Brave and Bold Monday

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Sunday Reads

Belated: (Women-related) Sunday Reads

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Three thoughts on Ngugi wa Thiong’os public lecture

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His talk was titled “Decolonising the Mind, Securing the Base”.

  1. We exchanged our accents for European accents and in exchange for access to African resources.
  2. If you know all the languages of the world except your mother tongue, you are enslaved. If you speak your mother tongue in addition to other languages, you are empowered.
  3. Names and language is the imperialist’s last battle for the war that begun with the sword.

His talk was disrupted, I think wrongfully but here are a couple of other views you could check out.

Sunday Reads

  1. Interesting take on development in Africa through the tale of the seed industry in Uganda.
  2. Even I got punished for speaking an African language at school.
  3. More women than men in Lesotho are in school.
  4. Technology is definitely making life easier for refugees.
  5. This seems like a simple DIY even I could do.
  6. As Christians we do not look to our circumstances but the hope of Christ and His promises!
  7. A mistake is just a moment in time.”
  8. Be ambitious for life and not just work. Yes!
  9. Ten places to visit in Nairobi.
  10. Six hot podcasts on and by Africans to listen to.
  11. Yummy lemon cake.
  12. What is a PhD?
  13. Awwwww at this cute child‘s response to her mom. Oh dear for this old man.
  14. Lime zest and cardamon mandazi.
  15. Some really inspirational girls!

A little late but thoughts on Gilmore Girls

I happened to find this rough draft reviewing Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

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  • I watched the show in bits which I thought was great. I am definitely not the kind of person that has to watch shows in one sitting.
  • Before watching the show I remember thinking that Rory was the inner me as a teenager, and wondering whether she would embody me as a (Young) Adult in 2016. And did she? YEP!! She so did. Many times and again yes. 
  • Rory the overachiever who meets the real world? Did she peak too early?? In this story line I could very much see myself and how I am procrastinating on the PhD. I also had occasion to look back at my career and wonder whether it had been good enough!!! Still not sure, the jury is definitely out.
  • I love how they speak of complex (Lorelai and Emily) and simple (Lorelai and Rory) mom-daughter relationships. Not a one sizer at all. I also love how the updated show switched up these dynamics.
  • Luke and Lorelai. Comfortable but yearning for more. Their dynamic totally made me think of the Mr and I and our dynamics.
  • Lorelai and Luke’s wedding made me want to get married again?
  • The MUSICAL???  What the hell was that for? We could definitely have given it a miss and the show would have been so much better.
  • Love the reference to current culture. Hamilton, The Wild, Marie Kondo, Uber (Oooba). Love it!!
  • Loved that Richard was part of the show despite his death. Very touching. 
  • #Teamlogan. Back then and still to date. As a married person though, I did not like how this story line played out.
  • Wasn’t sure that we were meant to believe that Rory needed three phones. In 2016? Really??? 
  • Cliff hanger of an ending!!! Does this mean there will be a second one late next year? Please say yes!!!

Did you watch the show? What were your thoughts (if you can remember)?

 

Guest Post: Things to do Before Baby Arrives

I read this article citing a few things that the author (a mom-to-be) wanted to do before the baby came and convinced a dear friend to write her own list. So with no further ado, please welcome Simple Girl blogging over at (Simple Girl Writes).

Three months ago I walked into the hospital and about 12 hours later was announced as a mother to a precious little girl. Yes, I said I was ‘announced as the mother’ as I only really felt like her mother two months later (but that’s a story for another day…). A friend asked me to compile a list of the things new mums should do before their bundle of joy arrives as you will most likely spend the first six/seven weeks in a haze where you won’t even remember your own name! Be warned, this is not the typical list outlining the very practical things to do (book the hospital bed, go to antenatal classes, take your vitamins etc.) – this list is for the mama that is worried about how much life will change post-baby. And trust me, life will change!

  1. Buy that dress that shows off your new curves and go dancing (or shuffle depending on how swollen the legs are)

I was lucky enough to have a fairly small bump for most of my pregnancy and up to 30 weeks pregnant, I could get away with saying I’ve just gained “a bit of weight” around the tummy. So imagine my horror when I had to go shopping for a dress to go to a wedding with a massive bump at 31 weeks.

