When Nature Comes Calling..

Good morning from Kampala, the kingdom city of His Excellency. Sometimes it’s hard to differentiate between Uganda and Museveni, isn’t it?. Honestly, they sound and look the same. I won’t comment much, you know why. I’m writing right from his backyard here you know, lest I get thrown to the cells and commanded to support the no-age-limit motion that will allow him to rule until he dies-sorry, until his spirit leaves him and continue to rule over Ugandans in heaven. Or where do the souls of our African politicians go after they die? If at all they do die.

That aside, Uganda is one of the most beautiful countries you will ever visit. You can bet on that. The majestic shores of Lake Victoria, the unmatched hospitality of the Ugandan people, the unforgettable indigenous culture, and the amazing matoke meal are things you will never find anywhere else, not even in Mugabe of Mswati’s backyards.  Greetings to those old friends of mine, their inspiration especially In relation to polygamy is outstanding. Ever tried out matoke, chavalagra, crushed groundnuts, and ginger tea made of hot water, ginger leaves, and sugar? You will never eat anything else. I mean it. No wonder Uganda is hosting the first ever African Youth Conference on Climate Change and UN-SDGs, ACOY.  Environmentalists love local foods, and here we have it. Welcome to Uganda, the pearl of Africa. Write to wildworldexpeditions@gmail.com for an amazing experience in this wonderful country.

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The day I traveled to this place was one of the most emotional days in my entire life. Leaving Skippy, my adorable cat, behind is not the easiest thing I can do. It is often a test of my faith and I don’t like it. Unfortunately I have to, not only because I have to represent Wild World Expeditions, but I want her to know a little about life-to miss me and to start preparing for the next life-marriage. This tendency of hers to ignore advances from potential mates should stop. Don’t let her know I said this, she will go for days without eating- but this cat will not live with me forever. She has to get married and bring me some grandcats to play with. Well, I’m not saying that she should start coming back home drunk and late in the night or join all those bad peers I see around. I’m only politely requesting her to understand that there comes a time when life is more than just applying make-up all day and slaying around. She can’t even do the dishes for fear of washing away her nail art. This kid. She needs to get a job-maybe chase some rats for my neighbors-who will pay me in turn. Kidding, I won’t let her suffer for anyone’s problems. Let rats dominate your house as much as they want but I won’t let my cat do the chasing. You know well she can’t eat rat, so why waste her little energy running around with them? She can equally look for a dude good at hustling-serves the same purpose. No no, she should actually earn her own money, maybe do manicure and pedicure for her wannabes in the hood. “Skippy’s Hair Salon for Upcoming Slay Queens”.

So recently she turned down a grey guy’s advances, right in front of me. Imagine! It was heartbreaking. As a man I could fully understand how the male cat felt. Being turned down by a hood’s slaying queen when you are in your best mood and suit isn’t the best thing to experience. The shocking bit was that the boy child had even the guts to approach our homestead. He came right to the door step. Such sacrifices. The struggles of a male child. So Skippy was sitting right there, listening to the pleas of the grey child, asking for her hand in an evening coffee out, not even in marriage. And after an hour of persuasions, all she could do is rub off some piece of dirt off her left fore leg-the little soil she got when the grey cat greeted her. Maybe this is what turned her off altogether. She simply can’t stand dirt, especially when it comes from interested parties. As the CEO of Skippy’s Hair Salon, she is right. Don’t you think so? After that she gave the dude a look that she usually gives people when saying “get a car, here are the directions to hell”.

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I hope by the time I go back to Kenya she will have reconsidered her stand because I know the guy, dirty as he is, won’t give up on my daughter. I like his determination. When nature comes calling, it persists.

I will be sure to pick some matoke for her on my way out and maybe some perfume and a necklace. This kid loves beauty. She will jump up and down, dash to the grey dude and give him another look that says “Can you handle this?”

You know I can’t advice her on this, let her pursue her heart’s desires. I can only come in when she’s 27 and still in my house, single as ever.  Something I’m very afraid of right now.

Enough with Skippy, a little gossip about Mike won’t hurt. In my previous article, I was detailing how my visit to his workplace to see Keletso went on. Apparently Keletso isn’t just your late 30s kind of a lady, she also has a taste. A taste for coffee and African delicacies. Mike says she can comfortably cook a meal enough for a platoon of soldiers on their hungriest day. A rare cooking talent that every man desires in any lady, not just old women. Definitely Mike did not marry a woman because of her cooking ability. So I still insisted on knowing why I settled on the yellow borne. His answer was simple and clear, coming from a mouthful of white coffee, “When nature comes calling”.

