Continued from Newbie in Nanyuki

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Sunday was blend-into-the-community day. And what better way to do this than to go to church. When I was getting lost yesterday, I spotted one PCEA church and one Baptist church down the road from the hotel. However, a friendly guard told me that the PCEA in town was much better and was not all Kikuyu. Hehe. It’s like I look like those people who pretend not to know Kikuyu. I followed his advice anyway and walked. He was concerned about why I was walking though and I told him walking is the best option for my chill mode. As you can tell, in places dominated by Kikuyu people PCEA is a church you will see everywhere, just like home. And they keep mushrooming.

So I set off on my little adventure of Nanyuki town. As a lot of major towns in Kenya, Nanyuki is pretty linear, with buildings congregating along the Nyeri-Nanyuki road. Remember your Geography lessons about types of towns/settlements? It is not quite the short distance I assumed it was from Sporty (as locals fondly refer to the hotel) to the church. I had to ask a bodaboda rider for further direction. It gets real hot in the morning here, funny enough. I kept walking, thinking all the while that I was clearly lost, but I was not going to ask another person for direction. He said it was opposite the Nanyuki General Hospital. No way I can miss that, right? Eventually I came by an old lady who was limping to church. I could tell she was headed to church because she was wearing an AIPCA headscarf tightly around her head.

Guys, I did it. I took the road alone and found myself in Nanyuki. Thanks to the urging of someone very close to me and a few calls (thanks 🙂 ), I am here on my first solo trip. I thought about visiting one of our neighbouring countries and then it hit me, I haven’t even seen half of Kenya. Calm down, Shiku. It’s better to get lost in a place with your M-Pesa and language than in another foreign land. You can bet I have made quite a number of wrong turns thanks to Google. I know I will continue making them, but that is how I am learning. I even got coolant added without my dad’s urging. Man I am so grownup!

Do I need to mention that the road all the way to Nanyuki is almost flawless? Makes me wonder why it was even mentioned in the Madaraka Day speech when other parts of the country obviously need roads. That is what I call misplaced priorities. Side note: Juja Mall be a Ghost Mall, I confirmed that. It took me about 4 hours to get here, thanks to a few wrong turns here and there. One it the Nyeri right-turn. I could hear my dad telling me to turn in my head, but Google was quiet. And then she spoke after a few meters and I decided to ignore her. “Take a u-turn,” she insisted. Thrice. So I stopped, took a breather and turned. Lol. I am so stubborn.

It’s Sunday. Sunday we preach, or rather, we used to preach when we were in tiptop shape. It has taken me days to build up to this post. Sometimes I think I will come up with a strict schedule, like Kariuki does at Kisauti, you know, drop a post, say, every Sunday. He drops his every Wednesday without fail. Also, his e-book is out, that’s how driven he is. He is that serious. I could do that, you know, write regularly and everyone expects the post at a certain time of day, so that if I miss out, I am accountable. I really could do that. It builds a great culture of discipline and passion cultivation. But I don’t. Why?

Well, today, like I said, is Sunday. And Sunday I preach. For a long time, I have not done so. For a long time, I have not done anything right to my spiritual self. I have not been growing. I have found myself in this routine of sorts every Sunday. I struggle to wake up, I make tea for everyone, do dishes (if I feel like), go back to bed again, wake up again, take a bath, go to church, teach Sunday school, scream my heart out at a 100 below-six-years-old kids then get out wondering why I feel drained. Scratch that. I always know exactly why I am drained. I am not supposed to teach every single Sunday without getting a break to recharge. For a long time, we had many teachers in my class, teachers that would teach on schedule, but along the way, things fell apart and became a matter of begging people to teach. I thought I could do it. I thought it would be selfish of me to just act like everyone else and jump ship, so I didn’t. I hang in there.

A friend of mine claims this space is gathering digital dust. I have never gone this long without writing. Over three months. So how about I kick this season off with some excuses, right? (Yeah we’re calling it a season now. Next level. 😀 )

If you know me and my digital communication habits, you know that if it’s a weekday, I will not reply to your text or even pick your call unless you said a prayer before you rang me. I will reply to your text at the end of the day, probably in bed. And if I do, it will be a very short reply because I want to be polite. You took your time to text me. I know you are also busy but you still took your time. Sometimes, I will not reply because you just said “hi”. I do not, for the life of me, understand why someone would just text anyone “hi” without another message attached. Like where in the world is this going? Sometimes I forget to reply completely until the next day. I am on a secret WhatsApp number, which for some strange reason, people just decided to be sharing with random people, so I uninstalled the app a few days ago too. So imagine, if I cannot text back because of how intense my weekday is, how will I even sit down and start blogging? This is a strong enough excuse, right? Well, not really Shiku, because you were not idle the past few years either.

