Search This Blog

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Personality Profile: Mambo, dear old soul


"Mambo Mambo?"
That's my favourite greeting to my friend Mambo. He probably doesn't like it but he is such a well bred human being he would never say it to avoid embarrassing me.

Me on the other hand I am always telling people 'don't call me MÅ«thoni, don't call me Cess.'

It's amazing I still have friends at all.

I met Mambo one morning on the way to a Sign Language convention. He was extremely quiet. Later I learned it was because we were in the company of deaf people and he preferred to sign.

I agree with him on that.
And I refuse to speak Kikuyu in mixed company.
 Don't make me.
I will think bad things about you.
Much later, Maureen with a K introduced me to Mambo, properly.

She said he was a brilliant  graphic designer.
As a Content Consultant, I work with a web designer, graphic designer, a photographer and someone for video editing once in a while.

Mambo became a life saver for graphics.

He is not only fast but communicative. He would call to alert me incase of a delay because of slow internet or power cuts.

I really appreciated that.

Your team can mean whether you will get a Cheque this month or not.

Mambo's job turned out to be 100% each time. I could tell my client, this will be ready tomorrow morning and it would be.

But it's not just work wise.
It's about the kind of person Mambo is.

Part of it is that he is from a generation that exists on fearlessness.

Ok ok I am thrilled about growing up watching Tahamaki but you must admit we people from the 80s can get a bit boring.


A lot boring actually and so stuck on proving we are good enough we kinda lose ourselves somehow.

Mambo's generation is a confident, frank generation that does what is right if they are so inspired, and they do it the right away. They are not trying to impress or prove anything, they know they are good at whatever.

So I quite appreciate the friendships I have with these who say it as it is. No games, no tricks it's just what are we doing today? Okay let's.
No guess work.
"Any questions? Come ask me."

They seem to be saying. But without the bitterness of someone that feels slighted.


On the day of my mother's funeral Mambo said to me.

' I want you to use your imagination and think of Jehovah standing in front of you holding both of your hands and telling you, I'm with you. I'm with you Cecilia, you are my dear daughter.'

I used my imagination.
And then that passed.
And people dispersed.
And I got up each day and tried to live it.
And then I couldn't pray.
And if I did I simply said- I'm awake now, help manage somehow-

On one of those days I got to the meetings.
And the minute I got in I was convinced I should just go back home and re-start a sobbing session.
I smiled and waved at people and then I saw Mambo seated, arranging his things and went to him.

'I can't do this, pray for me.' Said I, without a greeting.

I thought he would tell me
"Cool cool I will, as soon as I finish setting up."
No, he moved over and asked me to sit beside him.

He said a prayer for me right there then gave me a hug.
And then I found enough strength to sit through that the meeting.

I will remember that forever.

Because, we are not weak forever.
We don't grieve forever.
But it's the hands that pull us out of the darkness that we remember.
Hands that hold us up until we can hold ourselves together again.
And strong enough to grasp others who are temporarily felled in this journey.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

This Chic:Girl, Wash Your face. Like Hannah.



This is how I checked into the meetings on Sunday.
Great hair, lipstick done and wearing my favourite dress that a friend gave me.
I was early and ready to have the best zoom meeting.

I had stayed up awake most of the night watching my roof leak.
I had cried several times before 11.45 but I had washed my face and was ready for the next phase.

Power went off just before the song so I missed the talk.
And by the time I realised kumbe my power tokens had gotten finished it was time for the Watchtower discussion  so I was back like nothing had happened but this time it was raining and there were three men on my roof and dust and water falling onto the table.

But the show must go on.

A few hours later there was a zoom party.
This time the rain was coming down hard. My personal belongings, mostly books sand art were crowded in the driest corner of the house.

I was getting interrupted every five minutes.

There were loud steps coming from the roof.

I was worried someone might slide and break their leg so I was on the verge of another sobbing spell because where was I going to move to in this corona season and what if all my notebooks get too wet and I have to burn them?

Just then my landlord's wife came and said.
' Don't worry if this doesn't work you can move into the other vacant house, for the same price.'

She came with her grand daughter.

We all pretended it was not unusual that I was dressed up like a prehistoric Jewish woman.
They probably thought I had decided to fast and pray and that was my prayer attire.

I didn't mind.
I was playing Hannah in the zoom party and I was gonna be a great Hannah.


It was a lot of fun, playing Bible characters over zoom and just chilling out as friends.
And it doesn't matter that I am new here, I feel at home.

My friend asked  what I had learned from Hannah when she saw my picture in the costume.

This is a friend who reads the Bible 50 times more than I do so I have to be careful not to respond like an idiot.

