Cracked Nairobi Life.

Everyone who takes a bus in Nairobi be it a Hoppa or a KBS must have had an encounter with the “bus hawkers”,they are a bunch of interesting characters though sometimes very annoying but I admire their resilience nonetheless ,every morning I take a bus to Ngong road so I have had my share of hawker experience,there is the sticker hawker whose routine is to read sticker messages one by one, I don’t seem to get anything he says but his accent always brings a smile to my face ..every time!

Then there is the socks hawker, who sells three pairs for a hundred bob,unlike the sticker guy his is a hot commodity every time he enters the bus with a bag full of socks and by the time he’s leaving its almost empty ,but I don’t really like this fella,he once shoved a pair of socks on my lap and tried to tell me “nunulia mzee”,was on the verge of picking the socks and throwing them out the window.

 

But there is this episode that really left me dumbfounded ,so I’m seated minding my own business and gazing at moving cars on the opposite side of road and wondering when this hustle of mine will actually produce one of those,and in enters this guy,what really caught my attention was the fella’s strong American Ascent ,turns out dude was white, for a moment there i thought he was going to be asking for directions kumbe dude is also hawking.

 

So the Odiero goes ahead to explain that he is selling some Christian books blah blah,and I’m thinking to myself

1.only quarter of the bus can actually get half what he is saying

2.This a 32 bus,who the hell is going to buy some funny religious books

 

He proceeds to explain in his little Swahili that he is selling the books at a set of three for a hundred bob,and just when im thinking to myself “dude you totally lost on target group”,hands begin to be raised frantically, “seriously this people are buying this books”? by the time dude is done carton is empty,im sure It was just the Kange ,driver and i that did not buy them books,and for a moment I contemplated purchasing wondering if I was missing something ,im seated perplexed at turn of events wondering if this people really needed the books and thought they would enrich their spirituality or dudes color just sold out.

 

while im debating on this turn of events funniest thing happens another hawker boards the bus, I wonder how this keeps happening when there is actually a screaming NO HAWKING sign on both sides of bus, hawker guy is like “Waffles at reduced price,customers nitawauzia tatu kwa shillingi ishirini pekee yake”,dude repeats this statement thrice nothing! walks to back of bus ,returns to front nothing! you could actually see dudes frustrated face im sure he was going in his head “simume nunulia mzungu vitabu za mia na mimi nauza tu mbao”…as the bus remains quite and hawker guy completely begging with his eyes, some dude behind retorts “tumenunua vitabu pesa imeisha”,the whole bus burst into laughter and I couldn’t help joining in ,poor guy I just hope color of his skin did not loose him business that day.

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On Work

You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.
For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons,
and to step out of life’s procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.

When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.
Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?

Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune.
But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth’s furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,
And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,
And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret.

But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written.

You have been told also that life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary.
And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is passion,
And all passion is blind save when there is knowledge,
And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,
And all work is empty save when there is love;
And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.

And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart,
even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
It is to build a house with affection,
even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy,
even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.
It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit,
And to know that all the blessed dead
are standing about you and watching.

Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, “He who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is nobler than he who ploughs the soil.
And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet.”
But I say, not in sleep but in the overwakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass;
And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.

Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.
And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine.
And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.

Khalil Gibran

Im in that place in my life where everything seems so routine and monotonous,i mean wake up the same time,go to work the same time,see the same faces the whole day(i aint hating on u good pips) ,leave work the same time and it goes on and on day in and day out.

until now i have the overwhelming desire to escape,i know all y’ll self proclaimed therapist have already started speculating that my desire to escape is a symptom of something deep,well maybe,but i wish i knew what…….

Since I can’t effectively deal with what’s troubling my heart i have decided to fill my life with stuff, music to be exact,they say music is the language of the heart, a universal language that speaks to all people, going places where words alone will not penetrate.

