Wednesday, 27 July 2016


Photo Credit:

Just like four million other Kenyans, i spent substantial hours in a day on the internet. The content generated online has a way of always surprising me! It's astounding when you think about the amount of content created in a day. Sometime back, i read a story about two Americans; Arthur Booth and Mindy Glazer. These two individuals were classmates in middle school. After they parted ways then, they met three decades later in a courtroom. Where Glazer was the judge and Booth was on the stand facing burglary charges. The judge who sentenced Booth to 10 months in jail was the first to recognize him, and after he served jail time, she joined Booth's family to receive him from jail. Booth's dream of being a surgeon ingloriously whittled away overtime as he slid deeper into the world of drugs and petty crime. And his classmate who had initially wanted to be a veterinarian ended up studying law. Booth was inspired by his classmate; she was the embodiment of what he could have been if not for the demeaning life of crime and drugs. An inspired Booth promised his family and his classmate that he would put his life in order- "I know where i could have been, but i'm not giving up on life. It's just a new lease on life for me right now."

Much as the story was emotional i never gave it much thought until recently when i met my classmate after eleven years.

In 2002 just like thousands of Kenyan children from middle class families, i was on my way from home. Headed to a place where my parents hoped would give me better chances at life. Public schools were at the time were screwed up (well they still are!) and my parents believed that a private boarding school had the answer public schools could not provide. I was quite scared and intimidated about leaving home but boarding schools then had a mythical appeal that i would soon experience first-hand. Anyway it seemed a small price to pay in pursue of excellence .There was also the perception that it prepared one for high school, learning to be more responsible and self-sufficient - i really can't tell the accuracy of this notion. But, one thing that boarding schools definitely were is- high pressure academic performance environments, at least mine was.

From as early as class six, our teachers fed us the ideology that excelling in the national exams and then getting admitted to top-tier National schools, would give each of us greater chances of being successful in life. The definition of success was academic oriented, and young as we were we grasped the embedding principle and it inadvertently became the creed in our young lives

The very first step towards the good life was being a student in a great private school, which all of us had gloriously attained. Then scoring 400 marks or more to secure admission in the competitive National schools- Alliance girls, Precious Blood Riruta, Bahati girls et al if you were a girl and if you were a boy- Mang'u school, Lenana school, Nairobi school, Maseno school and all the others where students prolifically produced grade As. That would be followed by a certificate with straight As’ to propel one to a good university and safely see them in a medicine or law class, not music or a writing or drama. These careers would ensure we got kick ass jobs with a fat monthly cheque which would see to it that we bought four wheel drives. Then and only then would we be ready to marry and/ get married and have kids, preferably two. Pregnancies before reaching the epic life or out of wedlock were unbecoming of achievers, and were to be avoided at all costs! It was a life of more! Looking back, i admire those minds of thirteen year olds that did not conceive the possibility of anything visible or invisible thwarting the well crafted route.

Our teachers devised mechanisms to make sure that we constantly aimed at the sky. One of them was, Pass marks! Every subject had a minimum mark, and any student who scored below that simply calculated how many points they missed the mark with; and the result was the number of strokes that he/ she would get. We had three exams in a term and in every exam in each subject the culprits who did not meet the stipulated mark were marched from class to the staffroom; where each of them was subjected to a beating, the number of strokes determined by how far they were from the mark. When they were all writhing in pain, they would seat on the cold dusty staffroom floor to receive an epic motivational speech from the teachers on- 'benefits of working hard in class/ how to excel'. All this while, the excellent students sat quietly in class, probably reading hard to never get the beating or thanking God for their performance or feeling sorry for the failures. In such days, the line between good performers and failures was clear; the latter were those lying on their stomachs in a room they did not belong getting their buttocks heated up by strokes.

