Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Last Post?

I've barely been on this blog in ages, it may be time to officially retire from it. It's time for me to move on in many ways.

I have finally graduated from university--I do wish my parents would have been present but I know they're proud of me. They've been my biggest influence and deserve credit for any accomplishments I may have because they always believed in me. I get sentimental when I think of them. All my family members have been very supportive of me. I was in tears a couple of weeks because I got so homesick. It's funny how I was so eager to get done with school, now I realize so many things I'll miss.

Over time, our identities evolve as we take up new roles in new places and grow up. I know I'm not the same person I was when I started this blog. While I'm still 20-something, I'm not as idealistic about the world. I have travelled many distances and learned a lot about myself. Different experiences have made me develop deep compassion and learn not to take the priviledges I have for granted. Now, it's time to consider a new job, and moving to a new city or state. Who knows where I'll be this time next year?

There's so much to look forward to---including attending a bloggers meetup in Nairobi one of these fine days....

Thursday, April 10, 2008

5 Books

In between my studying, I've read a number of books. Some I penda, others are just for when you need fill your time.

1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.
This is a must read for everyone! Beautifully written. Emotional. Powerful. The descriptions give such a vivid picture of what beauty Afghanistan had before the Soviets moved in and war broke out. And that scene that caused so much controversy when the film was released could just break your heart. I haven't seen the film.

2. The Illiad by Homer
I went to a play "Troy" that had lots of references to ancient Greek myths so I decided to read the book. Still not done. It's amazing how the same themes repeat themselves in history today with war and politics.

3. Sex and the Single Girl by Helen Gurley Brown.
Hard to believe this book was originally published in 1962. The themes are just as real today. And no, the book is entirely about sex. It also talks about work and has funny stories, decorating tips, and recipes. Ladies, read this one.

4. Grace (eventually): Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott
You don't have to be religious to appreciate this book. Spiritual awareness is enough to appreciate The writer is funny and doesn't preach at anyone. Just shares her experiences that make it easy for one to relate. Talks about motherhood, friends dying, her writing career, church, etc. Makes you realize that making mistakes is human and we don't have to be saints to be spiritual. I first heard her a few years ago at a book reading. So I bought one of her books and got it autographed.

5. An Ordinary Woman by Donna Hill
A newly married man has an affair with his wife's best friend. This book tells the story from everyone's point of view and shows just how complex things get. And hearing from "the other woman" is really refreshing 'cause she's always demonized--even though it takes two to have an affair. Great writing.


Is there such a thing as being overambitious? Usually it's considered a great thing to have lofty goals and expectations....but sometimes a reality check is needed. I have this love-hate relationship with so-called over-achievers (I may have been one in the past) because I admire all they do but yet make some of us look bad=) Most people don't do it on purpose and I hold nothing against them. But there are those arrogant few who seem to enjoy gloating. And truth is, some have a right to. Well, comparing yourself to others doesn't get you far 'cause everyone deals with different circumstances and challenges. People have different resources, skills and talents that propel them to different places. Competition is just fierce with all the things we have to struggle to achieve these days: the education, career, finances,investments, while maintaining relationships,health and spiritual balance. One thing or another is often sacrificed along the way.

I heard about a guy who committed suicide (I didn't know him personally)--I'm told he was young, educated with a great job, great family,...etc. My heart goes out to his family and friends. After any kind of death, but especially suicide, people are left feeling guilty for not preventing it. Yet it's possible to be close to people who don't know what the hell is going on in your life. We might do it to protect those we love. And I don't think getting to the top (careerwise) is ever enough, there's always pressure to maintain your position and keep going. And it's a task to maintain balance in life. It may be morbid, but I think about what my funeral: who would show up, what would be said, the music (I want Pachelbel's Canon in D and Pink's "Who Knew"....I got into "Six Feet Under" and I'm on the 4th season now. There aren't many forums for discussing death openly and tv shows do get us thinking about these issues. A lot of family drama can be avoided if people would share their wishes with loved ones. I'm also a fan of Nollywood films and the dramas on it hit closer to home.

Talking about endings, graduation time is coming up and the big question "What next?" There are always options (if only 2). Time for changes and exploring new places. The current economical recession has made things tight for everyone. Well meaning people can give advice but it doesn't always work. But it's always great to hear different opinions and views. In the end, we've got to ask "What do I want?"

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Power and Taking Risks

There's so much happening on the political scene both at home and over here. I've not been keeping up with the news much apart from listening to NPR. The day we have a new constitution in Kenya will be historic. The idea of power sharing is brilliant, making it work will be an ongoing challenge. It's just like relationships, it takes a delicate balance of power to satisfy everyone.

I'm an Obama supporter all the way; I decided to contribute a little something to his campaign. Too bad I can't vote. As for the scandal surrounding Spitzer, what can I say? Obviously embarassing, but he won't be the last one caught in such a compromising position. It's no excuse, but even the name "The Emperor's Club" sounds tempting. One thing I have learned, it's often simpler to tell the truth and apologize. Especially when there's blatant evidence. But if you're trying to get away with something, it's necessary to destroy the evidence. Delete the emails. Destroy the pictures. Pay cash instead of credit. Imagine that your phone is tapped, 'cause it very well may be. Follow these tips at your own risk=)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

"Not Quite What I Was Planning"

is the title of a book made up of 6 word memoirs. Some by celebrities, others by regular people. I read about it this weekend in The New Yorker and was instantly thrilled with the idea. Summarize my life in 6 words? I'm always up to a challenge so I pulled out a 4x6 card and started writing whatever came to mind.... I kind of identify with the title of the book. It was written by a 25yr old hair stylist from Minneapolis. I plan to read the book.

