Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

 

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I went for an RA meeting last week.  We meet twice a month because two weeks is all it takes for some of these guys to fall hopelessly in love; me included. We share war stories about grand-gestures gone wrong and romance stories we have enacted in real life that should have been left in rom-coms and romance novels of the damsel in distress and prince charming kind. This one guy, for Valentine’s day, because his girlfriend once mentioned that she would love to go to Paris, the poor fellow, unable to afford to take them on a trip to Paris went ahead and built a model of the city, Eiffel tower and all, just for her. That thing took him a total of three months to complete. He you-tubed the heck out of it. He really should have stopped there but of course he didn’t. Hopeless romantics never just stop at the one grand gesture. It’s all about the series of gestures that would lead up to the ultimate grand gesture. Bigger is always better.  So for dinner he takes her to this fancy French restaurant in a leafy suburb an hour drive away, gets a table by the pond and has a violinist play for them as they ate food that he ordered in fluent French. The guy couldn’t even say ‘Bonjour’ just a few months ago! What does he get in return you ask? A generic ‘happy valentine’s day’ card and a tie. A flippin’ tie! It wasn’t even one of those fancy knitted ties the cool guys wear nowadays, that he actually likes. Nah; the lady just got one off the street that cost like 200bob at most. It was black with grey stripes. Yes, he wore it to the meeting because we love to make points. We all burst out laughing at the end of his share, mostly because we would have done the same thing in his place. We advise him to stick to chocolates and teddy bears next time and maybe an Eiffel tower key ring but we all know we’ll be seeing a model of New York City next time because he said she mentioned that that was another place she would love to visit. I can’t wait to see what colour tie he gets next year.  I saw a few people taking notes while he spoke. We are truly hopeless romantics.

The next share was from another fellow. Now this one was downright hilarious. So this guy (let’s call him Mike) has a girlfriend, now fiancée that he’s been dating for about three months. Yes, three months is enough to date and get engaged and get married for a romantic. Their wedding was in two weeks. Who needs months or years of courtship and planning? When you know, you know.  In their defense, they did know each other briefly in high school. I use the term ‘know’ loosely because Mike just kind of saw her perform a narrative at a drama festival; chatted her up, got her name and school address and proceeded to send her love notes for three months straight, every week, like clockwork. Of course he used the flowery writing pads, and splashed his cologne on every envelope. He only got one letter back. The girl soon transferred to another school and didn’t give Mike the new address so they lost touch and reconnected just last year. You should have seen Mike at the meeting after they reconnected. “I found her guys, she must be the one!” He announced. We tried to caution him to take it slow because he didn’t know where the girl stood or even if she was available but he hit us with a “You know the saying guys, If you love something, set it free, if it comes back, marry it!” We laughed through the whole meeting and congratulated him on his upcoming nuptials. We all knew he was going to propose soon.

So on this random day he takes his girl out on a date. We romantics don’t know special occasions or holidays, we pretty much just smother you with love all year round. I don’t use the term ‘smother’ loosely. She had mentioned in passing that she had always loved camel rides down at the coast, on the beach, when she was a kid so of course Mike went ahead and hired a camel for the day. They went to a park where camel rides could be made available at the request of the visitors. They were at the gate waiting for said camel because the park has you sign a release form incase anything goes wrong and you have to pay a small caution fee. As the camel was arriving, this bike-rider (bodaboda) started taunting the animal. He roared his engine loudly and even tried to run it off the road. I kid you not; the camel kicked the guy off the bike and sat on his face! The camel’s caretaker quickly came to the idiot’s aid and got the camel to calmly get off his face. The bike-rider had to apologise to the camel from a safe distance. I have never seen a man so embarrassed. Camels don’t play. Suffice to say no one rode on that camel that day so they had a picnic together instead, fed it apples and petted it. Some of children who were at the park also came in to join the fun. It was delightful and a definite win for Mike; his girlfriend said she had never laughed that hard in her life.