Mostly out of fear, the pass marks not only encouraged us to work hard but also bred fierce competition and comparison if you may, among the students. But believe it or not, there are those that never for a single time met any mark. They nearly got used to the beatings, but i wondered what they thought their chances were at hitting the proverbial bulls’ eye in life! We somewhat became fixated on grades, and regarded them as accurate determiners who would/ would not make it in life. When results were pinned on the school noticed board, some of us would check our competitors’ marks before we checked ours. Our view of life became so minimalist, reduced to marks and joy of beating a competitor or the ultimate kicker- seeing your competitor head to the staffroom for a beating!

None of the school based exams however brought out our tenacious behaviour better than KCPE! When the results were released, we called each other and slyly texted other people's index numbers to Safaricom to promptly receive their results. We gauged who had moved on to the next step in the odyssey successfully and wondered who had been tragically cut out? Little did we know that KCPE was just one of many sieves to come that could weed people out of the 'race'. Some of us made it to the coveted national schools, others to low tier high schools and sadly for a few, it was the end of education. This competitive behaviour persisted on in high school and for a while after we left school.

Last week while in Masinga, i met one of my classmates from primary school. Here is the story!

I walked into a shop to purchase eggs. I was dressed down. In fact i was a precise incarnation of the phrase! I had a long skirt whose hem had chipped over old age, an oversized sweater that was torn on the left arm, a head scarf on my head hid my messy hair and my left slipper had a broken strap. As i charged on towards the counter, i noticed the face of the lady that stood behind the counter looked familiar. As i walked on i desperately attempted to put the face into the context of my life in the past. She must have read my thoughts cause she also seemed to be in deep thought probably of who i was. I asked her to give me three eggs and as she packed them she asked in classic Kenyan fashion- "Nimewahikukuona mahali?" I smiled to show agreement with her line of thought and replied- "Unakaa familiar but sijui tulionana wapi?" After a few minutes of deep thought, she shouted "Wango Boarding in Embu!" Eureka eureka!!

She left the counter through a small door that gave her well endowed body a challenge in passing through, came to me and gave me a hug. And i suddenly became aware of how shabby my dressing was. In mortification, i felt a desperate need to explain that was not my daily dress code! Acting on impulse of embarrassment, i begged to live and suggested a meet up to catch up. "Can you come here at around 10 O'clock tomorrow?" I had all the time on my hands so i agreed.

The following day at 10am, neatly dressed i was on my way to her shop. She had prepared some coffee, which when i sat down she requested to pour me a cup. Our conversation quickly went from 2005 to 2016. And we talked about what each one of us was up to. I was a little envious that she ran her own shop, while i was still fumbling to find my way in the world of creative writing- "You must feel so good that you run your own business?" I pried. My life is not as easy as you think, she told me.

And it was not! She was a wife, and a mother to two; three and one year olds (this was not the problem!) She explained that on completing high school she got pregnant and instead of going to college she got married. Her husband was a broke fresh graduate at the time and but soon struck gold in the corporate world. He build her a big ass shop closer to their marital home while he got busy in the city. "He must be such a good man", i added. "He used to be!" She said those words and i heard her voice break and the life on her face slowly whittled away. I kept mum for a while, allowing her to recollect herself and decide whether she would tell me the obviously sad story of her life. With a voice heavy with bitterness she explained that she found out her husband was a serial liar. Cheating on her with such disdain! Her words touched me more than i could express and I desperately wanted to tell her something inspiring like- 'don't worry, it's gonna be okay/ just pray about it': But i couldn't. Instead i wore a sad face as a genuine indication that i felt with her.

I could read between the emotional intensity of her words and i that she thought i was well on my way to the life we all had pictured eleven years ago. The truth is i was not close to being close to achieving it. And i told her that. I explained that i was raw in the blogging space and my writing wasn't making bank. In fact for that to happen i had to have the patience of death. And i had to be content with small results for enormous efforts.

