See the World Through My Eyes

Posts tagged “Nairobi

Magna Cum Laude

magna

These days I find everything funny. I have resigned to the fact that after the rain comes the sun. After a feeding frenzy comes a satisfied fart. Every new set back in life looks like the end of it all. When you survive it, you can’t help basking in the cameras and flood lights. Suddenly, you’re an inspiration and you secretly fantasize that Hollywood will eventually do a movie based on your crap achievement. You have become this prompt status updater who wants to advise all the miserable people of the world. You’re stupidly sure that someone will learn from your over exaggerated weak attempt at own-ball-licking. You wish this moment can stretch longer like a hot mess of chewing gum. Who are you to think you’re so smart? Who gave you the right to think you’re such an entertainer?

So today I choose to tell you a story about someone I know. Maybe you’ll learn from it or at least use it to look like a smart ass in the bar. I won’t charge you. After all, this is a true story.

Mr. Macharia is the typical Kikuyu man. At 60, he is happily retired and lives in a townhouse with his wife of 35 years. He’s never stepped into a kitchen unless there was a ‘rat’ situation that his wife could not deal with. Old Macharia believes that women should always be served the softest parts of a goat, namely the tongue, liver and kidneys. That young boys should be left to fight over  the ears, knee caps and charred hoofs after everyone else has had their fill. After all, they’ll have all their lives to fend for their own goats. He believes that girls belong to the kitchen and boys belong to the fields to watch goats and hopefully get a chance to fight off  hyenas while they are at it.  He believes that a man should grow a beard unless he’s a woman. A woman should not be seen hanging around a butchery because she may be tempted to leave her man for a kilo of meat offered under the counter by the butcher. He doesn’t believe in inheritance for daughters and finally, he doesn’t trust ATM cards and light skinned petite women. In short, he doesn’t give a belch what you think. The world should have order and it would be stupid to fix or service something that’s not broken.

This one time he decided to have a drink at a popular joint in Kasarani fondly known as ‘Carwash’. With him were two young men  almost 40 years his junior who happen to be his errand boys. Drinking with younger men has never bothered Macharia. As long as they’re not childish, a man is as good as the next man regardless of their age. That is Macharia’s policy. Anyway on this particular night just as the three were about to finish their beers, two light-petite women strolled into the bar looking dolled up and supple. Their restless but confident eyes were a sure sign that they were in the bar on ‘business’. Seeing that everyone’s stare was on these wobbly-bottomed-sex-hungry looking  bad girls, Macharia did not waste any time. He jumped from his seat and escorted them to his table. Macharia has always been a winner and since he looked like a wealthy old man, the other patrons at the bar gave up trying to signal the stunner girls to their tables. You just can’t fight old money with some little cash from your ages.

He ordered wine for them and suddenly, they night seemed to liven up for the three men. Now in every situation such as this, the man that’s buying the drink has to get the most beautiful girl while the rest of the men are left to fight for the rest. In this case, the ‘young boys’ were left to fight over the ears and hoofs. Being a seasoned pick up artist, Macharia was quick to lay down his terms of engagement with this hot take home girl. He made sure that she knew the rules. All of them. That he would buy her drinks and any other refreshment she needed for the night in return for a ‘steamy session’ thereafter. She agreed whore-heartedly.

After a few hours of heavy drinking and dirty dancing with the little girls, Macharia popped his pill and declared it was time to go and sort the ‘other issue’. The young men bade him goodnight and said they would stay on with the ‘hoof’ for a little longer as they pondered over who among them was going to take her home.