Friday, February 15, 2008

San Diego Rugby 7s

San Diego was lovely.

Got to the airport late and was convinced I missed my flight. Of course there was a long line at the Southwest counter. You could sense the impatience in the line; meanwhile the workers appeared to be moving in slow motion. They seemed understaffed. But then again, that's probably why we can get cheap tickets. When I finally got to the front, I found out all the flights were running an hour late so I made it =)

Cruising down North Harbor Drive from the airport to downtown, I could see people walking around enjoying the sun. I love cities where you can actually walk around. (I think people tend to be fitter too when they can get out of their cars and walk around--the mall doesn't count.)The ocean was right there, huge ships and small sailboats were docked by the water and palm trees stood proud and tall along the roads. Too bad I didn't get a picture to share. I was asking myself, "Why don't I live here?"

Fast forward to reuniting with old friends and attending a concert Sato night with our talented Kenyan musicians performing: Nonini and the Longombas. The Djs were fabulous.The only downer was it got really cold. We were outside the city in one of those huge tents. And you know how us ladies tend to wear those cute skin-baring outfits to parties? I kept my jacket on.

Anyway, the Kenyan team made news even before they played their first game. One of the San Diego magazines was talking about how they did well even though things were rough at home. There was also a commentary about how Kenyan fans are the loudest and most enthusiastic. So true! It was great to feel the energy of the crowd and the pride we had identifying ourselves as Kenyans.

Sunday night, I saw Jua Cali perform. He had incredible energy and got the audience going. I missed the previous performances by Amani and Ida. The club was really nice, with the celebs in their vip area. Afterwards, people were taking pics with celebz and buddies. The after bash was at the tent place once again (it was still freakin' cold!). And this time, the security detail at the door were being a-holes: once you paid and entered, you had to remain inside for the rest of the night. And nobody under 21 was allowed in. Since when was age an issue with Kenyans? While I am over 21, a buddy in our group wasn't. Funny thing, it wasn't an issue the night before. Anyhow, we couldn't get past the door because of a very stubborn security person who identified us. We tried getting the organizers to help. A few tried, but I remember one dude who brushed me off by informing me he was on his way to the airport. Apparently, there was an off-duty cop or two among security. This was a faux pas on the part of the organizers--Take over djs. If this was a purely Kenyan event, then there should be Kenyans at the door controlling who gets in and out. Anyway, the rugby team came to the party and people got a chance to mingle with buddies and celebz alike before heading back to their hotels and catching a flight out of San Diego. Till next year!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

"Some say the world will end in fire...."

in the words of Robert Frost.

The world is seriously f*d up: My grandma and some relaz were forced to flee their home recently following an attack in the ongoing post-election violence in Kenya. The area was being set on fire. We are so grateful that they're safe. I cannot imagine the depth of grief for families that have lost loved ones, and not getting a chance to mourn and bury them in peace.

There are too many tragic events unfolding and everyone knows a family member, neighbor, or friend who's affected regardless of tribe or political affiliation. Seriously...what is this world coming to? There are too many inaccurate assumptions about which tribe voted for a particular candidate: I have relaz and friends on opposing sides of the PNU/ODM divide and it's a rather random distribution. I'm sure a number of people out there can relate. Many of us grew up away from our original tribal homes and consider those places home even though our tribes are not from there. According to a sibling of mine, it's like we've regressed to pre-colonial times with tribes attacking each other with bows and arrows. Then it was mostly over cows; now it's more complicated.

When will the violence end? When will we realize that attacking each other will not bring us peace or prosperity? Sadly, when no legitimate means of expressing discontent and challenging the system exists, the final resort tends to be violence. ( Some of Fanon's observations in "Wretched of The Earth" ring so true in the scenario that is playing out. ) Then, the powers that be pay attention. Or do they? We're making the headlines for all the wrong reasons....it is interesting how many compliments Kenya's getting: "economic powerhouse" "most stable economy" "beacon of democracy"...etc.

P.S.-Rugby 7s is coming up next weekend in San Diego. I'm looking forward to bonding with fellow Kenyans. It will help to come together in solidarity during these troubled times.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Sad Beginning for Kenya

This is a sad time for Kenya with all the post-election violence going on. It seems so unreal that these things are going on in our home. I am very grateful that my parents are doing fine. It is so hard to imagine that the small community where we live is no longer a peaceful haven: people's homes have been burned down, there are roadblocks everywhere and gangs are terrorizing innocent citizens. Communities are being ripped apart and word from home is the death toll is higher than what is being reported in the western media. I've been tuned in to NPR and their BBC broadcasts. My prayers go out to my fellow Kenyans regardless of tribe and political affiliation. And yet, let not all the work and sacrifice by those on the ground be for nothing. We have come so far as a country--Kenyan citizens have evolved into a higher consciousness and demand that their voices be heard loud and clear. We have come too far to go back and undo the gains we have made as a country and as a people. After all, Kenya is home