Guest Post By Wanjiru Maina

1. Prepare. Or don’t.

I woke up on Saturday 11th and went for a run. 10 kms. Just like that. No prior practice, no warm up. I got there, said hi to a few familiar faces, got into my branded T-shirt and took off! I was out of breath by the 12th minute. My chest was not tight though, as is sometimes the case, whenever I ambush it with a sprint or a run. (Hihihi) Yea, I sneak up on it some times… And it curls up tight in what feels like a foetal position, fighting for its survival, not caring about mine! Smh! But before I digress, carried away by angina, the condition’s official name, let me share the lesson:

Sometimes, prior planning is just not workable. Either by design or by the design of laziness. That notwithstanding, what needs to get done needs to get done. Get in there with both feet. Roll up your sleeves and get doing. You will pant, you will get stuck, you will want to quit, but you will have started, and that is the most important step. To begin.

Oh, and it will be hard, prepared or not. ( I am all for planning, don’t get me wrong, but “adulting” has taught me that planning is not always feasible, and sometimes, even the most well done plans fall apart.)

I happen to celebrate my birthday at the end of the year. I turned 27 two days ago, on 29th December. The thing about celebrating your birthday at this point is that you are actually starting a new year in your life alongside a new calendar year. It’s always a nice thing because everyone is at home and in holiday mood. The other thing about the date is that no one will doubt that you were really born on that day, unlike a friend of mine, for instance, who was born on 1st January and had to show me his ID for me to believe it. Almost. Even that was not enough because I know thousands of Kenyans have 1st of January on their IDs for some strange reason. I think that is the default date if you don’t know your DoB. The other thing about this period in our house is that it is followed by my brother’s birthday on 30th. For the longest time as kids, we would celebrate it together. And then we grew up and it became a simple separate affair where everyone says something and we blow candles.

[su_dropcap style=”simple” size=”1″]N[/su_dropcap]ow this year was very different.

I started this year on a book high. I was so pumped I would read a book in a few days, despite work and all. Eventually I was going to burn out, and burn out I did. You will notice a trend, but here goes the books I loved in 2016 and those that I gave up on in the end.

The Girl With No PastThe Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Whoa. At some point I thought this was not going to make sense now that the past details were kept from the reader for so long, I got tired. Then everything made sense. Good read, save for the many repetitions.

I began with a psychological thriller, of course. Kindle store has this cool section it recommends current Kindle bestsellers. I was not disappointed with Kathryn Croft. Mostly because it reminded me of Girl on the Train but also because it is set in London. I noticed a trend, all the psychological thrillers I read in 2016 are set in London.

I have been known to make fun of my sister for crying too much at the slightest provocation. I find it a tad too much. But as a grownup, I probably cry more than I should and I only realized this in 2016. I am just from tearing over the movie Siege of Jadotville. This is an amazing story about a five-day gunfight between Irish soldiers and mercenaries in Katanga, DRC. I had never even heard of the story before today. You should watch it if you haven’t already. Before that, I was watching The Magnificent Seven. I cried over this one too. Seriously. I cry over everything. Sometimes I do it so much, I end up sobbing. I have this peculiar way of rating movies, if I don’t cry, it was not that good. Even something like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; I didn’t necessarily get the point of it or think it was an amazing movie, but I cried, so there is that. Something else, if a movie makes me spend minutes or hours on Google after the credits have rolled, that is an awesome movie.

Therefore, I will go down my Google History and tell you the movies that made me cry and Google, in addition to the above. I would track movies and shows I watched very easily in the past with what-was-that-app? I will remember by the time I am done here. Listed from most recent backwards.

You get a good amount of rain on you today. In a skirt. You shiver alright, but you have to go to church. Today is an interesting one. You have been separated into groups. You are in the 20+ group. The crazies. The facilitator decides you are going to break into smaller groups and discuss relationships. In the end, it is very clear you are one of very many singles. Too many. It’s a bit sad. It seems the issue is not really the men, like you’re all trying to believe. It’s you. The men also have their own issues, but from where you are seated, laughing at the shouting match, you nod at their points, while your fellow girls shout them down. It makes you wonder why you are in the group claiming independence and lack of compatibility. Why won’t you find someone who is compatible? One guy stands up and says girls are confused and do not know what they want. Reason, one girl said we want simple acts of love, another said guys are broke. You sure are confused. Or maybe you all just want different things.

First of all, I am, still, very single. I just did not feel like October warranted an entry in the Diary of a Single Girl. Accept my sincere apologies. Not. 😀

Now, onto the business of the day. What have I learnt this past week? A lot, but I will not number them today. I will also keep it short, we all have things to do.

I will start with the most recent. I discovered TAG today, thanks to Apple Music recommendations, again. I couldn’t stop playing Let My People Go. Good music from a barely known artist.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE9qzK3ds_U

There is something called infobesity, maybe you suffer from it. I know I did at some point, not so much now but it may still apply.