Once outside, Macharia went on his cellphone to try find a cab to his favorite lodging or ‘kichinjio’ as it is known among his peers. His date Shiku however, had other better ideas. She reasoned with him it was not good to waste money on cabs and lodgings when it could be used in better ways like paying for her campus fee. Clearly, Macharia had never experienced such a smart hooker. He gave in and was eager to go because his pills were kicking in. Things were getting conveniently hard. You see for Macharia an erection is a blessing. It’s hard to come by and it is equally hard to know if it will happen tomorrow. They got into his car and drove for 15 minutes before going off road into Ngomongo. A hard knock neighborhood located in the valley behind the Moi International Sports Centre. Macharia remembered he had been here before in the early eighties to buy some land. He’d even forgotten where his plot was. It was still out there somewhere, but that will be a story for another day.

They drove through the slum occasionally shining their headlights on random hoodlums here and there. The stench of burst sewerage was overwhelming. It felt like driving through a huge ass. After a maze of turns, they reached Shiku’s house. Sorry I hadn’t mentioned her name before. In a bit you’ll know why. So Shiku lived in the middle of the slum in a one room house that stood by itself, surrounded by what appeared to have been future plans of an unfinished construction. Her house was right smack in the middle of one of the most unknown and feared neighborhoods in Nairobi like a queen bee’s pod.

By this time, Macharia was so hard he was pulpitating. He gripped Shiku’s buttocks as she fumbled with the padlock. This caused her to drop the padlock in surprise. Macharia trusted himself. He was a go getter and straight to the point. It was rumored that he had the strength of a ram when it came to women. That once he worked on a girl she’d beg for her life from the opposite side of he room wailing loudly in bewilderment. Maybe that’s how he came to be known as the ‘carpenter’. Shiku tried to grop for the padlock in the dark but had to give up as Macharia pushed her into the house in his wild uncontrollable heat of lust. He kissed her and at one point his tongue was deep in her throat but it felt like there was a struggle. He couldn’t understand why she kept on pushing him away. After all he had made it clear how it was going to go down. She slithered out of his grasp as he tried to tear off her top. They went on like this until Shiku spoke up in a rather terrified tone. She blurted that he was scaring her and that she was fearful he’d strangle her. This stopped Macharia in his tracks. He had never been accused of been rough with a woman let alone a prostitute. He had always known he was a romantic. Smooth lined in every way. Maybe it was the pilled. he fought himself down. With his erection now humbled, Macharia started comforting Shiku in low soothing tones. Telling her that he wasn’t a bad man and that he’d wait till she was ready. And as if to test him, Shiku dared him to hold her and spoon her till she fell asleep. This way they’d wake up in the morning to make love.

Macharia gave in and spent the last few hours to dawn caressing Shiku and running his mouth all over her neck and back until he fell asleep.

Macharia woke up in a start. Shiku wasn’t there. He quickly ran to the window and sighed. At least his car was still there, intact. He got out and sighed again. There she was, coming from the kiosk a few feet from the house. She had a funny scared look about her. He could feel the anger flare within him and he wasn’t about to let her give another excuse. He had bought her drinks and it had to pay off. He beckoned her to come back to the house  and do due diligence but she had other plans. Without warning, she started screaming at the top of her lungs. In the most whorish of shrieks, she shouted that he wanted to rape her and strangle her. This being a slum, a crowd soon formed and was in no time baying for Macharia’s blood. They were carrying, whips and stones, ready to smash his car and lynch him. The tension between the haves and have nots is usually a deep rooted one. Macharia had not option than to beg for his life and a chance to explain himself. He narrated how he had met Shiku the previous night and how they ended up in this standoff. Now in the hood the people’s court is usually very fair. For after hearing his side of the story they asked Shiku if it was true. She admitted it was.

Now the crowd turned on her and demanded that she pay her dues to the ‘poor man’ who had even volunteered to drive her home in his expensive Audi. They forcefully pushed her into the house and vowed that they’d only let her out if the old man had satisfied himself having her.

Inside the house, Shiku desparately tried every excuse in the book to get off but Macharia would hear nothing of it. She said she was on her periods but Macharia brushed it off saying he liked his sex messy. She tried the STD card but he countered by saying it still didn’t scare him as he had only a few years to live too. Then finally, she told him that she wasn’t a woman to which he laughed until he fell down in an epileptic giggle.