What I would have liked to say is that I learned Hannah was very self controlled because if it had been me?

Three people would have gone home with black eyes.

The co wife who probably couldn't even cook a decent meal to feed the many children.
The conceited husband who thought he was the reason for Hannah's  breathing.
And Eli for thinking he could just say whatever to a random woman.


But I didn't tell her all that.

After thinking about it later I thought the best lesson I can learn from Hannah is about showing up.

To show up no matter what chaos are happening.

She didn't stay home and mope.

And after she had cried prayed like a drunkard to Jehovah, a scene I can relate to in every way,
She washed her face and get on with it.

Girl, Wash Your Face.

That is the book I am reading with a ruler and highlighter because Rachael Hollis speaks to me as a girl, a young woman and the pre-menoposal woman that I am.

She talks about feeling like you are not where you should be, about downplaying your glorious moments because you don't want to be judged?

Or even giving up our own auntheticity so that people can understand us and tolerate us more.

It made me think of when my mother came to visit me after her retirement.

At the end of the visit she said.
'You know, I think it's good to just live a private life your own way. Huku kwako kuna mastarehe ( It's very relaxing here.')

I remember thinking that that particular time she spent in my house I had not tried to impress her in any way. She had been able to see me in my own element.

 I wasn't trying to put up a show for her. I was just completely myself. I admit it wasn't the best version of myself. There was a load of washing standing up loke a stuffed statue and Happy would come and step on her face while she slept.

I had stopped struggling.
And when I stopped struggling I didn't care who accepted me or not.

And I wish I had had the courage to be myself completely without also trying to do things to please society because man, it's exhausting.

I have two people I am interested in pleasing.

Jehovah.
Me.


Every chapter is a favourite in this book
But my best line so far
Is.

-Find a tribe of people who are in a similar walk of life as you are. Once you find them, be honest about where you are and what you’re struggling with. Learn to ask for help, and when someone offers help, accept it! Accept any and all help you can get and consider it a gift from God! -

Of the best assets I could have wished to have by 2020,
having a tribe that completely understand me and my language is the best assets. A plot at Juja Kalimoni would  also be great.

My tribe consists of women who have gone through similar life stages as I have. Women who I can throw a question at and they will have a good solid answer not a washed out ' that's just how things are.'

Women who engage their brains to try and figure out thoughts, emotional and adult behaviour instead of dumping it on someone.

Women who make me think.
Women who remind me not to dare fall in love in covid-19 season when everyone is bored and wants to chat into the night.

Women who read and write amazing things.
Women who admit that they don't have it all figured out but they don't bury their head in the bread dough and pretend it doesn't concern them.

Women who save pictures of me and send them to me out of the blue just to remind Me I am awesome, but that doesnt mean they are not coz we aren't comparing each other here.

Shall I go on?




Saturday, April 25, 2020

Personality Profile: A. Wan, my forever dad

This was 10 years ago.
I'm looking over at my dad, Andrew Wan.
He is chomping down his chicken and rice because he has to drive me to drama rehearsal.

I'm drinking black coffee that tastes like cotton black soil.
We came here to have a quick dinner but they don't have anything else but chicken and frogs.

I don't eat chicken and I'm too uptight to try the frog.

Actually the real reason is that the frog is the price of four dinners.
 Am a uni student and quite broke most of the time I am not gonna blow my food money on a reptile. Sorry amphibian.

So we are going to try and catch pork rice at a different place for me


I'm looking over at him like that because I feel like a real wild donkey.
I was annoyed that we stopped to catch a super and was not too nice about this being a chicken place.
And everyone is apologizing.

And Dad Wan might choke.
He just wants to eat quickly so I don't get late.

Me the wild donkey.
Three days later on the drive back to KL I will tell him his music is crap. So he will switch it off and try to stay awake anyway he can, talking to Helen. And my selfrighteoous wild donkey bottom will be looking out of the window thinking , I need to be shot.
Somebody call the firing squad.

But I guess, it's one of the things that teach you something about yourself, about other people and about God.
How God is like a father.
Because it didn't make much sense to me up until this year.
I have several dads now. Some I pursued, some realised there was a need, like
Andrew Wan.
I think he took one look at me and decided.
'What a worm, it needs a can before the Malaysian heat burns it into a crisp.'

He warned me off indo mee.

In his words
 'You eat indomee everyday your brain dies lah. '
So he would go to the market and buy me proper bean noodles and whole grain rice.
He told me the cheap places to eat and told me how to cook Asian meals.
Then he gave me Chinese classics to read then he said I needed to learn Asian music culture. His friend Mr Lim had every time of music so I got my hands into that as well.

