A-Z 2015 Friend List

The other night, when insomnia decided to take a hold of me, I lay in bed and thought about my life. These kind of thoughts usually take place at the most random of times don’t you think? At 3-4am. They say this is also the time the body is at its weakest and people tend to pass on at this hour? Creepy huh? So anyway, I lay there not feeling weak (thank God) and seriously thought about my life this past year.

As I was thinking, something I had done during the day crossed my mind. It hit me that I am in a profession where we applaud people for taking a shit and I love it(my profession that is!).That thought made me laugh, yeah! I was laughing alone in bed at 3am. For a moment there I doubted my own sanity. Then I realized that I maybe had taken 2015 too seriously. Life is never that serious now is it? Laugh a little. Even at 3am.

It’s a little overdue but 2016 is still young. I contemplated not doing this. Writing no longer appeals to me as it once did, but what the Heck? So let’s do a 2015 friends list. As usual it is in alphabetical order. These are the people that made my 2015 what it was in one way or another, those that drove me inase and those that helped me remain sane.

Apple: Always at the top of my list, and not just alphabetically. You are God sent. Thanks for letting me vent, for offering your shoulder regardless of the distance, for the prayers, the commitment, the laughs, the love and the crazy advice. I’ll keep it short. You know your worth.

BonkeD: You know someone is your friend when you move houses and have nothing, then during a random conversation you mention a craving for eggs and they drive over from their house just to bring you eggs, a frying pan and scorch bright to clean the pan after making the eggs. If that is not friendship, I don’t know what is. You go girl. Dec is just around the corner.#thisyearmanenoz.

Cotton: Still trying to figure out what I will feed you when I take you to Kenya. Will probably just abandon you in Mombasa and hope you find a way to survive. Thanks for being the most awesome chauffeur, tour guide, driving instructor, and generally just an amazing friend. Freedom was long overdue.

Dear Bro: I am forever indebted to you. May God bless you and yours. I only have one of you, but that doesn’t matter, you are irreplaceable. Sometimes I feel kind of sad that you do not have a brother and therefore do not know just how awesome it is to have one.

Doc: Let’s get whatever it is we need to get out of the way already and go on with our lives for goodness sake!!! Jeez!!!You are a soldier and you are amazing.Cheers to happiness,peace of mind, blah blah blah? No? Ok. Kunguru it is then.

Fray: Who would have thought? Why did it take us this long to be friends when we were in the same school for three years and have so much in common? Doesn’t even matter. I am blessed to have you as part of this list. Project 2016, let’s see who gets to it first. Me or you.

JayJay: You should have appeared in these posts years ago. Better late than never though. You are missed, loved and ever so appreciated. Your soul is kind and your conversations are always so captivating.

LK: Ati I should do what now? What mind set? Change it? Change churches too? I’d like to hear what Tenya thinks about that(lol). I know I am not allowed to say Thank you, but how can I not? Ok, I wont. Thanks. x.

Mish: Not even the distance. A forever constant whether I say it or not. Was just thinking about this the other day, that time we were in Nai together, why did we not even take a photo? Guess the best memories don’t need to be put on film, they are forever engraved in our minds and hearts.

Mrs. Marangeti: Congratulations. May your 2016 be filled with blessings (wink?). You have gotten busy, but I will make you  make it up to me don’t even doubt it. I keep checking my mailbox for this video I was promised.

PeachyPeach: Thank you. Thank you for showing me my worth. For making me understand that I deserve the best and then some. Thank you for strengthening my resolve. For making me realize that I can get through whatever even during the times when all I want to do is lay down and die. I wish you nothing but happiness in 2016. May all your dreams come true.

Renee: Do you remember threatening to come over here and slap sense into my thick head? Girl stay put. No need for that as my head is no longer thick and though it may have taken a while, sense sank. You are a beautiful and strong.I can’t wait to see what you will be up to this year. Fancy seeing you on TV like that. Now I know how you look!

The fact that this list gets shorter every year has not gone unnoticed. For the forever constants, I got mad love. For the newcomers welcome. To my family, what would I be without you all? To all my other friends, you are appreciated.

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A-Z 2014 Friend List

The last time I did this was in 2012. A-Z 2012 friend list among the first things I ever posted. I was inspired back then,I thought I could word out my thoughts and share them with the world just like that,but boy was naïve; I like to believe I’m a little more grown since. I should have done it again in 2013 but well, 2013 was something else. Plus somewhere along the way, I think I lost my writing mojo.(writing mojo? definitely writing mojo.) I’m still trying to figure out where it was I placed it and I tell you, so far it has been elusive. Maybe I’ve been busy, distracted, lacked a story that was worth writing, but mostly, I just haven’t felt like it. I take full responsibility.

