LOSING MY DAD

At the beginning of this year my dad dragged my bro, one of my cousins and I to my grandma's place in Kitale. I'm saying dragged because we didn't want to go. By that time there was no electricity there so that means no charging phones all the time. You can imagine three teenagers on a trip with these new age phones that have battery lives which end faster than me playing a game of Temple Run (I really suck at it!) and no hope of ever charging them. When we reached granny's place, we sat and had some bananas. Dad, taking a big bite off his banana, said "This new year sounds really strange. 2013 doesn't have a nice ring to the ear." Then grandma gave a sermonette on how this is the year of jubilee and how we should expect favour from God and all that.
     After days of looking for a good excuse to go back home, my brother and cousin managed to get on a bus and leave upcountry for the land of civilization. I decided to stay with dad. I figured if I got really bored, I'd have epic fun when I go back home.
       Two months later, my dad was diagnosed with colon cancer. On December 12th, he passed on. You see he had done some chemotherapy sessions and on September we decided he should go to India since the cancer centre in Kenya isn't well equipped. He was to go with my mum for six weeks then come back. Six weeks from their departure and he had successfully completed whatever treatment he had gone for. We were expecting them home any day from 12th of December.

11th December 2013. My big brother's 26th birthday. The next day would be Kenya's 50th anniversary as a free country so we were hosting a party for friends and family. What my brother didn't know was that it would also be a surprise birthday party for him. So he comes home at around 8pm from work and finds me watching tv, as always. He says that he had called mum but hasn't spoken to dad in like two weeks "Kwani there's something she's not telling me?" I tell him to keep calm, all will be well. He cooks supper and reminds me about the next day's luncheon.

12th December 2013. Paul, my brother, wakes me up early to clean the house. He says Unco Vic is only five minutes away. I wake up complaining why they're coming so early. I wake my other older brother, Jose, who looked like he was having a hangover and he complained about the same thing. Unco Vic arrives with his family and says "I see you've started preparing. Let's have a small meeting about how the day will be." He went on talking about how they were expecting my parents back home any day from that day. "But uuurm... there has been some new development and...he could not make it. He passed on." No one really heard what he said after that. My two brothers started crying.
     It's okay, I thought. I mean it's God perfect plan and He is a good God, father to the fatherless. Well, I wasn't that content for long. My younger sister was staying at my aunt's and when she came back home and heard the news she wailed. I felt really sorry for her.
      I didn't cry until the next morning when I heard a dream that we had gone to pick our parents at the airport. I couldn't see dad and waited for him even when mum and the rest went home. Days later, it dawned on me, he's never coming back. I woke up crying. By this time friends and family had filled the house. Though they comforted me I couldn't stop. I couldn't believe it. It was too painful.

15th December 2013. Most trips to the airport are usually exciting. Wondering what your loved one has brought you from the lands yonder. One time Uncle Vic brought manna from Iraq. LOL!
       However, this trip was different. We picked mum and went to the cargo terminal to pick dad's body to take it to the funeral home. At the home we saw the body. My sister almost broke the casket trying to wake dad up. At some point it became funny how she was strong enough to resist all the people holding her back. I looked at him lying there lifeless and helpless. He looked like he had had a painful death. I felt uneasy. I wanted to faint. Someone held me and I started screaming in pain and shock. I cried all the way home.
      The memorial service went on well. I was able to hold back my tears until I could not anymore. One minute I was smiling and then the next, boom! Tears all over. I just could not believe that the man who brought me to life was no more.

21st December 2013. Burial day. First of all, someone forgot to pack the funeral clothes for my sister and I so we had to go shopping for new ones. We looked nice. The sight of my dad's coffin being lowered into the grave killed me. I tried crying, screaming, calling him out, nothing. He was gone forever.

This has to be the most painful thing I've ever gone through. My dad was my everything. He treated us like kings and queens. He was just so loving and I loved him so much. He gave us confidence, told us no one was better than us and we have everything we need.