“Why don’t you remove your pants and I will go!” He dared her. “If you’re a man I’ll fire up my car and go home in peace!” He continued laughing like a mad man.

Then slowly, Shiku unclasped her skirt from behind and let it down. Then she turned round. There it was. Cello-taped to his right thigh. The biggest and longest Macharia will ever see of a man’s fire arm.

Macharia is a quiet man these days. As I said. He hates light petite human beings, both male and female…whatever.

 

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Growing a Pair

How do I even begin to tell you what’s in my head? Sometimes my mind takes these dangerous trips that can get quite unpleasant if not controlled. There are thoughts that would change my life dramatically if I were to action them. I’m talking about those instances when I’ve had an intense rush of emotion. Ok maybe emotion sounds a bit too sissy so let me use the word moods. For instance, when someone works you up enough to make your tempers go from zero to stone-angry in a flash, what goes through your mind? Do you feel like bashing their head in? How about farting in their face? Do you cry in complete helplessness? Road rage. Do you suffer from it? Do your ears get hot when an obviously stupid person mocks you on the road and ‘apologizes’ by sticking out their middle finger at you? I bet you’ve ever been stepped on while walking in the busy streets of downtown Nairobi. Did you head-butt the culprit? Did they even say sorry in the first place? Oh I know. You did nothing. You were too scared to share with your aggressor a piece of your mind. You kitten! Yes you. You are probably the world’s lamest pussy. You just walked away murmuring curses under your breath because you were too scared to do anything.

This post is for people like you. Too scared to express these God given urges. I say God given because you were created fearfully and wonderfully and definitely not fearful and always wondering what to do with your emotions. My point, try not to get angry if you really don’t have the balls to express and carry out what’s in your mind. I’m not saying that you need to employ violence in expressing yourself. All I’m saying is that to forgive and move on is the best way to deal with your morbid bursts of anger. That’s the best way to show off balls.

Anyway, all that has nothing to do with the kind of balls I want to talk about today. I’m talking about the balls you need to effectively deal with procrastination. We were created with dream and ambition inside. Have you ever noticed that children are never afraid of dreaming? We all wanted to be pilots, lawyers and doctors when we were growing up. One by one, we dropped out of the race when life got real. We then took up other dreams which we eventually swapped for ‘easier’ ones and now we’re stuck in this murk of a rat race and life is hard. All because we lacked the balls to grab our dreams by the horns. Yes my friend, horns and balls work hand in hand. I hope you have noticed that I placed the words ‘work’ and ‘hand’ together. Hard work will always have to be included if dreams are to come true. Even thieves work hard to plan a heist; who the hell do you think you are?

So anyway, the past is dead. What’re you doing at the moment? Are you stuck in a job you never dreamt of when you were a child? You’re just there for the money right? I get it! You’re just there for a while as you plan a way out. Are you stuck in a friendship or relationship that has never felt right? Do you hate waking up to the same thing for what seems like an eternity? Or maybe you’re still stuck in the mud hoping that one day things will change. Are you stuck in your past? Are your heydays holding you back? Do wish you’d just wake up to a different everything? We all know that may never happen unless you make that move.

I am a firm believer that we were all made for a purpose. We have been placed on this earth to do a job. No matter what you choose to do, the world will always take note and learn from your actions and inactions. All you have to do is decide what type of case study you want to be. There’s always something you can do to change your situation. What’s the use of whining about your bad job if you don’t have the balls to pull of a resignation? How the hell does it help to drool over a girl you always see on your way to work if you’re too scared to walk to her and say hi? Ambition is dead without action. Consequently, ambition and action have a shelf life. This means that you will always miss opportunities if you keep saying you’ll do it tomorrow.  Horns are just a costume if their bearer lacks the balls to take the first step.

