The Uuuhs and Aaarghs of my life

Posts tagged ‘Health’

Modelling meets Charity!

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When a good friend tagged me onto a Facebook post about a call for models for an upcoming charity swim marathon, the first thing that crossed my mind was, “When was the last time I put on a bikini?”

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But when reason settled in, I realised that I was just trying to look for a reason to shy away from wearing a bikini. But when I later accepted the Facebook event invite by Evgeniya, the event planner, I was struck by inspiration.

Evgeniya posted photos of talent auditions at a place called Huruma which some consider to be a slum area in Nairobi. The children looked so happy and I could not resist smiling as I scanned through the photos.

I had no plans for the weekend and this was a chance for me to be part of an amazing charity event that involved children… I was sold and ready to walk that runway to make the day as great as intended.

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But if there was something I did not understand, it would be what a Rotary club is all about. To be honest, I always thought it was one of those old clubs full of old and retired expatriates who play Bingo during vacations on a fancy yatch. I know… I have watched too many movies starring old people 🙂 This is why it was surprising to know that there was a Rotary Club in Nairobi. I thought, “There aren’t any docking stations in Nairobi!”

Sad… I know. Later on, I did my research and found out that Rotary International is a global village of neighbours, friends, and community leaders. They team up to create initiatives that promote positive change and resilience in various communities around the world. So far, the village comprises of about 2.2million members. Nairobi’s Rotary Club is currently headed by David Hastie (President: 2013-2014).

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So what made this year’s Rotary Swimarathon special?

Well, it is because of the unfortunate return of Polio in Northern Kenya. Since 1985, Rotary has led the battle against Polio and the club wanted to support the End Polio Now immunization campaign. This also led to the teaming up with the Nairobi Swimmers Association (NASA) to bring together swimmers on Sunday, 23rd February 2014 to swim non stop between 3 and 4pm. The swim marathon happened at the same time globally! 🙂

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To add to the fun, there was an inspired serving of entertainment by Sanchat Trust Restart groups which included an amazing choir, break dancers, sensational salsa dancers and lovely little models doing the catwalk. These talented groups of young people had travelled from Gilgil to showcase their great talent and to appreciate the Nairobi Rotary Club for their support.

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To add some icing on the cake, there was a spicy catwalk by professional Nairobi models showcasing Mohamed Bana’s Kikoy swimwear collection and gowns for auction.

It had been long since I last strut on the runway but I had so much fun with the models that it all came naturally. None of the models asked for payment as we all understood that it was for charity and we all enjoyed and cheered-on the little ones as they did their catwalk.

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So where did all the money go to?

A third of the proceeds from the event went to supporting the End Polio Now campaign, another third went to Nairobi Swimmers Association (NASA).

The remaining third went to supporting Rotary charities in Kenya, including:
1. Eye camps for free cataract operations in rural populations.
2. Energy saving jikos (traditional stoves) for schools who provide free lunches to students.
3. Sanitary and water schemes for slums and schools.
4. Providing bed kits to primary school children, in partnership with Sleeping Children.

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At the end of the day, I felt so blessed to have been part of such an inspired event. Some members of the public had
paid an entry fee of Ksh. 1,000 and students above 18years had bought tickets worth Ksh. 500 to be part of the event.

A feeling of warmth and fulfilment runs through me when I remember the little ones from Gilgil modelling and the young drummers from Huruma who were our musical guide as we spiced up the runway with Mohamed’s tasty fashion designs.

Pots of joy!

If you fancy Mohamed Bana’s designs, you can reach his fashion store through mobile: +254739632804

Check out more event photos here.

With Love,
Ayuma.

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‘Beautiful People’ ~ A new category on Diary of Ayuma

Today, I finally met an amazing pineapple vendor in Nairobi. His name is Jimmy. I had always spotted him and his wheelbarrow of sweet pineapples at a spot along a regular route I use on my way to work.

I rushed in the scorching sun just to purchase one of Jimmy’s mouth-watering pineapple slices. But I did not find him at his usual spot. When I asked the other vendors selling boiled maize and peanuts at the spot, they said that he usually leaves at 2pm.

Luckily, the vendors directed me to the Green Belt Movement headquarters which was established by Kenya’s late Nobel Laureate Prof. Wangari Mathaai who fought to protect the environment.

Jimmy’s pineapple slices are quite popular with the staff members at Green Belt but they did not chomp down all of the fruity slices. Phew!

