Tag Archives: swimming

Here and There: A Random Tuesday

So this past Saturday (the 23rd) was my 23rd birthday. Girls should not say their age, or weight. I’m willing to divulge my age though. Lemme share a few photos from that day, I had invited a few friends for a swimming day out.

Some friends and I swimming, in the deep end just so you know!

The cake, courtsey of many friends, Monch, Tristar4, TheKayrich and WallyB among them. Notice the name, it's like no one even uses my real name anymore!

Now this post is titled Tuesday and that’s what I’ll talk about. I kept checking my email every few minutes. I had attended an interview more than a week ago and I’d made a number of applications here and there and was hoping for some good news.

I know some people may be wondering about the number of interviews (two work interviews so far) I seem to have attended, but sometimes though you’re brilliant and talented, you can’t work anywhere. There is a right place, right time for you. Anyway, Tuesday morning I had yet another interview, this one work-related too.I’m expecting positive results as always.

I was back in town around noon and had to follow up on a registration hitch with KASNEB for my brother, who was reporting for his first day of campus. I wonder if I’ve inspired him to start blogging? He has five years of campus ahead of him.

As I passed by Agha Khan Walk in Nairobi, I couldn’t help but notice the number of (idle) people sitting on the raised ledge keenly watching anyone passing by. I managed to take a photo somehow, without anyone realizing it:

Notice the people seated, waiting for any object of interest to pass by. Usually, anyone walking past is an object of interest!

If you’ve had a busy up and down day in Nairobi during this hot weather season, you’ll know Githurai is not the place for a stopover on the way home. I tend to make fun of Githurai much, must be something to do with us being neighbours! Anyway, as I said earlier we buy some vegetables from this riot of a place and I told the driver of the matatu that I would be making a stopover.

“Uko sure ni Githu?” He asked, disbelieving.

I was seated in front with the driver and one other passenger so I was dealing with him directly, unlike when you sit at the back of the matatu and you have to poke (literally) the conductor so he can tap the matatu three times (more or less) then the driver knows to stop at the next stage.

I told the driver that yes, I was sure. I asked him why he didn’t believe I wanted to stop at Githurai.

“We hukai mtu wa Githurai…” – You don’t look like a Githurai person.

I was flattered. It meant I throw these middle-to-upper class vibes, which is a good thing when you have hopes of becoming East Africa’s president in 2032. People will not vote for a poor person! Okay, maybe they will but who doesn’t want people to think they’re rich even when you have no cent to your name?

I told him I was merely stopping over to buy some stuff and he nodded in understanding, saying Githurai people look more like him! Never mind Githurai and Kahawa Estates join somewhere, providing a smooth transition between the hoods.

There was a traffic cop at the stage and the driver had to stop some distance ahead. I can bet the matatu was violating all kinds of rules, from loud music to no speed governer.

I got home to no electricity and a phone with low battery. If you’re as addicted to my phone as I am, you become religious and pray earnestly for the electricity to come back. As I waited for my prayers to be answered, I got a new email in my inbox. It was from Strathmore University.

I had applied for a scholarship being offered by Safaricom, for a new Master of Science program in Telecommunications Innovation and Development that will be conducted at Strathmore Univeristy. I’ll blog more about it later. It was an acceptance email! I start my MSc next week.

The first good news in some time.

The downside is I had to postpone (hopefully) an internship opportunity with ILRI in Ethiopia. I was so looking forward to working in an international research organisation, going to the country directly north of us and having some shisha during my free time (why lie!). Ethiopia will have to wait till another time.

Looks like I’m going to be a student again!

23 on the 23rd

It’s not everyday someone turns the same age as their date of birth. Tomorrow is my 23rd birthday and though I do not remember what I used to wish to have achieved by this age, I’m still happy with what I have accomplished so far.

As usual, this song always gets me:(Five For Fighting- 100 Years)

I’m 15 for a moment
Caught in between 10 and 20
And I’m just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are

I’m 22 for a moment
And he feels better than ever
And we’re on fire
Making our way back from Mars

15 there’s still time for you
Time to buy and time to lose
15, there’s never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

I’m 33 for a moment
Still the (wo)man, but you see I’m a ?they’
A kid on the way, babe
A family on my mind

I’m 45 for a moment
The sea is high
And I’m heading into a crisis
Chasing the years of my life

15 there’s still time for you
Time to buy and time to lose yourself
Within a morning star

15 I’m all right with you
15, there’s never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

Half time goes by
Suddenly you’re wise
Another blink of an eye
67 is gone
The sun is getting high
We’re moving on

I’m 99 for a moment
Dying for just another moment
And I’m just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are

15 there’s still time for you
22 I feel her too
33 you’re on your way
Every day’s a new day

15 there’s still time for you
Time to buy and time to choose
Hey 15, there’s never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

Tomorrow, I plan to go for swimming with some friends to celebrate this day. If you’re reading this you’re invited :-)

We share a birthday with many in the world, I’m sure. Include one @gracemwaura. Happy birthday deary.

Parties, Funny Pets and Long Weekends

Last week, there were two public holidays in Rwanda. One was Heroes’ Day which was on a Tuesday (1st Feb) and the other was an elections day for local leaders, which was on Friday (4th Feb) so in the end, we only went to work for 3 days! How can I not love Rwanda if this trend of holidays continues?