Locked in every human being’s DNA is a map that details the path to your destiny. We all know people who’ve ended up hitting the jackpot out of the weirdest of jobs. You can be that person. I can be THAT person. I guess all we need to do is keep trying or at least prepare to die trying. Most often than not, heaven will always answer you immediately you learn the lessons you are supposed to learn. After all, what use is it to have great success yet be unable to contain it? You have come a long way and you have been to hell and back but it wasn’t all for nothing. You were learning the ropes. You were growing a pair.

Balls are selective. They only grow on those who make the choice. You have balls you have will. Having balls means you do what you have to TODAY. It should be noted that no one is born with balls. We all have to grow a pair.


Paws For Thought

So I’m at the dog pound having my fur and claws done when I overhear a conversation that sounds quite interesting. These two customers are having an interesting discussion on life. Why are Africans the most volatile people on earth. Where the hell do our problems come from? Just what is wrong with us? Is there a solution? So the conversation draws mixed reactions from both dogs and eventually the whole pound sounds like a bar in a mental hospital. I choose to keep quiet and ignore the whole conversation. I refuse to engage in such discussions that don’t bear solutions. However being in privileged position of a writer, I can jot down my thoughts; a better chance that my pups will read them when they’re older. I have a feeling that they will listen and follow my dogvise. I have quite a few provoking thoughts that I would like to share with you bark to bark. So you can either choose to fetch my bone or go pee in another bush outside my territory.

Introduction
Ever wondered why men are  hesitant when it comes to the commitment of marriage? Have you ever stopped to think why he keeps you around but hasn’t yet made ‘the move’? Well I’ll tell you one simple reason. It is COMPLICATED! Meet my Joe who’s been in a relationship for five years. He is a good guy and he loves his girl to death. Unfortunately, he hasn’t yet proposed to her. Her name is Joy. Stunningly beautiful and smart, she is every man’s dream. She is a home maker and a tiger. A rare combo. Infact, Joe would be a stupid dog if he ever lost her because even his best friend wouldn’t mind risking a 15 year friendship for this woman.

Joe works as a junior clerk in a shoe factory in downtown Nairobi. He works hard as he has to support his ailing parents and siblings who are still in high school. Joy works as a sales person in a Chinese owned health products outlet. She also sends money home every now and then as she also comes from a very humble background. Their salaries are meagre, but they still manage to get by. They are hopeful that everything will get better. Joe and Joy have lived together for three years and now plan to start a family together.

Situation analysis
Bark to Joe. They say romance happens only between two people who love each other unconditionally. How blissful. Let me tell you what the future holds for poor Joe. At that time when he thinks he is ready, he will propose and Joy will say yes. Then the determining period that we call engagement will begin, and they will realize that they were actually meant to be together. So Joe will take Joy to meet his parents and they will definitely love her. Next, they will plan to meet Joy’s parents just to inform them that they are the ones in possession of this ‘lost goat’. How lovely. Two young people with a great future following customs to the satisfaction of society. So this particular meeting will go well and they will leave the girl’s home feeling like conquerors. So the negotiations will start and for a while everything will seem to look orderly and exciting.

Exit bliss enter reality
Being a good guy, Joe believes that the world revolves around good will so he will be eager to round up his elders, who will be act as representatives in the negotiations. On the other hand, Joy’s parents will start preparing for a ngurario and will name their negotiation line up like a soccer team. D-day will begin in confusion because Joe’s parents will appear with ‘uncles’ and ‘grandfathers’ that he has never met. Picture a group of shabbily dressed old men in dominantly brown-checked-double breasted suits, screaming colored ties and red muddy running shoes. It will be the same on Joy’s home as she and her family wait for the boy’s ‘people’.

