The Uuuhs and Aaarghs of my life

Posts tagged ‘friendship’

Finally, I found purpose!

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Atop a Crater at Lake Naivasha.

I’m sitting at the top of a high crater that surrounds Lake Naivasha like a cylindrical tower studded with lush greenery. In silence, I absorb the magnificent sound and scent of nature in its glory.

Below, beautiful ripples over the Lake Naivasha and Rosa a lonely flamingo standing on one leg in a distance.

Over the crater, welcomes a carpet of green fertile land with cows grazing and their shepherds guiding them.

The wind blowing, leaves rustling, I sense the comfort of new friends around me.

Suddenly, I realise that I am right where I need to be in this moment.

Ready to start a new chapter of my life that gives me permission to obey the longing voice in my heart – PURPOSE.”

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Mambo Maasai Mara!

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I’ve always dreamed of the Maasai Mara. Experiencing the large expanse of natures glory and a beautiful culture that has made a mark even on the international scene.

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Pssst! Let me tell you a secret. My dream wedding proposal (before this post) had always been on a hot air balloon, during a sunrise over the glorious Mara. My future husband will now have to work with another creative plan which brings the drama which I love.

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So what led me to the Mara? Well, I travelled with my colleagues at the Amani Institute for a Design Thinking course. It was fun and I totally loved the fact that I got to experience camping for the very first time.

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If you’ve never done camping at the Mara, I highly recommend starting with the Oldarpoi Mara Camp. It’s an intimate eco-camp that economically empowers the local community and offers a rich cultural immersion into the Maasai community. We got to enjoy a beautiful musical performance by a local blacksmith who makes spears using inherited tools that are more than 100 years. Also, we got to ejnoy traditional dances by Maasai warriors.

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To be honest, I did enjoy my time at the Mara though I could not forget the choking sensation I got on my way to the Mara. I had seen a sea of plastic (PVC) paper bags on both sides of the road, stuck on shrubs and trees. Some were sweeping across the widespread land like tumbleweed. This was the only thing that I didn’t enjoy, particularly the pollution around shops.

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However, I was happy to know that there’s a new NGO in the area that’s working with the community to deal with waste management. They actually gather community members once a month to collect waste and dispose it correctly. I saw the impact within communities and it was a breath of fresh air.

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As we took a walk to meet community members, we met this old man who was tending to his goats and sheep. Ole Mutet is his name and we were informed that he educated his son using cows and now his boy has graduated from the University of Oregon in the US. He blessed us with a traditional Maasai story and it was awesome!

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We met groups of ladies selling traditional Maasai jewelry and the temptation was on the high. One in particular offered me a discount on a beaded bangle if I took a photo of her. It was a great ideal and so here she is!

Tip: Wearing a Maasai shuka (the material/blanket I am wearing in the photo above) is a sign of respect so grab one when headed for the Mara and wear it when interacting with community members.

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For four days, I got to enjoy this peaceful aboard away from the busy city. It was awesome and I plan to do ballooning at the Mara soon. At least for now I’ll soak in how amazing it was to wake up, eat, rest, dance and discover the Maasai Mara through this camping experience.

Enjoy the rest of the pics from my trip!

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Have you been to the Maasai Mara? I would love to know about your experience. If not, boy does a great adventure await you.

Lesson: From the Elderly to the Young

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I’ve got an elderly friend called *Emma whom I met on a social media group for old expatriates who grew up in Kenya.
I had joined the group years ago for research purposes for my old job as a writer, but I grew fond of the new friends. 

Recently, Emma shared just how tough the last 10months have been as she grieved over her beloved husband *Sam. She had attended a wedding where she suddenly broke into tears just to realise how much she missed Sam. She wanted him there so bad. She admits that never has she felt so alone in her life without Sam.

Emma’s words move me to tears and make me reflect over my life. At the moment, my peers are sharing about having great jobs, happily engaged or married, getting babies…etc. At some point we’ll all face new phases of life. Invitations will start ranging from kids’ graduations, kids’ weddings,  friends’ funerals, parents’ funerals.
Then pension days kick in, we become grandparents, and then like Emma and Sam, life’s toughest goodbyes are said to the beloved.

Makes me wonder what we young people complain about or why we struggle so much to prove ourselves to other people and society.

As I read the replies by other elderly friends who’ve gone through such grief, I began to see just how life is richer when lived simple – in love.

In their golden years my old mates’ chats, memories, activities and even seasons of grief are painted by those they vowed to spend the rest of their lives with.

Death seems less scary than no longer experiencing the love of their beloveds. No longer feeling the warmth of their skin. No longer here.

My dear friends who are now like my libraries of wisdom have taught me this:

When life’s sunset draws near, all your money, power and other  achievements mean nothing.
All that matters is having found home, at last, in the heart of s/he who really loves you.

Hope this message inspires you!
^_^

We need more heart power!

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I wish that all the money in the world turned into hearts!
Then we would have people working so hard to win people’s hearts.

We would pay our bills through the quality and quantity of the hearts we touch.

We would toss our hearts into the fountain of life wishing for our dreams to come true.

