I Am a Teacher

They call me mwalimu or Madam.

I am still getting used to the name, I have only had it for two weeks anyway.

I am a Surveyor by profession, so how did I find myself in a class.

It all started when I moved from Nairobi to Kisumu two years ago. All my clients are in Nairobi, sometimes I would travel to Nairobi just so I would do afew jobs here and there. With time it become hectic, I stopped.

That is when I started looking for a job in the government, permanent and pensionable. I needed a regular comfortable life.

By this time I was expecting, and so a regular job with flexible schedule would be good for me and my baby, my family too.

When public service advertised for vacancies in their technical institutions, I knew my prayers had been answered. So I applied. I was 4 months in expectation.

At six months I was called for an interviewby Siaya Institute. Didn’t like it at all. It’s like they asked me how to use a phone booth when I am a smartphone era babe.

Guess I flopped.

Then when I was past 41 weeks I received a call from TKNP inviting me for an interview the following week on a Thursday, it’s was a Tuesday. I was 2 days past due date, heavy, fat and tired. But I confirmed my attendance anyway.

Saturday morning I received my bundle of joy and on Thursday I went for the interview with my five day old baby girl.

Months later when I had given up and planning on starting a business I was called and asked to collect my acceptance letter from the Kisumu Polytechnic.

On 26th February I reported for work. Two days later I had my maiden class (a story for another day).

And walla I am a Teacher.

You can call me Mwalimu.

March 15th.

Been A While

Been a while for sure!!

Things went fast.

Am the kind that moves with speed.

But alas! This was fast.

He first called on 10th of January 2018.

10th of February we were meeting the parents.

His in Nakuru where we had late breakfast or call it early lunch.

I mate his mum, sister together with son and his cousin and husband who were in Nakuru visiting a daughter in boarding school.

Then we drove to Lugari, where we shared late lunch with my grandpa, uncle and sister.

Message was we were courting with intent to marry soon.

April 28th was set for dowry payment or ‘rurachio’

His family came to our home, it was a beautiful ceremony with hiccups though but we enjoyed.

June 9th we wedded.

The ceremony was held in Kisumu

And off we went to start our life together.

It is said the first year of marriage is a difficult one, and yes we had afew hard months of adjustment.

We celebrated our first anniversary with a six month only pregnancy.

And today we parenting a two months old baby girl.

It’s been one year nine month since that first call.

Pretty fast,,, don’t you think.

Act like a girl in love

Saturday January 20th
Adongo (my bestie)is super excited about Jay and I dating. The moment he told her, (she asked), that he had asked me and the answer was yes she set a wedding month. She already has a wedding dress and the whole wedding, engagement, dowry visits figured out. She’s surely acting like a girl in love.
I am not there yet. She doesn’t understand why, considering we have organized weddings before without a man even in view.
I am really cautious. For one, Jay is the exact opposite of those I have dated before. I swore that I would not marry from his region reason being that my dad is from the same region and I never met him.
I actually I have no idea who he is, I waited all my childhood for him to come for me but he never did. And I developed a negative opinion of his whole lot.
I have my own reservations about marriage too. It was never a necessity in my life until I started practicing my faith which forbids “intimacy” before marriege.
As days go by, all I get to here about marriage are negative stories. And that scares me out of my skin. Recently just before Jay came along I had been saying repeatedly that I do not want to get married. I am still not sure that I want to. But I need a companion coz it get really lonely sometimes, most times actually.
I like Jay. I liked him from before, three years ago when we would meet for worship before he disappeared.
Now he’s back and he wants me. I should be excited, scream his name in my sleep. Act like a girl in love.
Yesterday in the evening I found my self telling him of my fears and concerns about marriage. I felt bad because I sounded really pessimistic even to myself that I asked to hung up and go to bed. I didn’t wanna talk any more and went to bed feeling depressed.
The next day when I told him why I didn’t want to talk in length….
He said we should focus on friendship, let marriage come when it feels right.
Sounds really nice, something that I want to have.
I actually feel love, it takes writing to bring out my feelings.

