Friday, January 31, 2020

This Chic: The Pursuit of Happyness

I'm happy, mostly.
I decided I shall not look for sorrow and sadness when I have the option to be positive and cheerful.

Sorrow will find you without assistance. So don't look for it

Pursue happiness.
You will find it.
Even in a messy and wrecked world there are bits of good to sustain us until the next thing to stagger us.

I have found happiness in looking fo r and celebrating the bits of positive vibe I see in people.
 Like my neighbour's singing. She has a beautiful voice, I should teach her my favourite songs then I can just listen to her across the wall.

I have found peace in accepting myself. The rough parts and the glittering parts.

I have found freedom, in expressing how I feel whenever, and for a few people who actually get me and my spacy way of defining this thing called life.

Most of all I am happy with myself for then choices I consciously make each day.

I have learned to recognize a good thing and to grasp onto it with both of my hands.

I have become aware of the people I want in my life. Sometimes it's me doing all the work but,
forget the independent self satisfying phrase - don't chase people you are worth more than that-

It's a lie.
Sometimes you have to chase people.
Because sometimes you need them more than they need you but in the end it's for you.

I am happy to have learned this now.

May I live many more days
To chase more people
To love  and care deeply even when it just me doing the loving and caring, to do my best to get out of my own castle and help others build theirs.

Because Jesus said it right.
There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.
May I have more time, more affection, more laughter and more heart to share with my fellow humans.
I am still a queen.
Perfectly imperfect
You can call me Virginia.

#natural Hair

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Personality Profile : Portrait of a Meditative African gentleman

This is my friend Muscle man.

He is the true definition of a meditative gentleman of average age.
You never really know what he is thinking so you just pick up a stick and prod him a little to get a reaction then run away.

Muscle Man is kind and generous and everybody's sweetheart.

He is the person who will hire a car and ask you 'Hey do you need to go see your Mum? I'm sending a driver to take you.'

When he laughs, it's careless and thorough.
I like his laugh.
When he dances, his body takes flight.

He has a fiddler's fingers, though he lifts metal all day.

But he is not all mushy and rose petals when serious matters arise.
You will stand at attention when he clears his throat.

Muscleman lives his life the way he has planned it. It doesn't matter what you think, that's your problem.

Several times in my eventful life my brain has shut down and Muscle Man has taken one look at me and seen: Gaka Kairītu nīgatukanīre.

(this woman is mixed up.)
And he did the thinking for me.

When my heart didn't know what to feel
He felt for me.

I'm grateful for friends who are really family.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Grieving : "I will go down mourning to my grave"

Kwani you are still mourning your mother?
That's the question.

I'd like to ask how long shoukd I mourn my mother? 10 days? A month? 6 months? A year?
I also want to say come back and ask me that question when your mother does but that would be rude and unfeeling and I have felt dreadful enough recently to wish it on anyone.

But each time someone asks me if i'm still grieving I really want to walk away.
Before I get out my guns and tell them to have a little imagination.

Truth is, you need a little imagination of you haven't experienced death.
Me, I have experienced it from all directions and it doesn't get easier.
It gets harder.
You get weaker.

You cannot handle funerals.
You avoid people who speak carelessly.
And basically you slowly put one step after the one in front and hope your God hasn't given up on you.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Personality Profile: Maureen Wa Shem

My friend has quit her Chinese Interpreting job to become a farmer.
I asked her so what kind of farming she was doing.

She said "You know, the usual
Spinach and a few kales."

But I met her a few weeks ago and she informed me she has started livestock farming. 
'Oh really? In the village? '
I asked
"No, just in my backyard"

So I thought possibly rabbits or chickens.
Then she showed me a video.

We were standing outside the Buruburu KH. It was the Sign Language Assembly and Maureen had come looking for me, she brought me lunch but didn't find me so she came back again.

This time we found each other.
And talked until it got cold.

My mother loved Maureen.

