In today’s newsletter: Uganda’s 1st female veterinary officer and a travel event invite. This month, a portion of profits from paid subscriptions will be donated to the Black Mamas Matter Alliance. If you’ve found your way here but are not yet subscribed, here, let me help you with that:
I remember the first day I saw Unearth Women magazine inside a bookstore. There it was, sitting proudly alongside Travel & Leisure and AFAR, its Lisa Ling cover a stark contrast to the other destination-focused images. I had grown up thumbing pages of magazines at Barnes & Noble. As a teenager, I’d hang out with friends and flip through stories in Glamour and Teen Vogue while sipping hot chocolate. As an adult, I’d eyeball recipes in Food & Wine magazine while waiting to meet with friends for after-work cocktails. When the idea for Unearth Women popped in my head, one of the first things I did was sit on the floor of a Barnes & Noble in Union Square, surround myself with magazines, and gather inspiration.
The day I saw Unearth Women sitting on that bookshelf, it was at once outlandish and unbelievable. I could hardly wrap my mind around the fact that it was actually for-sale in this one Barnes & Noble, let alone 799 other stores across the country. A few months ago, Unearth Women had been an improbable whim and yet, there it was, the physical manifestation of my dreams on display for the world to see. This moment, which has taken on an almost mythical status in my mind, has stayed with me. It is a reminder that anyone can turn a dream into a reality through dogged determination and unwavering perseverance.
It didn’t matter that I had launched Unearth Women while unemployed. It didn’t matter that our team started with almost no funding. What mattered was that I believed in the idea, surrounded myself with smart women who felt the same, and together we ran with it. In many ways, starting Unearth Women was like building a plane in mid-flight. We learned lessons as we flew, course-corrected mistakes, and hovered somewhere between staying grounded and having our heads in the clouds. Today, Unearth Women is a journey I am still on. Like most creative endeavors, it remains something that I am still processing, still working on, and still learning from.
Next Tuesday, I’ll be joining The Nomadic Network for a virtual event to discuss what it was like to launch Unearth Women magazine. In this candid chat, I’ll share lessons learned and offer up advice to aspiring magazine founders. This virtual event is free to attend, and guests will snag a complimentary digital copy of our 4th issue and a discounted year subscription to this very newsletter. I hope to see you there!
Meet the 1st female veterinary officer for Uganda’s national parks
Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka is a pioneering wildlife veterinarian who has dedicated her career to saving the endangered mountain gorillas in Uganda. She does so by improving the lives of the people who live on the edges of the gorilla’s habitat in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The conflict between humans and gorillas has always existed on the edges of Bwindi. Here, gorillas come out of the forest to feed in the banana plantations, destroying the livelihood of the local farmers. In turn, struggling farmers enter the forest to hunt and gather wood for fuel, disturbing the gorillas and their habitat. As the boundary between humans and wildlife blur, disease transmission between the two species has spiked. To take on this problem, Dr. Gladys founded Gorilla Conservation Coffee, as a response to both support farmers and promote gorilla conservation. Her approach embraces the inherent difficulties of motivating a community to care for animals when they, themselves, are struggling.
Hi, my name is Nikki and I own a crockpot
If you’ve been reading these newsletters, chances are you’ve noticed a trend when it comes to cooking content. That trend is I am almost exclusively an Alison Roman disciple in the kitchen. You see, at the start of the pandemic, I did not cook. Or rather, I wrapped things in tin foil, threw them in the oven, and congratulated myself on cooking. I did not follow recipes, I did not own a spice pantry, and I definitely did not own a crockpot. Flash forward 365 days later, and I now say things like “spatchcock” and own a food processor. I owe much of this transformation to Alison Roman, whose easily accessible recipes have convinced me I too can cook. I have yet to cook a Roman recipe that has disappointed me. And, if there is one thing this woman cooks well — it’s chicken. I recently made this one-pot chicken with lemon and dates, which is sublime.
For the love of French, screw perfectionism, and a shameless plug
Watch the Netflix show, Call My Agent, which follows the lives of four Parisian agents and their high-profile Hollywood clients. Wonder if you actually like this show or just feel très sophistiqué watching a show spoken in French. As a result, spend the day obnoxiously inserting French words into your everyday conversation. Hey chéri, do you want a roasted poulet for dinner?
While you’re free-falling down this Francophile rabbit hole, check out Radio Garden. This nifty program allows you to listen to radio stations from all over the world, including — you guessed it — Paris. Chances are I’m listening to traffic and weather reports, but I’ve decided everything sounds better in French.
Read my latest article in Fodor’s Travel (shameless plug), which talks about the Wanderful women’s travel community and how it’s connecting members during the pandemic. Also read this newsletter by Nisha Chittal, which discusses social media and why we need to give up the desire to make life look perfect. Decide (for the hundredth time) to delete all of your social media accounts only to get bored and open a Tik Tok account the very next day. Social media, I wish I knew how to quit you.