Thursday, December 18, 2014

Let's dwell on the Grey areas please

"Things are black or white, it's either yes or no, so what will it be?"

I should say that it's an easy way to handle matters or better yet conclude a dilemma, but what if, just think for a second, what if whatever it comes down to at that moment is a deal breaker? And not a good one? What then, uh?

So, take a seat and go on, because after three cups of coffee and watching ten episodes of How to get away with Murder I think that things have gone south for me.
​So, why this entry?
Well, first I know the internet never forgets, and second, I want this to be proof of my decision of the dilemma I am facing and also a reminder that I will follow through with my actions.

I am a hopeless romantic.
I also like to see people eat good food, have a laugh and most of all enjoy some music.
I am definitely into guys who read and wear Converse. Dude, if you don't have at least a pair of Converse then you ain't worth pinning for, just saying!

Plus, I do know a few good looking football players in La Liga, Bundesliga, Italian Serie A, and of course the Barclays Premier League. I won't sit down for 90 minutes or worse off the extra time to watch a game with you when I could read a good book, listen to music or cook, capisce!

I met this guy while working and named him Mr. Sensible- because he showed none of it and my infatuation with him was enough to warrant me a few letters, and it faded as soon as I got back home.

So, enter- Mr. Ring (we will call him that for the time being) who is engaged to a mutual friend, and who apparently called off his engagement and came to me to say that he wants to marry me instead.

​(Photo Credit: Google Images)

Now, let's breathe and slowly think this fact, why don't you do it, while I add some sugar to my coffee?

You'd ask, "who is the mutual friend?"
"Was there anything going on underneath the surface between us?"

To answer your first question, "I value our mutual friend, and honestly I'd pick her over anyone else any day or time."

To answer your second question, "Nothing! Or so it seems I was clueless, because I respect both of them I would not go into details of what he said, but would admit that it would be a telenovela kinda cliffhanger moment that leads to the epic finale."

So, what's it got to do with grey areas?

Well, he did end things by telling his fiancee that he wanted to be with me- and that he was tired of acting like he didn't feel anything and she was the one who called me I think 'five minutes' worth of insults courtesy of Safaricom!The best part was that I was at work, and clueless of what she was going on about- and then he called to straighten things out and that's when I got to know the gist of things.

Real smooth, uh?

I love drama, it's always a good pitch for any story- but today it felt like I was being pelted with bricks for something I didn't know about- and that hurts! So she asked me, "do you love him?"

I said, "No."

She asked me again, "It's either black or white, yes or no, do you love him?"
I said, "Never!"

Now, what more could I say? I have been watching "How to get away with Murder" ever since I got home because to be honest I want them to settle their differences, and he can think things through and decide what to do- because for me, the whole black and white issue does not settle well with me. I am used to grey areas where any subtle thought or emotion could have a ripple effect on the final outcome.

"Do I love him?"
That's not the question you should be asking.

"Could I love him?"

That's the question you need to ask, and if you have read this far then you already know the answer to that. In the mean time, I'll add four more books to my library :-)

Do not let anyone define you.

Monday, December 15, 2014

3-Day weekend in a Library

Hold up! Before you roll your eyes beyond their sockets, just entertain me for five minutes.

What's it with the 3-day weekend in a library and better yet, which library are we talking about?

I have been taking leadership lessons and insights for some time now, and that has also endeared me to study sign language in a bid to go beyond what I know into the unknown. So, this past week has been hectic because I have been on the road more than I can sleep- and my mentor decided to bring me back to what I love- writing.
He said that I should not talk so much about my love for writing but should go ahead and write.
I started out with Fire this November, and am waiting to receive copies of the book from Amazon, but what of the next book?
I know I have three months to get "Water" out there- and it is the core book in the series and as such would have to be a full length novel, and I am worried. I cannot lie that I have my doubts and fears about making it better and widely read by people, so what will I do?

I don't know and that's what I was hoping my mentor would help me understand.
Instead he said, "that's for you to figure out."
I don't know why but doesn't he sound too cranky on a Monday afternoon?

So, as he went one he said that I need a time out- and away from the internet and music and to find a seat in the corner in a library where it's quiet and write until my pencil runs out!
So, I got a 200 sheet writing pad, a dozen pencils, one sharpener and three erasers to use this weekend.

I asked, "what if I have to work?"
He smiled and said, "work, but then go by the library and write. I want to see you finish this because you are good at pending projects."

