Monday, 20 June 2016

Cargo Without Value

Earlier this year, I lost a friend to the ever dreaded Cancer and although we knew that death was a possibility, we didn’t expect it that soon after diagnosis. I have lost quite a number of friends over the years to different tragedies and diseases but this one hit hardest. With every death comes a realization that life is short and we need to make the most of it while we still have it, but what was different about this particular incident was that she passed away from Nairobi Hospital and her body had to be flown back home. Up until that point, I had never known how much procedure is involved in flying the remains of a fallen person back home. Since one of our friends was with the deceased at the time of death, she had to take on the responsibility of making sure the Body returned home safe.

 It was through this experience that I discovered that when they fly out the remains of a person, on the cargo label of a casket is written “Cargo without Value”. This gave me the chills as you can imagine, and that’s probably why it’s taken me this long to write this post, but it had to be written because the facts of life need to be faced head on.

I was stunned and definitely shaken as you can imagine as I couldn’t bring myself to believe a whole human being can be referred to as “cargo without value”. It’s appalling!! This person was a wife, a mother of three, a daughter and a friend!! So what do you mean ‘without value’. I know it’s in reference to taxes, meaning that it’s of no taxable value but it got me thinking and questioning everything about life. To think that one day you’re so full of life, dreams, expectations and the very next you’re tagged “cargo without value” is definitely a hard pill to swallow for anyone. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. And then it got me thinking about how much value we attach to useless material things when we’re still alive yet the only value we have is when we are alive and the lives we impact while here so that when we’ve crossed over to the other side the lives we impacted will value us.
Nobody will remember that red dress you wore at the wedding, or that car you drove, or that Rolex watch you kept flaunting, actually no one will care when you’re gone except the people you made feel loved and appreciated, the people you helped get through school, the people you comforted in their hour of need; that’s what they will remember. For my friend what stood out the most is she loved children so much she bought the chairs to start the Sunday school at her local church. How endearing. 

Shortly after the loss of my friend, I lost an Uncle and an aunt within a week difference and as their families and friends read their eulogies, I realized one thing, no one talked about the mansions they had built, or the fancy cars they owned. No one! Everyone who gave a speech talked about how the deceased had impacted their life, financially, emotionally, name it. It was all about the impact they had on the lives, not what they had.

I sat in that cathedral during that service and thought to myself, “I wonder what people will say when I die; “Diane went to school, or worked at NWSC, or had 4 siblings?” what will they say…. I wondered. And then I asked myself “what would you like people to say about you when you’re no longer on earth”. I came up with a few things I’d like said about me, and then I asked myself “are those things true about you? Are you living them right now? Do you know your purpose? Are you living in it? Do you know your destination? We never think of these things and yet the sad truth is our final destination on this earth is the grave through death, cant run from it, cant hide from it.

It was a tough time for me but it sparked a need for self-evaluation and assessment. I then made a promise to myself to go on a self-seeking journey to discover my purpose and live it before it’s too late. To stop focusing on the trivial things and fully enjoy the life I’ve been given. I also decided to turn my life around so that When I die people will remember me how I want them to remember me.
So with that said, ask yourself today “How would I like to be remembered?” “Am I that person now?” and then go forth into the world and Be that person. Do whatever you need to do, or aspire to do to leave your mark on the world. You are the change you want to see in the world.
Yes, it begins with you.

Just remember all those people who would’ve wished to stay alive so they can get it together or do something but are long gone, and you’re here, ALIVE, and you have that privilege. So what are you going to do with it?

R.I.P Sarah, Kato, and all the friends and loved ones I’ve lost over the years. Till we meet again.


Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Kampala Restaurant week Recap

First stop Bistro
The kla restaurant week was all the rave as it kicked off with the Restaurant safari; that was an invite only affair for the chosen few foodies, and bloggers and I was privileged to be one of the invitees thanks to Total Gaz which was one of the sponsors of the Kla restaurant week. It was every bit worth the excitement as we embarked on our journey to our first stop: The Bistro at kisementi to taste the goodness prepared by the exquisite chefs to taste the signature starter that would feature in the Kla restaurant week. The starter was a mixture of different types of tacos, including beef chicken and assorted vegetables as key ingredients. As a starter I would say it was every bit delicious and didn’t disappoint with the different flavors infused in these tacos. As we were spread out in different teams and Team A got the opportunity to make their own tacos in a friendly competition judged by the chef and manager of Bistro. 