I asked him how much one slice costs and he told me that a slice costs Ksh.20 which is about USD $0.23. He sold one to me but I had to have more. And so I told him to prepare a full pineapple for me and he told me that a full pineapple costs Ksh. 160 which is about USD $2.

Watching him peel the pineapple so carefully with different techniques, knives and in a sanitary environment displayed just how much Jimmy loved his job. He peeled the pineapple as if he were creating a piece of art… as a creative, I would boldly say that he was.

Jimmy wrapped the pineapple in a clear bag that made my mouth water even more. To protect others from some fruity temptation, he hid it in a black paper bag for me to carry home. I was so happy and I gladly paid him without bargaining which is a typical Nairobian behavior.

Later that afternoon, I spotted Jimmy with his wheelbarrow of pineapples at a parking lot of a popular church. He had pushed the wheelbarrow for quite a long distance from where I had left him. Somehow, I was filled with such pride to have met someone so driven, talented and strangely passionate about pineapples like Jimmy.

There are so many more amazing people out there just like Jimmy who never get the mention in the news, on the radio or in the many memes people share on social media. But these great people do exist. And it is such an honour for me to introduce these beautiful people doing great things everyday.

So if you are ever in the city of Nairobi in Kenya at a place called Adams Arcade, please give Jimmy a call through +254728040439 for a tropical splash of sweet pineapple for your enjoyment.

Great personalities like Jimmy are the inspiration behind my new blog category entitled ‘Beautiful People’.
Lookout for my first post as I reintroduce myself to you with the new format for all posts under the new category. Enjoy!

With Love,
Ayuma.

Gagging Death with Second Chances

Amy was tired. She was tired of a marriage gone wrong. The pain crept through her nerves; from her curled toes to the hot coffee mug trapped between her hands. She sat in silence at the dinner table. The ticking clock on the wall echoed further into the living room. The fearful tapping of her finger onto the mug came to a stop when the minute hand hit midnight. She broke into tears which streamed down her face and into the mug.

Richard had for the third time slept out during their wedding anniversary. For the third time, Amy thought, her husband chose his mistress over her during their special day. He had tried to hide the affair for three years but she knew it from the first day he came home with a mask on his face. A mask of a man she knew not; a man who knew how to tell a lie straight to her face. And so she put her mug in the kitchen sink, turned off the lights and headed to bed.

Suddenly, she woke up to a struggle for breath as a masked man gagged her mouth as his partner tied up her arms and legs. The man placed a cloth over her nose and the next thing she felt was the cold burn of a metallic chair. Amy had been kidnapped. Blindfolded, she struggled to free her arms and legs but all her efforts were in vain. She panted and puffed some more until all she could do was cry.

Neither of the two men spoke to her. They just kept walking round the room which scared her even more. But as soon as they removed the muffle over her mouth she cried, “Please let me go! Please let me go!” All she heard in return was silence. The two men never said a thing. Hopelessness started sinking in as soon as it hit her that the only person who would notice that she was missing was her husband. The thought of Richard in the arms of his mistress at such a time made her feel even closer to death. She had been dying slowly for the last three years.

The day she wanted to tell Richard that she had cervical cancer was the day he came home with a mask on his face and a hint of cheap perfume on his shirt. She was dying alone for three years. She thought about the many times she had tried to get pregnant. How it pained her when her family members pressured her. How it made her feel less of a woman that she was not able to give Richard a child. Perhaps that is what made him start an affair, she thought. Slowly, her marriage had suffered another type of cancer that ate into their love.

Suddenly, Amy gave in to the worst; death. Her loud cried for freedom turned into death wishes. She knew not who the two men were, but she told them to get on with it and just kill her.

“I’ve got nothing else to lose so just kill me.”

“I have been dying from cancer for the last three years.”

“My husband has for the last three years spent our wedding anniversary in the arms of his mistress.”

“I am infertile and cannot do the one thing a woman is supposed to do.”

“Just kill me now and kill me quick.”

Suddenly, one man took off the blindfolds and freed her arms and legs. Kneeling right before her in a room full of friends and family members was Richard. His idea of a wedding anniversary surprise for Amy had taken a different turn. He was crying and the look on his face was that of a broken soul. One lady rushed across the room in tears and left the house. Everyone else had a mix of grief, anger, fear and shock painted over their faces.