So as the year comes to an end, I hope I will find my misplaced mojo(writing mojo), y’all can help me look for it. That way, maybe 2015 can be more inspiring. Either way, as the year comes to an end, let me give it a shot and take a moment to celebrate the people that have made it worthwhile for me. I look at my 2012 list and oh, how it has changed. There are some constants no doubt but don’t we all need to make peace with the fact that some friendships were not meant to last a life time? You lose some along the way and you make some. Such is life.

So here goes; it’s all in alphabetical order. Don’t read too much into that.

Apple: of mine. Thanks a million for remaining a constant. For taking my crap and calling out my bullshit. For offering to hold my hand at a doctor’s appointment that has never been. (Yeah, I know I know, it’s long overdue, but oh well…) For offering me your professional advice even when I didn’t want it, (Runs and hides.) and most of all, thanks for being my best friend, my confidant, my sister. Love you to the moon and back.

Dear Bro:I have known you all my life. And all this time I have known you, I thank God for it the privilege. The highlight of my year was that trip in July, and meeting my awesome niece. If at one point in your life you ever doubt yourself, if you ever feel like you aren’t good enough (as we humans often feel.) if you ever wonder if your purpose on earth was met, you look at that kind and loving girl, and know that you at least did that one thing right. And thanks again, for being My biggest Fan yet.

Doc: This is long overdue, but I’ll say it anyway. Thanks for giving me a chance even when I did not believe in myself. For always being just a phone call away and for talking me through stuff when I was in panic mode, the free consultations, and suturing a banana? We’ve gots to do that again. I owe you big time. Get your lime cordial and ice (you know where the whiskey’s at) and let’s toast to you. Thank you for the opportunity.

HDI: Hanne, Faiyu, Nengneng mchakamchaka, Jeffa, you guys have been awesome. You made waking up every morning to go to work worth while. It was fun laughing with you all…the arguments that never led anywhere. You guys are crazy. lets do this again next year. Or maybe not.(wink wink) Team awesome, always a pleasure working with you..

Kalebski: Heeey cuz? This year has been tough huh? Sorry for the tough love I showered on you and for the occasional “I told you so’s.” It was all coming from a good place. We all make mistakes in life, but what counts is how we move forward from those mistakes, and look at you now, I could never be more proud of you. Thank you for the financial advice and although it took me forever, don’t they say better late than never? No? Hug that little munchkin for me now, will you? Thanks.

Kemanyi: Congratulations on everything. Didn’t I always tell you that you could do whatever you set your heart out to do? Didn’t I? Thanks for being my Insomnia buddy, and thanks for the love even when I cut my hair. (Insert smiley face here, I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt.) Never again!!! don’t stress.  All the best in everything.

Lilz: what to say really? This is me hanging in there, waiting, watching, and praying that 2015 will be awesome. I’m trying… but come on, give a sister something to hold onto. Seeing is believing, huh?

Lungz: I can’t wait for your private practice, so that I can come for free dental checkups and exploit our friendship to the maximum. No, I’m not kidding by the way. LOOL! I am proud of you and what you have become. Thanks for being awesome to my dad. I wish you all the best in everything you do as I always have. May you grow up to be the awesome person you always aim to be.

Mrs Marangeti: I am laughing out loud. No kidding. That’s an awesome name, and I hope I got it right. Thanks for coming through when shit hit the fan (excuse my language but there is just no other way of putting it.) Thanks for always coming down those two hundred stairs just to open the gate for me. I promise that my number one new year’s resolution (other than the usual one about the gym) is to learn to open the damn gate.

PeachyPeach: your patience is extra ordinary, your devotion out of this world. Your hug the warmest, your smile the brightest and for you, I will forever be grateful. It’s been a tough year, but joy comes in the morning doesn’t it? Thanks for taking my crap and for making me smile through the tears.

Renee: how is it possible, to feel so connected to someone you have never met? I identify with your stories so much that sometimes I feel like we sat down for tea, had a conversation and you went and wrote about it the next morning. This year hasn’t been the easiest for you I know, but hold your head up high clasp those little girls’ hands, tightly, and together walk towards a brighter new year, for you my friend are stronger than even you think you are. Thanks for sharing your life.

There is so much more I could write, but there is only so much space. To all my other friends, please don’t feel left out, you are appreciated. To my family you are the AWESOMEST.

The Eighth

He asked me to promise him I wouldn’t cry, I don’t make promises I can’t keep so I told him I would try and changed the subject. We said our goodnights and I hang up the phone, and then I curled myself into a ball and cried my heart out like it was the last day on earth.

