The Uuuhs and Aaarghs of my life

Posts tagged ‘music’

A Last Dance in the Rain

Dancing in the Rain

a last dance in the rain

 

It’s raining outside,
And the sound of gentle drops on my window is beautiful and calming.

So I push back the curtain,
Peek out the window with nostalgic wonder.

And I’m met with a blue-grey blanket of rain,
One that paints a sweet memory of us, silent, listening to our hearts beat.

It’s hard to believe,
All I can sense of you now is hidden in pockets of nature.

Yet still,
Feel robbed of a chance to encounter our nature.

Days go by,
These memories, I fear, will start to fade.

As I dream of a time when you were the rain,
And I ran outside,
And we gently danced our last in nature’s embrace.

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.

Michelle Ayuma ~ Creative Communications Specialist

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Michelle Ayuma - Creative Communications Specialist

“Slowly, I’ll rise and get up there. Slowly, I’ll reach the top. Slowly I’ll learn my lessons in life. Slowly I will try my best.” ~Anon

I think that what makes me unique is the fact that I can only function in creative environments. Literally! This is how I get inspired to do something, write a new story, design a new concept or even sing a new song. Also, as a humanitarian, I draw my passion from children. There is always something about children that gives me the courage to keep going, to keep hoping, to keep sharing love in different ways and hopefully leave the world a better place than I found it.

If there is something the world does not know about me, it would be that I started writing stories as a pre-teen. I was always a geek and I never got the chance to hang out with the cool girls or the cute boys in school. Writing helped me paint a world of my own with unique characters that often featured intercultural and interracial relations. At a young age, I picked this up real quick and so later on in life, I had more confidence to meet with people from different backgrounds and totally enjoy their company.

The lowest point in my life so far was about five yeas ago when adversity hit me hard to a point I launched into depression for about three years. After recovery, I came to have a deeper appreciation for life and seasons of loss as well. This helped me appreciate the scars of my past which made me reflect on my strengths which pulled me out of depression.

If I were to meet with the girl I was five years ago, I would tell myself that I am my only limitation because the future is as bright as I imagine it to be. Not knowing my worth is what led me to depression. I can only imagine what difference it would have made in those three years of my life if I was reminded that if I keep working towards my personal vision, I would stumble but I’ll have something to keep fighting for.

My greatest achievement so far is receiving an Enterprise Champion Award this year from OpenText for showing exemplary effort in the promotion of Knowledge Management best practices as a Communication assistant at CARE International’s East and Central Africa’s Regional Management Unit. What makes this a special achievement is that it was my first time interacting with the term ‘Knowledge Management’ but I did not shy away from learning about it. I requested for mentorship by some awesome colleagues in CARE Kenya and CARE Canada and they sure taught me so much and I had fun in the process. This also helped me teach regional staff members and regional communication focal points about fun and interactive ways to share knowledge with an extra African touch – storytelling. I am truly excited to see how some of the initiatives that I started carry-on even after my leaving the amazing CARE global family.

TOP 3:

Best: …travel destination of my dreams is a hot air balloon ride over the Maasai Mara. I love Africa and Kenya to be specific. My country has got the best mix of bush to beach and a snow-capped mountain. How awesome is that!

Craziest: …dream is dancing in the streets of India like in Bollywood movies with a large crowd of people tossing colourful dye and flowers everywhere. Loved it!

Worst: …food is boiled cabbage. I cannot stand the smell of boiler cabbage. The sulphur… oh man!

BEST TIPS ON CREATIVE COMMUNICATIONS:

1. Never compare your dream with that of other people. As a creative, you need to stand out as uniquely as possible.
2. Have a great appetite for learning. Look for opportunities to be mentored by people with knowledge and experience in your fields of interest.
3. Avoid negativity. This is poison to any living creative on the globe. Positivity creates a healthy environment for a creative mind.
4. Keep a journal and write down all of our ideas and thoughts. Reflect upon these from time to time and see how they actively influence your direction in life.
5. Keep-up with the latest news within your field of interest.
6. Invest in technology. Know the latest trends that would compliment your interests and your personality.
7. As a Christian, I love to pray and meditate. This always keeps me on check as I balance what I want out of life and what my purpose is while I am still on earth.

WHAT AM I UP TO LATELY?