I won’t be able to attend Mike’s wedding but I can’t wait to hear stories. We all know ‘grand’ doesn’t even begin to describe what he has in store. Why bother getting wedding ideas from wedding magazines or watching wedding shows or hiring a wedding planner when all you really need is a romantic to dream up your wedding from start to finish. You might have to scale it down a bit but you can be sure it will be like nothing you’ve ever heard or seen before and it will blow everyone’s mind.

Those were the only two shares we had time for that evening but they were more than enough. I like going for the support group meetings; they help me understand I’m not crazy, I’m just a loving human person who chooses to show love in outrageous ways sometimes; and that’s ok.

RA sayings:

  • * Bigger is always better
  • * When you know, you know
  • * If you love something, set it free, if it comes back, marry it!
  • * Camels don’t play
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This is the first post on my ‘The China Experience’ series..

The year 2011 felt like a roller coaster ride for me. I started the year in a job I hated and wasn’t in the least bit good at. April came, my resignation letter with it. I didn’t have a plan B so when China came knocking, I did not think twice. I hadn’t planned on a master’s but then again I had no plan so I thought , why the heck not. New country, new people, new culture, new friends I couldn’t resist discovering a new-ish me. These are a few of my firsts…

Playing the ukulele: Kind of happened out of sheer necessity.. I was going through a really dark time, I needed to get my mind off it because I literally thought I was losing my mind. So my friend Danielle, God bless her, suggested playing an instrument and as soon as I started expressing interest, my other friends give me an ukulele as a birthday gift! One month in and I’m playing actual songs, even played it during worship for some time at church. So in many ways, it saved me.

selfie time

Playing the ukulele

First solo performance, just some random school contest thingy;didn't win but I looked smashing!!

First solo performance, just some random school contest thingy;didn’t win but I looked smashing!!

Spoken word and poetry: First time I tried my hand in poetry was when I had just finished elementary school, waiting to join highschool. I had two months of holiday, we had just moved to a new house, I was bored out of my mind so I decided to try poetry and it sucked so I decided that i’d quit while I was ahead and appreciate poetry as a spectator. Then China happens, then a girl happened, then one day am writing a piece for a duet of a song she had written and asked I write something to go with it! Of course I was beside myself.

Singing: Ok so some time back before China, rumor had it that I have a nice singing voice, I just never made much of it. I mean you hear people with amazing voices and decide that maybe yours should remain in the shower. But, shock on me I have done a bit of singing while in China at my church and people actually think I have a pretty good voice. I joined the worship team after my super-talented friend, asked me to join with her. We were inseparable then. We did a few duets together, she has one of the most powerful, versatile voices I have ever had the honor of listening to and the fact that she even asked me to put my voice next to hers was unbelievable. Our voices went really well together and we would switch it up too so yeah I guess in the process, I gained more confidence in my own sound. I was even the lead singer in a band; ‘Andy and the string theory’. We had, Andy on the bongo drums, Danielle on violin, Lindsay on guitar and vocals and me on ukulele and lead vocals. We only performed just the one song in just the one concert and it wasn’t as good but still it was pretty cool! Definitely a first for me.

photography for jonny

‘Weeding’: Maybe I shouldn’t expound on this because big brother may be watching (reading). I’ll summarize; I did it, it was ahmazzing, I loved it in every form; baked, brewed, rolled, chocolat-ed,shisha-d.

Locked my hair: This was definitely the highlight. I had always wanted locks since I discovered the pain of hot-combing and blow drying at full power and braiding and general combing of my very kinky (4C is it?) hair was just no longer worth it. I had short hair from age 12 to age 18 then twists (own hair) all through college. My hair and I always knew one day we would have locks. Opportunity knocked with the admission letter to a university in China. I would be out of my father’s house (strictly no locks in my house) for three years! In a country where I knew no one and no one knew me, they had nothing to compare me too, what they saw was what they got and I got to dictate exactly what that was. So  the day after I undid my braids (4 months old; there were really not so many options for African hair in China and I did not want to go through the struggle again not when for the first time in my life I was really free to do anything. Pretty ironic considering I was in a communist country where most freedoms are only given as the government sees fit and even then, just in manageable pieces ).

