Friday, 21 June 2019

True wealth!!

Today (Friday June 21) I heard an inspiring sermon

It was based on the fruits of the Holy Spirit

That we spend so much time and energy trying to get material things (money, fame etc), yet at the end of our life.....what really matters was another form of wealth

That the  true wealth that we should be investing in is Love Joy Peace Patience Kindness Goodness Gentleness Faithfulness and Self control...the fruits of the Holy Spirit

Take a moment and reflect on how these shows up in your life and what legacy you wish to leave based on these fruits!

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Dr Margaret Ogola...

The year is 1994

I was a wide eyed first year student in Moi University, Chepkoilel Campus

I had joined the Catholic Students Association (CSA), and one evening we have presenters coming to speak to us. Never heard of her before and I have nothing to do (thruth be told) and so I say...why not? let me go and listen to the good doctor

Turns out that this was a game changer for me! The doctor was none other that Dr Margaret Ogola, author of the River & the Source and a brilliant doc as described in article below

The topic was family planning and what the catholic church says about this. All I remember is her candid and very simple breakdown of what hormon based family planning methods do to ones body...I took in every word and was shocked at the information, never had i had it explained so clearly!! This shaped my thinking big time! to this day, I do not advocate for hormonal based methods...thats me!!

Our paths were to cross again in 2011 the year she passed away....this was via a phone call....which again I can never see she was a Board member where I worked and I was asked to try and trace her so that we can make some changes to the Board. I looked for her number for months and finally one day...voom....when I called....a very frail voice picked....and she said yes, she was Dr Ogolla....but in cant quite sign anything....and I was like thats ok...get well wishes....and that was it.....last contact i had with her

So google reminded today that it would have been her 60th birthday

Rest well with the angels Daktari!

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Longonot musings...

So...I scaled Mt Longonot on Feb 23 this year (2019)

OK, actually more like I crawled my way to the top...and was shocked that it was just 3.5km to the top - felt like I had walked 35km!

The feeling to the top was mostly gruelling, wondering why am torturing myself to reach the top...but I soldiered on. The halfway rest point was a welcome relief, but I knew if I stayed there long enough I would not get to the top. So I picked myself up and did the last climb...I wanted to eat my banana at this halfway point but someone mentioned, better to wait....wish I hadn't listened to them! I needed the energy to take the final steps!

As I inched my way taking about 2 hours to the top, I was most of the time alone since the group I was with sprinted to the top...but no rush for me since they must wait for me to go up and get down....hehehehehe

Anyways, I have decided that this year its gonna be for me and mountains (well even hills count) and I plan to do at least 5 by September, so help me God!!

So since I took so long walking, I had a lot of time for reflection. Some things that went through my mind were

 - Goal setting - that all of us on this mountain that morning had one goal  - to reach the top! others had a secondary goal - to also go round the summit. So whether someone was dressed like they are from a formal meeting or headed to the gym...we were all on this mountain, so as to reach the top. Lesson is that to to reach the top of anything - effort is need to get hot and sweaty to get what you want and even it means waking up early (by4am) so that you are ready for this goal, do it!

- Self motivation - Lazima ujitume! - you tell yourself, I will conquer this mountain come rain (with hailstones) or shine... and you go head and do it!

 - The encouragement helps - you can do it! ahh, we are almost there! eh, dont stop, lets go....dont seat for too long - the amount of unsolicited advise was comical, but also encouraging to me. This is also when going down, you find yourself also encouraging others since this was done to you; telling them, you are almost there!

- The props - when taking on a task, the props are also important to help you along. So in this climb, an innovative person has sticks fore rent...yes for 50bob and this was the most helpful tool!! So know the props you need for a task, and use them!

 - Trust each other - i found part of the path when going back down rather slippery from the gravel, so one had to tread carefully. At some point a gracious man offered me his hand to hold onto since i looked like i was about to slip off the path! This was so welcome...and i only had to hold onto him for like 10 steps and I was back on the good path. So take help when offered!

 - Know your limits - going round the crater was not for the faint hearted. Since this was my second time in Longonot, I knew I was not going to go round the crater! Climbing to the top was top of my goal and I was not about to push myself

 - Have fun fun fun

will i do it again?? well....maybe, but not immediately, maybe in a couple of months

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Stepping into the unknown

There is something appealing about the unknown

That unclear path ahead

That grey thought in the mind

That hazy feeling of what to expect

That unfamiliar routine

That undisclosed location

That hidden possibility

That excitement of something new in the offing

So help me God

as I step into this unknown

out of my comfort zone

March 31, 2019

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

This day 30 years ago

So there was an internet craze that went round for the 10yearchallenge

and of course yours truly jumped on board and I must say i enjoyed seeing the various transformations that people have gone through in ten short years

then boom!

my sister who is a great reservoir of old photos sends me this pic of my highschool ID

I joined Form 1 on Feb 1 1989 - that's a whooping 30 years ago and I can remember the events of the day so well. Funny thing is that when i reminisce with former classmates on what we did in high school so many details are not clear in my mind, but my joining form 1 is crystal clear

We (my Dad & I) rocked into Limuru with those black London taxis...they were famous then...i think for KENATCO ....or something like that. Dont know if the taxi waited for my Dad  - probably. All i for sure that he was extremely proud of me joining this school and took me to school himself. Needless to say I think he came back only one other time to Limuru.....but I digress.

