Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Changes in Settings.

Hello, if you haven't been receiving my posts via email, please sign
up to do so.
There's a sign up slot on the right side bar that says "follow me by
email, no sweat!"
It's easy, just type in your email address and activate a link that
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Yahoo or Facebook.

Sorry for the inconvenience, but I had to upgrade my settings and now
you get to decide to follow my blog or not. It's totally up to you.

Have a great day.
And if you haven't heard...there's a new novel in the works! How about
that follow?

How can one change the world if one identifies oneself with everybody?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Teens for Teens- Kenya

I'm finally doing it!

Finally getting down on the ground and spreading the word about my organization. I feel so good that I had to share this with you- and forgive me, but how are you today?
How has your day been so far?
Have you been pushed to the limits?
Have you had the best day? Are you looking forward to the Easter holiday?

I am finally getting started on Teens for Teens-Kenya. As the name suggests, it's an initiative that seeks to empower teenagers to actively participate in societal development.
It will be open to members aged between 13 and 17 years old.


Well, in Kenya one is of legal age at 18 years. There are so many organizations and groups that target 18 year olds and above, but what of those who are yet to attain this privilege?

I've often heard parents, teachers and most siblings complain of certain things they see in teenagers- and this has led me to focus on them. Teens for Teens will not turn teenagers into perfect citizens or children for their parents, but it will allow them to learn positive life skills that they'll need in an ever changing world. It will not solve their issues but help them through counseling, volunteer opportunities and communication- to identify the root causes of these problems and seek solutions on their own.

It's not about fixing!

So, what or who inspired me to get this started aside from my experience working with people? I will give credit to Ann, who founded and still runs Ti-Plus , an organization in Kariobangi that empowers teenagers and especially those who are HIV Positive.

Teens for Teens is currently based in Kisumu, and we have already started with the marketing and spreading the word around town.

Membership is Ksh. 500. It;s an annual fee that goes towards basic administration of the organization and while setting up this initiative- I had to consider commitment in setting up the fee.
Most people would ask, why do I have to pay to join?
Well, it's a requirement for membership and once you pay there's the entitlement that comes with it-because it's only one bit of your contribution towards the organization.

All our events will be taking place during the holidays when all the members have closed school.

So, now that this is up and about- spread the word.
If you have a sister, brother, nephew, niece, neighbor, friend or child who is aged 13- 17, and you'd want them to be part of this are our contacts:
Phone Number: 0719 281 216

It's been a long time coming and I'm glad that I get to do this. I have to try and give it my all, who might just be the one thing that truly makes a positive difference in someone's life.

How can one change the world if one identifies oneself with everybody?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Line of Beauty

I am currently reading The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

It's been a hectic week, but I managed to do most of what I could, and now I can sit back and read this book. The reason I am writing about it is because of how I came to buy it.

Yes, this is not a review because I am on page 13.
I still have 478 pages to go and to review it would be foolish.

So, back to how I got picked this book. I had gone to Nakumatt (Mega Plaza, here in Kisumu) hoping to enjoy the #BooksFirst offer (buy three get one free). I walked to the book section and started going through the books that were on offer- reading each title, each author's name, looking at the font and the blurb about the book.
I did this for some time and then found myself kneeling on the floor when I caught site of Sharon Maas' "Of Marriageable Age" novel- and decided it'd be worth it.

The next thing I knew there was this man standing before me, he had the tag- and all and I assumed he worked at the supermarket but he must have been someone senior in rank. I knew all the attendants in the book section.

I hadn't seen his face, let alone heard his voice- but what he said perplexed me.

"You love to read, I have noticed you always come here and take your time going through the books and never leave empty handed. It's funny that- every time you come, you always kneel at this section...are the books better here?"

"Excuse me?"

"I'm sorry, it's just we rarely get such dedicated customers. Kenyans don't read." I looked at him and wondered how final his tone was on reading. "Kenyans don't read."

I thought about it. I let it sink for a second, then mused, "I am a Kenyan, and I read."

I looked at him and he frowned then went on to say, "You know, it's true- but you are one of the few." I realized that I had said this out loud. I smiled at him and extended my hand "I'm Dora, and you are?"

