Monthly Archives: October 2014

I’m feeling Lucky

When I received the invitation to attend the launch of the MUK Google Students Community, I was a little skeptical and hesitant to confirm my attendance. I searched for the other reason as to why I needn’t attend and I found none, so I went.

Many a tale about Google events says they are entertaining, though it comes with a cost. This being my first to attend, I was ready before the minute hand dived into confirmation of the agreed 1400 hours. I do not want to lie that I was at ease much as this was not my first time at the Global Business Labs (GBL) but the reason this time was different.

This time round the setting was conference made with single sitter chairs aisled up along clusters of tables all facing the projector screen that served the purpose of the evening. The blue and green colors of GBL could not go incognito.

The afternoon drizzle largely contributed to the delaying of the event that started thirty minutes later but we were all good to go. Our own Victoria Mbabazi, one of the Google Ambassadors, Makerere University, opened the session teasing us with  random games among which, Mention all my three names. You should have heard how heavy tongues turned on pronouncing the third. If my phonetics is to match my morphology, the name is Bagorogoza. Hope I get it right?

In the opening session, Power Mukisa, the other Google Ambassador, took us through the various Google Apps and how each works. He opened a new perspective of demonstrating how and why all these need to be enrolled into our day to day activity. He kept emphasizing the same reason, “As developers, no one is going to look out for you if you don’t market yourself.” Like I was later to learn, the biggest number of the audience were developers. Is it because we were at their college? I cannot tell.

The interaction was organized in such a way that participants needed not sit in clicks of friends instead in the groups created out of the individual’s best color of the rainbow. It is in these groups that the quiz was done. There were three different levels eliminating two groups at a time. Team Orange and Blue made it to the finals with Blue (my team) becoming the overall winner.

The quiz was based on the participants’ knowledge of Google products but more so their applicability. That is the point when some of us, the non developers did our best to spectate as the dictionary of the programming language was being leaves over.

Different speakers graced the event as they shared about their startups. Joshua Okello, the brain behind three startups including; WinSenga, a swift mobile medical platform between the user and the nearest health centre and Cipher256. Joshua is the winner of the recently concluded Innovative Prize for Africa for his idea. He encouraged the participants to take on the challenge; “Be innovative and don’t fear competitions. Our challenge as young entrepreneurs is capital, but there is money somewhere that only needs your participation. Take part.”

Iliana from Done Deal, was working with the Global Business Labs before she decided to begin her own. Done Deal is more of a negotiator for a cheaper price which, as she put it, “…is a new venture in Uganda but already existing elsewhere.”

Nicholas Kamanzi put the icing on the cake with his hunt for the craziest of ideas, “I’m looking for those ideas which people have laughed at that they won’t amount to anything. Come on board and we give you a grant.” Nicholas was representing Solve for X, and Beyond the Moon Initiatives.

The event was woven with threads of breaks as Googlers are known to be. The Factorial handclaps not to mention the free goodies that Google gave out that fueled the social media trends especially on Google plus and Twitter under the hashtagas; #GSAMUK and #I’mfeelingLucky. By 1830 hours, the event was done and many like me, I think, are looking forward to the next meet up.

Here is a link to the face of the event,

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/111594132861015815647/albums/6075212299375058689?sqi=112149109961765157143&sqsi=ed82f1a2-c00c-4e9a-badc-d894ae100e79

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A Walk Through The Cancer Institute; The reason I more than laugh

Yesterday, along with two of my colleagues, we went visiting a patient at the Cancer Institute at Mulago hospital. When you hear it said in words, you conclude they are words. A visit to the Cancer Institute will spring a grain of life that will out reason your theory of life. When I walked into it, my attention was driven to this ailing old lady, who in unspoken pain turned and moaned on the floor. She stretched out her hand to the nearest point of help. She gripped and groped on whatever there was to hold, may be the pain would go, I thought she thought. She did not have as much space as half a foot away; another lady sought a way out.  Only in the walk way lay six women. Their attendants, sat on the cold cement benches of the hospital as they helplessly looked on their patients.

Atop the patients’ heads, passers-by trailed and snailed like in a village footpath leading to the well to access the overflowing ward. The corridors were suffocating with congestion both patients and their aids. Broken beds creaking and rattling scaring off any one non skilled. There is a lot, more than meets the eye. The lavatories are flooded with water. The blocked sinks sit dripping at the expense of the patients’ health.

The hospital is under renovation so most of the wards are closed. It’s only the likes of the Cancer Institute whose services cannot be accessed elsewhere that are still in operation.

When you look at the innocence of the patients’ faces, you cannot stop but ask, “Why?” There are things way beyond our control but some are. There is nothing as much I have done not to be a patient but there is reason to check and know my status.

If I have ever thought of being a smoker, that was deleted yesterday when I saw a young man, barely in his forties endure to the pain. He began smoking as a young boy of thirteen. He smoked since and tobacco in turn smoked out his life. I cried.

There are many questions that stream through one’s mind as they think of how painful and expensive all this process is. One thing remains though; God’s grace has spared me and you for a reason. May be that’s a reason to reflect upon.

Have you stopped to be thankful for the person you are? None of the patient s deserves the cancerous pain, so be grateful that you can smile and laugh. But also remember that cancer is so expensive to treat, spare a coin and contribute towards restoring a smile on someone’s face, you do not know what is next.

We All Have A Story To Tell

Behind all the well buckled trousers and the fitting shirts and all manners of tops sit the emotions carried and mirrored only to ourselves. When we open our eyes in the dark and see all the manifestations of our dreams juxtaposed with the realities of who we really are, we have only one option but live.
A few days ago while in conversation, we delved deeper and deeper into each other’s life only to learn of shocking details that we (or at least personally) have never come to think of. In all these places where we spend most of our precious time say work or school or even the social clubs, we never get to each other from the core context of truth.

In our youth hood lives, when life is all hyper and very active, we seem to enjoy living in the company of the crowd only to be lost in solitude when the rest of the world is gone.

Derrick, not real name, was telling me of the time he had to cry of his poor results because, to him, he was performing below standards. This was flanked by the fact that he did not have close family ties back home. In his world he was alone. He had a high sense of revulsion every time he thought of going back home.

The thing is, there is no one under any obligation to make you as happy as you would wish. If the love you wish is not forth coming, then offer it. If you’re depressed and there seems to be no solution, cause it. I find life too short to have frustrations. You cannot afford to be disappointed all the time. There is a ray of hope like the walls of a cobweb, too thin but too strong for it to happily live. You can never have the world’s happiness; all you need is that which begins with you.
No one can or will ever tell your story as brilliant as you would wish. And it is achievable, try it today.