When Joe’s party enters Joy’s parents’ compound, they will be chased back  because it’s the women who are supposed to enter first with four crates of soda as a gesture of good will. And so the games will begin. Joe will be told to appease the girl’s parents since they have taken the ‘extraordinary’ pains of bringing her up well and  schooling her up to university… 100,000. Next, Joe will be told of Joy’s great uncles who require blankets because the world has changed and the nights are ‘colder’. Being an intelligent young man, Joe will be confident that he has it all covered. Initial budget, 150,000. He will now think the process is just about over. He will be wrong. All this time, they will still have negotiated on the actual dowry. That is, the goats and cows. A goat costs Kshs. 4,500 on average. A cow, Kshs. 15,000 minimum. Two cows, Twenty goats. How good is your math? And so on will the negotiations go downhill.

Nitty Gritties
All through while the negotiations are going on, Joe will not be  allowed to utter a word.  Custom dictates that the young man and his parents are not to speak at the negotiating table. Their opinions do not count. Secondly, the boy’s family should cover the seating fees and transportation costs of the elders. By early afternoon, Joe will be in debt and Joy will be crying in her room. All this because a bunch of ‘elders’ that they never saw while growing up made some selfish decisions. Let’s give joe a noose to tighten on his neck. Minus Kshs. 100,000. He is also supposed to remember they had given friends and relatives a tentative wedding date. 6 months. Great. These two puppies Joe and Joy had wanted to finance their own wedding with the money they could raise by themselves. A small but lovely wedding. Now, they will be forced to turn to the society to help out.

Sunset
They will eventually get  married. On their wedding day, Joe will be expressionless while Joy will cry the whole time. Everyone will say they are crying because of the love. They will have guessed right. Such is the cost of love in Africa. The previously unknown relatives will disappear right after the pilau just as mysteriously as they had appeared. And the newly weds will be left with a huge amount of trash to clear up. The caterers will burst their phones the first week and threaten legal action. Did I also mention that they will have to lie that they are on honeymoon? Yep. Truth is, they will be in the house sleeping and not talking to each other. Outside the door will be the landlord. It’s always the middle of the month.

Curtains Close
A month later, they will have their first major fight. They can’t make ends meet. Yes they are still two people but for some reason, the budget will have shot through the roof. Joy will start missing her salon appointments on purpose. Joe will grow an ugly beard and forget there was ever an invention called deodorant. 6 months later, Joy will start coming home late and Joy will start having an affair with the boss. Let me stop before I get more creative. Wag your tail if you can fetch what I am trying to say.

Commentary
My fears are every African man’s whether wealthy or starting up. I would like to salute our African women, who have chosen to stick with us through thick and thin. Most of our parents met when they had nothing to call their own. I believe it would have been easier on them had customs been lenient. most of our fathers are still paying bride price decades later. Debt is carried down for generations. If not for us, let’s look at ways how we can change the lives of our children. Let’s give them the ultimate freedom. These are my paws for thought.


15 MINUTES OF FAME

Ahenda Anjichi is back again, this time on a mission. She is out to create awareness on this long standing challenge of HIV and AIDs. The first time I read this post I couldn’t help acknowledging the weight of her words. It is my hope that this message spreads far and wide. If you are not infected, you must be affected. I take this opportunity to launch the first awareness campaign on this blog. Let’s call it  A Minute of Silence. Thank you Ahenda.


“My feet sort of just glided haphazardly from the seat of my car, ankles angrily exerting force onto the tarmacked parking as I made my way to the side entrance of the white building. So many thoughts were racing through my mind, why am I even still walking? I couldn’t feel the ground but I felt myself moving. There was a buzz of activity around me. A pregnant woman who just looked void of all human energy was standing by the main entrance, her husband/boyfriend/friend/baby daddy hunched over her attentively…I whizzed past them, smelt her cheap perfume and grimaced.

My feet pounded on relentlessly, I wanted to slower my pace but I guess after being up since 3 AM and having thought about this all night, I was here. Some unnatural forces were pushing my body, against my will to the first floor.

