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Showing posts from November, 2012

Blue Nile. White Nile. River Nile

My annual leave anniversary is usually October but having lost count of the Christmases I’ve had at my desk working, this year I decided to schedule my leave in December – conveniently to celebrate X-mass and New Year out of the busy newsroom. So I’ll be heading home to my home in Moyo, West Nile. This small town is special because there is no place like home, really. It is a negligible town but also so wonderfully amazing and unique. Read more about Moyo here.

This is going to be my first Christmas in the countryside in more than 10 years! I’m sure it will be exciting because we still have the communal lifestyle where days like Christmas are considered a big feast. We’ll be sharing a lot of stories and meals under our tamarind tree shade (I hope no one has cut it down!); we’ll catch up with relatives and friends and as always, take lots of pictures like these sights of River Nile (Blue or White), and others…

Egg Shells. Wine Gamble

I’ve always struggled with peeling boiled eggs. The egg white tends to stick firmly to the shell, sometimes shredding the egg into pieces. Now, unless you eat what remains of the egg at the kitchen table, this can be very frustrating and quite embarrassing too! You do not want to present an eyesore on the breakfast table, do you?
Someone advised me to add a little salt to the boiling water and this seems to work (most times). However, my hard boiled eggs often seem so beat up that I blame myself for not timing well (I practically count the minutes – even if I’m taking a shower!).
I came to the conclusion that I got the timing all wrong…but I’m wrong! Though other factors such as storage, age of the eggs as well as the type play a role, I recently read somewhere that baking soda does the trick for easy-to-peel hard boiled eggs. I tried it; it worked but you need to add just a little—like one teaspoon or less! It is also important to run cold water on the eggs after boiling...

and...Some …

Arua's Neglected Golf Course

This post is shared from Al's Blog: bits & pieces from afar. Some pictures my own!

Ever heard of a multi-purpose golf course? If you haven't, well, they do exist -- albeit not in most places.

There happens to be one in my neighborhood - called the West Nile Golf Club. It's an 18-hole public golf club with a serene park-like setting, and a beautiful club house. A quick internet search returns a lot of positive praise, which range from "well-maintained" to "what a joyous course" - I'm sure it was indeed! From what I gather, it was built in 1955. A beautiful acacia-lined avenue runs through the course, offering welcome relief from the sun for pedestrian and strollers on a hot, sunny day. When one visits the club house, they will be treated to an array of winners plaques neatly and artfully placed on one wall, suggesting that this used to be the place to be for the who-is-who of golf's elite in and around these parts of the country (o…

China Series: Food Culture

I love the kitchen and whatever people do in there – chop onions, garlic, tomatoes; experiment with exotic spices; try out new recipes and present the finished product in the best way possible. I take my cooking seriously.  The Chinese, however, take it to a new level. They pay attention to every little detail, as if they are producing a newspaper! (Even newspapers have errors; yes, I should know that).

Food is an important part of their culture and China boasts one of the world’s best cuisines. Their strict dining etiquette is like a ritual that seems remote controlled! From the way the table is set to the wide selection of dishes, wines and Chinese tea, one definitely needs time to enjoy a Chinese meal. Even if some of the dishes on your table may be a strange offering, it is amazing just sitting at the dinner table.

I ate enough spices and chillies to last me a lifetime…Read more on Chinese food here, and here.Below are some pictures...

Four Places. Four Hotels

In July, August and October, I visited a few places. Every time I check into a hotel, there are specific things I look out for: the view from my room, the d├ęcor, the bathroom (warm fresh towels), furniture, chandeliers, etc!
Whenever I travel to Nairobi, Kenya, my employer usually books me into a hotel that I don’t like much. But I’ve come to realise this particular hotel is not the worst of them (every place has its good and bad side). Meridian Hotel, Nairobi – Kenya: Fairly decent with large bedroom and living area but dreadful view from the room (I think I’m usually booked into the same side of the hotel), basic food, noisy environs but very friendly staff. My simple pleasure...the mild rays from above and on the walls.

Beijing Guangdong Hotel - China:  Cozy rooms, small but neat bathrooms, dreary view of congested flats from my room, lovely staff, elegant lobby but not-so-good food. Once again, nothing beats the soft rays!

Ningxia International Hotel Yinchuan – China:
Located in China…

Grasshopper Recipe...Well, Crunchy

Grasshoppers happen to be a delicacy in Uganda but I have never really understood the ‘delicacy’ in this so-called delicacy, known as nsenene in central Uganda where it is very popular. I have eaten it a few times, and reluctantly, I must add. Each time I put that insect into my mouth, I imagine chewing intestines, eyes, wings, long antennae…and I’m instantly turned off!

Last week, my sister shared with me her grasshopper recipe (that woman can turn the most mundane food into an exotic cuisine) that turns these poor insects into scrumptious crunchy bites! And the missing link was onions! I gave it a try at home and I’m now one of those who crave the little insects…

Being a much sought-after item, grasshoppers are expensive! We discovered this when we went to buy it for the first time on Thursday.  

Power of Family

So Barack Obama has returned to the White House for a second term by beating Republican Mitt Romney in the US election. The thing with US elections is that you do not have to be an American citizen to follow them. After all, this is the most powerful nation in the world (until China finally takes over) whose foreign policies significantly affect events the world over. When Obama ran for the White House and eventually won in 2008, the interest in American politics went a notch higher, especially in Africa and Kenya in particular – the ancestral home of Obama’s father.  Like many people, I followed these elections closely, more so because I work in the media. I am, however, one of those who do not cheer for the sake of the crowd! There are things Obama obviously did right; others he could have done much better. I frown upon some of his policies (I’m not generously liberal) – even if I’m not American in this case.
But then again, this man, one cannot easily ignore: His character and orator…