My grandmother loves Maureen
And everybody else I introduce her to ends up loving her because she is just that. 
A lovable girl
She is those kind of girls who always know how to talk politely to everyone, give advice without crossing lines, cook good food for a family, knows what spoons to use to serve a man, what dress to wear when.
What perfume to buy, what gift to give. She knows how to dance and even how to make liquid soap.

And most of all she knows how to keep a friend because if it was upto me we wouldn't be friends after all the stunts I have pulled over the years. 
Including poisoning her with a carelessly prepared meal, choosing a new friendship over an old one and just being a complete big eared bovine who doesn't know a good thing when it's staring right in her face.

When Maureen came home my Shushu  said:
 'In fact ,she doesn't behave like a Jaluo at all.'

A very high compliment from someone who only has interacted with other tribes through the radio.

And every other time she would ask me.

'Na Kaī kairītu karīa karata gaku kamūjaluo gatūire kū?'

That small luo girl who is your friend,  where is she now?

I told her she got a married

She exclaimed 'Then may God bless her,  even you now it seems you might find a husband too.'

That was a few years back.

Maureen is one of those friends who still kept me as a friend after she got married. 

I really appreciate friends who don't kick me out of their lives after marriage.
It's very hard for a single girl of 30+ to start making new friends.

But  I think the highest praise I have for Maureen is that she would never use information given in private for public use.

I mean:
She may know dirt about you but she won't use it to score points somewhere else.

(I don't collect dirt but dirt seems to find me and settle.)

She is that kind of confidant who doesn't harvest data from you.
And if she comes across it won't  repeat it somewhere  else.

That is class.
Mercedes-Benz kind of class.

I aim to be that kind of human being.
The one that puts over a blanket over another's shame.

The one who doesn't laugh at friend who decides to go out on a date outing with an idiot, just because she is 26 and 'oh God what if no one ever asks me out and then I am 35 and all alone in the world?'

I should have known I would be 35 at some point  but not all alone in the world. I'm not. I'm surrounded.

It turned into a disaster, the outing. The worst disaster you can imagine.

It rained heavily as well.

And all she said: "Don't blame yourself, you seemed to love each other."

And then she cooked the fish we had caught as I tried hard not to cry a lot for trying to fall in love.

Over the years. I have learnt valuable lessons from the slip of a girl.

1. In Kenya it's not simply about working smart, it's about working hard and breaking your back, then perhaps you might have enough to feed yourself.

2. Be nice to people. Be kind. Be polite.

3. Care about people. When her friend was sick, Maureen moved to her friend's house to take care of her friend for a month, while working a demanding job at a tour company.

4. Always dress right.

5. Have fun. No matter how bleak things seem. Go out, have chocolate, date someone, fly to China. Just don't drag yourself down

I'm proud of my girl.

And if you are a fisherman. She can hook you up with bait, bucketfuls of them.

@decathlon are you listening?

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Midlife Crisis Ahead: Rip off the band aid my way

Someone, perhaps the most outspoken member of the family will say.
'Reke tucokoe ngatho nīguo tuohorane.'

And when they are done someone will finya kafefte in the palm of another's hand and they promise to see each other soon.
They have set each other free.
When you have to leave a place you have belonged to it takes all the energy you can muster up to make a clean break.   

Strands of the old place are intertwined with the fabric of your core and there is no way to extricate yourself without shredding living flesh.

How do you taken of a band aid?
What is your pain bearing capacity?
Rip off the bandage or slide it out with a bit of tincure?
Either way, When it's time to go.
Let's just give thanks and set each other free.

I am leaving a place I've called home for years now. Not in a huff puff walk out manner but in a well calculated shift that brings advantage to me.

Thankful for the gardens I planted,
My garden this season
thankful for the neighbours who didn't play loud music. Thankful for each phone call, text message, ride, hug, lunch, coffee and escort.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Little Red Riding Hood, a very short story.

This is my friend Steve.