I feel sad that cancer took him away. I feel sorry that such a nice man had to die such a painful death. I apologise that cancer is not just a zodiac sign. I am the person I am because of my dad and mum. I wish you had met him. You'd have loved him too.

Now he's gone. I still feel terrible. I don't know how to live without him. This has been the worst experience ever but I thank God that I had incredible friends and family to support me. I won't ask any questions. I won't blame anyone however painful it may be. I just wish that my family and I may heal. His memory is sweet though he wasn't perfect. Godfrey Masinde will forever be missed. Rest in peace dad. I love you.

CAMPUS VERITUS

Doesn't that title sound cool. I feel like I've invented my own phrases. Ladies and gentlemen, you have just witnessed the making of history.

Campus. Not bad, not bad at all. I like how things have turned out here. Let me give you a few highlights.

1.Shamba shape-up
In my previous life, I used to fear flyovers (footbridges).
First day I used these footbridges I was petrified. (At first I was afraid. I was petrified....no no I, I will survive. for as long as I know how to *stops singing*). Everytime a car from beneath would hoot I would rush to the other side of the footbridge thinking that it would hit me. I used to take forever crossing that thing but atleast now I'm getting used to it since I use it everyday.

2.The advice
When everyone joins campus we get advice from the whole village and suddenly everyone is wise.I'm not complaining though. However I realised that some of it may be too much. Like there's this guy who came over to talk to me and ask for my number. Offcourse I get a lot of this. So this guy appproaches me and there was just some vibe he gave off that made me skeptical. Immmediately I saw myself talking to him at the same spot. I was much bigger in size and I was crying to him how I pregnant I was and he was just there insulting me and telling me that he doesn't even know me. It was quite funny and unfair to the guy. In my head I was like "My mama said you'd come." They should advise us on how to turn down a guy politely coz you'll be with them for the next five years and you'll probably need them to do your assignment somewhere down the line.

3.The lecturers
I always thought lecturers would be cool people. The first professor I heard of was Professor Utonium of Powerpuff Girls. So I thought lecturers, who are mostly professors, would be fun and we'd experiment with sugar, spice and everything nice.
Also, in the series "The Following" a lecturer is so influential that he starts a cult and recruits some of his students as his followers. The cult involved serial killing. When I joined campus I was ready to swim in the wisdom of these educators. You can imagine how disappointed I was. Some of them actually try.

3.Freshmen
Yea, I'm not going to overlook the fact that I'm a fresher. During the first week, my friends and I would get lost like all the time. I couldn't even get to the gate on my own. We'd fold the school map into the size of a phone to avoid the embarassment.
My classmates have too much psyk though. We are quite a huge number so it's easy to lose a seat if you come late. I'd walk into class fifteen minutes into class thinking how clever I am only to find the class filled to capacity.

I'm having a blast though. Learning what I love. Remember how I was excited about free wi-fi in school. The signal is so poor and it only works in the library.

See y'all later

DO YOU MIND? LET'S CELEBRATE OUR MINDS: the #hugSitawa campaign

I'm cool. If you're reading this you're cool too because coolness attracts coolness. This blogpost is about celebrating our cool minds. Let's take some time to thank God for giving us reason and brains. Appreciate all the wise decisions we've made and the crazy ones that add some fun to our lives.Do you mind? Let's celebrate our minds.
As we do so, it's important to remember those of us who go through mental health challenges. Unlike people who suffer from other illnesses like cancer or malaria, these people do not receive the type of support that they need. How does this happen when our minds are the ones that make us cool?
Growing up around people living with mental health challenges made me realise that they are just like us. Offcourse, like all other health problems, one needs a lot of emotional and financial support from those around. Soon you'll realise that it is actually a blessing in disguise. Why then should people who have mental health challenges not achieve their dreams?
Their minds are just as cool so they should be able to accomplish the same stuff that we do. All I'm trying to say is that we should stop the stigma that surrounds mental health.
This is where the #hugSitawa campaign comes along. Sitawa Wafula is trying to raise mental health awareness and you can help out. Just visit this link and see the various ways in which you can contribute.
Let's celebrate our minds because our minds are cool. It's time we did something about mental health. Mental health problems should not hinder anyone to achieve what they want. Cheers!