Tacos From Bistro
The tacos really worked our appetite and prepared us for the savory main course we were to have at the Yujo Japanese restaurant at Nakasero. It was time to jump on the restaurant safari bus and head to our next destination. On arrival at Yujo, we were welcomed with a fine glass of white sweet Wine from Nederberg as we waited for the Chefs to wow us with the main course.
The first dish on the menu was the sushi, that for all sea food lovers is a must have. The next item on the menu was the steak which is great option for the  meat lovers. The highlight of the menu for Yujo during Kla restaurant week was the last item on their Main course menu, which was the Katsu Burger. It was a fusion of classic burger meets japan and it was everyone’s delight. It is definitely one of my top five meals for Kampala Restaurant week.

Chopstick living at Yujo
 While Yujo met our expectations with the meals of the night, the most fond memory has to be the “how to pour beer” contest sponsored by Tusker Lite a brand from Uganda Breweries as there was much fuss on how best to pour beer. The other key note from the kla restaurant safari experience at Yujo was the Chopsticks contest where Rudende beat the rest of his team mates to emerge the official winner of the chopticks challenge where contestants were handed chopsticks and asked to use them to eat olives. So now you know who to go to when you want to learn the chopstick mantra.
While at Yujo, Team D which I was a member of was required to serve the rest and this granted us a backstage pass to the Yujo kitchen and we were privileged enough to see the chef in action and participate in making and serving the Katsu Burgers. It was definitely an adventure that I will cherish for years to come. Just as we thought the night couldn’t get better, we boarded the kla restaurant safari Bus to our final destination for the dessert at The Lawns Restaurant Kampala.
The trilogy dessert at the Lawns was every bit life giving as it superseded our expectations. Paired with another glass of wine from Nederberg, the night could not have ended any better.

After the epic launch of the restaurant week, I embarked on a personal adventure, being the foodie that I am. I tried out as many restaurants as I could that included, Yujo, Epicurien, Javas Kiira rd, Café Mamba, Emin Pasha, La Pattisserie, Prunes, Holy Crepe, Liquid silk and finally the Seven Seas seafood Restaurant at the Sheraton Kampala for the ToTal Gaz Private dining Experience.


The food at Yujo was every bit delicious, although I must note out that on the day we went to dine there the service was particularly slow, so we spent more time waiting for the food that dimmed the mood for the dinner, although when it arrived the burger did not disappoint. The dessert arrived in bits meaning that the brownies arrived and we had to wait an extra five minutes for the Ice cream to arrive. Which I would say was a bit of a drag. That said, the food made up for the slow service.
Family dining at Yujo


Dessert at Epicurien
Oui! Oui! The French rarely disappoint and this day was no exception. Everything from the starter to the main course to the dessert was on point! The food was out of this world delicious, I had the salmon and Gratin. So beautifully presented and every bit mouthwatering. It was equally delicious and the service was extra great. Kudos to Epicurien. The chef came out to find out if we had enjoyed our meal which I thought was pretty cool. They really did go the extra mile to make sure our experience was one to write home about. I left a Big tip! They were definitely my favorite experience and I will definitely be going back for that salmon and service with a smile.
Main Course at Epicurien

Javas Kiira Rd
Anyone who has eaten at Javas knows that their signature catch is the full plate of food and this was no exception. I had the Chicken with fries, the food was enough to feed my entire clan, which I loved being that I’m a foodie and I love me some extra food. Their service as usual was impeccable and they really did the most to give us a good experience.

Café Mamba
Café Mamba was definitely one of my favourites during the Kla restaurant week. I had the stead and mashed potatoes which was very delicious. The food arrived in a very short time which is a plus for them, the waiters kept checking on us and the steak was extra tender, juicy and succulent. Just how I like it. It was a filling portion which I commend them for. Thank You Café mamba. I will definitely be back!!!
Dining with the Sister at Cafe Mamba

Emin Pasha

Emin pasha was the second restaurant I visited for lunch and I must say there is nothing like the ambiance in the gardens and the fresh air at Emin Pasha. That’s a plus for them. The food presentation was good, however their portions were extra small. As a foodie I felt some type of way about it, delicious none the less but those portions need to be increased.  The service was okay, nothing extra but the ambiance makes up for their short comings.