The admission process was smooth and I had with me all the items in the list as indicated, and I mean ALL, included a hockey stick and a squash racket!! all that cost an arm and a leg, and my dad could not hear of any logic of rationalising the list and getting only the most important...or essentials. The school looked very big and daunting...and I wondered for a brief moment whether I would fit it....we were finally shown to our rooms and I just loved the size....4 in one space...not like my primary where it was a proper dorm with over 50 children in one space. One roommate came from Turkana county, of course I had never interacted with anyone from that far off, and her stories of how dry the place was were quite interesting......sadly she left before we completed form 4 - sometimes I wonder what path her life took. The school 'houses' were named after rivers in Africa - I was assigned Zambezi ....interesting times ahead!

Thats how I began my secondary school journey...and endured the mostly chilly weather for another 4 years

Ahhh memories are made of this!!

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Power to Read

1998 was a year of many firsts

i graduated with my degree in december

and what a grand day it was!!

looking back at the photo

i looked so young


and to think that some classmates

were already mothers by then!!

i had also just landed my first real job

and getting into the thick of being


mukereketwa!! hehehehehehe


20 years later

am still reading

and doing all that pertains

to that degree

as I was ordered back then!!

cheers to many more

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Face of hope....

Remember this one?????

Face of hope...

All the stories recently in the media about KCPE, bursaries, corruption, needy deserving bright Kenyan students reminded me of what happened last week
Last Friday morning I was seating in a colleagues office in Marsabit town just chatting on different things – the kind of peace work they are engaged in, the girls and boys that are involved in the peace soccer tournaments that they organise, the fact that there are numerous human rights issues that happen all the time within Marsabit but cant be spoken about etc etc….what was evident was that growing up in northern Kenya compared to the rest of Kenya are two very different realities that either side simply cannot appreciate unless they consciously make an effort, hence no wonder the policies are so biased when it comes to what is relevant to Northern Kenya…and so on.
Then we got round to speaking about education and she mentioned that the levels of poverty are so high just like many parts of Kenya and the children who manage to at least finish primary school, simply end up lazing about in the village – the girls will probably be married by then and the boys become local ‘soldiers’. And we spoke on the different possibilities of getting support for these children because for instance several members of the soccer team that they sponsor will probably not go ahead to secondary school because of school fees. So far most of the scholarships offered one has to have had 350 points and above out of the possible 500– we ranted over how such scholarships should consider how difficult it is even to get these grades in these parts of the country and you cant have the same marks applied to all.
However, there was one advert from Jomo Kenyatta Foundation (JKF) which she placed outside their office and a Board member from a certain village 20km away told her that there was a young man from her village who has the requisite qualifications and so she asked him to come and see her. He came (on foot) and together they tried to complete the forms and get the requisite documents for the application. She had made copies of the forms they had filled so that he sends the originals by post. And so since I was coming back to Nairobi she asked that I carry the copies to JKF since she was not sure if the boy managed to post them and even if he did it would probably not meet the today (3rd February) deadline.
Imagine when she opened her office door, there he was, with his father, they had come back to her office so that his father can see who is helping his son and also to show her the extra supporting documents that they had managed to gather…so now this means that I was given the originals to safely deliver at the JKF offices on Enterprise road in Nairobi – I mean the look of hope in both their faces was palatable…the numerous thank yous that they were giving us was heart rending – at that point I really wished I was a JKF person so that I could give the assurance that he had the scholarship!!! Despite my colleague saying that all we are doing was ensuring that the form gets delivered, we are in no way associated with JKF and when they get the scholarship is when they should really thank JKF….
I can only imagine what was going through the old mans head, here was a man who had two other children who had equally passed their KCPE despite the odds, had been called to good secondary schools but their hopes of joining secondary schools were dashed since the father could not raise the requisite fees…yes I know this happens all over Kenya as well, but my hearts strings were really pulled as I sat meekly in that office accepting the envelope that was given to me with both hands as if to say, it’s a done deal!
God please help this young man get this scholarship and give him a fighting chance to get his family out of the unending cycle of poverty.