August Reads

There is a Malian proverb that goes, “You will never drown where you always take a bath.” 

I am looking forward to reading some awesome books that I bought from Nakumatt’s #BooksFirst yesterday.  I’m dreading their shut down because my life and my bookshelves have been kept ablaze with the books I bought from their store. For August, I am looking at these four titles:

  • Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • The Brazen Bride by Stephanie Laurens
  • Shadow Fever by Karen Marie Moning
  • Alexander (Book Two; The Sands of Ammon) by Valerio Massimo Manfredi

100_7020.JPG

Filters

Send me a filter,

One that hides a fighter.

I’m thinking Gingham, or Reyes, but not Sierra,

No, definitely not Sierra.

I’m thinking Hefe, or Nashville, but not X-Pro II,

No, too much color that one.

I’m thinking Clarendon, or Lark, but not Juno,

No, Juno reminds me of a pregnant teen.

I’m thinking Slumber, or Crema, or Ludwig,

Listen, how about Amaro, or Perpetua what of Aden?

No, Aden is not as bold as Ludwig neither is it as fancy as Sierra or Reyes.

I’m thinking Hudson, or Mayfair, but not Rise,

No, I’ve used Rise in most of my pictures.

I could use it to get a rise out of my followers,

I bet they’d never notice…1,000 is something right?

The more they are the fewer the likes, the more the stream of photos…I could use Rise.

Wait, you can’t settle for Rise?

Why not? It’s my photo and my Gram.

Yeah,but there’s Moon, Lark, Willow and Inkwell,

Why not give them a try, see how your photo gains a different perspective.

Is it about perspective?

Yes, why do you use filters?

Hello, are you there? Why do you use filters? I asked a question…

Hello?

Send me a filter; one that hides a fighter.

Okay…

Send me a filter, a good filter, one that hides a fighter, a fighter who’s forgotten what she’s fighting for.

Send me a filter, not because I asked for it,but because you feel every ounce of your soul slowly slipping through your version of events.

Send me a filter,

Send me.

Send

End.

Make or break; safeguarding a relationship

It is 8:15pm as I write this. I had tea and a chapati for supper then took a motorbike to Nakumatt where I bought a 250ml strawberry yoghurt. I bet you don’t really need to know that, but I am prone to digress, for it takes a while for a story to develop. 

This will be my last night in Bungoma and I am not looking forward to sleeping early because last night all I heard was the sound of someone snoring like a truck.

I sat up in bed from 1:44am to 3:45am reading Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie. The snoring ceased at 4:20am and by then I could not go back to sleep.

What’s more important in a relationship? 

A lady asked me this particular question at the restaurant where I was having my tea for supper. She’d joined her friend, someone called Milly, yes, she said “Milly with a y sio e!” They were sharing about a friend who seemed to make wrong decisions thinking she was doing the right thing. This friend was struggling to save the trust they’d built with a certain guy and her actions seemed to generate the unexpected results.

They turned to me, “what do you think? Like, don’t you think she should forget him, I mean if you don’t trust each other why stay together?”

“No, but why would you walk away without sorting out your problems, Milly,imagine leaving a guy and constantly wondering why things went wrong, si utarudi kwa ex yako kila time,” added Fannie. They went on for a while as I stuffed my face with chapati hoping for a clear exit because they did not need my opinion.

It is true that when a couple openly express their views and emotions, it fosters an understanding that with time builds on trust. On the other hand I have seen couples who in their need to be open and be true, drift apart. It’s not that they did not love and cherish one another, but in their communication, they managed to push their partner away rather than draw them closer.

When such situations arise, three things could happen and if I could dig into some psych understanding, these are; fight, flight, freeze. Let’s call them the 3 F’s.

The disconnect in how they communicate and express themselves can lead to a fight, or it can make one to opt out of the relationship either emotionally or physically and finally it can stagnate the relationship, where the couple cannot grow psychologically or emotionally and it’s a constant case of ‘it’s complicated.’

Milly and Frannie went on debating on who was right and which action was best so much so that they did not see me make an exit. If they did then they did not mind my absence as much as they minded my presence, but between you and I, the friend they were talking about was Fannie. 