La Pattisserie
 Did I say the French never go wrong? They never go wrong!!! The service at La pattisserie was every bit impeccable as the food. The dessert was my favourite item from their restaurant week menu and the Chef personally came out to find out how I’d like it made. I felt special, because he went out of his way to give me a personal experience and it really didn’t disappoint. I loved the food, I loved the service and I left a big tip.

La Pattisserie

No one does Brunch better than Prunes!!! I went for the Prunes Mimosa brunch and I can testify that there was no way to spend Sunday after church. Just the right amount of food, and the extra service. Could be because I was at a table filled with beautiful women, nevertheless, they made sure our every need was met. Thank you prunes. The wine was very well appreciated, and the food was delicious.

Brunching at Prunes

Holy Crepe
Let’s start with the fact that it is located at the top of kololo hill so nothing beats their view of Kampala city, while indulging in Kampala Restaurant week deliciousness. The menu was a little bit limited but the Nutella Crepe was every bit delicious. The view and fresh air is definitely the High light of Holy Crepe. And If you’re a chocolate lover the Nutella Crepe Is a must have.

Nuttela Crepe

Liquid silk
Does it sum it all if I say I had the starter, main course and dessert and left nothing on the plate? Yes the food was that good, and the waiter was every bit delightful as she took our orders and extra demands and didn’t shrug or complain even once. In addition we were given coupons for discounts on food ordered through Hello food. It was an epic Experience. I loved the food, the service and the ambiance. My favorite was the apple pie because I have a sweet tooth and it came with Ice cream and in a wholesome portion. Just the extra I needed. Thank You Liquid Silk. My sisters and I will definitely be back for those ribs and that pie.

Greatness at Liquid silk

Total Gaz Private Dining Experience
Private Dining with TotalGaz
You know you’re a real foodie when you’re invited to a private dining Experience. This was the epic crowning of my Kla Restaurant week Experience dining with Total Gaz sponsors to the restaurant week. We were started off with a glass of chardonnay and this was followed up with the starter Pea puree Soup and complementary bread. To our surprise, it was not our average three course meal, as they switched up one on us and surprised us with a second course before the main course. The Highlight was the Main course and the dessert. I had the ribs for the main course.
The service was five star especially with the live band in the background, and having the waiters attend to us every minute. It was definitely a treat. One I will live to cherish.

Total Gaz Private Dining Experience
 Thank You Total Gaz for the experience, Thank you Pearl guide for allowing us foodies to prosper by organizing the Kampala Restaurant Week. I can’t wait for next year to see what new tricks you have up your sleeves. I had myself a swell Time!!
Till next time

Xo Xo

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Growth Season : Hair Chronicles

I know I’ve been away a while, I promise its with good reason. See; I’ve been going through what I am calling growth season. A lot has been happening in my life and in the beginning I wasn’t exactly happy about how fast my life was changing, but its finally growing on me and I think I’m in love with myself like never before. 

Rocking my crown of natural hair
Starting with my new found love for my natural hair. Let me tell you how my natural hair has been a struggle from when I was born. I have what you could call typical African kinky hair that is just unmanageable, or at least that’s what I thought. You might not get it but let’s just say that growing up, my hair used to break combs. Mum bought me all types and kinds of combs and they were broken in just a couple of days. So I had a new comb every week until mum had it with my hair and bought an electric hot comb. 

Cutting off my hair was never an option because dad forbade it, so imagine his horror after I was all grown up, about a year ago I decided to cut off all my hair because I was finding myself and going natural was part of that journey. He just wasn’t having it. I heard it all, from "your hair is too hard", to "your head doesn’t suit short natural hair", but I stuck it through. A year later my hair has grown tremendously. I’m not even going to front and act like I had it all figured out when I went natural, I hadn’t even thought through the process, I just needed a change in my life and my hair seemed like a good place to start. But, let me tell you how the first months were a struggle because figuring out what products to use and how to maintain my hard textured hair was not a walk in the park. It was no joke and I tried anything and everything that was recommended out of desperation.

