Earth Finds

Earth Finds

When The Wanderlust Hits You

Hello, my name is Cecile and I am addicted to traveling. It does sound silly when you say it out loud, “addicted to traveling” and one might scoff it off as one of those millennial problems that youths come up with when they need to catch attention from those people who live on the internet, but it is as real as it gets.

I do not know when it started exactly to be honest, but I remember all I ever wanted to do was travel. See the world, be amazed and come back home to my regular job plus life like nothing special happened a week before. 

The first trips I ever took weren't even out of the country or thousands of miles away from home; it was a week away from the city and its hustle- bustle life. I was forced to take leave or else lose all my vacation days. Of course took it and let me tell you; IT WAS AMAZING! The tranquility that comes with being around nature is amazing; the fresh air, there was no unnecessary noise anywhere except for the beautiful chirpy sounds of birds and constant whoosh of the trees when the wind blew by. Even the wind was not that dry- hot gust filled with dust and unknown particles but a fresh cool breeze filled with aromas and fragrances from the different homesteads scattered all over the place.

You could think, I was at some resort yet I was at my Grandmother’s house in the village surrounded by trees, farmland, kitchen coops and cattle kraals. That week marked a new step in my life. 

After that, whenever I could get a chance to leave the city even if it was for a weekend, I would do it without thinking twice. My grandmother was happy about the company and taught me so much about the countryside that I had everything on my finger tips.

Yet, I kept itching for more; I needed more than I was getting at that time and even if I didn’t know what it was I kept searching for it within every place I went to.

The other times when I travelled, I would wander off to beach havens hidden within the country. I didn’t know how gorgeous water could look without revellers jumping and playing in it but I fell in love with that beauty. I needed to see more, what else was my country hiding from me?

Social media is a magical place, most people do not notice how deeper it gets because we always keep scratching the surface. I found so many travel groups on several of the sites I frequented and discovered gems within those groups; most of the people on these groups organised trips every month or two. I was excited about this and decided to join in every excursion they planned.

After several trips, I realised I needed to plan for my salary and only go for trips I could afford since I had been spending a lot more money than expected on traveling compared to everything else in my life. It is during all these trips that I learned how beautiful my country is and how refreshing it is to always go away from everything and see life from a different angle than what you are usually used to. 

After the group trips, I started hunting for trips headed out of the country but this meant spending even more money than I usually do. I made a decision to start saving up, stopped spending on unnecessary things and put up a plan that even though sometimes I veered off, helped keep me on track with my expenses.

There was joy and relief in seeing new things and I took it in hungrily craving for more to be given to me.

Within four months, I had been to over five countries such as Samoa, Ireland, Seychelles among others; countries I didn’t notice much unless they popped up on my screen due to something happening there. I fell in love with these countries and learned a lot from their people. For every country I visited, a fire was lit in my heart to visit even more others and I am doing just that. It is not easy saving and not jumping for every night out, but it is worth it. Every once in awhile, I drag my friends along for some of my travels and they love it too. 

I now get very excited when travel packages pop up on my phone screen, I have stories to tell and look forward to discounted packages whenever I can find them. I am more wiser now about so many places, yet I know I have so much more to see and learn.

Yes, I am addicted to traveling but this wanderlust has brought so much therapy, joy and adventure in my life and do not think I will give it up anytime soon. 


Skipping The Language Barrier Issue While Traveling

A wandering soul is never limited by how far the place is or how hard it will be for them to get there, a tag on their spirit to go there will make them leave wherever they call home to see new things.

When you travel to new places, you have this huge excitement to learn and see new things that you might have just read or seen on the internet. The overwhelming excitement to experience a new culture, traditions and learn a new language is always something to look forward while traveling and yet, the biggest huddle is part of the excitement. Languages spoken vary all over the world. No matter how many people speak English away from America and Britain, you will still find that the biggest majority has a native tongue that is well spoken and used to communicate throughout the rest of the country.

One big example would be when you travel throughout Africa; not all states adopted their colonial master’s language as the official one and if they did, it is not spoken all over or it has a mix of pidgin in it that will make it hard for a foreigner to understand. Away from Africa, Europe has different languages spoken by the natives of the country you travel to and not everyone will be able to help you just because you speak English.

Of course we all know that; you need to learn some of the basic words that will help you navigate through and not make a complete fool of yourself whilst trying to describe what you need. 

Can these basic words help you in any way though? Will you be able to sufficiently navigate your way to everything just by learning the “how, where, what, when, why and who?” In most cases when you are not staying for too long in the new environment, it helps especially if you only came for business. Most people in towns can easily make sentences of English depending on what section of town they are in. So you will be able to get away with knowing very little about their official language just because you are breezing through for a few days and spending more time in board rooms than on the streets. 

If you are staying for long, it is a different issue; you need to find a way to adopt so that things do not get a little harder. You can start off with a couple of these tips below.

Hire A Translator

Probably one of the easiest things for most people in foreign countries to do, a translator makes communication a little less complicated since they can speak your language and fluently project what you wanted to say. However,sometimes it becomes quite expensive to do that and keep it up when some meanings get lost in the translation. Unless you can afford to have a translator on retainer all through your trip, this should be the last resort. 

Take Classes

This needs to be done while you are still in your country especially if you are going for a long term contract in the destination country. It might take a month or two to grasp some of the pronunciation but this makes it easy for you to fall into habit of speaking the language when you finally move. 

Translation Apps

With the advancement in technology, comes so many easier ways to do things; you can now download apps such as Google Translate, iTranslate, S Translate and Jibbigo among others to help you communicate and skip over the language barrier issue like a boss. 



Is Uganda Losing Its Pearl of Africa Spark?