HI, I‘M FAITH

Hi, I‘m Faith and I‘m back. yaay! My writing mojo is back. Long time coming, right? My readers and followers (all one of them) have been begging for a new blogpost and here it is! I guess my problem is I never have anything to write about. You can send me ideas.
Have you watched those Road Hog videos? Don‘t they just freak you out? It‘s a campaign by a local tv station that receives videos of drivers breaking traffic rules in order to curb road accidents. When I get really broke I‘ll take a bus and sit next to a road which rich prominent people like politicians use frequently with a camera. Then I‘ll wait patiently for one of their drivers to make a traffic mistake and kaboom! I‘d blackmail them using the video. That‘s it. That‘s my master plan. Ok. let‘s not do that. Let‘s just stay in school and eat our vegetables :)
In other news, I‘m about to join campus. I‘m so excited. Going to school means new friends and more excitingly, a phone, a laptop and...drumrolls...another cute duvet \o/ Y‘all know pretty duvets make you think about going to bed all day. Plus, a phone and laptop in a campus mean free internet which means more blogging woot woot.
So do you sometimes feel like getting a degree is sometimes overrated? I mean think about it. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Bob Collymore, Michael Joseph. All these guys never got degrees and look where they are now. I‘m not saying education is bad but look at these people they‘re rich even without education. Plus we‘re all in this to get rich so theres was a shortcut though they had to work...maybe I‘ll be one of them. But then again I‘ll just stay in school and eat my vegetables.
Another shortcut in life is someone thinking that Nicki Minaj is wife material. In African culture wife material are those chics who are naturally beautiful, responsible and child bearing. To think that Nicki was proposed to was just encouraging. I don‘t need to clean and cook in the hope that someone will love my silicon body and propose. Bummer, I still live in Africa, a developping part of it actually so that‘s not going to happen. That‘s my cue for washing dishes so see you later alligators.
Please send me your blog post ideas. I hope I blog again really soon...boobies crossed ;)

MY TRIP TO RWANDA

Recently, someone stole my phone. I wasn't even mad because it was stolen at the beach of Lake Kivu. That's a prestigious place for a phone to get stolen considering most phones are stolen in matatus or on the street. However, what made me mad was that the thief in question removed my WhatsApp profile picture and I thought "Could this guy be any more inconsiderate?" He /she could have thought about the numerous minutes I spent on my laptop posing, taking a pic, deleting it and doing that all over again until I got tired. Does he even know that this webcam takes three seconds between the time you press the shutter button and the time it actually takes the picture? The pose should have been taken into consideration. I'm looking into the horizon holding up my hair. That took a lot of energy. Another thing is that there was a potential someone who had promised to whatsapp me so what if they did and found that gingerbread image? Tsk.

Anyhuu, I was in Rwanda last week and boy did I have fun! So when we reached the border and got our passports stamped they had to check our bags. Not for bombs or explosives but for...wait for it...PLASTIC BAGS! How cool is that! They have a no-plastic-policy. They use dogie bags instead. I always felt so cool coming from the grocery store (yes, the grocery store) with a brown paper bag ^^,,

The technology level in Rwanda is insane! First of all, Kigali is a hot spot free wi-fi everywhere. The promise I have been waiting for Uhuru to fulfill in his first 100 day. Just so you know Mr. President, I'm counting. Think about it, you don't have to spend money buying a drink at The Junction or Prestige just to use their wi-fi. Or writing down all the names of your neighbour's kids and wife trying to find out his wi-fi password. Every kid in high school has an e-mail address and is on facebook. Most of the boys do computer science, software engineering or something like that so if you're into whizkids Rwanda is just the place for you.