So i hum to eminem,

And I just can’t keep living this way
So starting today, I’m breaking out of this cage
I’m standing up, I’ma face my demons
I’m manning up, I’ma hold my ground
I’ve had enough, now I’m so fed up
Time to put my life back together right now! (now)
“.

which leaves me to ask……..Do we all need an escape?Are we all afraid of sitting still?

Random Hacks Of Kindness

Its 7:00 am on a sato morning and am up(yes people am up!) ready for the Rhok,laptop -double check!,power cable-check,tooth brush-check,toothpaste-check(for those wondering yes spending the night at ihub),errr..everything-check, im ready for a hackathon,i arrive at the ihub at exactly 10:00(let me explain why it took me three hrs to get to ihub..1.i’m a chick, 2.the the throngs of youth crowding Kencom heading to safaricom sevens made getting a bus a nightmare) ,and Erik Hersman is already halfway in his introduction speech.

After Erik’s speech its time for breakfast while the techs pair themselves into groups in readiness to develop Softwares that saves lives,the techs are psyched and ready for business and quickly identifies problems worth solving in no time,the groups

  • Res-Q – personal finder problem.
  • Eneza – I need help problem.
  • Wave – WeHaveWeNeed problem.
  • KJ&KB – Browser Alerts problem.
  • Amp -Haiti Amps(Amputee) Network.
  • O-Funds – Money tracker problem.

are formed and the coding begins ,but not without hitches on my part when my laptop decides of all days not to boot , forcing me to leave my Wave team and dash to town to get it fixed,these  did not deter  my spirit and I’m back in no time ready to catch up with my team(Carol,Judith,George,John and Rose).

Everything is going on smoothly until,the Wave team reaches a deadlock and can’t decide the structure of the database with one half,for one table structure while the rest for four  table structure, it had to take the intervention of our Kofi Annan(read Conrad) for the team to come to an agreement.

Its evening and the crowd is thinning with some forks deciding to call it a day but the strong willed like moi 🙂 ,its time to burn the midnight oil, armed with my Mocha which Pete the barista diligently made for me,Its John,George(for some reason this guy wouldn’t stop taking my food and drinks:-( ),Rose and I who are left on the Wave team,by three in the PM there is a lil bit of snoring action going on in the ihub(names withheld for legal reason),All this time I’m shuffling through my Stephen Simmonds,letoya,Kanye,Kelly Clarkson,Paramore collection, simply put i was in a deserted rave.

Morning is here and i haven’t slept  a wink and i dash to take a passport shower…i know!!,and realizing there is still enough to be done,guys are streaming back in ready to continue,everyone is in a rush to complete their Prototype before 2:00pm presentation time,and also just in time to watch Sydneys presentation which was quite something(what this actually means is i can’t in clear terms state what they  actually presented, was busy debugging:-)).

Presentations go on smoothly and its time for the judges to deliberate and if i might say they took there sweet time to do so,Judy(partner in crime) and I take this time to feast on the samosa,and catch up on the latest gossip :-),its time for the judges to announce the winners and its Wave taking third place(kudos! to my team) with our WeHaveWeNeed App,Eneza team on second sport with their app that sends an SMS to the Ushahidi backend from where it automatically updated a user’s twitter and facebook account(cool),And at first place Res-Q with their app  that allows a person to send out distress messages when they are in trouble.

Its time again to go wrestle with the hooligans(i use this term loosely) coming from the RFUEA grounds for buses,all in all it was a very liberating experience to be part of such a human cause,and shout out to all the AkiraChix who represented in the house am proud of y’all :-),i reach the house and i totally black out.


Angie doing her thing

Wave team

Pete my fav barista

buffet

Me

Yesterday was a public holiday en I just happened to be idle,and I had 1 on 1 wid the mirror there is this persistent kapimple that just wont go away

As I took a hard look at myself

I saw few things that I would have loved to change,say thicker eyebrows,longer hair it so happens my hair has been the same length since I was a toi(any ideas will be appreciated),the stone scar that my brother gave me(mshipi ya Jeans worked on him alright!) etc etc…..