“Please forgive me Amy… Please forgive me!” Richard wept in the silence that had filled the room. The look on Amy’s face was that of shock and frustration. She had emotionally and physically signed a death wish; she was ready to die. Looking at the room full of people made her feel as if she were looking at a certain chapter of her past that she had long forgotten. She zoned back in and Richard had stopped crying. He stood up, walked towards her and went on his knees before her. He held onto her hands and noticed how pale and skinny they had become. She was shaking as if she had seen a ghost. A ghost indeed! The mask on Richard’s face was gone and he looked at her with the innocence he had in his eyes the day he asked her to be his wife. He said:

“I broke my promise to love and protect you.”

“I broke my promise to be faithful to you.”

“I broke my promise to stand by you for better or for worse.”

“This is the worse and before you is a man full of broken promises.”

“I won’t stop you if you choose to leave me. But if there is some little hope in you that I can be a better man, I am begging you to give me a second chance.”

Amy pulled away her hands and cried. She was not sure about what was happening. She was not sure that she could trust again, not Richard. The other people in the room had already disappeared from their thoughts; the focus was only on the two.

“Just one more chance Amy… Just one more chance,” Richard pleaded. Then Amy wiped away her tears and held his hands. “I guess two years are enough for a second chance,” Amy said with a soft smile warming up her face. Richard rose from his knees in astonishment and kissed her as he did on their wedding day.

Suddenly, cheerfulness from family and friends coated and helped them sail away into a perfect second chance.

True love thrives in forgiveness and truth, enough to selflessly give way to second chances even with two more years left to live.

Yours truly,

Ayuma.

MENSTRUATION IS NOT A CURSE

Celebrating Being a Woman / ruby-cup.com

Celebrating Being a Woman / ruby-cup.com

How many ladies got their period without knowing what it is? Did any of you think that you were dying or suffering from a serious illness like cancer? Well, that has happened to many of us but it shouldn’t be so and this cycle should stop.

When a lady gets her period, this should not be handled with shyness, disgust or shock but with pride – as a girl is welcomed into the world of being a woman! Women aren’t born with a manual on the best way to deal with the frustration that comes with menses. This is why having a community of ladies supporting girls can help them through this process. If we never got the support we needed, this is our chance to do it right by reaching out to our sisters, daughters, cousins, and even the girls within our living environment. Or perhaps, we could reach out to girls who are facing this alone and don’t have the means to deal with menstruation.

Also, there are various medical interventions that have been designed to help women and girls have a smooth sail through their menstrual cycle. These include sanitary pads, tampons and menstrual cups. In Africa, sanitary pads and tampons have been quite popular and not many have heard of what menstrual cups are.

Well, a menstrual cup is a bell-shaped menstrual hygiene product commonly made from soft rubber or medical-grade silicone and is inserted into a woman’s vagina to collect menstrual fluid during menstruation. It is often reusable since it collects fluid instead of absorbing. Most manufacturers recommend replacing a menstrual cup once every 10years. This means that it’s economical since it’s reusable and you’ll only get to worry about “replacement” after an entire decade.

Also, the endless reports in Kenya are simply heart-breaking, about girls who miss out school because of their periods. Click here for more… Some of the girls cannot afford pads and end up using rags, old pieces of blanket, tree bark or mud to hide their “shame” which prevents them from presenting themselves in public or in school. This shouldn’t be so, not if we’ve got what it takes to support each other despite our backgrounds.

A Ruby Cup / ruby-cup.com

A Ruby Cup / ruby-cup.com

Ruby Cup is an award winning menstrual cup that’s the first to supply its menstrual hygiene products in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is mainly because there is an increased need for such a product to curb health and economic stresses on access to menstrual hygiene products that are long-lasting. You can use this product at home and those who’ve used the Ruby Cup attest to literally forgetting that they are on their period due to the comfort and relief it brings. But that is not all; you can help in distributing a Ruby Cup to a school girl from an underprivileged background. When you buy one cup you reach out to a girl and help her go through primary school, secondary school and finish College without having to worry about her period again.

Here are some letters from school girls who’ve benefited from using Ruby Cups!
If you would like to have an edifying session with the Ruby Cup team at school, in church or even your group of girls, please contact the team at info.ke@ruby-cup.com.

For more information, please follow Ruby Cup on the social networks: Twitter: @rubycup and Facebook: RubyCup

Yours Truly,
Ayuma.

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