When you meet your classmate there is always that strange need to know how successful they are? And since the devil is a liar, you might find yourself putting the two of you on an economic scale. Measuring success by the dress code, hair style, a good ride and all things frivolous. It was the same for me that day, but at that point our defenses were down and the anxiety that the other person could be doing 'better' died down. We were two human beings, who had veered off the script, who probably by their primary school teachers' definition they would be called losers. We were just two people with broken dreams, baggage and a common history who sought to encourage each other. Two people who chatted a fresh path when they lost faith in an ideology they cherished and now understood there was more to life than academic credentials. After pleasantries, a promise to keep in touch and a warm goodbye, i was on my way back home. While mulling our conversation, I remembered reading Mindy Glazer and Arthur Booth's story. I fell in love afresh with Glazer's instinct to encourage Booth to stay straight, out of drugs, crime and prison. An inspired Booth promised to not only stay out of trouble but also get a job. My classmate and i promised to check up on each other every now and then. What better thing is there to do than to encourage each other when we meet, putting pressure on each other on the basis of a successful life. And by the way what is the precise definition of success?

Friday, 22 July 2016

86,400 seconds

Am a daughter, a sister, an aunty and a friend. And sometimes i take a break from back breaking hustle and use my time in being precisely these things. Mother dear, my big sister, my niece and nephew stay far from me; and last week was dedicated to staying and bonding with them. This saw me engage in glorious activities that are not in my mundane city life schedule: I went to the farm, took care of chicken (The irony is one of them ended up in my frying pan...taking care of something only to drain it of its life and feast on it!! smh), washed babies, played with babies and walked one to school.

My first destination was Matuu where i spend two days with mother dear, then i had five days with my sister, niece and nephew in Masinga. My schedule while at my sister's was simple- exactly what i needed for my break. I woke up at 6 O'clock, readied my nephew for school, took him to school and returned to watch the tiny one. Days went by fast as we played foot/ handball- depending on your definition of a game supposedly called football where one player has to constantly remind the other not to use her hands on the ball! (Hand-to-Ball kind of situation). The first three days went well, i repeated the schedule and it became a routine i was used to; this inadvertently instilled the confidence that the days in the future would just be as great if not better.

Then came day four. The only difference at least from the way the day started was just in the name. Otherwise the same routine played on. At 2pm, my niece and i left the house to pay the salon a visit. Days at the salon make up some of her best days, so it was sheer excitement for her in the hot afternoon as we stately walked to the nearby salon.

At the salon, ready with snacks in case she became famished i sat in front of her. I would occasionally wink or smile at her to somewhat assure her of my undivided attention on her. She sat on her tiny seat miming  joy while she held tightly to my phone playing games giving the hairdresser ample time to gently work on her head. After one and half hours, the magic was done and after settling the bill we were on our way back home. Shortly after we arrived at home, the princess fell asleep! I took advantage of the window period to read a few pages of The Devil's Light by Richard North Patterson.

I was drawn from Patterson's deep thoughts on global terrorism by the resounding ring of the alarm clock which reminded me it was time to pick my nephew from school. Shortly after he arrived home, his sister woke up. After routine feeding i allowed them to go outside to play with their mates, before bath time.

By 6:30pm, their mother was preparing dinner, while i washed them. Bath time is always a good story telling time where each of them told me about their day, friends and what have you. Never mind the long bathing time, i finished in no time and joined my sister in the kitchen. The kids were playing in the living room and once in a while i would peep to make sure they were safe, remind them to be gentle with each other and that i was still in charge and was watching out for any bad behaviour. Suddenly, we heard a thud followed by an anguishing cry of distress that dissolved our laughter in the kitchen and captured our total attention.

