And they lived happily ever after

Saturday July 20 2019

Women enjoying themselves as they participate

Women enjoying themselves as they participate in different activities during a trip organised by Happily Ever after in Tanga. PHOTOS | ELIZABETH TUNGARAZA 

By Elizabeth Tungaraza @Liztungaraza1

While men would have more ample time for themselves, women don’t due to various commitments. Most women have been struggling to make time for themselves. However, domestic responsibilities and family affairs have kept most women out of the world. Even when they find time for a break, once in a while, from a long and busy day, they would quit early for attending either their families or husbands, just to ensure things are running smoothly at their home.

Does women really want a free time for themselves? This is a question that every woman would answer ‘Yes’. Glory Kaaya from AJ-Trips, says every woman, despite of myriad of responsibilities and life challenges, needs a break every once in a while in order to keep things running smooth.

For Glory, her Happily Ever After (HEA) campaign project aims at giving women a getaway time. The project is strictly for women, with the main objective of offering them training, traveling and networking while having fun at same time.

“HEA is a special project for ladies who want to pamper themselves after a long day on the road full of work and different routine activities,” she says. According to her, she came up with the idea after realising that most women are experiencing myriad of challenges, which deny them a time to refresh.

“Some women have health problems, others are single mothers while some struggle to bring food to their table; they are busy all the time and forget about themselves,” she says.

“Every woman needs a ‘me’ time, whereby she can pamper herself. That is why I and Magreth Magebo, who is the coordinator of HEA have decided to come up with the HEA project. Knowing that there are lot and different women talks and activities in towns nowadays, and we decides to come up with a unique project, which allow women to go away from the city noises for camping, networking and learning,” explains Glory.


Glory says a recent vacation trip in April to Magoroto Forest Estate in Tanga Region proves to be useful to women who travelled to have time for themselves,networking and participate into different activities.

“Women had the chance to participate in swimming, fishing, bird watching, forest walking, mountain biking, to mention the few. All 28 women who took part in the vacation trip come from different parts of Dare es Salaam,” says Glory, adding that it was amazing to see how the women cope with each other, making new friendship within a short time and starts sharing and changing ideas.

To make the vacation more memorable and interesting, HEA invited a psychologist, Sadaka Ghandi, who trained the women on relationship matters and how to balance their time.

“Participants were trained on good ways to balance time for themselves, and between their jobs and loved ones. They were also taught how to balance their time into parenting as most of women, being the bread winners in their families, found themselves creating a gap between them and their children,” she adds.

Vanessa Steven, who was among the women attended the vacation trip, says she feels rejuvenated after attending the trip. “I feel that I have the new body and new mind. Before the trip, I was so stressed and tired of almost everything,” says Vanessa.

“We all know life is full of stress, working and struggling for so long without having a break time made me tired. Then I heard about this trip and I told myself why not try this, it can be the way of introducing myself and my business to other group of women as well as learning different things from them,” she says.

“Everything was superb, I enjoy hiking and camping in a tent was an adventure too. Magoroto is very cold so having experience of boiling water using firewood was a unique and memorable experience to me. I enjoy swimming, forest walk, spice tour and eating biryani rice. I had the first mountain climbing experience in my life,” says Vanessa.

For Vanessa, apart from making new friends, the training was a good part of the trip.

“The trainer was so open, telling us what we ought to do to enjoy life. For some of the women who hold senior positions at their work places have to leave their ‘boss attitude’ at the offices and be good wives when they reach at their homes,” she says.

For Alice Kiegezo, taking a break and going away into the forest hills for some days has helped her to release her stress. Alice says she had always wanted to have a break from her busy schedule. However, she kept on telling herself that she don’t have an ample time for a vacation.

Alice says the opportunity to the vacation trip has changed her mind, saying it is very important for women get at least a little time for themselves to unwind from their daily hassles.

“I thought I have a lot of stress, but after listening to other women’s stories, I realised that my burdens are not too heavy to carry,” says the mother of one, adding that what most women need to have is the ability to solve problems by positively converting challenges into opportunities.

Alice, who is the General Manager at AJ Trips says, the training was also a good package from the vacation trip. “The training and discussion we had on marriage affairs, especially why today’s marriages don’t last long, was an interesting topic as it captured the minds and attention of almost every woman at the camp. We were women from different professionals, some were bankers, marketing, and the rest were entrepreneurs. Most women didn’t know that they could be stressing their husbands by making little noises instead of having an adult conversation at home,” she says.

“There were different board games, we had options for monopoly, 30 seconds, snakes and ladders, jenga, uno, cards, darts, checkers, chess etc. but I enjoyed playing cards(karata) while some women were playing chess.

Glory, who is currently in preparation for another women retreat trip to Zanzibar, feels that the enjoyable moment the women had during the vacation trip to Magoroto Tanga was necessary for them to have a fresh mind to restart their busy weekly schedules.

“Such moments always leave a mark into one’s mind. The combined experience of leisure-hiking - lake trail, mgambo trail, mwembeni bird trail, kitulwe trail, mlinga mountain trail, magula trail, manga spice trail, swimming, picnic at the lake, fishing, bird watching, forest walk, mountain biking, spice tour, factory tour, bonfire, camping, meditation, training and networking is something that would give women a new lease in their life, making them live happily ever after,” she says.