma alert!
So rumor has it (rightly so, too) that Zoe Saldana had twins. If that’s what a body looks like 3 months after then its safe to say that she could be extra terrestrial for all we know. The colour, the style, the fitting was P.E.R.F.E.C.T.I.O.N!!!!

zoe zaldana
And darling darling Rosamund Pike crowned it all off in that rich red lace number… I don’t know if its the resting bitch face she always has on or it’s the new momma glow but she definitely brought sexy to the carpet! The minimal accessories with her hair in a beautiful updo was everything. The dress accentuated her tiny waist. The slit showed just enough leg. Her best award season look and my favourite dress at the Oscars 2015.

rosamund pike
Best dressed couple were definitely Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo rocking the couple’s Armani ensemble. Probably only because Because Brad and Angelina weren’t there! 😉

adam levine x behati prinsloo
Chris Pine was my favourite guy on the red carpet because c’mon, it’s Chris Pine! His eyes are everything plus his body looks good in just about everything.

chris pine

It’s a favourite pass time especially if you have unlimited wi-fi and a subject you are terribly interested in. It’s hobby but other times its downright necessary. Yes, cyber stalking. It’s an art and science. It’s a new field that you can’t afford to be sloppy at. If you are going to do it, do it right. So this is me giving rules to cyber stalking.

The first and most important. You do not for any reason whatsoever like or favourite the said person’s posts. That is a rookie error and there’s no room for sloppy here. That is evidence that you’ve pried around.  It’s basically the same as screaming ‘pardon’ when eavesdropping on a conversation. Rule number two. Be calm. Like really calm. That way you’ll avoid previously-mentioned slipperiness. Here’s what to do especially if you are stalking cute guy or cute-guy-you-liked-and-dated-and-ended-up-breaking-up-with-but-you-still-adore’s current girlfriend. Put emotions aside; this task requires you to be devoid of emotion. Focus is the word. Make sure you don’t have sweaty hands that you’ll blame for errors. If your happen to have them, powder them. Or have tissue nearby.
The third rule of the game is to be in a private place mostly because most people do not understand the art of cyber stalking or stalking for that matter. You’ll be considered a freak which we all know is not the case. But you see, doctors don’t discuss confidential matters in public neither do detectives -which you are at that time- discuss a case in the full hearing of everyone. So here’s what to do. If you have a favourite coffee and cake shop, sit at the corner table where no one will bother you. Or you could do it in your bedroom – all locked up away from the rest of the world. Do I hear someone say mobile data is expensive? Well nobody said privacy came cheap.

The fourth.. Shades!!! Very important mainly because well, detectives always wear shades. This is on because of the cool factor. And everyone feels cool in them and it creates an air of privacy. PS: They should be dark… Nobody bothers anyone with dark glasses. It’s just how the world works. Then for those with glasses…I feel you especially because I belong to this family. But here’s the thing we get away with so many times because we give the impression that we are geeky and serious and don’t want to be bothered especially when we are working on our gadgets. The rest of the world thinks we could be changing the world on our gadgets and so they don’t even think of bothering us. So we are good without shades. 🙂

And lastly and this is very important: you do not EVER write anything down. Not even to show your best friend. If you don’t have photographic memory, create it!!

PS: If the person you are meant to be stalking has nothing on the internet; say has no social media accounts, not even a Facebook account at the very least then they are downright boring. The world has moved too far ahead and embraced social media for one to not be on any. You are better off not knowing anything about them.