Celebrating Bro. John’s two Sun Rises

broToday, we shall lay to rest a remarkable man! I say ‘we’ although I will be over 1000 kms away because as the Materi Girls Center fraternity, we are truly one! And as we lay him to rest, I’m reminded of all that he was — and it has just been impossible to summarize this man on one blog post. I have attempted to write about him, but he was just too much to be contained here. But today, as an honor to him, I will scribble something, and then I will sit and shed tears as I remember just how much I truly loved him.

I remember one time he was unwell and he went to America for a very long time. It could have been a few weeks but for us in Materi at that time, it seemed like an eternity. We would pass by his closed office and just lament at how much we missed him. We missed the ‘see Bro’s’, the Friday Movies, the free chewing gum on Friday and the many goodies that office held. But above all we missed Bro. John the man.

You see, Materi girls is not your ordinary High School. We hear of horrific stories that people went through in High school and we just can’t understand it. For us, High school was ideal! We were taught responsibility through freedom. You’ve heard it already, our school rule was ‘Use Your Common Sense’. And no, it was not written anywhere either. You were supposed to learn it and live by it!

He gave so many girls who would otherwise had never gone to school a life. He made us know that we are important, he made sure he said it as often as he could!. He called us all the sweet names some that were really hilarious. Mr Roses, my apples, my tomatoes — he once called us that after his trip to America just to show how much he had missed us! He loved us and we knew it. He always said that Materi was his wife and his children, and boy oh boy, weren’t we adored!

He made us beautiful, both inside and outside. He gave us a decent education, gave us decent food (we took porridge even at 10:00 AM, we always went home looking better than we left:) and have gave us jewellery and make up  at a time when other schools were sending girls packing because of permed hair!

He bought clothes and sold them to us at a loss! I remember once he drove me from Meru town to Materi, and on the way he bought some sweat shirts at 70 bob. When we got to school, I thought he’s sell them at 100 to make a few coins. Imagine my shock when I went to buy one and he was selling them at 50 bob! I was moved to tears.

I bought my first photo album from him. I kept it up to the time I cleared campus — more than 8 years! My elder sister Lilian wouldn’t understand my obsession with that album. I carried it everywhere. My travel bag always contained the essentials — plus my album!  She once scolded me for carrying my photo album  everywhere, but it was never about the album. It was about the man who sold it to me. Bro!

Bro took the trouble to bring us our letters, send letters to our boyfriends and always reminded us to send a card to our parents on Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day was special in Materi. There was always something extra added to our meals. It could be a soda, a really huge Mango or whatever he found on that day, but it never went unnoticed. His girls were always appreciated. He was the perfect lover! It’s no wonder I still fuss over Valentines’ day, I still like feeling appreciated on Val’s Day!

Back to the time he was unwell in America. On the day he came back, there were no classes! We mounted a guard of honor from the gate and escorted him to his house, with shouts and singing! It was a great day! Our daddy was back! We were just wanted to tell him all that happened while he was away and accuse everyone who had provoked us!

When he later that evening came to give a speech to the girls, he told us of how he had had a near death experience. He saw his spirit leave his body and actually go heavenward. On getting to the gates, Peter told him to go back, his work was not done yet! I have never forgotten that story.

And so when he finally rested last week, I knew his work here was done. It was painful, it still is. I knew this day would come but I quite never got ready for it. We all didn’t. On that day, the gates of heaven were opened to him and he was ushered in. On that day, Bro had two sun rises –and no Sunset!

Why I support ‘Dead Beat Kenya’

awwwwSo, I finally joined Dead Beat Kenya page on face-book! I have been wondering what the fuss is all about but after checking out what it is about, and after confirming that my friends who have joined are the relatively sane ones, I decided to join too. If I was a cat, my nine lives would be over by now, my curiosity is just over the top.

I don’t exactly like the occasional name calling I see on some posts but I agree on it’s principle: Own up, Act up, Man up! If I was the admin, that would be my mantra! Few things make me angry like someone who will be adult enough to bring a being in this world but not man/woman enough to take care of them in whatever capacity they can.

That aside, I feel more for the girls who have to go through pregnancy alone and lonely and later bring these children up alone. No girl should be pregnant and alone! None. And it just is not the same when there are other people around you. It feels good to know that your partner is there with you.

I think about the many times I have come home from work and all I want is someone to rub my feet. The times I have woken up in the middle of the night feeling hungry and I want someone to be with me as I feel my way in the kitchen half asleep. Other times I have just needed someone to tell me all is alright, that I can cry just because I feel like and that I look good and that I can rest while they make me a cup of hot something.

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Or the times I have wanted someone to sit with me and walk me to the doctors room and listen to the baby’s heart beat with me. I have wanted someone to giggle with me at how fast that tiny heart beats and cry with me at just how blessed I am that s/he is doing alright in there. I have wanted someone to help me get angry at the doctor who ‘oopsed’ his way into telling me the gender of my baby when I just wanted to be surprised!