We rushed in nearly perfect unison to the living room, and found my niece writhing on the ground in pain. She had fallen from the arm of the couch! I was the first to get to her and carried her in my arms off the floor. I wiped her tears as i sporadically coughed words of comfort desperately hoping that they would flow through the pain and ease it. She cried more frantically and loudly. Her agony crippled my heart and i wished somehow the pain would be siphoned to me (there are a lot of instances in this world that can be defined as difficult; and seeing someone you absolutely love in pain and you can do nothing to take it away, is most certainly top in the list) but i held up hope that the pain would soon die away. In my head i hoped it was a minor accident without fatal injuries; you know the kind that do not significantly throw you off normalcy, like (hitting the head against a wall, squeezing the finger between the door hinges and hitting a stone with the toe as you walk!). No matter how excruciating the pain is at first, it fades away and you quickly move on. So i believed that it was a small mishap and all would be fine in a short while.

But as i held her head i noticed blood on my hands! She was actually hurt on the head! The sight of blood oozing from the back of the head of a two year old is anything but a minor accident! (Even for an adult) At the sight of the deep red warm blood on my hands, i felt woozy, my vision was blur and the room begun to spin. I felt all the colour drain from my face and as the pulse rate of my heart increased tenfold, cold sweat begun to form on my head. I was feeling hot and cold at the same time. I felt the walls suck away all my confidence, and the comforting words that were effortlessly  leaving my mouth begun to stick on my throat. It was a battle of courage and fear, and fear was well on its way to carrying the day.

My sister as if acting on cue to my fear carefully took the baby from my arms and in courage that i truly believe is only exhibited by mothers ran out of the house. To a nearby health centre.

For a few seconds i was stuck where i stood, my prime mission being trying not to hyperventilate in bold and Caps in the presence of my nephew. I could feel my heart beating so hard, but in the midst of the fear i was aware of my responsibility to keep my nephew calm. I made him sit down. Then told him that he had absolutely no reason to worry, that his sister would just be washed by the doctor and given some painkillers. Mastering all the strength i could, i crooned more words of encouragement and managed to calm him. As i walked out, i promised him that we would all be fine and asked him to sit tight and wait for our return.

I have always been the kind of person who even when frightened, manages to put on a brave face. But that day as i walked out, i shoved the 'looking strong' character under the seat closest to the exit door. I did not want to spend any more energy fabricating a courage mask to put on my face.

The health centre was right opposite the road. Looking left and right, i carefully crossed the road. This road has a reputation of  killing. It is a fairly busy road and mostly the vehicles there are driven at an ungodly speed. I had to be aware of this lest i became another emergency. From a few feet to the main entrance of the centre, i could hear the sharp cries of my little niece. She normally has some hospital phobia, so a combination of that and the pain she was in must have been overwhelming.

I made a series of short prayers as i walked in. "Jesus please jesus please!" I hope this counts for because it was all my mind could create. I reached the waiting bay where there were people sitted, perhaps waiting for a loved one being treated or waiting for their turn to see the clinician. I could not sit so i paced around the room in antsy anticipation wearing my worry on my sleeves! Soon afterwards, my sister closely followed by the medic appeared from a corridor with her baby who was still crying, on her arms. I wished for good news and tried to read her face but my mind could not make out anything. I walked on to meet her halfway across the room.

Turns out the promise i made to my nephew would be fulfilled- the little girl was not seriously hurt! Sigh. The officer stopped to emphasize something to my sister, "just give her the painkillers she will be fine." In a doubting Thomas fashion, i insisted to the clinician- "Please please make sure she is fine!" I have read so many stories of doctors who misdiagnosed patients, treating them for something they were not suffering while the real problem ate away the patient! These stories mostly had a bad ending, so I wasn't going to let this be our story. The clinician was a good guy! He did not snap at me, as if reading that i was really shaken; he explained that my niece due to the impact on the ground had suffered a small cut on the back of her head. He was right. The bleeding had stopped and clotting was already taking place. Thanking him, we walked out quiet, each of us probably silently reciting a prayer of thanksgiving to the God of Abraham for the miracle.