A gust of hot air hit me as I emerged into the semi-packed waiting area. I sat down on the plastic covered seats, not quite sure what to do or how to do it-my thoughts were louder than the baby wailing in its mother’s arms next to me and I only heard a whisper next to me when the white cladded receptionist/nurse tapped my shoulder and repeated her question five times, obviously irritated by my absent-mindedness. I nodded.

Yes” was the choked reply.

Five minutes later, I was half walking behind her and half running out the door, my body feeling like a 5 ton truck and my heart pounding against my ribcage.

What the hell am I doing here?

She led me into a tiny room, at the end of the hall and all of a sudden my heart stopped beating, my feet refused to move and I stared in blank wonder at the white walls and statistic charts adorning the walls.

I was offered a seat stood there as she rambled on, talking nonsense because I wanted to forget I was there.

10 minutes later,

Time sort of stopped.

Froze.

Stood still.

My head was spinning so fast, I felt the white walls turning 360 degrees…i had developed malaria: aching joints, fever, hallucinations, and shortness of breath and one hell of a headache…

It’s only when I felt a slap on my face and someone screaming [the fake name I had jotted on the dotted line on that yellow single sheet of paper] and telling me to calm down, that I realized the throbbing headache was actually my heart sinking and the aching joints were as a result of my hitting the floor and table, banging my head against the surface of the floor and my chorus of “OH NO’S!!!”  made the hallucinations.

It was like a freaking out-of-body experience! I was watching myself act out this role in a movie and it was not actually happening and I’m not that crazy girl reeling on the floor, bringing attention to herself in that small, white walled room with arms flailing all over and white lab coats straining to pin down my struggling and jerking limbs.

I looked up through my tears and glanced back at the two ugly red lines, which in just FIFTEEN MINUTES had managed to shatter my 24 years of living, by a simple prick to my index finger and small talk of living positively.

In FIFTEEN MINUTES all the people who saw me walking down the hall would remember my draught stricken face and my tear stained cheeks and how concerned the counselor was as she led me back to my car, whispering words of encouragement in my ear that seemed to evaporate into whims of air the minute they left her lips because they didn’t register in my mind, neither did they make any sense-she could have been talking Greek for all I cared.

The world around me was like a bad dream and I was snow white and those two red lines were the evil step mother that had turned my world into gloom.

There was a slow buzzing in my ears and I found myself hunched over the low hedge, violently hurling out the remaining gooey lumps of my breakfast, constantly jerking like I was in an epileptic fit as if to drain every grain of the disease from my system.

I was in a pained trance and I could still feel the warm tears cutting irregular streams down my face.

I could swear that my heart had stopped beating and the quick breathes escaping my nostrils and mouth were my life’s essence seeping out into the noisy world and nobody noticed my frame, slouched next to my car, fingers digging into the tarmac and my arms hugging the front left wheel, hopelessly wishing that I was that cold inanimate object that proudly owns no emotion.

At that very moment, I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole, because all the stares and glances had me naked and vulnerable and I felt like “HIV POSITIVE” was plastered on my forehead.

I had drove into the hospital just FIFTEEN MINUTES earlier and nobody knew me; now I was just but one of the statistics.

 

FACT FILE:

DID YOU KNOW??

That-

  • Kenya is home to one of the world’s harshest HIV and AIDS epidemics.
  • An estimated 1.5 million people are living with HIV; around 1.2 million children have been orphaned by AIDS; and in 2009 80,000 people died from AIDS related illnesses.
  • Kenya’s HIV prevalence peaked during 2000 and, according to the latest figures, has dramatically reduced to around 6.3 percent.
  • This decline is thought to be partially due to an increase in education and awareness, and high death rates.
  • Many people in Kenya are still not being reached with HIV prevention and treatment services. Only 1 in 3 children needing treatment are receiving it.

This demonstrates Kenya still has a long way to go in providing universal access to HIV treatment, prevention and care.

  • Kenya’s HIV epidemic has been categorised as generalised – meaning that HIV affects all sectors of the population.