Well, as it is the norm with my boy team, we have to accept the reality, bite the bullet, face the bull by the horns, and accept Keletso as our in-law. The ceremony will be up this coming weekend. I hope she won’t forget and starts playing the mother role, commanding us to all go to bed by 9pm. I’m not even sure how to dress or what vibes to give to her-basically I don’t know how I will handle her during the event.  I don’t even know whether to call her in-law, my lady, my lord, her majesty, madam, princes, mother, aunt, grandma to my cat, just not sure. Any suggestions? But I will go with Skippy, just to make her see how other women are faring on. Either way, Mike seems to have found love, what I don’t know is whether he will settle this time round. This is the millionth time we are formally introducing ourselves to a lady of his. Ugh, the struggle boys go through for their friends.  Basically nature came calling, and Mike responded. I’m happy. Will it last? My comment section all for you, as usual.

I will inform you how the get-together will go, and let’s hope Keletso doesn’t get drunk and start drama. We just a group of young (read old but unmarried) guys who don’t know how to handle mature drama.

For now, let me listen to what the speaker of Uganda’s National Parliament is saying at this conference. Get photos on Instagram: @kevlunzalu and follow us on Twitter: @W_ExpeditionsKE

 

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Of the long Silence and Nature’s Fury.

Been a while, I know. I hope in my absence you have been busy, quite busy doing something meaningful for nature. My silence was truly intentional as I was gathering information, roaming around, gossiping, doing good for nature, and investigating the fury of mother nature. From what I found, it really has a fury.

I was also working on my 100% re-washable bags, an alternative for many, after Kenya’s plastic ban. Get yours today.

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Of course I was also waiting for your response. And was waiting for my bottle vegetables to mature, as you can see. I hope you also utilizing your used bottles to create something for your stomach or pocket.

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By the way, my kitten has grown into a cat, somewhere in her mid sevens (I mean seven months and some days), rapidly transforming into a diva- a slay queen.
One of the reasons for my silence is because I didn’t know whether to write about nature’s fury, yet, or watch out for male cats from my neighborhood who want to rob me off my daughter cat. A girl I have raised since she was abandoned by her mother to the attractive beauty she is today. Let me make this clear, no random male will seduce my cat without paying a single cent! Let’s follow marriage protocol.
Look, I don’t want random grand-cats roaming around and calling me grandpa yet I don’t have the slightest idea of their father. No baby, they must be conceived ONLY after a consultative meeting and a church, sorry customary wedding ceremony.Otherwise my anger will ignite the fury of mother nature.
Enough about about my cat. You all that have suitable suitors, my comment section is all open for application. I assure you your male ones will really  like her, she is the cutest thing a male cat will ever lay his eyes on. Religiously brought up and well-mannered. Just a little crazy at times, like all women, when her makeup slides.
Note: Mother nature’s fury will fall upon those who forward ugly and bad-mannered mates.

Now that I’m writing this from a safe place, I can quickly update you on how my friend Mike has fared on. First, he is still single-at times I’m convinced he messed up with a component of nature that will never allow any woman to love him, even in their most weird dreams! Maybe a drained a river, maybe he poached a hyena, maybe..just something a man should not do.

Partly, it is also because he still walks around with a blue t-shirt with “POLICE” printed on the chest side. I mean which girl would believe a guy who calls himself a cop when the closest he has interacted with the police is during a demonstration in which he wanted the rights of coffee makers  respected? Did I tell you that Mike makes some of the best coffee mixes in Nairobi? Well, when nature is mad at you, it doesn’t take away everything.
So last month, as usual, he called me at the wee hours of the night- how single people think they can call you at any time of the day I will never understand! Anyway, thinking he could be in a mess or probably facing a beating due to a nightclub bill he had failed to raise, I reached out and picked the call. Only for the dude to start narrating how for a week he couldn’t get his dark-grey withered eyes off the new cleaner (or what’s the kind word for a person who washes coffee pots?) at their workplace.I was irritated, how could he cut short my super awesome dream in which I was gladly watering my bottled tomatoes with my cat sitting there, staring at me with her cute eyes! Ugh-People.
But at the same time I was happy that finally he was lusting at a girl within his reach. Frankly, I’m tired of Mike’s behavior-always going for women whose standards are as high as my cat’s. Girls we can’t afford to schedule a date with, let alone hanging around them. Nature has a way of motivating people-it keeps sending him to such.