When we arrived home i served dinner and as we ate, we had shallow talks in an attempt to diffuse the somber cloud that hang over our heads. My niece was fine. She had stopped crying and ate her food. When everybody went to sleep, i sat on the couch; my heart was beaming with gratefulness, but somehow i still mulled and obsessed with that terrible moment that had changed my day. I replayed the events leading up to the moment and those that came after and wondered whether there was anything i could have done to prevent the accident from happening. It was just a series of barren- 'Maybe ifs'. I wondered how much the pain was for my little niece, tears that were a combination of gratefulness and some sadness flowed effortlessly from my eyes down my cheeks.

And it is at that moment that i begun thinking... When the clock hits 12 at midnight, our lives are magically filled with 24 hours. Intact 1,440 minutes. An untouched gift of 86,400 seconds. By the time we wake up, we normally have already spent up some hours. And we wake up and begin to bust items on our to-do lists. We don't know precisely what every minute has for us, but we move with the confidence of our mundane routines. Those that trust in a god, perhaps pray for the day and step out with the belief that the super power will stop any harm from befalling them.

But! Isn't crazy that when you really think about it, every second comes pregnant? With the potential of delivering something good or bad. But we have confidence that if things were good yesterday, today they will be no different. We trust that the day will end well, that we will fall asleep and wake up to repeat our routine. We even set alarms anticipating for the day.

And then comes that split of a second, that shakes us alive. That pumps fear through the body. That forces us to take time and appreciate all the good and normal things delivered by other seconds. That split second that reminds us of our mortality, that reminds us to be grateful. We could have it all in one minute and lose it in the next!  And when that second passes, and as reprieve sets in, the fear and pain we experienced fades away. And our incessant nature to assume that things will be always be normal creeps in. But how wonderful would it be, to be aware that routines can be wrecked by time, to be cognizant that confidence can be replaced by nerve wrecking fear. To be aware not for the purpose of living a shit scared life, but to understand that every good second is worth being grateful for and consciously chose to love more, care more and appreciate more! (Add some...'more' of your own!)

Thursday, 7 July 2016


A Vehicle on the highway

God willing, on Monday morning my dad will wake me up so early. The 4:00 am kind of early.  He is a fervent believer in the early bird/ worm ideology. I will complain that i warned him against waking me in ungodly hours and that i had set an alarm that would wake me up with the sweet encouraging voice of Christina Shusho. He has been doing this since i was twelve- only then i used to wake up to study. 'Dad am all grown up now.' He will walk  back to his bedroom whistling like a soldier arriving from a war he has won. I will slowly pluck myself from bed, left leg first; having seconds thoughts about living my warm comfort zone for the grudgingly cold outside. My head is still foggy, am not thinking so i will end up hitting the wall right next to the door. I will hiss cusses, then my sister will be chocking in laughter under her sheets. Even though am upset i will hold out the hope that God will avenge me and few miles down the road of life, i will be the one laughing at her.

Now awake as a lie detector, i will walk to the kitchen while gently massaging my forehead to avoid a hump. By 5:30pm, breakfast will be ready. And by 7am, i  will be poised for my journey. Ready to spend the week around four people that i love most in the world. And i will start with mother dear.

My hair will be well plaited. This is pertinent. In my village, people who stay in 'Ilovi' are held in high regard and this comes with expectations. That one has to look like they stay in the city under the sun where there are opportunities to make money. Am inadvertently a prisoner of these expectations so i have play by the unwritten rules. And that is why i will be extra extra immaculate.

