Volcano or gods wrath

The hill in Lamu island. 

It is said that once upon a time there lived a really proud and arrogant people in Lamu. They were of the Pokomo tribe.

Having been blessed with material wealth including herds of cattle they misused the wealth to the point of using milk as an after toilet wash instead of water. Imagine people cleaning their arses with milk. There arrogance was up the moon. 

The story has it that the gods got angry with them. One early morning before dawn it rained. Not cats and dogs, naaaa. It rained sand. The wrath of the gods poured all morning.

 The sand which had pilled up to form a hill barred their doors from opening neither could they escape through the roof. They were buried alive. Themselves, their houses, their cattle, milk and even their toilets.

And they were no more.

I am not sure what to think of the story. But if it ever happened the simple explanation from a scientific view point: the sand rain was probably a product of volcano eruption somewhere in the ocean. Not the wrath of the gods as the locals believe.

The hill still stands tall in Lamu island, along the sea front. And very time visitors walk past it or climb up, the story is told and re-told.

Every town has got a story.


¬†Of iPhones and others

It was once said that the difference between a city resident and city dwellers lies in the kind of phone they own. That was years back when smart phones were a thing to be marvelled at on the pages of a magazine just like sports cars today.

As it was said city dwellers own the kind that you can use chargers from anywhere, all you had to do is ask for a charger and you got one. City residents in the other hand had phones with specific charging system and could only use the chargers bought with the phone.  Of phones and class and economical status!!!

When the statement was made I was still in college and though I knew I was in the city dweller category it was just a matter of time before I crossed over. Years later,  yesterday I was reminded that I haven’t. At least not yet.

I forgot to carry the charger for my Infinix phone, but no worries ‘I can use’ any charger, at least that is what I thought. By evening my battery was at 15% and I hadn’t found a charger yet. They were all helping me with the search for a sumsung charger the contractor and the engineer too.

They’ve got smart phones but I assumed they needed to use them over the night that’s why they warent offering theirs.

” Why can’t I use yours for an hour or so?”  I asked.
“Sorry mine is an iPhone.” He said.

It was a sincere apology but what I heard was, ” you’ve got an inferior phone.”

I am still a city dweller.

Day three

Describe a happy memory.

What did you see, hear, smell and feel.

I was eight or there about, my sister two years younger, the beautiful happy days. It had rained all afternoon and we slept through the storm.

It was really cold when we woke up, so we wore our polo neck sweater. My mum and grandma always knitted sweaters for us, I even remember as a child owning  a pair of woollen panties made by my grandma. Throught out primary school we had knitted sweaters for school, home and safari. Am left wondering why I ever thought having jumpers was cooler than hand made sweater, for one ‘they’ could never have my sweater for they did not have my mum and grandma. The few things that I did not appreciated as much as I should have, now gone with the wind.

My mother invited us on the table for a cup of warm beverage and a piece of sweet potatoes, just what we needed. From the first sip I knew it wasn’t tea, but I could not figure out what it was. It had a distinctive flavour that lingered long after I had swallowed and floured smoothly in the mouth. I enjoyed every sip.

Then we started getting warmer with each passing sip, it felt good and warm and huggy. Shortly after, we started sweating lightly with sweat pallets forming around the nose. We got off our sweater. Its was a magical drink, exactly what little girls need in a cold late afternoon.

Too bad coffee is not advised for kids because of it’s addictive nature. And not mostly consumed in Kenya as a report I read somewhere said that Kenyans prefer tea and beer even though they are one of the biggest producers of coffee.

Am a coffee woman myself and that’s the first time I remember having coffee.

30 day Stress Relief Journaling Prompts

Day 1

Appreciation day

I am thankfull for what I have because. ..well I have it.

 That which makes me ,,me. One in a million, unique in my perfect imperfections.

I love that I have got me, my perception and appreciation of the world. The fact that I am me, and I am alive.

Most times I become saddened at funerals for the simple fact that the deceased can neither join us in the wailing neither can they enjoy the sleep. Such a waste of space death is. 

But I am still breathing, and writing and thats one thing am appreciative about. 

One step at a time.

Its a 30 day long stress relief journalling.

Day 2

What’s going on well in my life right now…

The prospect of a job. Its been long, 6months to be precise without even the promise of a job. The heated political temperatures in the country making it impossible to think or even hope for anything. I was at the point of almost giving up. But today Hassan called, the job has not been confirmed but the fact that I might have it is making me very hopeful.

Hope I get it.

Pls let me get it.

I need to get it.

Day 3 to be continued…...