Let’s get right down to it. But before I tell you about that, what have I learnt this past week?

1. Mungu Pekee – Nyashinski

Awesomeness. That is what I am feeling right now. I was feeling real good today. On a Monday. I had cleared up a lot of work last night so I kinda knew I was going to have a good day today. I had all the time in the world to focus on all the work I love doing, you know, content and stuff. Then toward the end of the workday, I discovered this YouTube video/track today, at 5 PM. I cannot stop playing it. YouTube displayed it on the Trending section and I was like, why not? I have heard of Nyashinski before but I cannot tell you any of his songs. I had a feeling he was part of Kleptomaniacs or something of the sort. But who cares about that when there is an awesome awesome track coming through your eardrums? When the “Mungu Pekee” chorus came on, I knew I had heard it somewhere recently. Maybe Kubamba Radio. Not too sure. I did not fall for it then. But today, it’s like my brain opened up. And then, you know what’s more awesome, it has a lyric video! A Kenyan song has a lyric video!!!!! That is super amazing. I only see this with American music videos, tobyMac, MercyMe, Matthew West, name them.

Yaani I am so amazed, I cannot stop talking about it and telling everyone in the house about it. I even brought a little JBL speaker from the office to play the video on repeat. LOL. So deep. Rich content. Awesome awesome beat. Feel-good words. What more can you ask for? The song is making me repeat the word awesome and break so many grammar rules but again, who cares? You get the message, right? Question is, are these Kenyans songs available on iTunes? I want. And if they are not, why are they not? I would expect to see a link to the track or album in the YouTube description.

Oh, I just Googled. I was kinda right. They were Kleptomaniax. I saw Collo on The Trend on Friday too. I never watch the show after Larry and my brain broke up. But that Friday, I saw those kids dancing and I sat a little longer and watched. He was part of that group too, right? Good stuff.

Have you ever used something over and over again and not asked yourself what some parts of it do and never bother to find out? Well, I do that all the time. Last week, I learnt something new that made me feel very stupid. Thankfully, my stupidity gave birth to a new section of this blog. So here we are. Every week (so help me, God), I will write what I have learnt that week. I realize I learn so much and then it goes to waste without me sharing it. I discover things too, but only share them when it occurs to me that someone needs them. Sometimes, it’s just a reminder of something I had either forgotten or not taken too seriously. You know that Dead Sea analogy, if all you do is take in and never give out, you turn into a lifeless thing. I refuse.

One year ago, I wrote this post. I remember because of this awesome tool I use called missinglett_r. This amazing website lets me schedule blog posts for an entire year. I just sit back and relax, waiting to discover what it has posted on my Twitter after someone comments or retweets. So if you’re a blogger, you know what to do. It is mostly free. You’re welcome. 😉

Anyway, we were talking about singlehood. As usual. Maybe I should stop talking about it, right? In the meantime, as we chew on that thought, let’s see what has changed since one year ago. Am I still gaining weight? Nope. I have made a conscious decision to stop myself from doing so. It is not quite healthy, gaining weight ovyoovyo, to be honest. Regardless of all those all-up-in-your-biz mamas who keep asking why you are not eating during family get-togethers. Don’t listen to those mamas. They want you look like them, which is not healthy at all. Maybe they could avoid it themselves and it’s culturally acceptable to gain weight as a symbol of “having arrived”. If you can avoid blowing up without making a huge effort, then avoid it. Not even for the look but for the health of it all. Your future babies need you in one piece. Exercise. Eat natural things. Give natural yoghurt a shot. That thing sucks but it’s for the greater good. Tell yourself that, it will keep you going. 

It’s beautiful. Morning or evening. But especially in the evening, if you ignore the blinding sun that’s right on the windscreen at 6pm. That’s when I head home from work most times. It’s right there. The sun visor does not help. (Don’t worry, I didn’t know this is the exact word until I Googled. I was calling it a sunshade.) I’m too short. Bear in mind I hoist the seat to its maximum raised position. Anyway, I was talking about this beautiful phenomenon. The Southern Bypass is half empty half the time. Most times it’s just you and a truck. Once in awhile, a Porche Cayenne will whisk past. Or one of the million Harriers around. Sometimes, you’ll see those Kenyan Cowboy Pajeros. Then there will be a Vitz with a lady at the wheel. A red Vitz. A red Vitz that never leaves the right lane. You know it’s a lady because of the huge hair that goes above the driver’s seat. Not because it is a Vitz. Not because it will not move to the left lane. Tafadhali stereotypes peleka huuuuko. Other than that, it’s just you, blinded by the sun, and the sprawling nature. Sprawling in a nice way. That’s the beauty I’m talking about.