He’s come At last

Wednesday January 10th
The day wasn’t going as planned. Despite our many efforts to start work we had trouble operating the survey equipment software. So we decided to go home at midday.
We were having coffee (Adongo) and tea (me) when my phone rung. It was a nameless number, I answered.
“Hello Carol, its Brian, Mburu asked me for your number but I could not give it to him until I speak to you.”
“Jay!, how is he, I have missed him. Please give him my number, I’ll be waiting for his call.”
I turned to Adongo.
“Guess who that was?”
“I have no idea but he’s got respect.”
“Its Brian, Mburu asked him for my number.”
She was excited!!!
“Wow, Carol do you know what that means?”
I had an idea but I didn’t want to count my chicks before they hatch.
That evening he called. His voice was a little strange. Maybe because I had never talked to him on phone before or because the last time I spoke to him was three years ago.
That was the beginning of many hours of calling and SMS-ing.
It was on a Wednesday, he was scheduled to travel to Nairobi from Kisumu on Sunday. We arranged to meet at our place of worship then have lunch afterwards.
That would be our first lunch together, hopefully the first of many to come.

Perfect Duet

This songs seems to be following me everywhere. Since the day he sent it to me I have developed an ear for it. I love Ed Sheeran’s music but this particular one did not catch my antention nor hold it. After listening to it on YouTube I kinda forgot about it immediately.
I got goose bumps listening to it (after he had sent) on my phone, I heard it from the heart this time. That evening it was played on NTV and I sat down and watched. I loved the cartoon video of an inventor finding love and kids coming later. It is a beautiful love story.
The next day in the salon it was played, its part of Maina’s collection and I keenly listened to each and every word. This morning as we were making our way to Kitengela for work it played on radio. Why is it following me everywhere I go. Has it been here all this time and I din’t just listen or could it be that I did not notice before coz it did not apply to me.
Could the heavens be sending me a message, that this is a perfect duet. That I should put my guard down and open my heart to love. That despite my reservations about marriage I can actually have a good one. A good one because me and him we are a perfect duet.

Wedding day

I won’t bore myself with the waking up ritual and preparation. I was picked at twenty minutes to 11am, the time the service was to start. Makindu,a the venue is just fifteen minutes away. My aunt insisted that the bride is supposed to be late.

All the weddings I have attended before I have always been on the other side. Waiting to see the flower girl, page boy, brides maids and finally the bride. This time I was on the being awaited side. When my turn came to walk in I did in style. It was my moment to shine and shine I did.

By the time I got to my seat I was shaking. All that pressure and all the eyes. It took a minute to compose myself. I watched as the bride walked in, slowly with the parents holding her hands. As she was handed over to her man I could see the pressure, I could feel it. I am not sure I wanna go through all that, when I get my man I will probably take him to the AG and get over with it.

The speech was really good. The one point I went home with was the comparison of love to the clothes we wear. They do cover a lot from our misgivings. And if we have love, especially the couple then they’ll only see the good in each other.

From the hall we left for the photo session then the highlight of the program. Reception. We were welcomed with songs and dance, the rest of the guests were at the venue already.

Food was served, I was on the high table so I got mine fast. The rest were queuing and I saw my son at the end of the line. I was unable to start eating. The queue was moving slowly so I asked the bride if I could have my son served from the high table.

He was, and then I started eating too. Just then the DJ played Marry you a song done by Diamond of Tanzania in collaboration with Ne-yo of USA, I could not contain myself. I again asked the bride for permission to dance. It was just me, no one joined but I did it anyway to the end. I am not shy when it comes to dancing.

After the speeches from parents and the cakes. The floor was opened for dancing. And dancing we did until evening when the couple left.

Left to have their first night together.

The beginning of the rest of their lives together.

Rehearsal day

Sunday 3rd

The wedding is tomorrow, I wish I knew what the couple are feeling.

I started my day early at my aunts place, putting final touches on the house. We’ll be having visitors in the afternoon after worship which start at 10am. Within no time it was 9:25, time to head to place of worship. We were all scrambling for the bathroom.

The bride Pat, and her two sisters Esther and Rachel went in together. This is new. The last time I shared a bathroom with anyone was way back before I was a teenager. Those days in the village we would share the bathroom with my siblings and cousins male and female. In high school we all showered in the abolition block. I didn’t even know people still shower together except couples. Am told they always shower together, five of them including two of their nieces, Maria and another whom am yet to meet.