No soccer no more

“Football is Man-united and Arsenal.” That’s the answer a lady gave when asked what football is. Talk of blonde moments!!!!

I do not watch football anymore, and there are many reasons for that.

One reason is that I do not have boy- friends picking me up every weekend head down to crowded bars and scream our hearts  out at men chasing after a piece of dried up goat skin.

Not to say that I did not enjoy those evenings, they we’re the bomb back in my college days. The hottest being when Arsenal played against Man United.

At least on such particular evenings TVs in all the pubs would be tuned in to the one channel streaming the match. ( all would be anyway). Woe unto you if this two teams are playing against different teams and you happen to stumble into a pub whose owner supports the team that you do not.

Few months into college and we figured out the teams supported by each bar owner in town. And we had good reasons.

Sometimes you get into a bar, order and pay for a drink and start to sip as you watch the match. Then this regular trusted and loyal customer walks in with a pot belly that needs filling. He orders the channel to be changed, for he supports the other team. They oblige. Its like 10mins into the game, and you’ve only taken a few sips of your drink, mark you, the drink was to cover you till the end of the game. 

The decision you make would show where your loyalty lies, to the team or your pocket.

With the limited funds in college we always chose the drink,  a decision  based not on loyalty. In no way would a college student leave a drink half taken.

Silently cursing the customer we would watch his team play and wish for it to loose, not just wish but pray. How would he make us loose on 150shillings, since walking into another bar would mean spending more money on drinks. It was pub policy to provide seats only for those consuming their merchandise. And most times all we had was money for one drink, saved throught the week so that we could enjoy the game on weekend.

Right now I can afford to pay for cable TV and watch all the games at the comfort of my living room, but its no fun without the company. And the the rivalry!!! I remember feeling very hurt when someone commented negatively about the team I supported, and we all know that supporting Arsenal can be pretty disappointing.

I also do not watch soccer to show my solidarity to the ladies who always loose the battle of who is gonna have the man for the evening, soccer or the lady.

And mainly, no soccer no more because I am single. If he was here, and a soccer fun I would definitely show my support. 

No football for me till he comes along.

Please come soon.

Our brains-Reality

In my last post I talked alittle about my brain, a subject that fascinates me. As much as I would like to learn more on the subject am lazy when it comes to reading text books on technical subjects so I rely mostly on short simplified articles, movies and TV series or what people say.

When I mention the brain and its functionality and complexity or weirdness the first thing that comes to mind in Dr. Pierce a fictitious character in the TV series Perception. In the first class of neuro science he asked his students a question that though it may sound easy, its a tricky one, “What is reality.”

The students gave different answers, one of them was that reality is what we see and feel, exactly what most of us would say.  He then goes ahead to say, much to their bewilderment that reality is a “figment of our imagination.” Yaa.. Right. You thought I exist and that you are reading this…its just a figment of your imagination. 

Don’t stone me before you get the explanation. And I quote, my understanding of his explanation.

” Its in the middle of the night, in your sleep you are being chased by something, its scary and dangerous. You run for your dear life. Breathing hard, sweating and panting and maybe scream. ” 

You wake up, you can feel your heart beating fast and you  are unable to stop youself from shaking. You take hold of the corner of your sheet and wipe out the sweat from your face. 

So, is that a reality or a dream. Or are dreams realities too.  

Our brains do not differentiate the two, whether its happening for “real or not” the brain sends the same neuro chemicals or signals. 

Confusing right!

Then I met a friend who got me really scared. He had taken a class of psychology in college and he had this to say about our brain. Most times when we are having scary dreams we never die in them or never live to tell the tale for those who die in them. Even when every one dies we stay alive and just when we are about  be killed or die we wake up. 

In the case where one dies in a dream they  die for real. Why? How? You may ask. Simply because the brain send signals to shut down your system the same way it sends signal for your heart to beat faster or sweat glands to act or diaphragm to move faster. 

I understand this clearly because from my village we’ve always believed that when one dies in their dreams they do not wake. When someone is sick he’s usually woken up time and again to ensure that he does not dream of dying and actually dies. 

The other day my aunt’s blood pressure shot to 183/130, that’s stroke level high. The night before she went to hospital she was so afraid to close her eyes, in the fear that she would not wake, she did not like the kind of dreams that she was having. Maybe her system was at the point of shut down. 

 Witch doctors use this concept to kill their victims, whether they are aware of it or not. Mum once told us that one morning when she was young she saw a man walk past there home, a man she had seen in her dream the previous night trying to lock her inside a coffin. She reported him to her mum. That man was coming to confirm whether his craft had been successful. 