Hearing about the lady in question, I forgot my wake-up anger, and opened the inner ear for the idiot to drum his mind in. I rarely do this for him, unless it is really necessary. That guy can easily damage your ear drums with his unending stories. After 45 minutes of listening to the narrations and frequent repetitions, I reminded him that I needed to sleep and that it was now my turn to give him my opinion of his situation. Get this, when Mike needs your advice on women, he is the most obedient person you will ever meet.
I told him to go for it. “Go keep it, I swear if you just hit it I will never talk to you again. Don’t even remember my name” A long silence from him after such threats often means he has noted. So I hung up and switched my phone off, lest his excitement over the yellow borne sends him to call again and again. A week later, I visit his workplace for some fine coffee and, obviously, to catch a glimpse of the lady who has been running my friend crazy. Nature is binding.
He couldn’t wait for me to seat and wipe off the sweat off my nose before calling out for Keletso (Not her real name). I noticed his coffee was sweeter on this day, obviously made by a man in lust-sorry- in love. Or maybe it was meant to be first tasted by a woman loved by the coffee maker. I don’t know, I won’t speculate. To me, she was a well-composed lady, with a perfectly ironed knee-high blue skirt and a white shirt that slightly revealed the lower part of her neck.  Her greeting was kind. A typical lady my grandma always talked of.

Then something lingered in my mind. Was this the kind of woman I would recommend for my best friend? Yes. But one thing. Her age. Why would Mike go for a lady in her late thirties? Nature has a fury.

My boss again, urg! Let’s talk tomorrow, please. You want to know what I did before I left the restaurant and my interaction with Keletso afterwards, or you can simply guess. The comment section is all yours.

Nature has a fury.

Urban Farming-How to grow kales in used water dispenser bottles (PICTURES) Part I

With the ever increasing urbanization, population growth, and diminishing farming space, urban farming techniques and innovation remain the only way through which food abundance can be guaranteed. Besides, natural calamities such as drought and related famine can only be effectively handled if new farming strategies are devised and employed. In one of my previous posts, < https://goo.gl/Hl5zDD >, I explained various reasons why Africans, especially the youth, need farming now than ever before.

In this prose, I detail how the urban population, most of whom are not soil-friendly or probably do not have the space to practice the art on large land tracts, can do it on a small yet very productive scale. In essence, dwindling farming space should not be the reason for starvation and idleness anymore.Today, I highlight steps through which you can efficiently utilize your used water dispenser bottles to grow kales (popuarly known as “sukuma wiki”) in Kenya, and spinach. However, it should be noted that other crops including flowers can be grown using this technique.

The first step in this farming process is to accept that your hands will be dirty for some minutes-yes. However, urban ladies should not stop reading this article at this point as there is a solution to getting your expensive babies dirty and outworn. You can wear farming gloves, plastic bags, or do the farming just before you do your manicure. The good news is that with this farming technique, your hands will only be dirty once, during the planting time. Watering is easy and “hygienic”.

You must ensure that you select the right seedlings in terms of quality such as healthy with good elongated stems and uncut root systems.

Second, prepare your containers by cutting used water dispenser bottles (I chose these because they are neither too small nor too big, properly utilizing available space). Recycling is also a consideration in this case. Select top soil that has moisture (you can get this from the nearest place including roadsides, it is not much soil you know), nutrients, and other valuable characteristics and fill the cut bottles to about 80% full.

Join me in the second segment as I explain the reason behind cutting the bottles as they appear above and describe the next and final steps of this fun-filled farming venture. Won’t you? Ladies, don’t do your nails, we are not yet done with the “dirty” bit!

Questions, additional input, and commends on this first segment have a home in the comments section below.