 Nothing seemed to work just right, that’s until my cousin saved my life and introduced me to "Carotee Goodness" and "Minty Lox" from Rhanika. This is not even an advert, its plain truth, because these products gave my hair LIFE!!!! Literally. My salon lady can’t even believe the transformation. We went from screaming through the combing session to cracking jokes about that past struggle. I actually never thought it was possible for my hair to be soft in its natural state, but Rhanika proved me wrong. I love my hair now. Before I was just forcing life, now I’m actually in a loving relationship with it. Like we’re so committed I think I’ve found the one. Jokes aside though, if you have hair issues similar to mine, do not hesitate to give these products a try, I promise you won’t regret it.

I look at my hair now, and remember everything we have been through together, and I tell you there are times when I felt like I was done and couldn’t take it anymore but I’m glad I stayed the path. Its been a worthwhile journey getting to know myself again, flaws and all and loving my hair has been one of the highlights on this journey. I definitely love the new me. It’s amazing what can happen in just a space of a year. Thanks Rhanika for making my hair journey enjoyable and bearable.

Till next time

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Hello Food celebrates 2 year anniversary with delicious 50% discount!!!!

Kampala, January 25, 2016: Hellofood Uganda for its 2nd year anniversary has offered all new customers a 50% discount on any meal ordered from any of the over 150 restaurants that they have on the portal.

Hellofood is the biggest food portal in Uganda and as part of their celebrations; to enjoy the offer all that the new customers need to do is download the hellofood app which is free on android, ios and windows or use the hellofood website . The voucher code is 2YR and it will end on 31st of January 2016, with the minimum order for any of the orders being 15,000 Uganda shillings and the maximum order being 70,000 Uganda shillings. New customers can choose from any of the over 150 restaurants that partner with hellofood in Kampala or Entebbe.

Ron kawamara, Managing Director of Hellofood Uganda, said: “Our goal from the very beginning has been to deliver a high-quality marketing for our restaurants and great delivery service to our customers. In a market where ordering for food online is a relatively new phenomenon, we have managed to revolutionize food delivery in Uganda and have grown fast because we have delivered real value to people in Kampala and Entebbe. We are happy to complete our second year on a high”

He added that as the Internet becomes more widespread, peoplBe alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
1 Peter 5:8-9e are seeking out ways that Internet can help solve some of their common problems we all face in the cities, such as time wastage in traffic. As such while celebrating on 2nd year anniversary we have offered a discount to all new customers so that they too can have a feel of the great customer experience in using our service.

About hellofood
hellofood together with its affiliated brand foodpanda and Delivery Club, is the leading global online food delivery marketplace, active in more than 40 countries on five continents. The company enables restaurants to become visible in the online and mobile world and provides them with a constantly evolving online technology. For consumers, hellofood offers the convenience to order food online and the widest gastronomic range, from which they can choose their favorite meal on the web or via the app.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Happiness Always...

During the festive season, we had a bunch of secret santa parties and gift sharing and I must say I got myself a bunch of cool presents.

To my surprise though, the most precious of them all is turning out to be a card, I received from my rotary club secret santa.  Funny enough, when the secret santa came forward to give me my gift, he was very worried that I might not like my gift.

Well, no pressure, but I'm a very particular person, so it can somewhat be a puzzle to gift me. So I totally understand where he was coming from.
 Anyway, my secret santa kept going on about how he didn't know what to get me and I said to him, it's the thought that counts. And that point it really was all that mattered.

As much as I love the choice of gift and the color, it's the card that's somehow become my daily mantra in 2016. The message read " merry Christmas and happiness Always".
You know; most cards say "merry Christmas and a Happy new year" but not this one. This one wasn't just wishing me a happy new year, but happiness always...

Funny fact, I didn't read it that day because I got home late and tired from the rotary shindig. So I just put it on my dresser and went to bed. The next day when I opened my eyes, I was drawn to it. And that's when  I read it and the message really sunk in...
It was such a simple gift but it was the greatest of them all because it has changed my life.

Remind me to text the secret santa and thank him again.

Anyways, I'm not taking it away from my dresser, so it can serve as a constant reminder that I deserve to be happy, and my happiness should come first.

When I wake up now, I tell myself "be happy always " no matter the circumstances,  if you're alive and breathing. Be happy.

It's going great so far. Thought I'd share as this is my first post for 2016.
Remember to be happy always. I wish you the same. Happiness Always
Xo Xo
Diane Kateeba