Me and some other chaoThis was 10 years ago.
I'm looking over at my dad, Andrew Wan.
He is chomping down his chicken and rice because he has to drive me to drama rehearsal.

I'm drinking black coffee that tastes like cotton black soil.
We came here to have a quick dinner but they don't have anything else but chicken and frogs.

I don't eat chicken and I'm too uptight to try the frog.

Actually the real reason is that the frog is the price of four dinners.
 Am a uni student and quite broke most of the time I am not gonna blow my food money on a reptile. Sorry amphibian.

So we are going to try and catch pork rice at a different place for me


I'm looking over at him like that because I feel like a real wild donkey.
I was annoyed that we stopped to catch a super and was not too nice about this being a chicken place.
And everyone is apologizing.

And Dad Wan might choke.
He just wants to eat quickly so I don't get late.

Me the wild donkey.
Three days later on the drive back to KL I will tell him his music is crap. So he will switch it off and try to stay awake anyway he can, talking to Helen. And my selfrighteoous wild donkey bottom will be looking out of the window thinking , I need to be shot.
Somebody call the firing squad.

But I guess, it's one of the things that teach you something about yourself, about other people and about God.
How God is like a father.
It made me learn that I don't have to be a perfect human being to be loved.
God as a father allows for mistakes.

He knows the percentage of nonsense we are capable of without necessarily being  wicked people. Just that we inherited stupidity along with all other faults  from Adam.

Because it didn't make much sense to me up until this year.
I have several dads now. Some I pursued, some realised there was a need, like
Andrew Wan.
I think he took one look at me and decided.
'What a worm, it needs a can before the Malaysian heat burns it into a crisp.'

He warned me off indo mee.

In his words
 'You eat indomee everyday your brain dies lah. '
So he would go to the market and buy me proper bean noodles and whole grain rice.
He told me the cheap places to eat and told me how to cook Asian meals.
Then he gave me Chinese classics to read then he said I needed to learn Asian music culture. His friend Mr Lim had every time of music so I got my hands into that as well.

Me and some other chaps would get a ride in his car for meetings.

'Sisiliiia, you cannot wear black black all the time. You are black and  wear black also? A  driver cannot see you at night you'll get hit lah...'

So I gave up my grunge wear  to avoid death by car accident.

We would be gathered in his house for service meeting and he would be asking us, the college students.
'You have breakfast already or not? You want coffee? Your aunt made kway Teo you can eat some lah no need to be shy. Are you hungry or not?

And that is what I needed lah. In a period of my life when things were happening quickly and at the same time I needed a good shaking to start thinking again.

I got straight up counsel
I got told off
But behind that there was love. I could sense love.

He calls me his beautiful daughter.

And he doesn't let me get away with any nonsense.
I will post something stupid on Facebook and I will get a piece of his thinking.
qz
For over ten years I have always been assured that someone cares for me, deeply enough to watch my steps.
Deeply enough to explain family and societal relations to me.
Coz it can be taken for granted, that we will always know how to interact with family members and other members of the society.

But in a dynamic culture as the global one we are in, it's only a matter of time before you step on someone's toes.

He cheers me up with memes and health videos.
So this month, I have been really grateful.
He sends me a corona alert every day.
In paradise, I want a plot right next to him and his family.s would get a ride in his car for meetings.

'Sisiliiia, you cannot wear black black all the time. You are black and  wear black also? A  driver cannot see you at night you'll get hit lah...'

So I gave up my grunge wear  to avoid death by car accident.

We would be gathered in his house for service meeting and he would be asking us, the college students.
'You have breakfast already or not? You want coffee? Your aunt made kway Teo you can eat some lah no need to be shy. Are you hungry or not?

And that is what I needed lah. In a period of my life when things were happening quickly and at the same time I needed a good shaking to start thinking again.

I got straight up counsel
I got told off
But behind that there was love. I could sense love.

He calls me his beautiful daughter.

And he doesn't let me get away with any nonsense.
I will post something stupid on Facebook and I will get a piece of his thinking.
For over ten years I have always been assured that someone cares for me, deeply enough to watch my steps.
Deeply enough to explain family and societal relations to me.
Coz it can be taken for granted, that we will always know how to interact with family members and other members of the society.

But in a dynamic culture as the global one we are in, it's only a matter of time before you step on someone's toes.

He cheers me up with memes and health videos.
So this month, I have been really grateful.

He sends me a corona alert every day.
In paradise, I want a plot right next to him and his family.

Monday, April 13, 2020

MY STAY HOME remedies

I have added Vietnam to the list of places I want to go.
The cool in this Corona handwashing video is something I need in my life.
I haven't learned the dance yet. I know the lyrics though.

Go watch this video as you stay home stay safe.



