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Showing posts from September, 2012

Coffee. Cake. Juice

Though I was meant to be at an important event at Kampala Serena Hotel - the Full Woman Health Camp, I could not pull myself out of bed today. And then the heavens opened, it poured, hailstorms, floods (the Kampala way) - perfect excuse to stay in bed and skip functions. But there is one Saturday routine we cling to, our breakfast at any little pretty cafĂ© – usually BancafĂ© near Grand Imperial. I love this cozy place because…


It is cute, warm, exotic, spacious (because it is not crowded) and quite simply one of the most elegant places to spend a lazy Saturday morning...


It has exquisite details that make your dining experience very delightful, like this glass top wooden table with coffee beans. Always makes us come back for this fresh juice, delicious cakes and freshly ground coffees.


This cake! I love eating it, but I love looking at it even more...yummy, filling and served warm.


Completing the Puzzle (and it happens to be our all time favourite passtime) makes the delectable assortm…

China Series: Exploring The Wild West

Travel piece first published in the Sunday Monitor



When we set off for Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in China, I was not really enthusiastic, sad, even about leaving Beijing! The flight to Ningxia is just over one hour. On the plane, I met a lovely young lady-Zhang Xiai Vu- Jenny, a university student who had come to Beijing to study English. She was surprised that we were heading to Ningxia. “It is a very small place; foreigners don’t always go there,” she said. This dampened my mood further.

Soon after arrival in Yinchuan, the provincial capital, it dawned on me that this place is extraordinary: simple yet classy, depicting ancient charm. Located in the north western part of China, Ningxia is an impressive destination that boasts a rich resource including, among others, mountains, water bodies, the famous Great Wall of China, Sand Lake and the Shapatou scenic spot.
As a loess plateau, the area is typically characterised by wind storms, with the Yellow River as arguably…

China Series: Lovely Blooms

August is a pretty hot month in China. In Beijing, the heat was, at some point, unbearable! We were sweating profusely…in fact, literally dripping in sweat! Wet hair, soaked tops, drenched hankies (you need a towel to absorb the flowing facial sweat). Even the dogs were visibly uncomfortable. It was like Mombasa, but may be not as bad as Mombasa. You see, this coastal town is like a woman you’d describe as beautiful on the outside and quite ugly on the inside! The stunning beaches and other attractions aside, I do not ever want to bake in that coastal heat, AGAIN! That is why I was pleasantly surprised when I left Beijing for Ningxia province where total serenity was restored by, unexpectedly, flowers! Moreover in a desert…






China Series: Beijing Attractions

Like its trade, China’s cultural and breath-taking sights are attractions that have made it an admirable destination for tourists. From incredible ancient architecture to rich heritage, one is bound to be swept away by the world’s second largest economy...Beijing attractions- Sunday Monitor


Timothy Kalyegira recently wrote an article in the Sunday Monitor about a TV series titled “Brothers: Hand in Hand with Africa” focusing on China’s projects in Africa which, he says, reveals the embarrassing backwardness of our continent. According to Tim, Africa as seen through China’s eyes lives in conditions of the 1920s.
In my view, many Chinese do not see it that way. Or perhaps they do but are too polite to say it. On the streets of Beijing, ordinary Chinese are guarded about the growing China-Africa relations. What is obvious is that the Chinese have a well-structured setup that allows a visitor to experience their country without saying much. Beijing, China’s second largest city …

China Series: Turning Desert Into Oasis

I recently travelled to China and toured a number of places. What fascinated me, among other things, was a province that found innovative solutions to turn its fortunes around, thanks to irrigation and tree planting in the desert area...Ningxia Province in Daily Monitor

For a province that has vast tracts of desert land and is ranked third in development among China’s five autonomous provinces, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, located in northwest China, has registered remarkable progress. Statistics from China’s premier website www.china.org.cn indicate that Ningxia is the province with the third smallest GDP in China, with its neighbours, Inner Mongolia and Shaanxi, classified as the strongest emerging provincial economies in that country. And yet for a casual Ugandan visitor, Ningxia’s capital, Yinchuan, would be one of the most developed and well planned metropolises with very good road network- compared to Kampala, of course.


 As a largely arid region, Ningxia’s transf…

Terrace Breakfast. Lemongrass tea

Saturday was one of those days when I felt a huge relief- something akin to finally finishing a mortgage. But it wasn’t even a mortgage… Like we usually do on Saturdays, we headed out for our usually simple breakfast at a coffee shop. This time we chose Metroplex Shopping Mall, Naalya. This place is convenient for many reasons. It is easily accessible (near both our apartment and my family’s Naalya home). It is less congested than the shopping malls in the city; it has ample parking and my favorite supermarket and the various shops shouting “please check me out”! We discovered this cute little restaurant (really tiny) but it has the prettiest setup I’ve seen in a long time. Simple yet classy. Small yet sophisticated. Those who live in small apartments and want to create spaces need to check out this elegant restaurant, Chandaz…and the three girls we found there were lovely!
Because we love airy outdoor settings, this was a perfect way to start a Saturday! The wood furniture added someth…