"Francis. I am the Supervisor."

"Do you read these books Francis?"

"No. I have to admit that I barely have the time to, but I try."

"Okay, Monica, Mom, Chez, Uncle Martin, Grace, Bill, Lucy, Lavender, Fred, Joyce, Shillah, Jill, Nancy, Brian...are Kenyans and they love reading."

"Who are those?"

"Family and friends."

"I get it, maybe I was to quick to jump into conclusions...'Some Kenyans don't read."

"I'd accept do you have any new books coming in?"
"We do, that's why we have this offer and..." The intercom buzzed and his phone rang- seemed like his boss wanted him to report to his office. He smiled and then walked into his office, came out with a yellow folder and locked the door- then said 'work calls."

I never asked him why his shoes were brown. I just thought that if he wore black shoes then it would radiate much more balance in his attire: a sky blue shirt, grey tie, black belt, black trousers...and brown shoes?
You see it too, don't you?

But, then I noticed this book just where he was standing and I picked it and thought...for a book to be made into a film, and then TV Series, there has to be something that reflects the society in it...and so I bought it!
Read a book, will you?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Here's what I have to say for myself

I'm back!

Well, I never did leave, but I had to take time off blogging to simply put my thoughts together and complete this.

What is it?

A short story. It was longer but due to some editing I found myself cutting out most of it, and what's left is more or less a summary of all that I had written.I woke up today and had to sit in front of my mom's computer to get this done. Look, I even took a picture:

But, what got me smiling most was this 4 pack of stick notes that I got from Nakumatt, and the Pelikan pens:

I couldn't wait to use them and thus had to separate them- so now I have a full set of stick notes and pens to last me a year, but that doesn't mean that I would not buy some more. The world can always use more stationery, and a regard for the environment while at it. My week has been frustrating because what I desired most did  not come to pass, but I am taking everything in stride and looking forward to another week. I will be going back to work tomorrow, but it's been great writing this story and braiding my hair, and waking up at 7am.

You can download a free copy of " Love like Bouts of Diarrhea" from my Smashwords page ---> here
-- I will also post a direct link on the blog on the right hand side bar, you can just click on the image and be sure to share it with somebody.
How can one change the world if one identifies oneself with everybody?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Time Off

I don't know how I will do this but I am taking time off to advance my writing skills.
Does that make sense?

I am afraid it means zilch to me. I have this voice in my head that tells me that I can do it all. I am having a break from work (the visit to schools is over, until schools open in May) and that means I can finally write and focus on getting my organization up and running.

I told you the previous week that I was writing a novel 'Love like bouts of Diarrhea' and by the look of things, it might be a full length novel. So, why the time off?

I need to focus on writing it and train myself on other aspects that I feel need improvement. So, sadly this means I will not blog as frequently as I should, and it also means that my online presence will be limited to better focus on all this.

So, you'll hear about the novel when it's ready.

For now, I have to enjoy reading the books I bought today, and get back to writing.

Have a musical weekend!
PS: The Fray have a wicked album called 'Helios.' 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


"No one defines me..."

This was said by Tom Riley, who plays the role of Leonardo DaVinci in the TV series DaVinci's Demons

I watched the first season yesterday- and couldn't stop replaying the words "no one defines me."

You can read the blurb about the TV series here and watch it, but this post today is another piece that comes straight from the heart-because it reminded me of a conversation I had with Brian.

Yes...woe unto anyone who dates a writer! You'll make either a great story or a bad one.

Brian...well, where do I start with him? Tall, dark and somewhere near fabulous, happens to be one of my best ex-boyfriends, because we can occasionally Skype and reminisce on the good times we had- and I can listen to how his life is in another country.
He's a good guy.

He had his moments.

So...I remember one time he told me that he fears I would never settle down because to do so would mean containment and he cannot see me being defined by a man or my love for the man.

I took this in stride- until my friend Grace, opened up to me about her concern.