No, he hadn’t broken my heart; he hadn’t even been the bearer of bad news, and yes according to him I was still the apple of his eye. Cheesy no? Anyway, my crying had nothing to do with him. Well, not in that sense anyway. It kind of had something to do with him, and the fact that he knew I was probably going to cry proved just how much he knew me and that fact did not help matters. So I opened the flood gates and cried until my poor little heart had had its fill.

I was sick; don’t judge, I’m not a wuss. I don’t normally cry when I’m sick. Here I was, sick and lonely, far from home, friends and family, Surrounded by people who did not acknowledge my existence leave alone my sickness. My teachers in college could not stress this point enough. Pain is subjective. Just because he/she looks and acts ok, doesn’t main that his/her pain is nonexistent. So by now, you should understand why a phone call from that particular person would have me in tears. Wuss? I wouldn’t care less. I think at some point, a girl is allowed her tears. That being said, I think the person that came up with long distance relationships should be put in a box, have it dropped into the deepest sea and then have the keys melted into something more useful to the world. Too harsh? Why do I feel unapologetic?

Malaria is a bitch people, it’s worse than karma. It makes your head pound, leaves you feeling like a rock band is constantly drumming in your head all with malicious intent. It leaves your mouth tasting like you chewed onto some unnamed metal. It gives you chills and a fever that gives the so much talked about menopausal hot flushes a ran for its money. It takes your appetite and throws it out to the dogs. Did I mention the joint and muscle pain? That’s also part of the so well crafted package. It is relentless, it leaves you no peace. And as if that was not enough, it is also the number five killer disease in Kenya according to center for disease control. Maybe that is why next time you land on a “tuangamize malaria” campaign ad on YouTube, you shouldn’t be so fast to click on skip ad.

So now you all know that I cry. That this strong face is just that, a strong face. Well that’s beside the point, this post is not about how strong (or not strong) I am. Sorry if I had you confused, it is not about malaria either although malaria is a real killer. Maybe you should actually take a minute and think about what you and the next person are doing to “Angamiza” it. Maybe you should plant a neem tree, get rid of stagnant water around you, buy your family nets and mosquito repellent. Here I go again get distracted, forgive me,I get passionate about stuff, and then I get carried away.(I hope you can forgive me given that I haven’t written for so long, I must have forgotten how it’s done.)

Let’s get back to the main point of this post. This post is for Him: He who made that call that left me in tears. He who holds my hand in the dark and makes it ok for me to face my uncertain future. He who says it’s ok for me to cry, that I don’t need to be strong all the time. He who loves me good and bad, he who pisses me off it makes me want to scream, yet he who makes me so happy I could burst. I could go on and on but all I wanted to do was to tell him thank you. Thank you for being there, thank you for being patient. Thank you for being you. Happy 8th. It’s not always been roses and sunshine, it’s been thorns and rain too. It’s been a journey, that’s been a blessing.

My biggest Fan

He sits on the bleachers and cheers me on. Regardless of whatever it is I am doing. He cheers the loudest, he doesn’t care who is watching, or listening, he is always there. Through life’s tough races and even though sometimes I loose he is still there with me, encouraging me to pick myself up and try again. When I do I win, and he is right there besides me letting me bask in the glory of my triumph not taking any credit for all the cheering that encouraged me on when I thought I couldn’t make it.

We go way back, he probably doesn’t remember this, but I remember him defending me from bullies in school. I cried when I went to boarding school and left him behind, he made me promise not to cry as I watched him leave the country for what would be years and years. I kept my promise, I didn’t cry, but I remember going to the bathroom and retching my guts out.

He gets a little over protective and while he wouldn’t put his foot down to tell me what I can or can’t do, from him, I know the “gentleness” that is tough love. He doesn’t shy away from telling me exactly what he thinks. He disproves of some of my choices and although I have disappointed him a couple of times, I am yet to hear the “I told you so’s” .  I’m all grown,but for some reason he still thinks i’m his responsibility. He took me back to school and did his best to see that I remained there even when things were tough. (And for that, I will forever be grateful). He spoils me they say, (don’t ask who they know themselves) but only a little, or not.( Put cheeky smiley here.)

He is no angel this brother of mine, sometimes he pisses me off I have smoke coming out of my ears…No, it’s never been that bad and I don’t even remember the last time we got into a fight. (ok I remember but who cares?) I only have one of him and  my life wouldn’t be the same without him. I pray that every girl would have a big brother like mine.