I was starting to feel quite disoriented.  So I decided to come up with entertainment for my stay at home.


I watch Saturday Night live everyday.



and get all my Corona News from The Daily Show


I listen to Stay home parodies. Chris Mann just wants a burger with chips


This girl is torn: Her hands are dry.


I have learned how to make potato pancakes.
You have potato at home?
If it's windy and sunny, bring a hat and sunglasses.


Then I tried to learn how to make a wig but ended up learning how to make a butt lifter.
I like this girl's confidence

The rest of the time I am just laughing at mom memes.
Here:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-nMzbOHfYI/
She is a mother of boys so it's  mostly farting stories.

and this one
https://www.instagram.com/closetoclassy/

I have been drawing with this girl here:
https://www.instagram.com/p/B-sTCszgJSF/

Friday, April 3, 2020

Your Shallow and Incomplete Guide to Cooking Food:

For people who are locked in and are worried about running out of food soon.

How to prepare nutrient rich green gram sprouts  (ndengu zimemea kiasi)





After a while  you get to that point where you have no idea what to cook.
I got to that point this week. I get hungry but I am not interested in anything I have been cooking.

I have also been thinking I need to pump nutrients into my body, as compared to just filling my stomach.

I am keen on what I eat but I am imagining a situation where I have to ration my food.
I trust in God to provide but even Noah kept some food to eat when he would be in lockdown.

Would it not be better if I figured out what food combinations in small quantities can provide me with at least a balanced a mix of nutrients daily.
Rather than ending up cooking ugali with a soft ugali for stew.

My neighbour gave me a bunch of greens from her garden. She knows ni kubaya.
So they are in the recipe.

 I remembered some green grams I bought a while back and was planning to throw out.

I don't cook green grams for the simple reason that I don't know which ones have less rocks and everyone claims to sell ndengu from Makueni.

The ones I buy  must be from Kwale.
They have at least 200 gms of small rocks and sand inside for every kilo.
Though this is a good time to clean them up and store them clean.

But I remembered I used to make sprouts. Then stopped when I read that they can cause food poisoning.

I did some reading and found out kumbe it's mishandling that causes e.coli to grow in sprouts.
A safe way to eat them is by cooking them thoroughly.

But do we ever eat salads willingly in Kenya? Let's see by a show of hands.

We are okay.


Sprouts have high percentages of protein, higher than the normal boiled ndengu.
In fact one YouTube video I watched claimed that sprouted ndengu have 50% more protein than when eaten as a regular lentil.

Gimme gimme some sprouts right now.

They also have antidioxants, vitamins and vitamins which you can Google later.

I cooked my sprouts for lunch yesterday and after eating I deliberately lay down to 'listen to myself' in case food poisoning was coming. I woke up to an alarm an hour later.

I still haven't  got any running stomach or reaction. So we are good.

Disclaimer: Sprouts, according to my taste buds are quite flat. But it's like how mothers always have githeri around the house in a big sufuria during school holidays so the kids can have something to keep their mouths engaged. So if you want taste, look somewhere else.


HOW TO


  • Clean the lentils by picking out small rocks and the hard green grams.

  • Wash them

  • Soak in water for eight hours

  • Drain the water after the soaking

  • Transfer them into a dry container and cover it with a wet kitchen cloth.

  • Leave for another 12 hours.

  • They will start sprouting.

  • Wash them

  • Put them in a pot with a bit of water and cook for 10 minutes.

  • Add salt and turmeric.

  • After the 15 minutes I added oil, ginger, garlic and chilli  then cooked for another five minutes.


It was a bit dry yes so I had it with this superdelicious cup of peppermint tea.

I don't know if it's just me or is this quarantine making anyone else crave sugar?

But maybe coz I don't have many interesting things to eat in the house.

When you are walking about outside you come across yummy things like bananas and avocados from Mexico and njugu.
I walk around my house and all I see is dry foods that need to be boiled or roasted.
Also, should I be rationing my food intake? Should I limit my meals to one per day in case we are here until July?

I despair sometimes.
Then I go online and discover people like  Chris Mann and I'm not so frightened anymore. His vogue parody is the best. Check out his Hello from the Inside if you are going out of your mind.
I am
And I think it's good for me somehow.

I started responding to my neighbours efforts to talk.
Today we were planting ferns for a few hours with  my neighbours' kid.

I typed this yesterday.

We kept social distance. We sanitized and he was in charge of the soil, and I in charge of the containers.

He is more bored than me.
Everyone is bored.
But I think we are mostly just in a serious panic.

Next I'm going to have a wall of all the things that are keeping me sane this Corona Season.

I'll also look for more frugal living tips to help you maximise your lockdown supplies.