It has been 4 and a half years since and I could not be more proud. I look at myself in the mirror and smile every time, even on bad hair days. I finally found my look and I’m keeping it. Photoshoot1

 

Hahahaha….

‘Stop overthinking’: If I had a dollar for every time someone said that to me and a nickel for each time it was followed by me fuming and imploding well I would have a sock full of nickels to flipping pound on my wall and a drawer full of dollar notes to fix it with.

‘Speak your mind. Stop feeling like you need to hold back’

But then you do and it comes back to bite you. I’m tired, tired of every time I tricked myself into being emotionally open, share my crazy with someone and all that’s left is dust in my face from their sprinting away.

‘Why are you being so emotional’ Oh my Goodness, someone get me my sock of nickels to bash in the next mouth that dares to utter those words to me. You know what let’s do this, let’s be all smiles, all meadows and rainbows, all ‘oh my gosh this is the best day ever’ EVERYDAY. Let’s be all composed, all in control of our emotions, all joyous and indifferent to anything above a certain decibel of reaction. Let’s all suck it in because, well, we don’t want to empower the stereotype:

‘I’m a lady so I get irrationally/illogically emotional sometimes and in those moments, I should not be taken seriously…AAArgh!!!…see’

So maybe I can’t help myself, I’m trapped in the cycle rather am trapped in my chromosomes.

‘cruise through life with joy and simplicity’, innocent statement right? One filled with meaning and sense and seems suitable for whichever situation right? Wrong! Not after I just explained to you how I feel you have been distant and how you have pulled away from me yet before we talked all day every day. You shared your feelings with me, promised I could call you day or night and you’d be there. Turns out, it came with conditions.  I’m not even asking to see you or be with you every day, honestly that would irritate the heck out of me. But once you form a pattern and then one day it just changes; I’m I unjustified in asking what’s up? In wondering if I did something or if you did something and somehow it’s trickling down to me? Let’s not even talk about that, tell me about your day, how stressful it was because you have a big contract, how you’ve had a lot on your mind and all that has drained you and you are just too tired now to deal with too many things so you are choosing to focus on work. Let me worry about communicating when you can’t. But you just check out of the friendship and what seemed to me to have been deep interest in me and you expect me to check out too? Without hesitation? Without question? Oh sweetie I’m not that simple.

But you know what; clearly, my concerns whether founded or unfounded don’t matter to you. Clearly, you would prefer it when am all sweet and composed and flirty and ‘loveable’. AAAAARGGGHHHH!!!

So what is it that makes me this way?

·       Sudden change in routine

·       Sudden decrease in attention

·       Sudden switch form friendship to romance and vice versa

Just a shift in balance generally. So for someone who has not seen that side of me, it may come as a surprise. I’m done though. Just cruising now. No pushing, no emotionally inclined reactions, just joy and simplicity. Hahaha, I can’t even say that with a straight face. I am who I am.

BUT for your sake; no, you don’t have to get to know my crazy side, you don’t need to invest any more time or feelings on me. Was it even real? Or just seasonal, changing with convenience or timing or schedule? You just do your thing drummer-boy, work, church, whatever. When you talk to me, I’ll still be me but only just. You don’t have to meet me at my level of crazy, ‘overreacting or overthinking’. I have a short-apologetic temper. I bitch, I whine when I feel like someone does not understand me but I choose to write it down than say it because when people say:

‘Don’t overthink it, just say how you feel or what you think’ I have come to find that they are just as foolish for saying it as I am foolish for believing it.

And here comes the apologetic part..hehe because you can’t be defined as emotional if your mood doesn’t change atleast 3 times in the same breathe.

I could be wrong, I mean they say if several many people have a problem with something about you; it could be true or at least have some level of truth. But understand me ok, if I have a problem with how different you are treating me should you sit back and just say ‘You are overthinking shit, just sit back and relax’?

Or should you flipping try and see it from my point of view. Walk a mile or even just 10feet in my black army boots. Is that so hard to ask??????????!!!!!!!!

Whichever way, I’ll just be here, cruising in simplicity and joy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!hahaha! who am I kidding, if I could make and burn an effigy of you right now right on my front yard, I have a feeling I would.