Twitter: @W_ExpeditionsKE and K_Lunzalu

Climate Change and Food Security

January is here, and the last topic on many people’s minds is food- “good” food for this matter. As my friend, my Mike would say, “no easy.” The fact that this is the month many of us feed like chicken after spending on chicken during the December holidays has prompted me to talk (read-write) about this important issue. Oh, by the way, Mike has been missing since 1st January. I think he has been promoted at his chicken-feeding job to being part of the chicken owner’s property. Or probably he went to grab a girlfriend from Uganda. I hear there is plenty of food in that country and that corruption, endless workers’ strikes; water rationing, Uhuru, Raila, and drought have properly been well contained. That boy will stay anywhere in the world right now provided there is water, food, and a girl to date.
Nothing makes sense unless it is linked with climate change. I mean people have become so detrimental to the environment that even the way we chew food has an ecological footprint. I mean who wants to see a cement mixer on the dinner table, isn’t that an immediate cause of home-based climate change? Do our feeding patterns have an impact on climate change? Are genetically modified organisms a solution to food security? As I highlighted in my last article, I have decided to give a keen eye, ear, and nose on agriculture this year. One of the areas I am significantly following is agroecology. Do you know what this is? Share with me in the comments section.
It is often hard to discuss food as a topic without considering the environmental, socio-political, and cultural aspects that surround the production process. As a new term, agro-economy has been embraced as a conceptual framework that can completely transform farming techniques and production elements. The essence is to meet the different and high consumer power among various countries in the world. In my last article, I shared facts on the role of agriculture in the economies of African nations and the globe at large. Besides, we discovered that the youth have a fundamental role to play in the adoption of new farming methods that can completely change the way agriculture is done. One of the ways is agroecology; a word also described as the practice of producing agricultural outputs by applying safe and ecologically sensitive mechanisms. Many people do not appreciate the fact that in the modern world, married by chemicals and all sorts of pollution; foodstuffs cannot be produced in an environmentally sensible way. Sometimes I cannot resist the temptation to agree with such ideologies.
Consider this, everything, including the domestic animals we rely on for manure production is nowadays raised up using chemical practices. While most of us think applying manure is one of the practices of agroecology, we must realize that animal poops contain the highest amounts of chemical residues fed to them. Plants are not an exemption in this; over relying on chemicals such as pesticides while farming makes them dangerous for use as manure. Apparently, the term “Organic” has been abused, misused, misplaced, and applied in all the wrong contexts. Just because plants and animal inputs are used does not mean the products are organic. In this case, we only pass the chemicals from one stage to another through the food chain while firmly convinced that we are growing our plants ecologically.
Food security does not necessarily mean the ability to produce enough to feed the entire nation or the world, but production of foodstuffs in the most balanced form and excellent quality. I firmly believe that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not a food security solution. Instead, GMOs are agents of climate change and a sure way of reducing both human and ecological productivity. The main aim of GMO production is not food security but production of large output at the least costs. The hook here is the cost of production. Companies that advocate for GMOs are neither concerned about human safety nor climate change. Instead, the pot-bellied managers who do not have a single clue of what climate change is or care the least to know whether it is a hoax or reality are only moved by the profits made per harvest. The sad bit of it is the fact that the same companies whose ideologies have failed to convince the “elite” societies like Switzerland are now all over Africa, trying to convince the leaders on why GMO products will help serve starving children in the sub-Saharan countries. I wonder what makes them unaware that in the wake of globalization, things, especially science, ceased to secrets and individual properties.
It is only a GMO product that can be regarded, without any fear of contradiction, as a personal property. GMOs are the source of all fake products in the market including the infamous plastic rice. Whenever the so-called scientists and advocates of all sorts of chemical production claim to increase their share of the African market, I cannot help but think of how they want to transform us into part of their companies-end users. With a ready market in African and other “Poor, malnourished, starving, and foolish” countries, these self-centered managers are out to pollute the world even further. Apart from the recent changes in climate patterns, primarily orchestrated by Africans, the continent still boasts of distinct seasons, fertile soils, and an empowered society that can use modern farming methods to increase produce without compromising on quality.
Africa’s large rivers can be used for irrigation, proper farming techniques that can be adapted and shared and which do not need any chemical addition to realizing large maximum outputs, and workforce to do the job right. As a pristine continent, we do not want to live in a polluted environment. On the same note, we cannot afford to anyone to control our food production through disguised means that are only out to kill us while they demeanor environmental values slowly. I do not oppose bio-engineering done within safe provisions such as grafting.
Do you agree? Share your opinion in comment’s section. Contrary views shall not be investigated for possible prosecution.
Keep it here. Won’t you?

To Farm or Not to Farm, Engagement of Youth in Agro-business

Happy New Year!

Been a while, 2016 made me forgot about something very crucial-writing. I am back, thanks to 2017.

Now, it is that part of the year when suddenly people change and you cannot understand them anymore. They have a special name for this disguise-new year resolutions. My friend Mike, with his four followers on Twitter, is apparently exposing all the scandals in the government starting January 1st. He has also vowed to find a girlfriend, propose, and marry this year. Not to mention his past poor record in the sector.  Besides, he plans to spare some time on his tight political schedule to market his copy-pasted cocktail recipes (or what is the term for cocktail-making procedure?). Anyway, let me allow my folk to prosper in peace. It’s new year, for heaven’s sake. Mike’s a million resolutions and a complete change of lifestyle have challenged me to also look into my life and do something this year. And after a long soul-searching, wondering, wandering, and re-evaluation of my age, I have settled on something-soil-less farming.

Youth from Africa and across the world should change their view of farming. The industry presents a lot of unexploited business opportunities than it is often seen. Youth should not consider farming as a job for the elderly, the poor, and the less educated. Instead, we should embrace agriculture and diverse new, untapped ideologies to increase productivity and income-generation. There is an urgent need for integrating new knowledge learned in educational institutions in traditional farming practices to produce a blend of quality and sufficient agricultural output. Technological marketing, soil-less agriculture, and bio-engineering are classic examples of business aspects that are yet to be fully exploited in the world of farming. Based on the available statistics, it is evident that farming, particularly agribusiness, is the only industry that can comfortably accommodate the growing population of unemployed youth.