He's right on that,so that's what I'll do. I will sit and write, and maybe stare at the ceiling for an hour or doze off once in a while from Thursday to Saturday- and then maybe say that all is well.

So, what's my take on this?
We all need a break sometimes and it's not to lose touch of who we are but to appreciate who we have always been and would be, and it's not a bad thing.

Do not let anyone define you.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Let's talk about Burumba Dispensary

I have been AWOL for sometime, but don't hold it against me please, there have been matters of uttermost emergency that needed my attention.
How are you this weekend?
Hope all is well with you, and that you have been waiting to hear from me by constantly refreshing your inbox to see if anything pops up from "Jodie," :-)

So, here's the thing- I managed to visit Busia for a day or so- and came across this marvelous landmark called "Burumba Dispensary."

So, I got on a motorbike from Busia town- just near the County Commissioner's office and paid the man fifty shilling to take me to the Burumba dispensary where I was to meet certain professionals.

So, when I arrived- I hesitated to pay the man.

I asked him, "are you sure this is the dispensary?"
He said, "yes."
"I asked, "how come there's no one and why does it look like snakes and not people live here?"
He smirked and stretched out his hand for his money and then said, "hiyo ni mambo ya serikali."

He sped off leaving me and a couple of other people shocked and surprised at how an abandoned building could be called a 'dispensary' and to make matters worse- all the latrine doors were bolted with a piece of wood nailed right across all three doors, and the sewer tanks had this two great openings that anyone could sink into if they were not cautious enough.

So, when I saw this my first instinct was to take lots of pictures.

I did so.

My second instinct was to ask who the area ward was.
I was told he's called - Opondo Tony Onyango. and I tried to look him up on social media but let's just say that there's so much info on a certain Daniel Tony Onyango who happens to be a rugby player and not a politician, but there's proof of what I was told since Tony does appear on the Busia County devolution list as the Ward representative of Burumba (read it here)

I have been engaged in sanitation programs for over a year now, and it saddens me to see such a sorry state of a health facility and to make matters worse, it looks as though funds were misused and that meant the project was abandoned even before it took root.
Burumba dispensary is situated near Maoko, in Busia and it is at the center of a village named Burumba D which has more than three thousand households- now imagine there was at least one person in each household who needed medical assistance- that means that the facility would be providing health services to three thousand people- that's three thousand lives! So, to have over grown grass, broken glass windows, bat infested ceilings, leaking roofs and most of all a locked gate and a bold branded project funder "FUNDED BY CDF" and not be up and running is a shame and the greatest attestation to not only corruption but a lack of concern for the welfare of the people who you'll expect to vote for you in the next election.

Each county faces it's challenges, but health is a universal concern.
There is no two ways about provision of education on good health practices and access to efficient health facilities.

I would however hope that the CDF committee that started this project- see it it through to completion. If the funds are misused, then better find a way of correcting that (do not take more from the citizens, but rather withdraw from the selfish people who ate it up and complete this building).

In the time being, allow the residents of that area to clear up up- cut the grass and clean the bat poop and broken glass and seal those sewer holes.
Also, let them use one room especially the last one that's not bat infested as a day care center and help generate funds to help in renovating the dispensary.
It's not a chore, but involve them wholly to guarantee first- accountability and also ownership!

Do not let anyone define you.

Friday, November 21, 2014

What you don't know.

I have been challenged by a mentor to write a CV detailing what I don't know.
At first I thought, "Are you messing with me?" And after we talked about it, I realized that there is a lot more sense to it, because am comfortable with what I know, as compared to what I don't know.
To a reader like me, you also know that there's the desire to grow a library and read more not because you can, but because there's so much you don't know about that's out there.

So, take a look at your CV.

Take a very good look and note down three things you excel at.

Then, note down three things and in this case skills or knowledge points that you are not aware of. For me it's: Sign Language, how to operate a Professional HD camera, and Baking.

So, think of the things you don't know and how you can learn. I learned that my Mentor was trying to make me seek out lessons to learn what I don't know, and not be contented with only what I know.

Monday, November 17, 2014

One displeased shopper

I am angry following an incident that happened this morning at the Tuskys Supermarket here in Kisumu.

I woke up at 5:50am and snoozed my alarm till 6:16am before cleaning the house and braiding what was left of my hair. My hairdresser told me to get my hands on Miadi Scalp Healer to help soothe my scalp given the nature of my work and my 'reluctance' to girlie up! So, that's what I went to buy at Tuskys.

