Live this New Year

new yearHappy New Year!

As  always, resolutions are flying around me, from friends and family, I sincerely hope they are met.  I love a new year.  It always feels like a time to leave the old behind and embrace the new.  New things, ideas and meet new people.  It’s also a time to change the view on old things, old ideas and old relationships.

This writer wishes all her readers the best of the best this year.  And, unmovable resolve in getting those resolutions done.  Meet new people, create inspiring new ideas, try new things, visit new places…go to old places and see them like new…..Live.

Cheers to an adventure filled 2016!

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Gardening for the Soul

aloe piece5
Aloe Vera Plant

Saturday was one of those days you just want to forget because nothing is going right.  From work, to interacting with people, to commuting, everything was just whack!  I got home, and I just wanted to bury myself under the blankets for at least twenty-four hours.  Alas, it was during the day, and sleeping with the sun up, is just hard for me. So, my mum dragged me out of the house and we went digging up the flower garden.  There is nothing like sinking your fingers in dirt. Stress, all annoyed and disturbed thoughts just disappear.  Our garden is right in front of the house, and the old flowers were getting boring. We decided to gut them out and decided to replant some new ones.

 

gutting aloe vera6
Separating Aloe Vera plantlets

 

Aloe and Iris4 This is the garden after we were done planting the Aloe Vera and a pretty flower called Florentine Iris.  It looks pretty puny right now, but the rains are here, and they’ll shoot up fast.  The Florentine Iris is especially pretty when it grows flowers.   iris-germanica-florentina-flower

I can’t wait to see a garden full of these flowers. 

my gardenAloe and Iris27

This little exercise had me forgetting the seriously disturbing events of my day.  It was gardening for the soul, ^_^!

pretty treewhite flowers2

On a side note, this huge tree grows outside our house too.  Every year, it gets these white flowers that bloom for like a day, before they fall down to the ground covering the whole area.  Pretty isn’t it.

Song of the moment: Rita Ora – Grateful

 

 

  

 

 

Poetry Week – Namatsi Lukoye’s I’m Not Yours to Fix

Today, this blog features, Namatsi Lukoye.  She’s a poet, writer and performs Spoken Word.  I visited her blog and found a very stirring poem named I’m Not Yours To Fix and just had to share it.  She has shared a lot of her work on her blog.  So stop by and give it some love.

Here’s Namatsi Lukoye  by Namatsi:

I would love to call myself a fashion designer but I guess that name is reserved for people who know exactly what they are doing in that profession like Angie (my mum). I am an all round artist; I do basically anything I put my hands and heads on. That said I am an extremely talented copy cat… I can make anything that has a fabric and a stitch on it if I put my mind on it. I am also a spoken word poet and a writer, which gives me a split personality because when it comes to poetry… I write deep and recite with emotion. As for writing, I have had the honor of interviewing some of the highest achievers in my country.

I’m Not Yours to Fix by Namatsi Lukoye

There is nothing as terrible as living in a circle,
when all you want is a dark corner that you can comfortably hide and cry in
How do you live as an open book when every reader is a critic
Watching your every step and even when they don’t say it
You feel it…. the judgement in the eyes as they scroll one word to the next

(a feel of what’s coming in :- All that I am – Namatsi)

I am trapped in this circle;
What i really want well the heavens lied about it
So I am lost somewhere in paradise… confused
It is not as it was told…
The rivers are not clear… pure blood
The gates are not golden… iced tears
There is no music… Choir master rebelled!
And I miss everything,
Everything I once hated
Everything that I once believed in…
Even the silence between us
I miss the stench of our rotting corpses…
Even the worms crawling on top of us… I miss it all

I wish I should have listened to the voice inside… I am not yours to fix
I am not a mix that you need to solve with your tricks
Learn this… I am not yours to study or to feel sorry for
My life is not your politics, don’t pray for me or hope that I will change
Words floating to the sky don’t have a thing on me! That’s not my cage
I am not yours to worry about… so let me die in this drought
Tasteless sorry french kisses you give, what do you know about being a friend!
I stopped trying and learning how to pretend… am not good at it
Let’s be enemies, let’s kill these dark melodies
DIE! DIE! DIE!
I am not here for you to try correct
Let my pride be the end of me… because I will not listen to you
Let me live as I please, love as I want, and if the result is to burn… then let me burn
BURN! BURN! BURN!
Till the sky cries and the earth sings
Let me go to a road of finding me alone
I miss me every aspect of me! Even the drama queen who held a knife!