As time was moving fast I rushed into the bathroom, there was someone else in but I couldn’t wait so I joined in and we showered together. She’s Pat’s second degree cousin. I think I closed my eyes throughout, coz I do not remember seeing anything.

The wedding was to take place in Makindu. After Sunday worship in Mbui Nzau and lunch at my aunts place the bridal party left for the hall in Makindu. I had been given some time to manicure and pedicure the bride. Beauty is my side hustle, I decided to start it when my main job had reduced to just a job in months. I learnt the trade not from any college but from carefully watching as it was done on me over the years.

In Makindu we started with the arrangement of the seats at the hall, and practising our entry pattern and procedure following the songs selected by the couple for bridal party entry. We went through every detail as expected to happen on the wedding day.

Rehearsals were done at the reception area too. By this time I was bored, there was nothing new and I hate it when people take all the time discussing something that can be decided upon in a second. This is usually the time when I sit back somewhere in a corner and start writing.

Its was already dark when we got back at my aunts place. Pat’s brother had set the music system outside with everyone else around it and some space left at the center to act as the dance floor.

I forgot I was bored and tired. I took to the dance floor. It was eleven that we left for my house. Twelve of us – my son, sister, three cousins and the brides nieces and nephews including her father. With just two beds in my house the floor came into use, plus the many extra blankets and sheets that are rarely used.

It looked like a camping site.

The last night for the couple as singles

Two days to the wedding

Saturday 2nd

One days to the wedding day. Having been away from my house for two weeks I had to start with cleaning. There was so much to do so I called Mwende to help with laundry. At 11 I made my way to Makindu ( 15 mins away) to decorate the cake.

The groom picked me up at the bus stage. He was staying at the best couples home, Kenny and Beatty.

First of all I needed to get some money from the bank (we’ve got no bank in our small town) and send to Mwende, her payment for the laudry work. With all the anxiety I instead send to Ma Mwende in my contacts. She’s our salonist, so I asked her to withdraw and give to Mwende who went for it at the salon.

Once in the house I went straight to the kitchen like I always do, but this time I was on official business of wedding cake icing and decoration.

I went through the notes that I had made when Juliet took me through the process at Bethel. She had also send me a WhatsApp message with information. The groom and a friend (Noah) left to run some errand. I stayed alone immersed in the task. I started with the small round cake, surprisingly I managed to roll the fondant and cover over the cakes with ease.

Trouble was decorating the cakes. I had purple and maroon flowers and pitch coloured ribbon. At this time I discovered that I never take a minute to look at the cakes decorations and think of the work that went into it. I called Juliet for help. Which she gave so I arranged the flowers on one cake just to get the impression. I went to the sitting room to relax a bit and stay away from the cake so as to have fresh eyes when I look at it again. I looked at cakes online to get more ideas.

Then I heard the gate open, it was Sela the matron, Noah’s wife. How happy I was to see her. I needed support. She was happy with the deco on the first cake. Together we worked on the other two cakes coming up with ideas and implementing them. We were happy with the end result.

By that time my back was breaking, I made my way home. All I wanted was my bed. But at home I still had to unhung my clothes and clean the fridge, everything in it had gone bad. Looks like there was a blackout when I was away in Nairobi.

It as a relief to lay down and relax my back. It never felt better. I slept for an hour. Having no food in my house and in no mood to make any. I made my way to my aunts home. Happy I did because they had slaughtered a goat. The home was buzzing with activities. People had already started arriving for the wedding mostly the brides family.

Hers sisters and their families filled the home, they were making dinner.
I joined in and made ugali.

We had a good time. I left with about five people to sleep at my place, my aunts house was full.

One day to the wedding.

Three days to the Wedding

I told Aggy to ask her father to come to the sitting room for a minute. I needed to let him know that I was leaving but would come back later in the week since I had a job scheduled for 6th and a meeting for the 7th and I had confirmed my attendance.

I had so much to do in town, buy a few stuff plus pick the wedding cake from Bethel on Ngong road. Once in town, I left my luggage at the Tuskys supermarket baggage area and promised the guy some lunch.

I had promised to arrive at 9am but due to traffic jam I arrived fourty five minutes late. Julie, just like Pat (bride) is considered a cousin though we are not related by blood coz she’s been in the family like forever. There are friends who truly stay closer than brothers.