After my time at CARE International came to an end, I went back to doing volunteer work as a mentor for young girls at Vision Africa’s Seed of Hope Center. Also, I am currently being mentored by the best of humanitarian communication officers who represent various INGOs at the regional communications network. As I look for my next opportunity to learn more about humanitarian communications and Knowledge Management, I am learning more about creative methods of communication. I am so happy and my heart is full!

I am 25years old.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Email: ayumamichelle@ymail.com
Skype: Michelle.Senda
Twitter: @ayumyum

PS: Please share your thoughts with me. Thank you!

Ciao Bella 2012!

Dear readers,

As the year 2012 comes to an end, I celebrate those who took a chance to put a smile on someone’s face. Those who dared to make everyday richer with love.

I believe that the road wasn’t easy all-year-round, but we should count ourselves champions for we have made it to the end. Many started the road with us this year but they didn’t make it this far.

So I pray that your heart will remain youthful and full of cheer all through the new year.

Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog and beautify it with your thoughts. Let’s talk some more in 2013!

Love and sunshine…

Yours Truly,

Ayuma.

To put a smile on your face as we countdown to the new year, here’s a lovely tale about my favourite day in December this year. Photographs are courtesy of Paras Gudka of Westlands Chess Club (WECC) and Kirsty McLullich of Vision Africa.

Enjoy the read!

My little friends at Kandara Children's Home

My little friends at Kandara Children’s Home

Oh December! What a lovely ring this month adds to the conclusion of a lovely, yet monstrous yet again a typical other year – 2012.

Let us do a little math, shall we?

Q: What is the result of a public transport strike, plus a car full of visitors, plus road directions, minus following road directions, multiplied by hours in a day to spend?

A: Easy, a Fun Day at Kandara Children’s Home in Murang’a!

Ok fine, not an easy challenge or even math for that matter, but this sure was the plot of the story that led me to the most amazing place to have spent a fun day in December this year.

Swaleh, a trusted taxi driver chatted with my good friend Esther Neema and me as we headed to the Nairobi City Centre to meet up with Paras Gudka, the founder of the Westlands Chess Club (WECC).

Esther Neema and her new baby buddy

Esther Neema and her new baby buddy

Paras Gudka; WECC founder

Paras Gudka; WECC founder

To our surprise, the matatu strike was still on and Swaleh swore that it had reached a point where the public transport operators were charging as much as KSH 400 for what would normally cost KSH 50 for bus fare.

GULP…

Paras gladly came with his team from the WECC to join us for a day of fun and games at the Children’s home. I was super confident that the directions that Kirsty McLullich (a full-time volunteer with Vision Africa) had given me will make me look good as a navigator.

GULP…

The WECC crew; Shammah, Gweyani and George

The WECC crew; Shammah, Gweyani and George

Being the social being that I am, I coloured the atmosphere with my warm personality through a story or two…or three… Ok, I might have talked quite a lot but I promise that I gave everyone else a chance to tell an anecdote or two…Hehe!

All this got me to a point where I forgot to check my phone for directions and we used a route to Thika that seemed familiar yet unfamiliar. What gave me confidence was the fact that the other passengers were on Google Maps, confirming if we are on the right path. Technology!!!

Unfortunately, we confidently made a turn that took us to a town that seemed familiar, yet unfamiliar. When we stopped to ask for directions… Typical Kenyan “asking for directions” Drama happened! There was a gent who went on with stories about how we are so lost and that he doubts if we’ll find our way to Kandara. Talk about a prophet of doom!

Seconds after what we seemed to have been an understanding of the directions the gent gave us, we were lost again.

We took on a challenge and asked a matatu driver for directions and his directions sounded like, “You see that road… Drive down till you reach a junction, ignore the junction and drive on, you’ll see another road but ignore it, then you take a left, then go, then take a right and if you even ask a small child for directions, you will find your way to Kandara.”

[Trust me, this English translation sounds nothing as hilarious as the original Kiswahili one with a local accent.]

As we got lost some more on our way to Kandara, we at least took the chance to sample the lovely green countryside. It was a farming community judging from the patterned strips of crop against recurring steep slopes.

Aha! An old wise man of the land who probably knew the paths more than anyone we had met already. Luckily we had a “translator” amongst us who could communicate with the old “guardian of the land”.

We were directed to a road though a steep slope even though we all doubted it. And soon our doubts were confirmed “doubtworthy” as several little boys directed us back to the right path to the Kandara Children’s Home.

Finally, we arrived after hairpin bends and as soon as we saw the writings on the entrance of the Orphanage’s gate – Kandara Children’s Home – we took a deep breath.