Mimi siwako wa kukosoa, kufunza wala kujaribu kuunda (**I’m not yours to correct, to teach, or to fix)
Usikose usingizi shida zangu ukijifanya watatua (**Don’t lose sleep pretending you’re fixing my problems)
I know that I am fragile but aren’t we all… so when I break into pieces
Stay away, I have elements of the devil himself I could cut you… or worse I could kill you!
And anyway, how you gonna help me with a knife in your hand
A log in your eye? And the rejoicing smile you do when you turn away!
I see you… beneath all your eeeish… I feel you
I am not yours to fix… I am not yours to fix! And never yours to save
Poetry has always done that, don’t try compete

This voice you killed… I want it back
I am tired of this space… of the light
I am not a defined script, I make my own way in this journey heading to death,
Death, that kind cruel friend who smiles at us all and takes us to rest,
Why is she misunderstood?
I am not afraid of her…
Anyway, till trees grow downwards and waterfalls make love to the sky
In times of misty doubt and clear joys,
I am on a trip to find me… and I don’t need your sympathy

**ellyinnairobi translation

Poetry Week Thoughts:

There is nothing as terrible as living in a circle,
when all you want is a dark corner that you can comfortably hide and cry in
How do you live as an open book when every reader is a critic
Watching your every step and even when they don’t say it
You feel it…. the judgement in the eyes as they scroll one word to the next

There have been days when I feel like this, facing the world, your family and friends, your community, everyone has something to say about how you’re living, what you’re doing, what you say, and it can get heavy, burden you until you feel the best thing to do is runaway.  When I read this poem, it really spoke to me and the way Namatsi ends it, “>…I’m on a trip to find me...” that right there is the beauty of life and the goal we must all work toward if we’re to find happiness.

My Nairobi, My City – Brian Kamari

Brian chillin'On the second My Nairobi, My city, I asked my little brother to participate.  Yes, I’m starting close to home, figured that was the best way to jump into this project.  Brian Kamari was born and lives in Nairobi. I caught up with him when we went to the Nairobi International Trade Fair (or the Show) and I pestered him into talking about his views on Nairobi.   He describes himself as unique, and definitely loves living in this lovely city of ours.

Elly in Nairobi: Describe your Nairobi?  How do you see Nairobi from your perspective?

Brian: My Nairobi is unique.  I have a plan to develop where I’m staying and because of that plan, every morning I wake up, I find something to do and make sure it’s finished by the time the sun comes down.

Elly in Nairobi: What is your favorite place/ spot in Nairobi city?

Brian: My home, I love it because it’s the place where I can be most myself.

Elly in Nairobi: How would you describe yourself in Nairobi city?

Brian: When I’m in Nairobi, I’m one part of a grand mosaic.  When I walk along the streets of Nairobi, the people who walk past me all have dreams, their own unique qualities; we are brought together in this one city.  Each of us makes Nairobi, in our own unique way.  If you were to stand above the city, you’d see a mosaic of different people, and I’m one part of that big picture.

Elly in Nairobi: What feeling does Nairobi give you?

Brian: I feel hope.  Hopeful because I believe what I choose to do, (farming, building, and business) will succeed and live on to the next generation.  Nairobi is growing, spreading out her wings.  And to be part of that growth is exciting and I’m full of anticipation.

Elly in Nairobi: How do you feel about your fellow Nairobians?

Brian: That we are all so similar yet so different.  What do I mean by that?  We’re all living in Nairobi.  When it comes to business or shopping, we’re looking for the best deal, working toward living a good life.  In that, we’re similar, but we’re also different.  I’m different in my attitude.  My perspective is different because of my experiences.  How I look at things is not the same as the next person even my own family members.

Elly in Nairobi: What is the best thing about Nairobi? What is the Worst?

Brian: The Best is the Energetic People and Culture.  As a Nairobian, I have to say we really get into things.  Football (soccer), rugby, political rallies, haggling for the lowest price in the market, we are passionate and jump in with all our hearts.

The Worst thing is also the energetic people and culture.  I think we’re too curious and easily excited.  When there is something major going on, like a big fire or dangerous situation, like a riot, we run to the scene even though having a crowd stops those helping, police, fire fighters from doing their job.

Elly in Nairobi: Tell us more about where you live and how that has changed your view of the city?