As I write this after having just six hours of sleep I marvel at how my brain works. Since the school holidays began two weeks ago I have been having nine hours of sleep mostly from ten pm to seven am. My twin cousins who I currently share a room with in my aunts home are mesmerised by how heavy a sleeper I am. 

It was my duty to tutor my other twin cousins who will be sitting for national exams in two months time, so I told my head to wake me up at 3pm. But I had to sleep at nine because I usually have three hour cycle of sleep after which I wake up very time to use the bathroom. This is because I take two glasses of water before bedtime for I read somewhere that it helps prevent stroke in sleep. Interestingly I woke up at 3am having slept for six straight hours without a break. Is it because I was gonna have only six hours of sleep, and my head decided not to break it.

 Its a marvel.

A pick into my head

Everyone is in a rush, behind me a group of first ten are waiting to cross with many more behind them. Ahead on the other side of the river they look at me with anger wishing they could just do away with me. There I was at the middle of the bridge, paralysed with fear. 

The two logs of wood that acted as the bridge were starting to get wet from the splashing of water  from the torrential river below. My hand could not let go the two ropes on both sides, I stood still a mid shouts and cries of ‘stupid woman, get off so that we can go home, or jump into the river and die, die,,,,die’

We had received information that it had rained cats and dogs up in the highlands and soon the river would be filled making it difficult for any one to cross. This happens because the bridge gets wet and very slippery, many have died trying to cross during this times. Or it is sometimes swept away.

Everyone was in a hurry trying to get home before it gets more dangerous.  And since the bridge can only accommodate one way traffic two village elders from both sides of the river had come to help control the crossing. A group of ten from both side would cross in turns. 

I stood still and watched as the man who was helping me across try unsuccessfully to swim out of the river. He had accidentally slipped and fell in. Not knowing what to do the man behind me, the village drunk, kicked me with his foot, I ran through the bridge and fell on the other side of the river to the cheering of the crowd. The village drunk had become a hero.

I lay there for a minute in disbelief of what had just happenned. Just when I was getting the hang of it, I felt a sharp pain in my mid finger. Though coming from a small bite mark on the tip of my mid finger the pain was excruciating. I screamed and ran around like a mad woman but no one paid attention, they were still annoyed with me, or busy getting away from the soon to be flooded river.

Up the river bank somewhere, a nice old lady asked to inspect my finger which had started swelling. Soon the the rest of the hand up to to the wrist joined in. The lady after inspection took out a piece of aloe vera herb from her bag and started applying all over my hand. Aloe vera is my wonder drug, I always have it somewhere. Right now there is a piece in my fridge that I got from my aunt’s, my dust bin is filled with used pieces of it and out in my flower bed there’s one planted. I use it on my face, cuts and wounds and once in a while a drink aloe juice to cleanse my system.

But this aloe was a little bit strange, coming out of the leaf it was not mucury and colourless as usual but whitish and smooth spread like jelly. She had actually mixed it with petroleum jelly, who does that! She told me I had been bitten by a small but dangerous maroon coloured insect. The kind that when they find their way into concrete they can bring down a building. 

The swelling continued despite the fact that the whole hand was covered in aloe-jelly. It looked like Mr Halk’s hand- one of the avengers, but the pain had reduced. Then the swells started bursting, I watched in horror as the skin got loose all around the fingers, the palm and around the wrist. Then like a glove it cut off around the wrist. The old lady carefully pulled it out.

There a new brand hand was, soft and beautiful. But it was not for keeps. 

I woke up from my sleep. 

I should stop watching Japanese ninja movies, they are corrupting my head.

I smiled at myself, my head was trying to wake me, it was time to use the bathroom. I appreciate a lot because in my childhood this bringing me back to consciousness was in vain and every night I ended up doing it in my sleep right there on my bed.

Am always woken up by different dreams depending on how tired I am or how heavily asleep I am. They start like nice beautiful dreams with me and family at home and evolve into scary and horrifying ones if I resist the first call. The most horrifying if them end with snakes in them.

I remember this one night after working the whole day in the hot sun a snake crept into my dream. This particular one jumped towards me in order to bite me. I held it with my left arm and squeezed life out of its head. That’s how tired I was that I could not let a snake mess with my sleep. 

The horror of having killed a snake with my bare arm woke me up,,,I think!!!!! I had to run to the bathroom coz it was almost out.

I love how my head, mind, brain, nerves or whatever it is works. It’s too complex to comprehend. But I love the dreaming part.

I leave the rest to the Neuro Scientist Doctor Pierce the main actor in the TV series – Perception.