Another thing is beauty. The chics in Rwanda are so beautiful with their natural afros though the weave disease is slowly catching up with them. Most of the dudes we went with were amazed at how all those pretty ladies can be at the same place at the same time. Besides the girls, the scenery was also very beautiful. For example, were staying at a guesthouse where we could see Lake Kivu and Mt. Nyiragongo while standing at the balcony. We could also see the Rwanda-Congo border. That place was just beautiful especially at sunrise and sunset as the mountain looked liked it was about to erupt when illuminated by the sun rays.

They call Rwanda the "LAND OF A THOUSAND HILLS AND A MILLION SMILES". True the Rwandese are very friendly, always wanting to help out. Apart from the irritating ones who brush your hair saying "mimi nataka ubaki Rwanda na mimi ama nikufuate huko Kenya" meaning "I want you to stay in Rwanda with me or I go back to Kenya with you."The people there are loving and ready to make new friends.

My best part about the tip is when we went to the lake, Lake Kivu. The waters are so beautiful and once you get in to swim you feel really nice. Although we were told later on that the waters contain ethanol or was it methanol...I'm yet to confirm. That does however confirm why people started acting a bit funny. The place has no changing rooms so Thank God for the big trees which served us well. I was buried in the sand! It felt so great. Only my head was visible until someone decided to tickle me and the sand came tumbling down.

I had so much fun but now I'm back to Kenya though some people like to argue that Ngong' is not in Kenya but that's for another day. I realised that I still missed my home country and I'm glad to be back





ANGRY BIRDS

No, this is not a commentary for Angry Birds. It's a lament against all the people we love or hate because of their personalities. They make you an angry bird because you think the odds are unfair to you. You become more than an angry bird...a jealous bird.
1. The lucky bastard
You put some money aside to buy newspapers for the next three months because you want to fill out the coupons daily incase you win an appartment. On the last day of the promotion your friend says "I guess I should give this promotion a try." The next day you turn on the tv expecting to see someone from wherever people who often win promotions come from. Guess what! You see your friend! All up on your tv thanking you since if it wasn't for you they wouldn't be there. What!
They are not bastards they are just too damn lucky.
You walk together to a class but when you realise you're getting late you decide to speed up. He finally catches up and shows off the thousand shilling bill he picked up on the SAME ROAD you used.
What did these people give so that the odds are always in their favour? When you ask them they say "I don't know. I guess I'm just lucky ^^,,"
2.The extremely attractive person
Did you know that the human mind can never fail to notice an attractive person? Also, it is scientifically proven that humans are more sympathetic to an attractive person compared to other people. Through the little criminology I've done (watching CSI, NCIS and Monk) I've learnt that most serial killers and intelligent criminals are hot therefore their victims feel more secure and even willing to help. So if you want to be a successful criminal and you're not attractive stop reading my blog and go for plastic surgery.
You might be smart but someone who is more attractive will more easily become successful. Your crush who you've been flashing hints on sees them and they fall hopelessly in love, just because their skin is fairer than you. You confidently walk into an interview because one of the bosses is a family friend. The boss says "I think I've seen you around but I can't remember who you are." That gorgeous thing walks in and the boss is like "I saw you on LinkedIn and I knew you're the right person for the job."
3. The person who is better than you in the one thing you're good at.
Who cares if your highest score on Temple Run is 4,000,000(I've never scored 1,000,000)? There's someone who has a high score of 4,000,000. You're really good at something and you know that's your breakthrough but because of them you become second place. And nobody likes second place or the loser unless offcourse you're Kethi Kilonzo then it's another story.
You work your butt out but you just can't figure out how to beat them. You steal the oil from all the transformers in your county to make a million tasty mandazis but boom! They made two million mandazis with oil straight from Saudi Arabia.
4. The person you hate but everybody loves.
Maybe you don't like Andrew Kenneth. Maybe you think his eyebrows are too bushy, or is it the lashes? Ok you got me, I wanted to show that I'm so not into that dude.
Think of that big dude who used to bully you back in kindergaten. I remember my bully was called Tabitha. One day she hit me until I bled. This is how I remember it in my head: She stomped my head on a tree stump like a piece of meat being placed on a chopboard in a Dagoretti butchery. My whole forehead was bleeding. Once I got strength to stand up she pushed me and I fell off a 3 km cliff hitting huge rocks  and lost conscious. Once I came to I ran to my mom's ha├žienda where she was gardening. "Oh mi amora what have they done to you?" I think you get the jist now.
So imagine one day Tabitha walks back into my life with a smile on her face and she's this adorable piece of joy. She apologises to everyone and everyone becomes her friend. However, I'm still traumatised and I'm accused of not letting bygones be bygones. She comes to my birthday party and my mum bakes HER favourite cake. Woah! I feel so alone. It's like everyone apart from me is blinded by her charm. :''(
5. The all-rounder
I once had a crush on all-rounder and to this day I wonder how I never got tired of crushing on him. These people are practically good at everything. Top student not just in their year but since the school was founded. Sets and breaks their own records in various sports. Highest scorers in the gaming world. They've got it all.
Here's the thing; it's bad when friends fail in something but it's worse when one friend passes and the others fail. It's not jealousy but that's the way it is.
 Cheer up! You unknowingly make someone an angry bird. Even if you don't, one day the odds will be in your favour. Plus there's God who always wants you to prosper.