Nearly half of all new infections were transmitted during heterosexual sex whilst in a relationship and 20 percent during casual heterosexual sex.

  • HIV prevalence is higher amongst specific groups and tends to differ according to location, gender and age.
  • Various studies have revealed high HIV prevalence amongst a number of key affected groups, including sex workers, injecting drug users (IDUs), men who have sex with men (MSM), truck drivers and cross-border mobile populations.

Some of these groups are marginalised within society – for example, homosexuality is illegal in Kenya and punishable by up to 14 years in prison. Therefore these groups are difficult to reach with HIV prevention, treatment and care, and the extent to which HIV is affecting these groups has not been fully explored. Up to 33% of new infections in 2008 were within these ‘most at risk populations’

  • In 2008, an estimated 3.8 percent of new HIV infections were among IDUs and in the capital, Nairobi, 5.8 percent of new infections were among IDUs.

Laws prohibiting harm reduction services, such as needle and syringe exchanges, significantly hinder the prevention of new infections among IDUs.27 HIV infections are easily prevented in healthcare settings, nevertheless, 2.5 percent of new HIV infections occurred in health facilities during 2008 in Kenya.

  • Women are disproportionally affected by HIV. In 2008/09 HIV prevalence among women was twice as high as that for men at 8% and 4.3% respectively.

This disparity is even greater in young women aged 15-24 who are four times more likely to become infected with HIV than men of the same age.

Kenyan women experience high rates of violent sexual contact, which is thought to contribute to the higher prevalence of HIV. In a 2003 nationwide survey, almost half of women reported having experienced violence and one in four women aged between 12 and 24 had lost their virginity by force

  • Adult HIV prevalence is greater in urban areas (8.4 percent) than rural areas (6.7 percent) of Kenya. However, as around 75 percent of people in Kenya live in rural areas, the total number of people living with HIV is higher in rural settings (1 million adults) than urban settings (0.4 million adults)

Source: http://www.avert.org/hiv-aids-kenya.htm

N/B:

Those statistics were as of 2008/2009.

Imagine how the situation is at this moment.

I did a random survey in a mat this morning, asking how many people riding with me to town had ever had an HIV test done.

I was sitted just behind the “kange’s”seat.

Keep in mind that the mat was full.

I managed to talk to the “kange”, the guy behind me, the passengers sitted on the double seats across from me and two guys alighting the mat, and with the Kenyan spirit of “udaku”, the answers chorused around me in the mat.

Out of 14, only 5 had “I have been tested” answers.

Now spread that out across all the mats in the traffic on Msa road at 7.45 AM at the Nyayo round-a-bout inter-section this morning.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT.


The New Girl In Town: Just Remember Everything Will Be SAWA

Have you seen The Bigger Picture? Well it’s one of the blogs that have inspired me and given me pointers in writing my own. I am honored to know the owner of this blog and she happens to be a good friend. I have taken time to study her work especially in writing and photography. My conclusion? She is gifted. Meet Susan Wong, a Chinese Canadian who has travelled the world extensively. Wong is a traveller, writer, radio personality, photographer and fashion designer. When she told me she was on a flight on her way here, I didn’t waste the chance to request that she write me a blog note while on the plane. Today was her first day on radio (Capital Fm 98.4). She was good!

By Susan ‘Lucky’ Wong

My body ached and my head throbbed from exhaustion.  Coming up on 20 hours of travelling time, jetlag was definitely catching up to me.  As I flipped through my colourful Kenyan guidebook in a desperate last attempt to absorb as much information about my new home, the captain spoke over the intercom and informed us that we were descending into Nairobi, and moments later the flickering city lights welcomed us.