Agriculture is one of the most critical industries in Africa, with a majority of individuals living in rural areas and depending directly on agricultural ventures for survival. International Labor Organization suggests that about 36 percent of youth in Africa reside in the countryside. A change of perception is needed to see the tremendous business opportunities in agriculture and agro-business available for the youth. Youth unemployment is a common challenge among Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and many other African countries, with only a slight variation in the percentages. For example, despite the fact that over 78 percent of Kenyan youth are below thirty years old, over 80 percent of persons below thirty-five years old are unemployed.

Statistics from World Bank indicate that agriculture plays a significant role in poverty eradication and economic empowerment in the 21st century. Proceeds from agriculture are enormous, based on the fact that the industry has a considerable variation in the specialties that a farmer can be engaged. For example, Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) largely depends on agriculture. However, farming in Africa is characterized by some challenges including lack of ready markets, lack of differentiation in farming methods, poor farming choices, and lack of enough expatriate information to help farmers improve their output. While stakeholders have partnered to ensure solutions are provided to such problems, the dynamic nature of the sector presents new challenges every time. For instance, there has been reported resistance of some crops to some pesticides formulations.

African youth should view all these challenges as agribusiness opportunities. In essence, we should think of how we can transform problems facing farmers into ideal and practical entrepreneurial ventures. For example, can we develop technological tools that can provide information to farmers in rural areas to solve the problem of depending on physical visits by professionals? Can we provide alternative farming methods to farmers in arid and semi-arid areas? Yes, we definitely can convert all these problems into viable businesses. Not farming is not an option to me. African youth should farm their ways out of poverty!

Keep it this platform as I will be updating you on every step of my soil-less farming project. And probably Mike’s progress as well. Yes, I back-bite, here.

Have a great farming year a head. Won’t you?

 

Friends, first-hand instruments of peace and war

Friends,
People who will make you, but breaking you solely depends on YOU!
Friends are there to be trusted, to be loved, to be engaged and to be respected. The moment you compromise any of these, you are bound to bend the relationship.
I tend to believe that the power of friendship is one of the strongest powers someone can be given on earth. With friends, and I mean good friends, you can walk on a smoke cover.
You want peace? Make friends. These are going to fight for you.
You want war? Make friends. These are going to fight against you. Read on to know how exactly.
All through my life I have never believed in the existence of enemies, I’m only aware of fake friends.

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Sheep and wolves
The world has a mixture of people- those who are there for your uplift, those for your downfall and those who are there for both. I view all the three groups as friends, as it is only the degree of friendship that varies here.
Friends can be amazing and irritating in equal measures. This is normal.
Genuine friends are always there to mostly critique our actions more times than they celebrate our victory.
Most friends tend to be “yes people”. They will applause everything you do, without asking you why you doing it.
What you don’t know is what they think and talk of you, when you are not around. This bunch of people will in the slightest opportunity, criticize all your efforts, but in praise you in public. Meet them in the dark and they will give you a million reasons as to why you are not smart.
In most cases we fall for such friends. We see this bunch of wolves as their best companions God has ever given to us.
We will listen to everything the friends say and go an extra of picking some habits from them. We will despise all our genuine friends and embrace the wolves, because the nature of a human kind is that it mostly wants that which is pleasant to ears, eyes and body.
We are living in a world where speaking out one’s mind is illegal and you stand a very big chance of immediately being labeled a strong enemy of development. People want to be comforted with lies, they want friends who will agree with everything they say and in fact friends who will wow at every idea they bring. Try to question this and you are no not their friends anymore.
What amazes me is the simple fact that these “genuine friends” who wow at every idea and thing one does, are often only there when the situation favors them. Little they do when the things get tough.
Friends who question into things openly are friends who have been there and seen it all. Friends who know and share our visions, friends who care and friends who want to change the status-quo. These are people who notice when things go wrong because they have been so close. These are people who don’t mind telling us the truth because they know the value of it.
And whenever such people appear in our lives, we are often tempted to bark at them and label them enemies without deeply thinking of what exactly they are up to.
The most unfortunate a situation one can make is that of not trusting your friends by the mere virtue of them being friends to people you consider your personal enemies.
I mean who said your enemies must be my enemies? Leave such to the fake friends who will hate someone simply because you hate them, and not those who stand for peace and find nothing edible in faulting others.
I would rather create friends than make enemies. This therefore means that my understanding of “peace” is in a way different from your view of the same, if burning bridges is part of you. Which is good, friends don’t have to have everything in common. Do they?