Uganda was once named “the pearl of Africa” by Sir Winston Churchill. She was endowed with beautiful environment comprised of rainforests, woodlands and various species of fauna and flora that lent a bird’s eye view of the most beautiful-green area patched around Africa’s great lakes region. Due to the unforgiving impacts of global warming, today these appealing features are nothing but appalling historical facts to meditate over.

Where is the beauty anymore? What kind of woman is this that destroys her own attraction and what are the consequences upon her and her children? 

Remember that Uganda one time ranked first in the list of the most toured countries on the entire earth. It is probable that her fall is a consequence of enjoying foreign exchange gifts from the flourishing tourism with less effort to preserve her treasured micro climate.

Plague number one: the tourists have turned into NGO expatriates flocking in to attend various international environmental mourning ceremonies masquerading as workshops and fellowships.

Wretched villages no longer appealing to livelihoods; fields that no longer grow; stumps left of forests, saluting the hot of the sun, extreme weather conditions like strong winds that blow down people’s homes in addition to socio-economic dilemmas such as increased scarcity of wood-fuel and water shortages from prolonged dry spells.

Plague number two: October 2009, in the Eastern district of Bududa. Mudslide buries over 2000 people in 2 villages inhibiting the slopes of mountain Elgon, a tragedy that left over 3000 people destitute, homeless and bereaved.

The government was forced to declare a public holiday for Ugandans to mourn those who perished in the landslide. Climate Alert’s quickly casted the disaster to the “list of the deadliest mudslides of all times.”

The menace was linked to rampant deforestation of the steep slopes for wood-fuel production and farming space. When torrential rains resulting from the changing weather patterns hit the bare mountain slope, it fell apart upon the villages. 

National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) sent outcries to the public to conserve forests. The local watchdog had noticed the size of forest cover had declined over time in an alarming rate. It was estimated that there was an annual forest loss of 88,638 hectares per year from 1990-2005nationwide corresponding to pressure to provide livelihoods and economic benefits.

International watchdogs also barked. World Bank Group in partnership with Korea Green Growth Partnership published a 60 paged document, Promoting Green Urban Development in African Cities with critical concerns that Urban Africa has seriously lost much of its green vegetation.

Focusing on Uganda, former public spaces and parks in Kampala and other towns have been mysteriously converted into other urban uses such as erection of tall buildings.

Another plague was brought to light more recently during the Paris Climate summit. Moments of silence shifted to live images of the receding snowline at two summits of Uganda’s Rwenzori Mountains: Margherita and Edward.

The images, beamed into the summit by a team of seasoned mountaineers on location atop the Rwenzori, helped cover the melting glaciers as a consequence of warming planet.

Among the images streamed through at the summit included an expanse of the mountains’ vegetation that was razed by a wild fire late 2014 that lasted almost a week, following a spell of close to a month without rainfall on the mountains that are also a UNESCO heritage site.

“The Rwenzoris are known to experience heavy rainfall at least twice every week, and long spells without rain on the mountains are a stark indicator of the effects of climate change,” says Tim Jarvis, the ambassador of World Wide Fund for Nature, Australia, and leader of the four-man crew of mountaineers who streamed live to the summit from the Rwenzoris.

This is the heavy price we are paying encroaching the nature. If we want a greener future for the generation to come, it is important we combat climate change from its roots. This would render cutting down all various fossil consumption of all sorts and focusing on renewable energy investment.  

A greener country and a brighter future will lean on the raptures of renewable energy miracles, a trance that will break the bondage of carbon dioxide karma, as a contribution to the united effort to achieve the major goal of an agreement reached last year in Paris—to stop climate change and keep the temperature increase below 1.5 degrees.

Such huge efforts to heal the country mean small, small contributions. Works will need to be focused activities like conservation and enhancement of forest landscapes, reclaiming waste lands hence restoring biodiversity; livelihoods, and economic opportunities which they support.

Doing, one of the most pertinent goals of Paris climate summit, “Pledging to create one new ecosystem for every ecosystem destroyed by climate change,” will be deliberately met to avoid more unknown plagues.


By Boaz Opio




Total Excellium Powers Uganda Travel Month

Total Uganda, a leading integrated oil and gas company, has been announced as the official fuel partner of the first ever Uganda Travel Month, a travel initiative aimed at promoting local tourism in the country. Total, through its new premium line of fuel, Total Excellium, will power the travel to Uganda’s beautiful tourist destinations while keeping engines in a good and healthy condition.

This sponsorship is aimed at allowing travellers experience the numerous benefits of Total Excellium, a new line of specific fuels that clean engines and provide lasting protection to ensure engines perform better, use less fuel and produce fewer polluting emissions.

Speaking at the launch of the Uganda Travel Month, Marvin Kagoro, the Marketing and Communications Manager of Total Uganda said, “We are proud to partner with Pearl Guide Uganda to offer Ugandans a smooth, memorable and worry free travel experience.”

“Total Excellium will not only fuel Uganda’s largest and most innovative tourism initiative, our Awango Solar Lamps will light the camp sites, our Total Service App will also be on hand to help you locate your nearest Total service station where you can stop for Refreshments from our Cafe bonjour’’ he said.

Pearl Guide Uganda, a tour and travel e-commerce tourism company, will provide a 4 week circuit of memorable and epic trips that will take groups into the wild at discounted fees. The Pearl Guide Business Development Manager, Phillip Kalibwami, welcomed the partnership and thanked Total Excellium for giving more travellers the opportunity to see Uganda.

”We are beyond thrilled by this partnership. With Total Excellium on board it will be possible for more travellers to experience the gems that have made Uganda a much coveted destination globally.”

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