We would fight to protect our hearts and those of others.

It wouldn’t be about petty banknotes and coins.

It would be about the real quality of our hearts practically influencing the world around us.

For life is all about love, not money and the things it buys.

We need more heart power!

Love and Sunshine,
Ayuma.

HOW I SURVIVED DEPRESSION

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Much as I was excited to start my second year at the university, I sure did not feel like I was the same lady. All I felt was disappointment and his cousin called fear. For some reason, word had already spread round the school that I were a girl who “had it all”. As I interacted with schoolmates, there was always such a high  expectation of what I say, what I wear, the guy I am seen with, what I ate for lunch and how much I ate. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced in school life.

All I knew was how to remain socially invisible and just focus on my books. My expectations to remain socially invisible had gone down the drain once word spread across the campus that my two mates and I were the tallest girls on campus. I was horrified once I started experiencing what came with it all at once.

Suddenly, a classmate informed me that someone had placed a bet on me; to have sex with me and then he would win some money.
Suddenly, lady schoolmates felt the need to inform me as soon as I lost or gained weight.
Suddenly, everything I did went on the ‘campus grapevine’ and reached me at the end of the day.

In panic, I resorted to keeping my social circle on lockdown. My efforts were all in vain, for some ‘mates’ had been behind the betting, the rumours and the assumption that I were a politician’s daughter.

On the real side of my life, I was slowly sinking into depression. I was not okay and it took an emergency visit to the school clinic to know. As I walked to the hostel one hot afternoon, I felt faint in a way I had never felt before. A lady stopped me on my way to the clinic to ask if I was ok. But, she said this in reference to the weight I had rapidly lost. I told her that I was fine then staggered my way to the clinic.

After the nurse left me to rest and the fluid from the IV drip seeped into my body, I broke down and cried. For the very first time in my life, I felt so alone. The loneliness inside the hospital-scented room brought out the reality that had been existing inside me. I cried till my nose became hot. I sat in silence. Luckily, a good friend showed up and comforted me. Moments passed and others showed up as soon as they finished their classes. But, for some reason, I still felt alone.

When I went back to the hostel, I slept for a while and hoped to wake up feeling better. This was not the case. I soon received a call informing me that my only grandfather was no more. I had grown tired to a point my tears could not come out anymore. I felt so broken till my voice disappeared;I would open my mouth but no words could come out. Defeated, I lay my head on my pillow and woke up the next day confused but with enough strength to pack my bags and go to the village for the funeral.

All I can remember was that after the funeral, I felt more confident, stronger and complete. After a funeral? Yes.
Well, I’ve got God and my traditional culture to thank. Experiencing loss helped me discover my hidden pains, but also helped me appreciate what I’ve got left. I had my family with me and a great God who loves me. Love came rushing through my heart, kicked out depression and I had a wide smile on my face.

With this gift of a new appreciation of life, I had to carefully chose with whom to share it with. I am glad that we continue to share it even with the ups and downs that have challenged us in the years that followed and brought us to the beauty of today.

My hope is that this little story of mine will encourage you to let go of your past pains and have a deeper appreciation for what you’ve got left after a season of loss.

Love and Sunshine,
Ayuma

Old Love at the Airport

Today, I saw an old couple board a plane together and it almost brought me to tears in public. Why my emotions again? Let’s call them Bill and Kate.

Well, Kate had a shaky walk but Bill held her hand and walked with her patiently towards the plane till they reached the stairway. This is when it got too emotional for me.
Kate insisted to climb up the stairs on her own and so Bill did not stop her. Instead, he offered to carry all her bags so that she can focus on climbing up the staircase. Bill is old and the bags were obviously too heavy for him to carry but he still let his lady take up the challenge and walk up the stairs. Luckily, the gent who stood before me me was moved and he offered his strong shoulders to carry their bags.

It was clearly a time-sensitive moment since many other passengers were waiting to board the plane and it was drizzling, but Bill dared to watch his lady take up the challenge.

Kate struggled to raise her leg and I could even see the many spots on her legs due to old age. Step by step, she walked up the stairs with Bill by her side she made it to the top where they exchanged the most amazing and loving smiles.

I remembered that I had seen them at the waiting lounge at the airport where Bill sat on an opposite row of chairs as he watched over Kate. As she read her book, it seemed that she was totally oblivious that Bill was always watching her. Even as she walked towards a donation box for a children’s home, Bill turned to watch where she was going then continued to read his book when she got back.

As I walked towards my seat on the plane, I passed by their seat and witnessed the vibrant love in their eyes even in their old age. Bill really inspired me to know that a real man who loves a woman is like the hero who knows no season but a lifetime. Kate taught me that despite age and circumstances, there is always an opportunity to challenge one another so as to bring out the best in life partners.

I love old people and all the beautiful lessons I get to learn from them. Wherever Bill and Kate are, they might have literally been in their own world during the entire experience but their love taught me lots today. I may not know much about marriage or experiencing true love, but I am so glad to have met Bill and Kate today.

I hope this inspires you as well. Have a great day and weekend ahead good people!
 

With Love,

Ayuma.

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