So, Fannie, if you are reading this, I hope I spelled your nickname as it should be. I also hope that you look within to understand your actions, were they initiated as reactions or to support what you wanted? I am no preacher of love. I however love writing and reading romance novels. I am also not a guru, if I were, I’d be having a show on “Love,here’s what I did” on TV. All I know as I type this is that inasmuch as we speak the truth, and strive for openness in any relationship, there’s also the need to safeguard trust in how we pay attention and focus on how we express ourselves and the effect it has on the other person.

A friend was once given the silent treatment for six months because he told his expectant wife “unakula nyingi sana.” She said, her decision had nothing to do with hormones but when he told her that she almost went to the kitchen gorged the baby out of her womb and inserted into his stomach. She felt as though she was the only one who was involved in conception. 

Now that I think about it, I reckon she might have thrown everything at him had her hormones been involved, but hormones or not Fannie, words can slice and sink deeper than claws. 

Travel diary; Bungoma 

I recently shared my experience in Chavakali and an interesting turn of events at The Crying stone in Mukhonje.

My trip to Western Kenya saw me visit Bungoma county today and I was so excited to be back that the team we were traveling with thought I was high on my own expectations. I love Bungoma. I love Kakamega. Honestly, I love where I can get some good milk tea and a whole cob of well roasted maize at twenty shillings. Please don’t remind me of Kapsabet, Kitale, Eldoret and Londiani…we are talking about Bungoma and Kakamega here.

So, we made our way through Kakamega to this place and arrived at around 3pm. We drove around looking for someplace to stay, with a limited budget, I kept reminding people in the car that any hotel behind Barclay’s Bank was out. During my previous stay I had no sleep because of the loud music played from the pubs around and in more than one occasion, I found myself listening in on more than I could handle. 

We drove along Moi Avenue (yes,there is a Moi Avenue in Bungoma) and we came to The County Comfort Hotel. I stepped out and asked for the rates and a chance to scout the room to see if it appealed to me. 

When I saw the room, I settled in, picking the most spacious of them all. It did not come with an awesome view because it overlooks the Shariff Centre which is a pit stop for Easy Coach buses. 

I did however love the tiny electric kettle they set up on the table. 

The receptionist told us we could prepare some instant coffee or tea with what they had provided. When she said this everyone turned to see me light up. The Driver however asked if his room had a mini fridge and Tusker, and when she said no, he walked back into the hallway. 

I am looking forward to visiting Chwele and though my stay is a short one, I hope it goes well and I can’t wait to visit more places.

Out and about in Western Kenya

It’s my second day in Chavakali and I’m onto my second teapot of the evening as I type this.

Chavakali is in Vihiga county and being here has had it’s peaks one of which is the extraordinary tea they offer and the other is that my Father once taught at the Chavakali Friends School. I found myself drawn to the school in a bid to retrace my Father’s foot steps and once I got to the gate, it felt like a whole three decades since he taught there.

I do however wish that the network reception for Airtel was 3G here because there is nothing as frustrating as having 5GB of data bundle and not being able to access emails or connect to internet because it’s forever unavailable. 

The best part also is that the hotel I checked into stated they have WiFi but no one knows the password or the network name, including the Hotel Manager.

I did visit The Crying Stone of Kakamega which is about a fifteen minute drive from Chavakali. We were looking for a place to park when two kids shouted at us “Crying Stone, we’ll take you,” and we let them lead the way. The boy, roughly aged 10 led the way while his younger sister gave us a brief historical background on the stone and the people living around the area.

The first stone at the entrance

When we climbed all the way towards the stone we met a man and three women, they told us the stone was on their ancestral land and asked for a viewing fee of three hundred shillings. We offered to pay a hundred because I had set aside some sixty shillings for the kids and felt cheated because it’s the kids who did all the work. They flagged us down, offered a history lesson, climbed those steep slopes with us and even showed us where to step. The adults took a while deliberating and when I started walking away, one of the women agreed and urged us to go ahead.

It’s a short steep climb to the rock, but for our visit, we didn’t see any tears…rather a wet patch and this huge rock. It’s breathtaking. 

The Crying Stone of Kakamega

I’ll visit a few more places then proceed to Bungoma where I can’t wait to see what’s changed since my last visit.

It’s raining now and I am hoping the Lady who served me tea can add me another teapot as I write a few chapters of Ushanga.