At 7am i will throw on my back the bag carrying some fruits and few other things i bought for mother dear and set for Eastern By-pass. The Eastern By-pass is the fastest route to get to Ukambani nowadays- (ooh! bless you president Kibaki, you were truly send from heaven!) It's jus 7am and i desperately need to save my money- since i have a long week ahead of me! So instead of taking a bodaboda to the bus stage i will walk. It will be dusty, and with the heavy bag on my back i will feel like am climbing mount Kenya,  anyway it will also be good exercise as lately i have turned my back on exercising so i won't mind; drops of sweat will start oozing from my forehead and my armpits will be hot. I will be like- 'Jesus thank you for my Rexona roll on'

Some of these by-pass matatus are old, the kind of old where when the matatu suddenly stops, your seat could literally slide forward! Unlucky me i will get one of the oldest. With the noises its engine will be making, we will take twice as much time to get to our destination. We will be lucky if it does not stall altogether. The conductor will emphatically compel me to pay extra charges for my copious bag. Like a good Kenyan, i will refuse to pay and complain of extortion. I will not relent and if lucky, another passenger will take my side of the argument. If the conductor will play the- "kama hulipi shuka" card i will tuck my tail and give him his dues. 

When you actually think about it, there is no loss in disembarking such an old snail, but with my heavy bag i will choose to toe the line. From Kangundo road, i will take another matatu to Thika then to Matuu; my final jump off point to home.
When you don't own an automobile , there are only two modes of transport here- an old matatu or a motorcycle and each has its pros and cons. All matatus are fourteen sitters, but you will be crammed with other passengers that breathing will be a problem and the odour wafting in the vehicle will be good enough to be used as mosquito a repellant. To increase chances of survival, you ought to sit next to the window. Where there is also the risk of being pricked by branches of trees by the road side as the driver swerves on the rugged dusty road. When you chose a motorcycle, you are likely to arrive with a blocked nose and a broken back thanks to dust and the bad road.

I will quietly lament and murmur complaints that maendeleo chapchap has not benefited us, then i will board the matatu. I will need some space for my legs and my bag, so i will pick the seat right behind the driver. Women who had come to restock groceries for their kiosks will also board the vehicle. They will caution the rest of the passengers against leaning on their kiondos stuffed with; tomatoes, avocados, cabbage, potatoes and onions. Careful not to throw myself in the radar of the big woman next to me, i will sit like a robot- i won't fidget to try and make myself comfortable lest i crush her tomatoes which she will be glancing at every two minutes. That place is meant to carry three passengers, but there will be five of us. I will literally be sitted with one cheek of my butts, which by the time i arrive home will be frozen and painful. My shoes will be melting from the heat dissipated by the engine, sweat will ooze from my forehead and tears will collect in my eyes as i gallantly fight the discomfort on my soles. My silver lining will be the fresh air coming from the window on my right. Even though the dust will make my eyes uncomfortable as hot hell, i will be reminded by a sticker on the driver's seat that am not in my home!- "Ukitaka starehe nunua gari yako!" After a forty five minutes uncomfortable drive, i will alight and at that moment i will feel like a human being again!

The discipline mother dear has instilled in me could not allow me to eat anything being hawked in matatus except the water i was carrying in my handbag, so i will be so famished. Luckily, she will have prepared mouthwatering chicken to be accompanied with ugali. Every time we go home, one of her chicken has to part with its life! After a quick wash-up, i will descend on the plate full placed on the table. I will tell her stories of what i have been up to in the city. I will tell her everything, including how i witnessed mob justice!

I will stay home for two days. In the two days i will help with house chores, farm work and feeding the chicken and cleaning their shed. The only thing i will not get close to are the cattle- they don't like me much and the feeling is mutual!  So i always keep a safe distance. I will also prepare all the meals. Mother dear will be so happy. I will promise to take more breaks from city hustle and visit her. After the second day she will say her blessings to me, bid me goodbye and i will be off to my next destination- Masinga! There i will be visiting my big sister and two of my favorite people in the world. My five and three year old nephew and niece.

The journey to Masinga always gives me the creeps. The matatus are always overloaded and are driven at an ungodly speed. The constant beeping of  flying proboxes ferrying miraa from Embu to the city makes the journey more precarious. I normally pray throughout the journey. Before taking off, i will shop for; chocolate, chips, cake and popcorn- my nephew called me two days ago and spelled out a list of the things he needed me to bring him and his sister!