 

Friendship gullibility
We are gullible to the extent of judging others before justifying the reasons as to why they do things.
Someone will block you on social media before explaining the reason why. And since they don’t have any convincing fact to this, they will prefer talking to you through their “true” friends.
They will then convene and talk of how much they don’t trust you anymore and give all the false reasons as to why they hate you. In most cases, it turns out that it was them you were trying to help or rather improve the status quo.
The worst happens when friends of friends call you to claim how much they hate you and can’t trust you because other people do. Immature enough, isn’t it?
People pretend. But too much of it is harmful.
This kind of behavior only works against you in the long run. These same people pretending around you are the same people who go about wondering the type of person you are, and question what you stand for in life. They see you as unreliable, immature or just insecure as a friend.
If there is something they want from you they will keep on pretending and you will keep on counting on them, and if not, you will see them distance themselves from you and only appear when need arises.
If you are in doubt of this, take a quick evaluation- observe the number of times you call to tell them what you want and/or invite them over, versus, the number of times they share with you their personal issues or invite you over to their places. For friendship to be mutual, this has to be two-way.
With time, we realize you are left with no more genuine friends but a bunch of wolves around you. People who will always tell you what you need to do but will never be with you in the doing. People whose suggestions are geared towards their own share of the same
Friends are for  transformation. They should closely observe your progress and share it with you, much as you do with theirs.

Test your friendship
Here are two simple tasks.
First, ask your true friends to give you two personal attributes they think you have acquired or changed, in the last 2 months. These should not be the obvious things and should not be physical changes like gaining weight, but rather expect answers such as “I honestly thing nowadays you are more reasoning, in the past, you could do most things without basis”
Secondly, count the times you have spent with these people. Have two columns, one for “good/high moments” and the other one for “bad/low moments”. If the bad moments outweigh the good moments or are equal, these are true friends. If they have been there more when the situation favors them or rather in good moments only, these are friends to observe.

My personal evaluation survey
On 11th January this year, I rolled out a personal survey and sent it out to my friends, whom I trust and think they could give a genuine evaluation of me. These were about 10.
It read:
“Hi, I’m doing a personal survey, from 10 close friends. People I know are not afraid to tell me the truth. Please tell me two (2) things you like about me, and two (2) you dislike about me. Don’t take it seriously, just answer from a normal perspective. Kelvin”
The responses I got were crazy. People poured all the truth to me.
It’s not easy to know what exactly people think about you. But it’s interesting to find it out from your friends. Among several things, I discovered I’m a short-tempered person, according to three people.
Of course I also had crazy responses like “You are a conservationist, why don’t you take your survey to Survey monkey online”
You can try this survey with your closest friends.

Enmity is a thing of the past
In a world where things are changing so fast, I would be very reluctant to create enemies. This downed to me way back when I realized that making enemies on earth is a profitless business that only those who have free time and resources to invest in it do.
To me, I feel this is a thing of the past. In fact back in high school when people had grudges over grades.
For an adult in the society (to which everyone above the voting age is), this is not only a symbol of immense immaturity but also low self esteem. This is exactly how everyone, including the unborn, will see you. Trust me!

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Things to fight for
I will understand when people fight for their rights. When conservationists are not sleeping because of the construction of the railway line across Nairobi National Park, when Park managers are fighting against poachers day and night, when people protest against funds being embezzled in institutions and organizations, when people differ on matters that concern societal development, when women fight for their rights and children, when government leaders spend more time to convince people who are rioting because of inequitable share of national resources but when people spend the precious time they would have done doing this, spreading propaganda and baseless arguments that have zero truth elements but to spoil the names of others.
At times in life you realize that the people you think have the best interest in development are in fact the least when carefully examined. A good scenario would be leaders in a county assembly who use public funds for “work trip” and take over public facilities as their personal business ventures. These are facilities that were bought using public money! For heaven’s sake, if you were fighting for their rights, you wouldn’t be grabbing them. It’s as simple as respecting the people you are serving, people who believe in you and your leadership, your friends.