We are in these woods collecting firewood to cook this meat:

We were meant to go hiking  but it rained at  Ngong Hills so we of course found a back up plan. 

You cannot go back home on a Saturday when your neighbours already saw you leave like you had major weekend plans while they were all doing weekend washing. Alafu you come back at 10 a.m. si they will think you have started trading sukuma wiki from Limuru to Marikiti then on Monday you hear a knock at your door at someone requesting ' please buy for me maize for boiling when you go to the market.' How do you start explaining you are not a market trader at 4.00 a.m on a Monday morning?

Steve says
'By the way, so these are like the woods Little Red Riding Hood was getting eaten in by a Fox?'

I say 'was it not the grandmother that got eaten?'
Steve says 'yes then the Fox wore the grandmother's dress.'

'And hat,' says Maureen K.

Then I ask if they ever heard the Kikuyu version of Little Red Riding Hood.
Steve says 'yes, our shushu used to tell us stories but they were horror stories. After that you couldn't get yourself to cross over to the sleeping house.
Many Kikuyu fables were horror stories.'

 Steve says ' I miss my shush' but I don't hear him.
'But she will be resurrected.' Is what I hear.
''She will?' I ask.
'Yes, ' Steve says
'Little Red Riding Hood's shushu will be resurrected?'

'Little Red Riding Hood' Maureen chirpes in. 
'No, I said my Shushu, she died.'

I don't know why we start laughing.
The three of us. 
Maureen K, Nelson K and Me

Little Red Riding Hood's Shushu unfortunate end or the hope of Steve's Shushu being   resurrected inspite of her horror stories.
My hair gets caught in a bush.
 Nelson tries to disentangle me.

Maureen says '  Wait this is a picture moment'.

*at this point in the story I realise Steve is Steve K, there is Maureen K, and  Nelson K. So Mimi pia  si nijiite Gathoniciss K? We shall find the vowels to go with it later on 2020 is still young.)

So I ask him to plan to go preaching with me now that he is in Nairobi and he says:

'Aki Sato nishapanga kwenda shopping,'
(He has plans to go shopping)

And I laugh some more.
But that is Steve. 
He is hilarious.

He is also the brother you never had. The brother who you can send to the kiosk for pads and he comes back with juice and wet wipes too in case you are feeling dehydrated.

Steve is at a stage where he really doesn't care. 
He is happily serving his God while eating coconut rice and madafu at his own pace.

Let everybody deal with their own conscience.

He makes a great Shrink as well.
You end up telling him even what you hadn't planned to.

The meat was delicious. Thanks to chief barbecurist Godi.

Monday, January 6, 2020

8-4-4 How it almost ruined our lived had we let it and the answers we discovered too late.

Kieni West Division, Mid-Term Test  G H C  

7 . Where in Kenya is Flourspar mined?

a. Jinja
b. Kereita
C. Magadi
d. Kerio Valley

First before we go to question eight. What is flourspar and how does it affect my life?
I imagined flourspar was a gas, or a chemical that is used in the production of hard plastic for factory machinery.

Until I googled - what is flourspar?-
Blazing hot gases! This is flourspar. See below.

I feel quite embarrassed that once,  Canadian friend gave me a necklace. She said 'actually this originally from Kenya, it's mined there.'

I didn't want to seem ignorant so I said "oh yeah, in Kisii there is all of sorts of gem mining."

But Education was not supposed to teach us knowledge. 

I grew up and we headed out on a frugal holiday to Eldoret.

'Road trippin with my favourite allies,
on the road we got snacks and supplies
Let's go get lost
Let's go get lost.'

And up a mountain we went.

I'm entranced by mist, fog and clouds.

And in Kerio Valley, it felt like we were in a Tibetian movie set.
As you drive, you sometimes drive into a fog, then get out of it a few meters ahead, then again you watch it scatter, then it gathers further ahead. 

Around some trees, in a valley, it dances and swirls and wraps you in its drizzle. Wisps of mist disperse like cheerful little girls.  It moves and soon the sun is shinning again, you are warm, but now you cannot view the fluospar mines.