Brian: I live on the outskirts of the city, in a place I can only describe as paradise.  We have so many trees and plants growing around our house, the birds have moved in.  SoGorgeous trees and flowers when you wake up in the morning you’ll hear them singing.  A friend came to visit once and heard them, and asked us if we had a background recording.  I smiled because those birds living out there make my home so unique.  These outskirts of the city are what I think are the best part.  It takes me forty-five minutes to get to the main Nairobi city, so I think it gives me the best of both worlds, and has only improved on my positivity on Nairobi.

Elly in Nairobi: What would you tell others about your Nairobi?

Brian: Nairobi ni Kali! (Nairobi is tough) You have to be stronger.

So, there you have it, a new perspective of Nairobi.  Next week, there will be more interviews to come, new views. Next, a trip to the Nairobi International Trade Fair. 

Making a Change

Last year, my sister and I quit our jobs. Shocker!! Everyone thought we’d lost our minds.  I was working as a bookshop manager, nice job, perks that count in the way I live my life.  As for my sister, she was a warehouse manager running this big great store for the same company I was working for.

In the way of companies, there was politics and major changes with management.  There comes a time when an individual must weigh the pros and cons of holding down a certain job.  For my part, I tend to get emotionally attached to my job.  For those of you who understand, this means that I’d find myself staying later when things are getting harder.  Just to make sure they are better the next day.  Giving up more than I normally would for the sake of the job.  I would view failures as my own, going above and beyond not to have failures but gain more victories.  For someone else’s company, this can be a very trying experience.  No matter how many times you advice, talk and suggest to the necessary parties above you, the truth is you can only get so far.  The cons began to outweigh the pros and all my passion and inspiration in this company faded away.

My sister and I got tired, emotionally and physically, of fighting the good fight for this company.  At the beginning of the year 2012, when things got particularly strained with the company, we decided to leave. I was caught in a whirlwind of relief and absolute terror when I handed in my resignation.  I’d love to say that I did so with absolute confidence, but I would be lying.  There was a lot of fear of the unknown, but there was no doubt that leaving was the right decision.  My job was no longer right for me.

My sister on the other hand had absolute confidence in her decision.  She’s always been like that, especially when she decides on something.  You can’t shake her from her path, and that helped me along.  We’ve been through so much together.  And her confidence spurred my own.  She had an idea that she believed in, and her passion toward this idea was leading the way forward. So, out of that moment a year and a half ago, a great big idea was born.  Amari Bakery Ltd, my sister’s one year old baby.

About Amari Bakery Ltd bakery site

It started out as a small idea.  My sister is the baker of the family and she would do it from home and sell bread to the neighbors.  Before we got our jobs, we’d started a small shop that ended up closing due to situations in our lives we couldn’t control.  This time however, after we quit our jobs, we decided that there was nothing else to believe in but this idea.  My sister named it Amari Quickbreads Bakery.  We got the name registered and she started baking out of our home.  There were ups and downs, a struggle for customers and of course, getting people to know and learn about the bakery.   We’d advertise online using Social Media, a blog and a Website.  Gradually, month by month, Amari Quickbreads Bakery began to gain loyal customers.  This year, Amari Quickbreads Bakery, became Amari Bakery Ltd and opened a shop.  My sister is now baking at the shop, delivering products to customers at their homes and marching on to the future.  I’m proud to be part of Amari Bakery Ltd. and watching her and her determination allowed me to give my writing the same confidence.

my sis, always baking for the family ^_^

Amari Blog     Amari Facebook Page  Amari Website

Visit any of these and you might get an offer.  If you live within Nairobi, we deliver to your home/ office or your designated place of work.

When I look at her and visit the Amari Bakery Shop these days, I see the realization of an idea that started out very small.  There have been setbacks and facing them down has been a challenge.  But isn’t it better to face down challenges of your own making than those set for you for another business?  I’m proud of my sister for letting me be part of this project and what she’s done and will continue to do.

I’ve worked since I was sixteen years old.  Odd jobs that were meant to pay the bills and meet daily life needs that were necessary.  None of those jobs ever made sense to me. So, when I quite a year ago, that was the first time I ever felt like I was making a positive change in my life.

I write now, and do consultation for Amari Bakery Ltd. Business systems.  There are months when I don’t have the constant money I used to get when I worked a steady job, but I wouldn’t give up the experiences I’ve gained the last months for anything. I’m excited to see what we build in the next year.