As soon as we arrived, we introduced ourselves to each other as Kirsty made her way to the parking area to welcome us. Yes, we forgot that tiny detail of introductions. Haha!

Kirsty McLullich of Vision Africa and Mary Mwangi of Kandara Children's Home

Kirsty McLullich of Vision Africa and Mary Mwangi of Kandara Children’s Home

The day ripened with richness as soon as the kids came running to hold our hands and welcomed us. The atmosphere was filled with a great anticipation for a great happening judging from the preparations in the kitchen and the farm.

A goat had been slaughtered for a great feast! YUMMY…Mbuzi (Swahili for goat)

After a short tour by Kirsty round the orphanage, we were led to the baby unit. I actually got to learn how to hold a baby, play with one and feed one too. That beat my fear of dropping a baby just because of my skinny hands…Haha!

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Later on the WECC set up a table for a good game of chess starting with some quick lessons for beginners. The magic began! Esther and I got our girl-power kit and secured a spot for the girls on a green yard. Manicures and pedicures, hand massages, make-up and dress-up glam time and not forgetting the girly chat to complete this female bonding session.

There was also some face-painting in the dining hall and the little ones got creative with how they wanted their faces to look with face paint masks.

A lovely game of chess with WECC and the Kandara kids

A lovely game of chess with WECC and the Kandara kids

Pampering the Kandara girls

Pampering the Kandara girls

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Some football for the Kandara boys and friends before lunchtime

We girls and make-up. Can't get enough of it...

We girls and make-up. Can’t get enough of it…

Face-painting at Kandara Children's Home

Face-painting at Kandara Children’s Home

The kids who worked really hard this year got their gifts

The kids who worked really hard this year got their gifts

All smiles

All smiles

Goat stew... Yummy!

Goat stew… Yummy!

Fooooooood at Kandara

Fooooooood and cute face

Tasty Mbizu Choma (roasted goat meat)

Tasty Mbuzi Choma (roasted goat meat)

Lunchtime was absolutely heartwarming as all the kids sat together and ate as one big family. As soon as I saw chapattis, my search was over. I love chapattis!

The Kubamba Crew had a great Dj entertaining the crowd as we all gathered for a little booggie woogie outside. As I danced with Teresia, one of the little ones, I realized that the joy I felt inside was more than what I expected from the visit.

There’s something about a child’s smile that somehow makes everything seem alright. It was most definitely hard to say goodbye as well.

Tasty mbuzi for the boy

Tasty mbuzi for the boy

With love, from Kenya

With love, from Kenya

When I say chow-time, I mean chow-time

When I say chow-time, I mean chow-time

The smile of an angel

The smile of an angel

Jolly good times at Kandara

Jolly good times at Kandara

On our way back, we almost got lost again, but we somehow found our way to Nairobi.

A Fun Day?

This was more than just a fun day. It was a great day to get lost, LITERALLY, in fun adventure!

Have a fun-filled 2013!!!

Happy 2013!!! Kandara Children's Home

Happy 2013!!!
Kandara Children’s Home

Say CHEESE...

Say CHEESE…

More about Westlands Chess Club (WECC)

More about Vision Africa and Kandara Children’s Home

More photographs on Kandara Fun Day

Love Silently Roars #2 WIL Series

Woman In Love Series #2

Whoever said love is discreet, knows not of our love,

For ours is the loudest affair I know in this rondure,

Yet we stay enchanted in silence, in its awe.

It beats like thunder, like heavy blows of waters against a dhow,

It erupts like fiery volcanic splashes, ignorant of a tamed nature,

It thumps and trumps like a wild waterfall, so alive and free.

Like the African lion at dawn, it awakens all life in the plains,

It rushes like blustery weather delivering beautiful scent,

Yet we remain silenced as these sweet upsurges brew within us.

So I sit hushed in front of you, close enough to feel your warmth,

Close enough to marvel at the shine in your eyes.

And your silent romance rushes from your handsome beam to mine,

With blissful bursts multiplying as they search for playing ground.

Resting upon my chocolate cheeks, flares melt into soft hue of rouge,

Then I find myself surrendering my emotion with a gentle crack of smile.  

We are naĂŻvely enchanted by our loud wild love,

Restless, as it dances in our souls, silent to the auricles,

We are one hot, wild mess of untamed emotion,

You and I, Ă  la mode, locked in Love!

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