'That's River Turkwel, the guard points out. It has huge Crocodiles. '
I wish he didn't add the crocodiles part as though that makes the river infamous.
It's river Turkwel, let's take a moment to appreciate a mighty force of pursing brown liquid. It's famous for flooding.

There are homes too, down the valley.

I wonder what their names are.

Do they have a chief?

'Past the river, everyone owns a rifle.'
The guide says.

I'm thinking of the Wild Wide West where everyone is a cowboy.

No horses here though.

Do they cook chapatti sometimes? 

Then it's back to the long uphill climb. Just how far down the Kerio Valley is is beyond my brain. We seemed to be looking down from the sky, but it was a downhill descent. Heck, I was lost and decided to enjoy the view.

So up we go. Flowers, springs, insects.

I'm shivering

We get home and I sleep out the evening.

Where is flourspar mined in Kenya?
The answer is D.

It would have really improved my life if I had done that trip in 1997.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Your Shallow and Incomplete Guide to cooking food for people who live alone or with cats and are tired of eating ugali and eggs every night.-Selfcare-

The two times I can talk about that I got into great mischief involves drinks.

Mild drinks.
Wewe Mimi si wamunyota.

One evening we were assigned to cook ugali for 12 people. They were waiting in the living room. Me and @ waiyaki were outside in the shed boiling water for the large ugali. It was drizzling.
We were cold
The water was taking long to boil but  suddenly we got an idea.
There was a satchet of drinking chocolate laying about.
So Waiyaki says.
'So that we don't raise any alarm, please go ask for an extra wooden spoon from the kitchen, then grab some sugar while you are there.'

I did as told and reassured everyone that the ugali would be ready in a short while.
So Waiyaki takes off the ugali water, pours it into a bucket leaving two cups in the sufuria. He added sugar and cocoa and when it boiled he poured the drink out into cups and I quickly washed the sufuria, put back the water to boiled and settled to drink the hot chocolate.

And it was exactly at that point that someone appeared to 'get the ugali. '
Haiya, hii ni maji ya ugali?
Mnakunywa nini?

And then to the people waiting for ugali.
' You will not believe it, these ones used the water for ugali to make tea.'

It was the best hot chocolate drink I have ever tasted.

The other time was during a hectic  time in the translation department. There were many people coming and going and me I was feeling stressed.

I find Maureen at the microwave and tell her, - I need something to drink but not tea. I've had enough of tea.-

She says
'Is there milk?'
I check and it looks like a brookside truck stopped by our fridge.

-There is plenty of milk.-
'Cool, come after five minutes.'
I went back and she says, 'taste this and tell men if you want sugar.'

It was coffee and Milo and milk,  microwaved until it smelt like the inside of Java coffee house.
I didn't need sugar.
-You have to show me how to make this.-
Says I
And we made a few cups for people.
The secret ingredient is lots of milk.

In the afternoon
Someone comes and asks " how come there is no milk?"
And Debbie says 'no way I brought a box of milk yesterday.'
They go to the fridge
No milk
-Well, um we may have made a few cups of coffee this morning-
'How many?'
'Four! '
Yes four.
'Just four?'
-Yes, it's complicated. I'm sorry, black tea any one? I'll make-

I'm only confessing now, a public confession. It was too embarrassing then.

Here is the recipe: How to calm down.

You need a mug
Put in two table spoonful of Milo into the mug
Pour in milk to half full
Microwave it for two minutes
It will rise. Remove
Put it back again for 45 seconds
Put in a teaspoonful of dormans or nescafe instant coffee.
Fill the mug with milk and put it back in for a minute
You can transfer to another heated mug if you want to feel pretty.
Caution: it's very calming. So you might fall asleep.

Efficiency, why we must learn to be.

 There are no schools that you will sign up to to learn how to be efficient. Most will teach you a profession or a skill and it's up to ...