Then I looked beyond that and saw the woman I had become.

I’ve believed in people that have let me down, believed in them again and been let down time and time again.

I’ve loved and been betrayed.

I’ve hurt, I’ve cried many tears(many z relative hea).

I’ve fought many battles, lost some, but I’ve won most.

I’ve been happy, been depressed, been sad.

I’ve loved, laughed, been loved and laughed at.

I’ve been judged, misunderstood and understood.

I’ve been angry, irrational, emotional but at the same time rational.

I have walked away from toxic/depressing relationships, people have walked away, come back and walked away again.

Seasons have changed, my body hasn’t changed much, but the woman in me has changed.

Fighting battles has made me a warrior.

Unconditional love has made me a friend and a lover.

Betrayal has made me value loyalty.

Hurts have scarred, but also taught me the power of forgiveness.

But the greatest of them all, I have remained true to me. Even when I don’t want to be me. Even when I’ve hated me.

I have learnt to love me. Scars and all.

Rise of the AkiraChix

Akira is a Japanese word that means ‘energy’ and ‘Intelligence’,the group aims at helping and empowering the gal tech community,so today i head to ihub located on Bishop Magua Center for our first AkiraChix meet up.well i find the geek gals have turned up in large numbers en I’m so psyched up, one(i say one coz I’m sure we going to come up with more as the group grows) of the moto of the Akirachix is fired an energized,en this is the mood i get in the room.

It’s straight to business with the introduction of the AkiraChix concept by Judith Owigar,followed by the tech tools session by Mellisa Tully a student at Madison University an currently working with ushahidi.At exactly 10:30 we took a snack break yippee!!,samosa’s,cookies,crisp quickly disappeared  from the counter,as guy munched and touched base with fellow AkiraChix,had a moment to catch up with my fellow power puff gals bubbles aka Linda and Princes aka Judith.

The Second session was more intense with guys talking about,vision and plans of AkiraChix i.e the AkiraChix to reach out to other gals in community and encourage them to pursue careers in the field of technology,also had a great speaker Cathleen Nyabala founder of  STEM Africa.

In Conclusion AkiraChix is gonna take Nairobi by storm and I’m completely thrilled  to be one of the them

lyrics of the week..

For some reason,i can’t get enough of this lyrics done by Lady gaga(new respect for her  btw )…en hence i have decided to share them with my two groupies(names withheld)…

Murder My Heart(Lady gaga ft M. bolton)
Don’t wanna let this moment slip away
Cause I-I have something that I really need to say
And it’s killing me inside
I think that you don’t understand
How I-I would give you all I have and all I am
Till the end of time

You got me defenseless, intoxicate me senseless
You cut me so deeply, I must confess(luuv this part)

Baby I can’t breath, with my arms around you
Baby it kills me cause now that I found you
Your love is like a weapon girl, I can’t live without you
You’re so beautiful, it’s tearing me apart
You murder my heart (oh)
You murder my heart (oh girl)

I need to catch my breathe with you sometimes
Cause I-I get dizzy when your body’s touching mine
Girl you’re killing me inside
The way you move is much too sexy baby
So I-I surrender to your hands, your lips, your taste
And I’m telling you tonight

You got me defenseless, intoxicate me senseless
You cut me so deeply, I must confess

Baby I can’t breath, with my arms around you
Baby it kills me cause now that I found you
Your love is like a weapon girl, I can’t live without you
You’re so beautiful, it’s tearing me apart
You murder my heart (oh)
You murder my heart (oh girl)

I climb up the past that I could never escape
Girl you hurt me and changed from the start
I’m just a witness to the scene of my fate
And the way you’ve been slaying my heart

Baby I can’t breath when my arms around you
Baby it kills me cause now that I found you
Your love is like a weapon girl, I can’t live without you
You’re so beautiful, it’s tearing me apart
You murder my heart (oh)
You murder my heart (oh girl)