DEAR TEN YEAR OLD ME

It's 2013 and we still don't have a time machine that travels back in time? Lazy Chinese geeks!
Anyhu, if there was a way I could communicate to anyone in the past I would talk to ten year old me about the questions she used to ask herself. If I had an iPast (get it?), this is what I'd write:
Dear ten year old me,
It's me! I mean you, I mean...you know what I mean. I hope this letter answers most questions you have about the future.
1. I am not six feet tall.
Darn, I am not even 5'5. I'm sorry. I know you wanted to be a model. I don't blame you though, it's your sisters 13,14 and 15-year old me. They were distracted by high school and forgot to grow taller. All hope is not lost though. I have grown five cm taller in the last three months. You can do the math.
2. The G-string is not a guitar
Remember when you heard the word G-string on the t.v and asked Paul what it meant? Then he told you that you'll figure it out when you grow older. At the back of your mind you wondered why he was too shy to tell you it's a new guitar in the market. You promised yourself to work hard until you buy yourself one, learn how to play it and become famous. Well, I won't tell you what a G-string is but I'll tell you what it's not, a guitar. So do me a favour and wake up from your "Faith, the best G-string player ever" dream. You'll figure it out later.
3.You never got to be a last born again
I know you are not getting along with Ann because you feel like she stole your last born life. Stop wishing that she would go back and leave you reigning on your lastborn throne. In time you will realise that you have the best sister in the whole world and Jose and Paul are the best brothers you will ever have.
4. What career is it again you wanted to pursue?
I recently passed my high school exams but I'm having a hard time choosing a university course. I can't remember what it is you wanted to be so if you can find a way of communicating, maybe a dream or something, I'd really appreciate it.
5.Lose that accent you got when you took dad to the airport.
I know you were so excited when dad went to USA that you got a fake American accent. Lose it! In the future, dad will be travelling more often and you will have a wierd accent by the time you're fifteen.
6. We bought a larger screen but I still couldn't see Cow and Chicken's parents and Miss Blossom's faces.
Think about it, which couple on this earth, cartoon or not, would ever show their face for the whole world to see if they have a cow and a chicken( who believes is male but lays an egg in a certain episode) for kids. For Miss Blossom, I think she was hot enough without her face. The producers probably didn't find a face to complement her hot red dress. Offcourse they didn't look hard enough, red is totally your colour.
7. Thank you for your self confidence. It has really made me achieve a lot so keep up the good work.
Gotta get back to my real life now. Later!