So because Tuesday was a holiday, Kim threw his party on Monday night. Who is Kim? Oh, he’s a fun guy who sits on the board of MGVP. That’s the abbreviation of Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, gorilla doctors who are partners of AoC, where am interning currently. Whenever Kim is in town, he throws a party and everybody is invited. Open bar and some finger foods, what more can anyone ask for on a Monday night? Suffice to say, I got home safe with albeit with little drama involving a captain in the Rwandan army, a cigarette and Amarula. Some stories are left untold, you know?

We went back to work on Wednesday only to learn Friday was a holiday. This time, I just chilled out. Read my book, Wizard of the Crow, by Ngugi wa Thiong’o. Worked on some long overdue report… came up with a nice format/template, now to fill in the information and acquire appropriate pictures.

Later on Friday evening, I went for a walk with my boss to see her friend. The friend (who’s a vet) had just acquired a new puppy, and they were debating on names: Strider, Aragon, Gollum or Rocky. The first three names are from The Lord of The Rings, FYI. The puppy’s a um… I forget the breed but he was only 3 months old. He’d traveled for almost a week, from Paris to Amsterdam to (I don’t know where) to Kigali to here…

She has two other dogs apart from Puppy (his temporary name though Rocky was beginning to stick.) Her 7-year-old daughter is a bundle of energy and she loves animals too. She took me round their place: they have a donkey, called Punda. He’s a cute donkey, little but that’s his size, he’s fully grown. She has a saddle and rides him sometimes.

Next… she showed me their guinea pigs. (Just for those who might be thinking so: they’re not pigs from Guinea but a cross between rats and rabbits.) I didn’t want to hold them at first but after a while, figuring out if they can’t harm a 7-year-old, what can they do to an over (slightly over) 18? So I picked one up, petted it and gave it a carrot. They love carrots. They’re just so cute, one is er.. I forget their names. I think  Mdogo was black and white, and Sir was pure white with sparkling red eyes.

 

A very cute guinea pig

A very cute guinea pig

This weekend, I also went for swimming at the nearby Ishema Hotel. You pay about 1500 Rwandan Francs and swim for the whole day.

 

swimming-pool

The Ishema Hotel Swimming pool. Image from www.tripadvisor.com

And after finishing Wizard of the Crow on Sunday, I went to visit a workmate. I’m doing rounds visiting everyone I work with during weekends, don’t ask why. I’m trying to build relations, friendships, you know? Anyway, he made me watch a longer than 1-hr tape of his wedding! (Yawn). But I only write good things about my colleagues, so the wedding was very interesting. No drama, nothing out of the ordinary, just a nice wedding. Then he handed me about 1000-photo album with guess what, just wedding pictures! I was thoroughly entertained. And well fed by my hosts.

Here’s to Rwanda.

Work, Love and Life: Rwanda so far

I did not come to Rwanda to look for love (love looks for me, I do not look for it), neither did I come to start a pimping business or to look for wives for my Kenyan friends. I came to work. So please, stop asking me if Rwandese women are as beautiful as the myth goes? Okay, let me be polite and answer that. A few women are beautiful, most of them are average, and a few are er….a little below average. It’s the normal curve, nothing skewed towards the right (meaning most people are beautiful). Also, for the ladies, kindly don’t ask me how the men are, for reasons mentioned above :-D

Back to serious business. I’m living at a guest house (you know, like those lodges in Naivasha) so my new quarters are a big room with a bed, table and chair, two easy chairs and comfortable bathroom. Comfortable meaning plenty of space, and separate shower and toilet. It’s done with an African theme, if there’s something like that. The few hangings on the wall, the containers made from banana/fiber weaving etc. Breakfast is a part of accommodation, and I can also eat lunch/supper here at my own cost.

A view of my room, this is a part of the guest house am staying at.

A view of my room, this is a part of the guest house am staying at.

 

Julie (my boss) with Percy (the guest house owner's 14 year old son)

Julie (my boss) with Percy (the guest house owner’s 14 year old son)

Rwanda is a beautiful country, but it’s just starting out. You know the way in Kenya there are many ATMs sprinkled all over? Well, I learnt that ATMs are limited here and withdrawing via ATM is expensive. I’m living in Musanze Town, which is quite far from Kigali and there are many services which we have to drive down to Kigali for, not just banking.

This town is clean and very well organized. There are rows upon rows of new buildings, beautiful houses surrounded by brick fences that I learned are a requirement. If you cannot build a good house with a good fence, then you’re forced to sell your plot.

 

The Main Street (don't know the name yet) in Musanze Town. I walk clean streets like this everyday to work, for about 10min

The Main Street (don’t know the name yet) in Musanze Town. I walk clean streets like this everyday to work, for about 10min

The first evening after work, Julie took me to meet some of her friends: Jan, who’s a gorilla doctor (cool job, innit?) and Valerie (she works with local committees and some tourism group, I think). I had fun with these ladies, and though the only common thing we may have had is that Rwanda is not our home country, I think we could be good friends in the end.

Yesterday, we passed by the Gorilla Lodge just next to my guest house: they have this beautiful swimming pool and I think I may have found my Sat/Sun afternoon pastimes. Have a look:

 

The Gorilla Lodge swimming pool

The Gorilla Lodge swimming pool

There are other guests that come and go, like yesterday there was this American family with a really hot son who looked about my age. (He had long hair). But you know, I’m still new and it was just all round conversation at supper time, who knows? ;-)

As I finish my second day at work, I have a feeling that my stay here will be worth it.

P.S. There is a Pizza place just walking distance from here and I’ve been looking for someone to play pool with.

I also noticed a chess board at the guest house and can’t wait to play.