I have been in the wonderful company of some great friends- and she foresaw one of them thinking of advancing our friendship, most probably to an engagement. When she pointed this out- I had to buy her lunch and secure a table at the corner in a restaurant because she had confirmed my fears. I did not want to lead the guy on.

He's a good friend, not a potential mate.

So, we got to talking and she said "you'll never settle just for anyone Dora, that's your problem, you read too much, listen too much, talk at times too much and most of all are a free spirit, I mean, you quit and seek jobs as though you were walking in and out of a bus station! This guy...hana hopes! Ama, what do you think?"

I looked at her- and summoned the guts to confess that she was right. You know, when you find the one person whose love doesn't contain, but sets you do everything in your power to make them know this and to keep them in your life. It's like breathing or finally reading that one book that knows you so well, you can't put it down or close it!

"No one defines me."
For isn't that complete in itself?

A definition means something is!
It's not something will be, or was, or could's just something that is, and that falls short of so many aspects of life and experiences don't you think so?

It doesn't mean that being in love or in a committed relationship means you are contained. It means that you cannot cease to always be when you are attached. Isn't it odd that most cases of divorce cite "irreconcilable differences?" What changed?

I had to share this because...somehow it feels as though every time I embark on one of my expeditions, there's always so much to learn- and I get into it all with such a rush that I never seem to notice the change in me that my friends see.

I also write this because Brian has been nagging me about it- and he said that unless I choose I accept it, I'd have so many people hoping for a chance yet it has not come through, so now that I am dealing with all this, you can also read about my awesome BFF by clicking ---> Dear Brian

So, at the moment there's a lot more for me to sort through, because the one thing Grace failed to notice is not just the high hopes that the guy has, but also the fact that  there could be hope-given how I interact with them.

So, what's my take?
When it comes to wisdom and the search for can never be full.
How can one change the world if one identifies oneself with everybody?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Public Transport...and the last minute people!

I arrived at the bus terminus today at 6:00am and got a matatu to Awasi at 7:10am.
It left the stage at 7:20am.'s the story.
There are new traffic rules that have to be followed by the public transport officials save for the traffic policemen and women.

Note: I said, some are above the new traffic laws.
I say so- because I was aboard a vehicle that had all the right documents, and we were wearing seat belts- and everyone was seated including the conductor, but this policeman just had to get money from the tout. He asked the driver to pull over, then singled out the tout by first asking him why he was not in full uniform. He then took him by the hand and they walked towards a lorry that was parked. I found this insulting to a system that is supposed to ensure road safety. I didn't know about the bribe, until later on as we were approaching Ahero junction when the conductor told the driver they can carry excess passengers because they will have to make enough money to give the "ever hungry" traffic police.

I woke up knowing that there would be fewer vehicles on the road -because most of them failed to meet the standards and this is partly because the matatu owners and associations took their time in attaining the necessary documents and clearance, so they are the last minute people.
This resulted in the inconvenience that I faced today.

But...let me tell you how my day went. I had to get on a picky picky from Ngere-Kagoro (some meters before Awasi) to Nyakoko primary and it took me a while to get there, but somewhere along the way I took this:
Isn't it lovely?

The sky...

Okay, so after engaging in a fruitful discussion with the head teacher, I made my way back to Masogo on foot, then took a picky picky that led me all the way to Ahero because there were no vehicles plying the Muhoroni -Ahero route.

When I arrived at Ahero, I had to get into a tuk tuk :
I paid one hundred shillings to get to Kisumu- but what amused me most was that we were 5 people in the back seat. One man agreed to pay half price and sit in the boot- which I did find very tenacious of him.

Truth as I down my second cup of coffee: I have had a wonderful day. I know it was tough, and compared to what I have seen on Discovery World's Don't Drive Here , I would say- my day was rather unexpected but still worth appreciating.

I didn't know for example that 5 women could fit into the back seat of a tuk tuk. I do know however that 7 people (my wonderful cousins, December 2012) can fit into a tuk tuk!

So...I'm heading to another school tomorrow evening and we'll see how well that will go, but so far, all is well...I am reading Confinement by Katharine McMahon

How can one change the world if one identifies oneself with everybody?