It will be a sixty minutes nerve wrecking journey. But i will be grateful to God for journey mercies. My sister will be exhilarated that am around and her house help  will be off duty. I asked if she could give her some time off so i could take care of the kids and bond with them.

I will wake up at 3am for some QT (quiet time) and writing. At 6:30am, i will wake my nephew to ready him for school. He will complain that he is so sleepy and doesn't want to go to school. I will plead while making mostly empty promises of getting him new toys and allowing him to have more time for games on my phone and cartoon. I will even give him a shilling for sweets on his way to school! (Darn!Even toddlers loooove money!) I will feed him breakfast, wash him and dress him up in school uniform. We will take selfies on our way to school, but i will neither post them on Instagram nor Facebook, i would rather he decides later in his life whether he wants his photos on social media or not! Being a great aunty, I will offer to carry him on my back, but he will retort- "Mimi ni mwanaume!" (Kid has no chills menh!) He will hold my index finger tightly as we walk, oblivious that he just broke my heart! At the school gate he will let go of my finger, look at me and say- "Nikimaliza class unikujie?" I will assure him that i will be at the gate to pick him when the day is done. i will tell him- "Nakupenda!" Then he will wave at me with his little hand, pacing up to join the other kids, at that point i won't be able to take another heartbreak so i will assume the wave means- i love you too auntie!

Back home now to the other bunny! When i get to the house she will still be fast asleep. I will use that window period to catch up with trends on social media. A soft voice asking- "mummy ako wapi?" will pull me from the social media world. I will explain that mummy is out working to bring home a big beautiful doll and chocolate. That flimsy explanation will put her heart at ease!

Breakfast is never really her thing, so it will take empty threats and promises to get her to finish it. After few minutes of watching cartoon she will beg me to apply make-up on her face. As i assemble the tools, her face will be beaming with excitement and perhaps showing confidence in my skills. I will start to fill the pressure coz i know am not so good! She will pull her tiny pink seat close to me and surrender her face first then her little toes and fingers- i will do my best! 
When am done, she will be so exhilarated and will ask me to take photos of her. I will not post them on Facebook attached with lame #hashtags! But i will remember that my twin sister is in the city grinding her job and books in preparation for an exam. Being the good person i am, i will pull a seat in WhatsApp and camp there, sharing the photos with her; incessantly reminding her that am having fun while she is sweating and biting her nails!

When the princess falls asleep, i will take time to catch up with the trends on social media. There won't be much on Facebook except a friend flaunting her brown weave and another a new dress. All of them accompanying there photos with profoundly annoying #hashtags. KOT (Kenyans on Twitter) will be venting over news that billions of taxpayers' money have been lost to corruption! After that i will read Richard North Patterson's- 'Devils Light'.

After two hours the princess will wakeup, we will play foot/handball then have lunch. By 3:30pm, the other musketeer will be home from school looking like he was diving in a sea of dust. As i wash him up, i will inquire of the interesting things he learnt in school. Between the a and c alphabets and my praise he will retort- "wewe sio mwalimu wangu!" (What a good feeling that teacher has, to have such a loyal student!!). Either way i will commend him for doing great in school.

After feeding we will seat to do the homework, which he will hurriedly do to join his friends outside for fun! I will explain that he should learn to commit to one thing at a time- life lesson; but who am i kidding?  He won't even be listening!

When the day is done, the youngest one will request- "aunty tafadhali nibebe nilale" She will lie peacefully on my thighs and rest her head on my left arm. She will take slow gentle breathes as sleep overtakes her. And i will watch her, and wonder whether there could be anything more adorable. Burning with jealousy the other will demand i put him to sleep as well. I will put her on her bed, then kiss her goodnight. I will then carry my nephew to bed and lull him to sleep. When he is sound asleep i will slowly leave his bed and pick a pen to write about my amazing day with my nephew and niece.

I will repeat this schedule for four days!!

What a worthwhile mini-holiday it will be!!

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