WhatsApp Scenario
Today, in one of the many WhatsApp groups that I belong to, we had a hot debate with one of our community leaders to an extent he removed one of us from the group! You can imagine a member of parliament removing someone from a group he administers, because the group apparently is “not the space for circular arguments or attacks on my staff and office”
I don’t know why the honorable did the honor of sparing me despite his several “clarifications”, as I thought I was the next person to be thrown out of the group that consists of graduates and young professionals from our constituency.
This Member of Parliament is a classic case of what I’m talking about today. People who love complements but fear the truth. You are immediately labeled an enemy of the government not just him, the moment you ask questions and seek explanations into things that you and other people have no knowledge about, and which is their responsibility as your leaders to give to you.
Of course the group has a lot of “yes” people. People who will always post photos of them and the honorable member attending workshops and rallies. But this people strangely enough never post photos of themselves with the members, when people are rioting over inadequate services. They shut their mouths and hold on to their safe spaces.
Anyway, I’m not here to report on that, what captured my attention was this young lady who posted this:

“May we learn to listen, respect, understand and participate with each other positively. Everybody is fighting their own battle”

I will leave it right there.
My heart today goes to the hyena I saw knocked down along Nairobi-Naivasha highway. How I wish the driver could have made friends with animals!

 

Forget New Year, Celebrate the people in your life.

Extended New Year greetings,
It’s that time of the year again, when nearly all smiles measure the same.
The confusion-mixture of happiness and worries. No one knows what the year has in store. But should the year have something for us or is it us to have something in store, meant to be done this year?
Just as every year comes with new resolutions (with many of us renewing our old resolutions for decades), I decided that this year I will do things a bit differently, maybe because new year to me means a whole new thing, maybe because I exaggerate it or just maybe because I usually wait for a new year so much that when it finally comes I feel like I can overthrow the earth.
People have made the New Year’s feeling be that of “next year I will actually build a mansion” when you don’t even have a job in the first place.
And before I even go far, it is worth mentioning that New Year day is also the birthday to some of us! You see, maybe that’s where I get all this energy from, whenever January approaches.
After running up and down, all in the name of celebrating the New Year, I have realized that nothing actually is going to change in this year, unless I sit down and start doing the things I said I will do in the New Year.
Oh wait, when are the New Year celebrations supposed to stop? Or just when are we supposed to stop greeting people with a “happy new year”?
Maybe this is what keeps us in our comfort zone too much that the year ends without doing anything substantial with our time and we have to renew our resolutions again. May-be.
For those of us whose birthdays are on or around the New Year date, the wishes, cards and gifts may throw you into thinking that maybe you need special time to celebrate, maybe a month, maybe two. And to let the world know that people should in fact add you to the list of whatever things they are celebrating this January.
I usually think birthdays are celebrated for no good reason, but let me keep my opinion to myself lest I lose all my female readers.
What if we took it this way- what if people celebrated achievements and people who made their previous year, rather than celebrating the change of calendar and age?

What made my 2015?
My 2015 was such a marvelous year because of the wonderful people in my life, with lots of things to celebrate-graduating for my undergraduate degree, being awarded the environmentalist of the year, attaining full training on environmental Impact Assessment and Digital story making, making new friends, of course becoming a registered bird watcher with the Natural History Society of East Africa, enjoying free access to all museums and museum sites in Kenya, not forgetting countless community environmental awareness, clean-ups and tree planting.
I can’t forget that street boy who saw us (Kenya Wildlife Conservation forum) doing a clean-up in Rongai town and joined us, telling us he was also disgusted with the way people throw “things” all over without minding the environment. He left us thinking.
It was the year I managed to organize a community environmental awareness forum in Kuinet primary school in Eldoret, the third school I had actually undertaken such an event in and visited Njoro Township School whose compound has been beautifully transformed through a tree- planting program I started while in campus.
As a travel fanatic, I visited some places In Kenya for the first time- Limuru, Thika, Murang’a ,Sokoke, and Mnarani ruins. I actually haven’t been everywhere, but it is on my list.
I also in the company of friends, enjoyed birding at Silole sancturary, Kakuzi farm in Makuyu, Paradise Lost, Nairobi National Park, Nairobi arboretum, Nairobi City Park, Lake Naivasha, Karen Blixen Museum, National Museums of Kenya, Kilifi, and visited the Nairobi Gallery and snake park.
And despite the numerous challenges that a year brings, there are these people who were always there for me- encouraging me, supporting me, comforting me, caring about me as if I was the only thing in their lives-like my mother.
None of the above would have been achieved without the aid of other people.
I mean, aren’t those enough reasons to celebrate?! Must I wait for the New Year?
But when the time came for celebration of the New Year, I suddenly “forgot” about all these!
Just don’t. Don’t even attempt. I mean, don’t try to tell me the “We celebrate our friends daily” dead line.
No we don’t. In fact we never do it. All we celebrate about is our birthdays, and New Year.
Show me five friends who have ever called you up for a cup of coffee, just to say “I wanted us to have this coffee simply because I celebrate you today and nothing more , just to thank you for being my friend”
It’s always rather a case of “hey, I’m feeling hungry buddy” and your “me too, big head”, someone pulling a “Hey sweetheart, you owe me a cup of coffee”, or a “Just got promoted, let’s celebrate tonight” or you are just bored and want a friend to have some time out with.

