LET ME TELL YOU A LITTLE SOMETHING ABOUT MYSELF…
Fishermen laboring at the lakeside, Entebbe
Wait a little
I was born in a little village in the east of Flanders called Wachtebeke, literally translated from Dutch that means “wait a little”, I would like to say something smart about that but waiting is not my strong suit. My parents didn’t wait long either, seeing that I was born exactly one year after they met. A couple of months later they dropped me off at my grandmother’s so they could travel to India. I guess we can say the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
I fully started to comprehend my own passion for faraway lands when my parents took me to Morocco when I was 13 years old. Was it the handsome olive-skinned son of the shop-owner where we bought oranges and spices, the excitement I felt walking around Jemaa-el-Fna, the bliss I experienced digging in my first tagine, or the beauty of watching the sunset over Ait-Ben-Haddou? I fell in love with all of it, but mostly the realisation that the world had so much more to offer than what I knew so far.
Bruxelles, ma belle
After high school, I was more than ready to cut the umbilical cord and moved to Brussels to go study journalism. Living in the capital city, although close by, was a form of travelling as well. I loved exploring the melting pot of cultures, trying different meals from different countries every day without having to leave the city center.
During my studies I developed a fondness for writing and I was able to develop this skill more during my internship at Charlie Magazine. I wrote about topics that I hold dear, such as the Belgian prison complex, the challenges of black female writers and the Zero-Waste movement, to name a few.
Meanwhile the African continent kept calling for me. When I was 18 years old, my best friend invited me to his homeland Benin where I was spoiled by his family. The women cooked a vegetarian meal for me everyday, even though they found the concept of willingly avoiding meat bordering on the insane.
During my Master’s in Anthropology I enthusiastically grabbed the opportunity to partake in a project working with people with disabilities in Kinshasa, DRC. Since I was already in the neighbourhood I connected this to my fieldwork, studying nature conservation and neocolonialism in Congo-Brazzaville. I lived in a small village in the middle of a conservation area for a month. There, two mama’s took me under their wings and we we spent our days gold digging (literal digging in the soil, not flirting with rich men).
After my graduation in 2020 I wanted to go travelling, but as the story goes, the world was hit by a global pandemic. Crossing borders became a bit more complicated, but I was lucky enough to get the chance to do an internship at Gorilla Highlands, an online tourism company based in Uganda. Quarantine became a lot less dreadful living on the shores of the picturesque Lake Bunyonyi, meaning “many little birds”. Free as a bird I was.
Now, I am ready to embark on my biggest adventure so far. I’ve quit my job and ended my tenancy in Belgium. I’m leaving all my earthly possessions behind, except for my camera and a couple of books that I wasn’t ready to let go, and I am moving to Uganda, the country that has my heart in a headlock.
That’s the story for now! If you want to stay up to date about what’s happening next, subscribe to my monthly news letter or follow my adventures on Instagram.