My stay in Voi

My plan was to spend two nights in Voi, was sure I would have learnt all I needed by then. It was never to be. That Tuesday at around 10pm I was a wakened by a loud scream, it was Antie Carol. They had just received news that her sick brother had passed on.

I remember how she had talked about him for most of the two hours that I had spent with her at her shop learning the ice making business. She had just come from home where she having gone to take care of him and had left when he showed some improvement.

The next day she travelled to Wundanyi their home together with her big sister my host. I volunteered to baby seat her shop and pretty much enjoyed my day with Harry Porter e-book in between sales. 

Thurdsay, the day I was to travel back to Mbui Nzau I actually spent alone in their home. The rest of the family had traveled to attend the burial and I took care of the place. Killed boredom and loneliness with Spiderman homecoming movie and the perfect match which had been in my flush disk for ages but I hadn’t found time to watch.

” This is home my dear, please stay till I come back” she( the mama of the home) had said to me before she left.

So I unpacked, bought a few more clothes and settled.

Its almost a week and for sure I have learnt so much. Starting with the recipes for making pilau, Bhagia, viazi karai, mabuyu, ukwaju juice, raw mango juice and perege ( small kind of fish but bigger than omena). I have added a few vocabularies into my Swahili dictionary too.

And afew grams around my waist.

Because the meals are deliciously made, hard not to add an extra spoon and the company of young men with big appetities, so when they reach for a piece I pick one too. We are usually about 10 at the dinner table, I told you she’s  a generous one and right now she’s hosting a few of her nephews.

Its always hard to maintain routines when visiting like my morning runs or rope skipping, still yet drinking water before bed time and two glasses of water first thing in the morning. I avoided water in the evening because the toilet happens to be located outside the main house 10 meters away. That means I have to climb down the double decker bed, walk out of the house, across the compound to attend to the call of nature. I can’t afford to do that even though the security lights shine all night.

For one, I am scared of stepping on insects like scorpions and millipedes which happen to be allover the place,and also the usual fear of darkness with its many unknowns. 

Most nights my brain works extra hard to wake me, even on some nights I dream of lions to scare me into waking up but only wake up after killing them in my sleep, with my bare hands. Then get even more scared of walking to the toilet just in case my dream comes true since the Tsavo National Park is just but a few Kilometers from this home, 5kms.

I had a chance to visit the market on Friday and attended spiritual worship on Thursday and Sunday. I had planned on going out in the ministry on Saturday but the day had been scheduled for general cleaning of the place of worship which I gladly participated and made new friends in return.

Sunday afternoon was spent at a sister’s home who invited us for lunch, the association was beautiful. 

I enjoyed my  stay in Voi.

Will definitely do this again.


Gotta learn this tongue

The other day my son was asked to report to school with their parents for a PTA meeting. He insisted on leaving the house together with me because the teacher had instructed them not to leave home without being accompanied by their parents. So instead of leaving home for school at 6:00am we left together at 9:am. 

I expected to see other students on the way to school accompanied by their parents, but there warent any. Just me and my son. 

First thought was he played me for a few extra minutes of sleep and TV.

Or he got played by his friend.

Well, the announcement  at the evening parade was made in the local language which he does not understand. So he asked his friend to tell him exactly what the teacher had announced. 

As it happens, the friend too understands little of the language. They are the only two in the whole school who reported late.

Forward to the meeting and half way through I asked for permission to leave. It was all being done in the local language, and I happened to be the only one who did not understand.

I’ll call the headteacher later for the summary of the meeting and what’s needed. Probably just a few more coins to take care of this and that, this free education has never been free for real.

Small town life has got its own challenges, and language is the biggest for me and my son. 

We’ve got to learn this language.

To Voi by transit truck

Travelling to Voi to spent a few days learning coastal dishes recipes and ice making business. I’ll be staying with a family that we stayed with in August during a convention (11 of us) from my aunts,  uncles to cousins and nephews, and my son too, they are a generous lot.

Left home at 9am walked to the stage waved down a truck but it passed along so some guy at the stage helped me and a few minutes later I was climbing up a truck. Never have I travelled in a truck before because for one I never trusted truck drivers. Its only when I moved to this town that I found out everyone including my aunts’ families preffered travelling by trucks to buses.

As soon as I sat down on the seat I discovered I had worn the wrong dress. It was well above the knees and I felt like I was giving a wrong impression. As it so happens along this highway ladies “in business” get onto trucks and if the driver is up for “the business” they get on with it at the next available stop, once done he continues with his journey as she waves another truck to a stop hoping to get another customer. Should have worn my recently acquired dera for it covers me down to my feet.

I think he noticed my discomfort and asked me to level the seat well thinking it was due to that. I took out my phone to start writing or continue reading Harry Potter e-books but then he started engaging me in small talk. Shortly after he asked me to send a friend of his money from his M-pesa account and went ahead to give me his pin number, I still remember it! I was really tempted to check his account balance but I resisted, I am that good!

I have travelled this road several times but being up the truck gave me a totally different kind of view. Watching everything from a few feet above gave a better view many meters ahead and all around. And some kind of pride like I was well above them all, looking down upon them. Even when vehicles like Prado’s and V8s passed along I only saw them as small cars for I was riding in the king of the road.

He happens to be full of stories, having been in the business since the late 70s and witnessed the towns along the road grow from singles shops to shopping malls. He talked about his family and even his latest girlfriend whom he met on the road and how it started and ended. I was all ears and no comments other than the usually ummm, really, how is that even possible to keep the stories flowing, especially when he touched on politics a topic I know very little about or just decide to be neutral and non partisan. 

I actually just smilled when he called my tribes men stupid because they do no rally behind his political leader as a group but make individual decision on who to support and hence look divided as a region.

We touched on religion too, and when he asked which religion I thought was the true religion I told him as the Bible says that the true religion can only be known by the action of its believers. It doesn’t matter if one raises people from the dead or does great deeds all that matters is their conduct, godly conduct. 

Am a story teller myself but I did not have a chance to tell any stories about myself, even why I was visiting Voi except that I’ll be staying till Thursday. He wonderd how and why I live in a small town in a region plagued by frequent drought when I come from western Kenya a land flowing with milk and honey. 

We arrived at noon just as the new SGR train was trailing over the town, it takes just over an hour from Kibwezi to Voi that’s pretty fast,  will definitely be the mode of transport in future when the kibwezi station starts operating.

All along I had not even given him my name which I did before climbing down his truck as I took his phone number so that I could send him his 300 Bob the cost of my journey. He trusted me to do so.

Looking forward to a great time in Voi.

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…...