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The Lure of Challenges Unknown


Taking a risk

Kim Chamberlain cropped

In the 1970s a missionary nun, who was working in East Africa, came to Kim’s school to give a talk. That brief visit inspired her so much that in 2008 Kim, her husband and their two children left their comfortable, established life in Wellington and moved to East Africa.

Despite a sizeable amount of research before moving to Uganda, and even a trip over there, they ended up with nothing; no work to go to, nowhere to live, no source of income, no schooling for the children, not even a visa … but they decided to go anyway. All they had was a suitcase each, two days’ accommodation in a guest house, and a belief that it would all work out.

Kim speaks about the risk they took, the challenges they faced and the experiences they had during their two years there. She shares her experiences of poisonous snakes, regular power cuts, no water, no petrol, bugs in her underwear, burglary, electrocution, bribes and cannibalism along with the wonderful experiences of living in a beautiful country where the sun shines every day, and how they became part of a supportive international community.

Kim Chamberlain is an author and international speaker, who speaks at events and conferences on inspirational and personal development topics. Find out more on and

The Lure of Challenges Unknown

By Phillip Reidy

Ugandan road

Imagine looking at a scene which shows a road, a rather forbidding looking pothole, a group of people in the distance with the road curving off into the jungle. Where might your imagination lead you?

For Kim Chamberlain and her family (with varying degrees of enthusiasm) this represented an opportunity full of exciting challenges and interesting people.

 Many years before after hearing a missionary nun speaking, Kim decided that East Africa was a place on her must go to list and while she and her family came to Wellington from the United Kingdom in 1995, this dream remained.

It would seem simple to go from Wellington and live in East Africa for a period of time but having made the decision it took Kim over two years to establish the contacts that enabled the family to take the leap from a pleasant and ordered life in a Wellington suburb to living in a small village in Uganda.

For Kim the move was a calculated risk as, while the outcomes from living in Uganda were unknown, they left no bridges burnt in Wellington so they could return and pick up within reason from where they had left off.

So having made some relatively loose contacts in Uganda, Kim and family (husband , 8 year old daughter and 12 year old son) set off for Kampala with no visa, and no place to stay. Some might say foolishly, but with enormous faith in themselves they found somewhere to live in Kampala within five days.

Before travelling to Uganda they had decided they would not stay long in Kampala but would move to a smaller place where they could better enjoy the life Uganda had to offer. Kampala is very close to the equator and so they choose a small village called Jinja which was reasonably close to Kampala but slightly north.

Here they enjoyed the beauty East Africa had to offer with Uganda often described as the jewel of Africa. Most Ugandans (85%) live below the nominated poverty line, earning less than $US1 per day so there is a diversity of wealth, people, housing and life experiences. As anyone who has driven in Uganda will testify, traffic is chaotic and to drive is indeed dangerous. Health care is unlike that in New Zealand and shopping is on a small scale but colourful so it is a life of many contrasts set off by the natural beauty of the land.

Education is seen as important but schooling is different from that in New Zealand with mandatory school uniforms, strict discipline, rote learning, long hours, very basic facilities and naturally quite a different culture. Kim chose to home school her children and did so in conjunction with other families living in Jinja and at most this group was seven children. 

Kim's bookFor Kim and her family two wonderful years flew by filled with an array of challenges, experiences and friendships they will never forget and a dream to someday return to the beauty of East Africa.

Kim has recorded her experiences in an e-book which can be ordered through Jenny Lucas for a contribution of anything up to $20, with all the proceeds going to establishing a home school unit in Jinja.







Pauatahanui clean up

Pauatahanui Inlet Cleanup on Sunday 10 November.  Angus Langbein is coordinating the helpers from our Club.  A board will go around next week.

Parking at the Dog Show last week was reported on by organiser Gwyn Akeroyd.  Our efforts will pay for the rental of the Kennel Club facilities for the next two years of Book Fairs. The 2014 Book Fair will be held on 22 & 23 March.

Canggu Rotary


Wendy reported on the lovely meeting she'd attended at  the Rotary Club of Canggu in Bali where she had a great welcome last week. President Patricia and all the members sent their very best wishes from their poolside location.

There were lovely colourful posters on the dining tables at the meeting last night. Philip Whearty and his staff at the Professionals have done a superb job advertising our Melbourne Cup Meeting on Tuesday 5 November. Allan Nichols is organising the Casino event after the Cup Race and Dinner. He needs another helper or two – phone him on 234 8415, or email  Please give your RSVPs to The Professionals at 233 9955 or  See the poster here Melbourne Cup Poster

The Club Christmas Dinner will be held at Seasons Restaurant, Main Highway, Waikanae on Thursday 5 December. Allan Nichols is looking at the possibility of getting a bus for transport.

The Rotary International Convention is being held in Sydney 1– 4 June 2014. There are 5 couples from our Club attending it, and there is a charter flight being organised at $365 return. Let Graeme Blick know asap, if attendees are interested in joining the flight. You can visit the website here.

Roy Gilmour

Roy Gilmour was inducted into the Rotary Club of Plimmerton last evening. Welcome Roy and Donna.

TaiseiTaisei, an Exchange Student from Japan gave us a well presented short talk. He has been in New Zealand since July and is staying with Simon and Carole Lillico at present. His host Club is Wellington Central, where his mentor is Ken Harrison who also attended our meeting with his wife, Linda.






The Lure of Challenges Unknown

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