As I waited at the reception I called Amos who’s is at Bethel to let him know that I was around. He’s a childhood friend but we lost contact for some years and whom we did reconnect later he told me that he was interested in me. He had a crush on me when we were teenagers. Right now we remain friends.

In her place Julie served me a plate of rice, fish curry and a glass of grape juice. It was delicious. She disappeared into their bedroom ( she’s married) and came out with a beautiful cloth, I thought it was an apron but she asked me to put it on. It fit just perfectly. If I wasn’t travelling I would have stayed in the dress

We then moved to the business that had brought me. The wedding cake. She took me through the process of icing and decorating and cutting. There is no easy job, its experience that makes it look easy.

Amos came when we were still on it. I like him but I am not sure if its enough for a lifetime commitment. My sister says hes not good looking while my bestie says he’ll bore me immediately after the honey moon, she says I need a man who can engage me intellectually.

We went back to our business and packed the five cakes in a box including all the ingredients for deco. Once done I dialled uber which came almost immediately that I forgot to bid Amos bye bye. But since would be coming back maybe will find time to hung out.

I took the cake to Tuskys baggage area again for I needed to buy a present for the couple, a card and wrapping paper. I was to meet my Bestie too, I had not seen her since she left home the previous day for work. She had spent the night at her friends place somewhere close to the airport. She was a little bit distant. I didn’t know exactly how she was feeling even though I have been in her place before.

With all my luggage I went to our stage at Athusi, where those golden coloured ugly mini buses were packing and unpacking. I got into one not allowing anyone to carry the cakes but I, I won’t even allow the turn boys to touch the box. I actually slapped their hands off the box a few times.

I need a personal car, it would have been very easy to travel. But will do with what I have, hopping the jobs promised will materialize and hopefully I buy one soon.

The goodness with this buses they do not stay at the bus station for long. Each bus is given fifteen minutes only at front raw. A minister (pastor) started preaching just before we left the stage and as usual asked the passengers to bless the work with whatever they had, then they would be blessed in return!!!

After he had alighted some guy in a denim shirt stood from the seat next to the door.

” Ohh, the minister has already left, , , ,has he collected his contribution already, , ,ohh I forgot to tithe…”

He was jocking.

“You have been fed spiritually, I am here to feed you physically” he announced to the passengers.

He was marketing chocolates.

“I have chocolates here, very nice ones, they are not just chocolates but have been combined with cake. For those who know what chocolates are you’ll appreciate this new taste.”

He went on and on about the nutritional value then shared a few packets before passengers started buying. He next started asking questions and whoever answered correctly( only those who had bought) would be given a present, a packet of choco-cake.

Question 1 “When a corpse is dead where is it taken?

Passengers answered, the montuary.


Q2 “What is that last thing you lifted up last night then spread on the bed before you slept.”

They took a few minutes thinking, as some said bed sheet or blankes. I jokingly answered the legs.

Before this I had not been interested in his business.

” Right answer, but presents are for the customers only.”

Q3 ” Paul Ngei was the Kenyan who first flew the Kenyan flag on Mt Kilimanjaro after independence, how old was he?

The Kenyan flag was flown on Mt. Kenya not Kilimanjaro, which is in Tanzania. I got that too. So I bought some Choco-cake and got my presents.

Q4 “How many legs do vehicles run on?

He got the answer from the back.

Q5 “How many 7s are there between 1 to 80?

No one in the bus had an answer. He gave it to us. 18.

I arrived at around 6:30 pm in Mbui Nzau. A few minutes later I was at my aunts place. I had missed my son so much, we embraced for a while. I later gave him the things I had brought him. He looked dashing in the Indian attire and maasai sandals that I had bought him for the wedding.

I had bought Maria, Pat’s ( the bride) niece a pair of rubber shoes. Mistakenly I gave them to Esther her aunt, Pat’s sister. All the time as I asked her to fit I thought she was Maria. Thank heavens they did not fit, if they had it would have been difficult taking them from her and giving them to the intended person.

It was late when I together with Quincy and another of Pat’s nephew left to go sleep at my place.

I was exhausted to my nails.

Three days to the wedding.