I called him to wish him a “happy birthday” and the conversation ended up being about me and how I was about to start a new chapter in my life. ( No, i’m not getting married, at least not yet. Hold the “congratulations” for  just a little bit and stop with the pressure. Patience people, patience! soon though.) He doesn’t like the attention and this post would have him blushing from here to mars. But I don’t care, I will take this opportunity to wish my big brother a HAPPY BIRTHDAY. You are way too kind, you are way too modest, so on this special day, lets make it all about you.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Kingosh (lol remember that one?).

Goodbye…Such a sad word.

February 29th, 2009. I remember it like it was yesterday. The minute I walked out of that airport, I wanted to go back home. First,It felt like I had walked into an oven. The place was hot!!! I felt the heat instantly. I felt it on my face, on my skin,gosh I even felt it on my hair. I felt it in my nostrils when I took in my first breath,and the smell…the smell…It’s different.  That uncomfortable heat that I still haven’t gotten used to four years down the line. Yeah it was summer, I understand that but this place is hot even if it isn’t summer.

I started missing home even before I changed my money and took a cab to where I was headed. I reached my destination, got a sim card and called home. The connection was bad, I missed my mom, I wanted to go back so bad. I dreaded the heat, I dreaded everything, then the culture shock hit. Everything was different, the way people behaved here, the food, the weather, the transport everything was different. I hated most of all being stared at. These people can surely stare at someone. sometimes I used to wonder if I had grown a beard overnight.

That was then. It would take  years for me to share my experiences of this place. They have been many. Some have been bad, like when I had a kid of not more than four years call me a negro as I walked down the street, or how teachers would look me straight in the eye and explain an important point in the native language knowing fully well that I couldn’t understand. Should I talk about the giant cockroaches that fly in the night? or the heavy rains called the typhoons that would make us miss class for weeks sometimes? Let me save all that for another day.

It hasn’t all been bad you know. When you look past the dreadful heat,(that’s the one thing people, the one thing! And when someone from Makueni tells you that a place is hot, you best believe it.) So look past the heat, then you will enjoy a country that is beautiful and green despite the heat. A country with a variety of fruits some which I had never heard of before. A country where you don’t have to go to the coast to see palm trees, where coconuts are abundant and “buko juice” (that’s coconut water and with time, it became a favourite) is in plenty and pineapples, the pineapples are everywhere, and they are cheap too.

With time, I got over the culture shock. At first, tolerated the place, then it eventually became home. I got used to the people, I learnt to love some of their food, I took time to understand their culture, or at least I think I tried.

I was amazed by the honesty of these people,or is this not honesty? Let me first  tell you how people here pay their fare. Their matatus are called jeepneys, these are face me kind of cars (should post a pic soon). You know like those we used to have in shagz back in the day, where you sit on opposite sides and face each other? Anyway, if you don’t know them, you are young and i’m old. Go figure. So anyway, they get into a jeepney, no conductors for most parts so they pass their money from one passenger to another, until it reaches the driver, the change comes back the same way. Cool huh? try that in Africa then let me know how it goes. I’m not hating i’m just saying.

Then you get into a supermarket, a mall, a fast food joint, or whatever and the guard is like “sir/ma’am” greeting you depending on the time (lol they also check your bag as you enter the mall so…). Here you can walk around with your phone and wallet in your hands and nobody will care. I’m not saying they are angels, I’ve lost a few things over time, i’m just stating things I have noticed. They try to be polite, that’s after they get over the initial shock of seeing a black person.

Most of these people are friendly. I said most, not all. I made a ton of friends, and that is what is making this so hard. It’s time for me to leave, and I never thought , I would say this, but I will surely miss this place.

I will miss my friends. Hannah baby, ( you African mzungu) girl, you made this place bearable. I will miss ordering  Indo food with you. Jhim (My Jimmy) thanks for being such an amazing person. Forget the bad swahili words Andreas taught you. Betel  girl, you got jokes. All the best in everything. Prescripto is now my thing, wearing it like crazy. Will surely and always remember you. Heading to Ethiopia soon.  Andy, thanks for the gum , the chocolates, the candy, the jokes. Vegas man, you are something else. Remember mental duty? I still have that letter in here somewhere. At least now I won’t have to deal with you not having yellow paper all the damn time  😦   , Rahul, thanks for the rides to school. Will surely miss that power machine. You all are welcome to Kenya

To my Kenyan/Ugandan friends, Andreas, Ruth, Lungo, Vinny, Mwembs, Sheila, Roba, Rho, Mo, Anna and Abby, Jolly, It’s a small world, it’s a small continent, better still, it’s a small country. Peace.

GOODBYE PHILIPPINES.