Mesmerized by the enchanting lights and the new adventures that awaited me, I reluctantly closed my guide book and put it away.  I realized that no amount of homework could really prepare me for my relocation to Nairobi.  I suppose the best preparation was to put aside all expectations and just humbly enjoy every moment, adventure and opportunity that crosses my path.  And with that mindset, I penned this journal entry to myself just before the plane touched down…

Dear Self,

 

Young Lady, you are no stranger to Africa, Kenya, Nairobi or the challenging task of relocation.  With that said, ignore those butterflies in your stomach; stop thinking about the ‘what ifs’ if you had made another choice; and tell your Mom’s chanting of “Nairobbery….” In your mind to hush!

 

Undoubtedly there will be a lot of challenges ahead.  You will face challenges that seem impossible to prevail.  You will meet people that will challenge who you are and the core of what you’re made of.  You can do this.  Remember that you’ve been blessed with this opportunity to follow your passion and perhaps answer a call.  There are amazing people that are waiting to support you.  Be bold. Just be you.

 

Don’t forget about the lessons you’ve learned in the past.  And yes, you’ve learned so much in Ethiopia from the past few years.  Take everything with a grain of salt.  Trust people until they give you a reason to not trust them.

 

Enjoy yourself and don’t forget to explore the diverse restaurants in town!

 

Don’t fret.  Chin up Girl because everything will just be Sawa.

Voice over the intercom: “Welcome to Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.  The temperature outside is 18 degrees and expect a light drizzle …. Thanks for choosing….and we hope you have enjoyed your flight.”



The New Girl In Town: Just Remember Everything Will Be SAWA

Have you seen The Bigger Picture? Well it’s one of the blogs that have inspired me and given me pointers in writing my own. I am honored to know the owner of this blog and she happens to be a good friend. I have taken time to study her work especially in writing and photography. My conclusion? She is gifted. Meet Susan Wong, a Chinese Canadian who has travelled the world extensively. Wong is a traveller, writer, radio personality, photographer and fashion designer. When she told me she was on a flight on her way here, I didn’t waste the chance to request that she write me a blog note while on the plane. Today was her first day on radio (Capital Fm 98.4). She was good!

By Susan ‘Lucky’ Wong

My body ached and my head throbbed from exhaustion.  Coming up on 20 hours of travelling time, jetlag was definitely catching up to me.  As I flipped through my colourful Kenyan guidebook in a desperate last attempt to absorb as much information about my new home, the captain spoke over the intercom and informed us that we were descending into Nairobi, and moments later the flickering city lights welcomed us.

Mesmerized by the enchanting lights and the new adventures that awaited me, I reluctantly closed my guide book and put it away.  I realized that no amount of homework could really prepare me for my relocation to Nairobi.  I suppose the best preparation was to put aside all expectations and just humbly enjoy every moment, adventure and opportunity that crosses my path.  And with that mindset, I penned this journal entry to myself just before the plane touched down…

Dear Self,

 

Young Lady, you are no stranger to Africa, Kenya, Nairobi or the challenging task of relocation.  With that said, ignore those butterflies in your stomach; stop thinking about the ‘what ifs’ if you had made another choice; and tell your Mom’s chanting of “Nairobbery….” In your mind to hush!

 

Undoubtedly there will be a lot of challenges ahead.  You will face challenges that seem impossible to prevail.  You will meet people that will challenge who you are and the core of what you’re made of.  You can do this.  Remember that you’ve been blessed with this opportunity to follow your passion and perhaps answer a call.  There are amazing people that are waiting to support you.  Be bold. Just be you.

 

Don’t forget about the lessons you’ve learned in the past.  And yes, you’ve learned so much in Ethiopia from the past few years.  Take everything with a grain of salt.  Trust people until they give you a reason to not trust them.

 

Enjoy yourself and don’t forget to explore the diverse restaurants in town!

 

Don’t fret.  Chin up Girl because everything will just be Sawa.

Voice over the intercom: “Welcome to Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.  The temperature outside is 18 degrees and expect a light drizzle …. Thanks for choosing….and we hope you have enjoyed your flight.”