My New Year
On New Year day, as it’s the norm with many people, going to church is kind of mandatory- so I happened to be in a congregation with fellow Anglicans on 1st January 2016, most of whom were definitely new faces that show up only during New Year for “New Year blessings”.
Which reminds me-I urgently need to take back that envelope I was given during the New Year mass for my New Year thanksgiving. Let me call them returns. Maybe after I have traveled to Kisumu and then to my town-Busia.
I was thinking of dropping my thanksgiving to any church I will happen to worship in, along the way, but something told me my pastor will be mad at me, maybe for thanking the “same God” through a different church. So I will take back when I’m back in Nairobi.
A church testimony
In the church, there was this young man who concluded his narration of the wonders God had done into his life in 2015 by saying, “the world is full of stress, but if you have family, friends, food on the table and somewhere to lay your head, then you are the richest person in the world”
I found that statement so touching that I actually crammed it (or what are people supposed do to show that they have been touched so much by other people’s sentiments?)
Later in the day I posted the same on my Facebook wall but decided to make “a cover” of it before posting it. You see, world over people have song covers. Adele’s hello has more than 20 covers. So I just thought this boy’s statement was so sweet that it deserved a cover as well. And there I did it.
So in my cover of the same, I removed “the world is full of stress” bit ,edited his words and ended up with, “If you have family, GREAT friends, food on your table and somewhere to lay your head, then you are the richest person in the world. The rest are just bonuses.”
The reason as to why I did that cover (or should I call it a statement remix?), is that as much as I agree with the boy, the world is not so full of stress. It actually has a good percentage of it, but not full of it.
Yes the world can be that stressing, but what are you doing to have the best out of it? It all starts and ends with your perception. Most of people prefer looking at it as eye-openers and evaluation phases of life. It is all about what we are doing about it.
I have seen people who take challenges in life as normal and prone to occur. I have also seen people kill themselves because of the same. As I said, it all depends on you.
Only count on real friends
I also included “great friends” in my cover of the boy’s statement. This was intentional. It is actually only your great friends (you may include your boyfriends and girlfriends here, depending on what you think of them. I would advise you put the loyal ones under family), who stand to be counted as your riches.
Think of people you know have got your back even if you haven’t been in contact for ages.
People who always believe in you and in what you do.
People who inspire you in their own ways. It could be just from the way they smile, their hard work, their availability when you need them, their passion in the things they do, their creativity, their maturity. People you learn something from despite your color, age, political, religious, social or cultural differences.
People who in their own small ways are always supporting you and/or your work/passion.
These are the great friends I’m talking about.
Forget friends who call you only when they need you. People who have no time for you. People who will always smile to pretend they are happy for you. People who are first to shout out love without knowing what it really is. People who like you for nothing more than the fact that someone else does. People who always count on how much they mean to you without thinking of how much you mean to them.
A friend whose main job is only to supply or advise you on the best weed joint in your hood is rather a liability.
Bonuses in life
In my cover I also added, “The rest are just bonuses”. Yes they are. What else do you need if you have family, great friends, food and shelter? A car is a bonus, a decent home is a bonus, and all the other things you may desire are actually bonuses.
Ironically, we spend most of our years on earth chasing the bonuses and often overlooking the fundamentals. And when we fail to get them, the world becomes so “stressful” that we can’t handle it. Be thankful and happy from the small things that happen in your world and not stressed over big things that don’t.
What to do in 2016
Wake up, get up, count all your blessings, stay positive and remember to have fun!
I have come to realize that when nothing in your life is working, it’s time to think of what you are doing anything about it. In short for things to work, you must work on them.
My hope is that we all achieve those crazy things we think must be achieved this year, without forcing anything to happen.
Find alternatives if you can’t get what you want.
Count on your friends. Hold dearly those you believe in and who are always there for you. Trust me; finding such people in life is hard enough.

Forgive.Love.Respect.
Be loyal- to your dreams, friends and loved ones.
And don’t sit there thinking about people who have exited your life, as great ones are on their way to bring better things.
New Year is overrated, just as the usefulness of the standard gauge railway to the animals in the Nairobi national park.
I need to go, got an invitation from a friend who hasn’t seen me “since last year.” This New Year thing is not yet done with wasting my time, I tell you.
May this year be the best you have ever had-Keep the focus; maintain the passion and eye higher than last year.
Have a peaceful birding year, full of healthy elephants and rhinos in our savannas.