Apple of mine…

I call her Apple (that’s coz apples are like my favorite fruits and I just like the sound of it, Apple.) she calls me Munchkin, or Pumpkin, don’t ask me why, maybe I look like something one would munch or maybe i’m rounded like a pumpkin( I hope not), I don’t know. Maybe i should find out no? She just calls me the weirdest of names, there was even a time I was strawberry, Gosh whats with the names, you may ask, it’s even a little cheesy eh?

You may wonder about two chics that have pet names for each other, Wait a minute, and those of you thinking way overboard, get your minds out of the gutters, Apple and I don’t roll that way. In fact, if we were guys, ours would be called ” bromance“. Chics don’t have a name for it yet, at least not that I’ve heard of. Maybe it’s BFF’s. Let me just call it that for lack of a better term.

These last couple of days have been a little stressful for me. I have graduated in a foreign land with just my dad representing my whole family, I have dealt with the madness that comes before graduation, the clearances and the last minute requirements that threatened to prevent me from enjoying my long awaited day. I have had to deal with my dad missing his flight, re-booking a new flight, seeing him off and missing him from the minute I said goodbye and wished him a safe trip. I have had time to think about future, when the last four years had just been filled with thoughts of school and now that I no longer have that, then what? I have stood on shaky ground filled with doubt about who my friends really are, who is genuinely there for me,and who is putting on a facade?  I have felt the loneliness that comes from such uncertainty. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, I am blessed. I have been blessed, and I believe that I will continue to be blessed.

Still, These last few days have been hard for me. Today has actually been the hardest. I have truly known what it feels like to be surrounded by people but still be so so lonely, that kind of loneliness that is the worst, being around people but feeling like you are alone in the entire world. It is in moments like these that I miss my Apple.

I miss her because she knows exactly what to say or do to cheer me up, I miss her because she is the one person who I could stay in a room with for hours, not talking, each doing our own thing, and at the end of the day still be cool, still be great friends. I miss her because we are so different yet alike in so many ways. I miss her because in her, I see myself in more ways than one. I miss her because silence doesn’t threaten her, it doesn’t threaten our friendship, haven’t seen her for years and still silence doesn’t get in the way. I miss her because she knows when to give space and when to just be there, I miss her because she isn’t afraid to speak her mind about anything. She just says it and life goes on. I miss her because she has always believed in this friendship through thick and thin. Damn I just miss her.

I miss her because, well because she is who she is. I miss her because she is my Apple. I don’t even care how corny that sounds right now. Think what you want, Say what you want. Suit yourself for all I care, right now, I just miss her, so maybe I will just call her, just that thought of talking to her makes me feel so much better already. Relax, i’m as straight as they get, i’m just in an amazing chic “bromance” right now. And i’m allowed to miss my BFF once in a while aren’t I?

 

So,what’s the occasion?

Its 7:49 pm and I just got home. I know what you are thinking but yeah, i’m obove 18 and no, I don’t have a curfew  but yeah, 7:49 pm is really late for me, on a week day, when I had duty all day and especially now that I still have duty tomorrow and will have to wake up at 4:00 am. As if that is not enough, it’s raining,and i’m drenched. But see, this is the thing, I don’t really mind. I don’t mind at all, and this is why.

I think I better start from the beginning no? OK, to be honest, I don’t remember the very first time I saw or talked to her, I remember noticing her and thinking she was loud, plus her uniform was always never ironed. I remember being curious and wondering what she was all about. I don’t remember how we started talking but that doesn’t even matter because, somehow we did start talking and once we started, we never stopped.

We have had our moments, like that time she hogged a presentation we had together and made me so pissed!!!We hugged it out in the end, and ended up breaking an incentive spyrometer in the process.(I Totally let her pay for it by the way.) And how about the time we had a class project, and we lost a point coz my “first” sounded like “fast” to her!!! Well that’s all on me,but I guess by now she’s mastered my African accent, you gotta give it to her.I don’t like to sit next to her in class coz when we sit together, all we do is talk about everything and nothing.

Sometimes we don’t see each other for weeks, but when we meet, it’s like we were together the whole time, we come from totally different places, different cultures, different accents (lol tell me about that), even our ages are so so far apart, we are in such different places in our lives right now,sometimes I wonder how two people can be so different yet have so much in common.

She is the reason im I got home at 7:49 pm, all drenched on a weekday, she is the reason that i’m still here, an hour later writing this. She is an amazing friend who I hadn’t seen in over a month, “so whats the occasion?” (You gotta love Corn. Lol.)

Everybody has a story to tell, behind every face,behind every smile, behind whatever emotion,everybody has a story to tell. All we have to do is listen, watch, and learn. So whats her story, i’m still listening,i’m still watching, i’m still learning, but her story, it’s a great story. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Hannahbanjo.