I have wanted to share all this with someone who is in it in the same capacity that I am. Someone who will not be helping me through ‘my’ pregnancy, but ‘our’ pregnancy. I have wanted my husband to be the one doing all that with me. And how grateful I am because Kamana has always always been there!

I feel even more for the fathers who have to fumble through ‘motherhood’ on their own. I remember listening to the story of one of the participants of KTN’s Ultimate Challenge — Weight Loss edition narrate how his wife left him with their little son. She doesn’t care how he is doing and he had to be both mom and dad for him. I still can’t believe a woman can leave her child — even the bible uses that analogy like it is actually an impossibility!

On that page, I have seen many people, some prominent ones too, who clearly could but wouldn’t be there for their children and the mothers of their children. I don’t know what reasons they gave but I can tell them the only reason that makes sense — they are selfish!

Maybe they were so scared of the prospect of becoming parents. Who isn’t it? Seeing your mistakes run on two legs can be quite a nerve wrecking thought. The desire to make their lives so much better than yours and the fear that you might not manage to is scary! But no matter what you did, the mistake is not the child! That girl is just as scared as you are about being a mom, so go and get scared together. It’ll make it less scary and more possible!

One of the reasons why sex before marriage was a no-no for me is because I feared God enough. But I was also pretty scared about getting pregnant and being alone! If you are at a position to be there for your child and his/her dad or mom, be there! Its never about the money, it’s your presence and emotional support they need. The money is an added advantage.

If for some reason you can’t; like maybe you are dead, we understand! If you are alive, wherever you are, if we need to shout your name from the roof tops to get your attention, we will. Dead Beat Kenya has. I’m not sure it will eventually make dead beats responsible, but I’m sure they now know we know them. And we don’t like them.

As Nathan Hayes says in Courageous the movie, “You know, if fathers just did what they’re supposed to do half of the junk that we face on the streets wouldn’t exist.” 

I add, and mothers too. Own Up, Act Up! Man Up!

Boy, I Feel like a Perfect Imperfect Woman!

50% So, it’s now an open secret that we are baking a baby! Yeah, the Lord turned my body into an oven. From the kind of heat I’m feeling of late, I know it’s a few degrees above 100 inside there!

I have probably learned more about myself and my body than all the biology Mrs. Mburia taught me in school — probably because I was always asleep in her class! And it is not all pleasant, but this is probably the best time of my life. I honestly don’t want it to be over, in a selfish way I must add.

When else do you have even matatu touts falling over themselves trying to be nice to you? And when else can you walk in town eating a watermelon and you don’t get those, ‘who is her mother’ stares? Actually, you seem to get approval nods — she is taking care of ‘our’ baby! Go, mama, munch on!

The license to ‘misbehave’ aside, and I use misbehave here to only meaning eating in public, not the total lack of social etiquette; I have experienced a few changes that are not quite pleasant, some of which no one really prepared me for. No one, that is, except Dr. G (read Google) and we all know he tends to over extend facts so I try not to take him too seriously.

Like my face. It seems to have suddenly remembered that I skipped the pimples stage of adolescent so now the acne has landed with all it’s relatives! Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and wonder, “whose face is THAT?” But my oh-so-kind husband has encouraged to face the world with more courage, acne and all!

All they told me about pregnancy has nothing on the real thing. I expected to vomit every single day of my first trimester. So I braced myself for the gag reflex to work overtime — it never did! So here I was, all nauseous but not throwing up. I still don’t know if that was good or bad.

They didn’t tell me I will have trouble eating because my stomach is next to my throat, so I feel full after two spoon fulls. Now I have learned to eat small portions many times in a day. And all they said was cravings and more cravings. What about the loss of appetite I have been experiencing of late. I only eat because I have to. And I can’t decide what I like right now! Except Digestive biscuits but who can live on that?

My body is in real good shape of late — round too is a shape, right? I remember admiring pregnant ladies long before I got here. I thought they looked really good with that bump. The bump is now on me and for some reason, I thought I will not grow that big that fast so I was never in a hurry to change my wardrobe. Until I woke up one day and nothing in my closet would fit. Kamana looked on helplessly with an annoying smirk on his face as I tried on everything in my closet.

A couple of hours later, all my clothes were in a pile on the floor, and I was close to tears! You see, I have a problem deciding what to wear even on normal times, so this was really frustrating! So I wore what fitted best and I went to shop!  I wore the first trouser that fitted me well right in the changing room and walked out in it!

Somehow, pregnancy has increased the spring in my step and  now I feel more confident and at home in my body. Funny this should come at a time when I’m round in shape with a face that looks like an adolescent boy, but I guess it’s Gods way of telling me I’m perfect with all my imperfections. And I love it!