P.S: to prove just how irrationally emotional I can be, I wont even spell check this. DONE!!

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I sit at the gazebo and dream. Of course it’s about a boy; dreams about taking over the world are for after office hours. Yes, I have scribbled down our names, all the combos you can imagine plus the ones you cannot. Mrs.X, The Xs, Mr and Mrs. X, Mrs. Awinja-X, X Junior, A+X, I could go on for days; ok not days, just minutes.

I’ve pictured us sitting on a tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g; at the park holding hands watching the puppies pee on the tree, at a random coffee shop sharing a milkshake because how else do people drink those things, under the moonlight counting the stars; naming the brightest ones after ourselves. I have pictured the grand proposal; because every romance movie needs at least 10 small mushy scenes that lead up to that one grand romantic gesture which is completely integral to the whole production. There was a cello, 4 violinists and one bassist because you know I’m all about that. It was in the Mara in one of those exclusive luxury tent-rooms, the ones that open up to the vast expanse that is, the wild. The elephants watched and the lions roared for an encore. The band obliged because, well, they were lions. It costed you a pretty penny but who can put a price on love? Well am sure your accountant did but who cares about him when you are trying to make a statement? We’ll deal with it later, with the joint accounts and joint credit cards because yes, we will be joined at the hip and we will shower our unsuspecting friends’ timelines with photos of our every waking moment. Our lives will be the inevitable talk of the town and you will love it; the love, the marriage, the triplets in the neutrally coloured baby carriage, the whole nine yards and then some.

I have pictured us in the bedroom (no silk sheets please), the bathroom (with all the steam of course), on our Persian hand woven living room carpet (it’s not as soft on bare skin as they claimed on the ad), on the kitchen counter which I have now imagined how unhygienic it will be. We’ve been in my X-5, your Q7; I didn’t know the seats went down that far. Like the wise men said; ‘Baby, you and I are nothing but mammals so we do it like they do on the discovery channel.’ Of course we cuddle after, I watch you sleep, I run my fingers down the side of your face, your lips, and you don’t even shift. You already know I watch you sleep sometimes so you no longer get freaked out when you wake up in the middle of the night and see my black form and white eyes staring. Remember the first time you bust me watching you, you almost jumped through the window. Thankfully you remembered we were on the fifth floor just in time. You slept on the couch that night so I brought you breakfast in ‘couch’. I knew I’d have to go through your stomach to speak to your heart so I made you the whole spread; English, American and Kenyan combo. By the time you were done, you had told me I could stare at you the whole night so long as I don’t do it too obviously so I don’t creep you out next time.

That night as I fell asleep on your chest, hearing your heart beat, feeling your chest rising and falling, you kissed me goodnight and I truly felt one with you, heart, body, mind and soul. You saw the weird in me and you stayed.

I have pictured every kiss and every time our lips touched, I would feel a tingle in my toes. I see your smile every day and it tickles every fibre of my being. Every time you call my name even if just to ask for a pen, every time you giggle, laugh and especially at my jokes, aiyaiyai I can’t even! Remember those times I’d call you then claim I forgot what I wanted to say? I just wanted to hear your voice so I have material for my dreams that night. Why do you think I’d always ask you to send a voice note instead of texting? I have some of them on my playlist and you will also find them under ‘recently played’ and ‘most played’.

I’m not out of mush yet. Here is the thing; I think of you before I sleep, replaying almost every word you spoke to me. I pray for you and yours sometimes more than for me and mine. I think of you when I wake up. When I pick out clothes to wear, at the back of my mind I picture how you would see me. I have caught you staring at me a few times, you denied it of course but I know you. There is a sort of gentleness in your eyes, mixed in with the desire; a desire fueled by respect, honest admiration and what I hope is a pinch of love.

It’s really not a big deal, these are just random and sometimes intentional thoughts that run through my head, material for my stories I call them because who are we if we can’t find the story in every waking moment.

These are the things I think about at the gazebo. I also think about world peace, poverty eradication and the overall wellbeing of mankind; it’s not always about you.

me