It's nearer to our home, and it was on my way to the Library so I figured why not go in and get the hairfood and then leave.
So, as I was reaching out for the hairfood, one slipped and fell and I returned it. I continued listening to my musi and looking at the prices and reaching out for more products when this lady tapped my shoulder and I turned. She was holding one of the Miadi products, I smiled and prompted her, "yes!"
She said, "umeangusha hii, na sasa itabidi uilipie, hivyo ndivyo sisi hufanya."

I removed my earphones and she went on, "yes, ni wewe umeangusha and itabidi ulipe sababu imeanguka na sasa imepasuka hapa chini, ama tulete camera?"

Wait! Hold up!
I dropped it?
And I made it crack? Where's the crack? How come I did not see it? 

So, I look to see that it costs 430/= and I had already picked the 400g scalp healer which was way cheaper at 390/= and this lady was on my case that I pay for it?

She went ahead to call the man in-charge.
He asked me, "madam how are you?"
"Not fine."
"Why aren't you fine? Tell me what's happened."
"Okay, I was comparing prices of products and I reached out for the scalp healer and this other container must have fallen, while I was at it. I picked it and put it back and it was fine, then some minutes later this lady walks up to me and says that I have to pay for the crack, and she comes insisting that I did it intentionally and that I have to pay, so why can't I pay for what I wanted, besides it's not my fault that you put your products so close together and on the top most shelf- and further more I am not the one who chose such low quality plastic for packaging the Miadi hairfood!"

"Madam, wacha kukasirika, kubali umekosa."

"Haven't you been listening? Ama "not my intention" ndio huelewi?"

"No, you know what! I'll pay for the oil and then give it to someone who will use it, so can I go now?"

"Stop calling me Madam! Mimi sio mwalimu! I am pissed off and you are not helping! Nipe niende!"

I walked back to the aisle, took the hairfood from the lady, and then she snatched it out of my hand immediately and said, "look, I am sorry, listen, take the scalp healer and usikasirike na mimi."

I took the scalp healer, paid for it and now here I am still seething with anger because someone approached a situation the wrong way and made me lose my cool. I know people in business believe that "the customer is always right," and I have been called off for being overtly emotional, but as this goes, I am done with shopping at the Tuskys here in Kisumu.

I could get over it, because it was a small incident, but I have come to learn that "it's my money,my appreciation, and if I cannot be treated with an ounce of respect for it then let it be!" So, now I'll probably take a walk to town to buy stuff or stroll to Kibuye and try out "Westmatt."

PS: Turns out the hairfood was way cheaper at Tuskys because at Ukwala and Nakumatt it's 420/=

Do not let anyone define you.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

You shouldn't be here

"You shouldn't be here."

I turned to look at my self appointed bodyguard at Ukwala Supermarket. It was 3pm and I suddenly had the desire for some chocolate cake and coffee, not that I was hungry or in a good mood. I had the money and the desire and went for it! Sigmund knew about such stuff!
So there he was, in a blue T-shirt and jeans that had probably been to more places than his shoes. He had a smile that would have suited a teenager.

"Hi, I'm Lenny, we are friends on Facebook."
"Okay, and you know who I am?"
"Dora, you write some good stuff, I just thought you lived there in Nai or something."
"So, do you work here in Kisumu?"
"Yes, but maybe we could have coffee some time, I know you love coffee."

I nodded but truth is I did not know anything about him. I have 5,000 friends on Facebook, most of them have read my works and in one way or another found themselves in the list of friends as determined by a social network.
I thought about it for hours after walking out of Ukwala with the cake and promise of coffee time.
I had been reading some romance novels by Elizabeth Lennox with a couple of Sheikhs that were as pompous and seemed like the gods of love that simply being called out like that reminded me of one of the heroines.

I haven't done much writing since Monday, but am working on it this weekend hoping to finish my #NanoWrimo challenge and get moving too.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The New 50 Rules of Work by Robin Sharma

I got this list of 50 rules of work from Robin Sharma that I find helpful when it comes to work.
For now, I will share only six, you can read the rest on his blog:

1. You are not just paid to work. You are paid to be uncomfortable, and to pursue projects that scare you.
2. Good enough isn't just good enough.
3. To double your income, triple your rate of learning.
4. The bigger the dream, the more important the team.
5. An addiction to distraction is the death of creative production.
6. Lead you first. You can't help others reach for their highest potential until you are in the process of reaching for your own.