Let me tell you, there’s nothing that makes you realise that you are pregnant (yes forget the previous 30 weeks of pregnancy symptoms!) like going shopping for a dress in a mall. Apart from the pity stares you get whenever you walk into a MANGO or ZARA and lovingly touch a dress that you used to fit into a couple of weeks ago. The real horror comes when you are shown the ‘maternity wear’ – long, flowy, pitiful looking dresses that are supposedly supposed to make you feel good about being a baby mama. I took one look at those dresses and almost burst into tears (let’s blame the hormones!).

To cut a long story short, I ended up finding something to wear in a store catering for the ‘plus-size’ lady Ya…I will reserve my comments but the dress was beautiful and I felt good enough in it to go out the next day and dance away.

Trust me, you need to do this – you will forget about the pitiful stares, swollen ankles, achy back and the closet full of clothes you can no longer wear. Most importantly, you will look back at the photos from the day and said dress with a massive grin.

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  1. Take photos of the growing bump!

I didn’t manage to get the professional maternity photo shoot (even though a good friend had offered to do it for me) but I did force the husband to take a lot of photos.  I won’t lie, I struggled with the body changes associated with pregnancy. Unlike other women, I didn’t marvel at the growing bump or liked my bump that much 😦 but take the pictures anyway! It’s worth remembering where the bundle was home for months and even funnier to look at post-baby to remind yourself how big you really were!

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  1. Go on a fun holiday with your closest girlfriends

This one I strongly recommend you do.

I am the first one to have a baby amongst my friends (the last one to get married though – judgment galore!) and they were more excited than I was about having a preggy belly in the circle. So when the chance came to have a last hooray as friends before life dramatically changed – we went on holiday to probably the most random place I’ve been to (Cinsta in the Eastern Cape). It literally was one of the best weekends I’ve had in a while. We stayed at a backpackers, ate way too much, overindulged on chocolate and biscuits (you know, all in the name of helping the pregnant lady with her cravings), went to a beautiful spa for overly-priced pedis and massages and just generally had a blast.

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  1. Babymoon!

Similar to the girlfriend hooray above, I strongly recommend going on a babymoon. The time to enjoy ‘the two of you’ for the last time. If you have the budget for it, planning a trip far away from home would be ideal.

We did a ‘Sho’t left’ to Umhlanga and spent almost every day at the beach with me stuffing myself with frozen yoghurt (I had a sweet tooth while pregnant!). But even without the vacation, just doing more stuff as a couple is important before baby arrives. I didn’t believe it when people told me but the relationship really changes after birth. In a good way overall but I do miss being able to plan a night out without calling every single relative we have living in close proximity to us, to check who is able to babysit for a while. Also, believe the mantra – happy parents make for a happy family so the time spent on the parents is never a waste.

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  1. Read those books/ go to gym/take the long showers/play Adele at the loudest volume setting – enjoy ME time!!

This is something that I’m struggling with every day post-baby. I miss having time to myself without any restraints.

A simple thing like going to spinning in the morning relies on either my husband being home or the nanny coming in to work on time so that I can leave my baby and go torture myself in the spinning studio. Playing music while cooking – hahaha – that is something I used to do but no longer can because really after putting baby down a couple of times, no one wants to wake her up when she is finally sleeping. And Lord, the day I can have a shower when I want to shower for as long as I want to shower will be the happiest days of my life. Right now, I either shower late at night when her dad gets home from work or put baby in the bouncer, move the bouncer into the bathroom and shower with the door partially open to make sure baby can hear/see me at all times so she doesn’t start screaming again. Sigh. The life of a new mum.

There’s no doubt that life changes a lot after baby arrives. I’m still dealing with the changes and clearly have no pearls of wisdom on how to survive them. What I can say is that the day your baby looks up at you and you get a toothless smile (filled with a lot of spit bubbles) is the day when you realise that it was all worth it – the changing body, constant worry, dealing with the never-ending mummy guilt and family judgment was all worth it as you will realise that you are the best mother that this baby has.

And so what if you get this smile while you haven’t brushed your teeth or had a shower? 🙂

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Thanks Simple Girl for sharing your journey frankly, I see so many guest posts that you hinted at in this post and will try and hold you to that!

The Cape Town Art Fair

I went by this past weekend and it was truly the best use of my time. I enjoyed it and would happily recommend it to anyone. Below, some of the bits that best stood out for me.

 

Enjoy!!

Sunday Reads

  1. How to read more books this year. I am definitely taking it to heart by reducing my junk TV viewing and making sure I always have a book as I go about various chores.
  2. A reading list on Kenya in case you are interested.
  3. If a story moves you, act on it!
  4. This article on insecurity made me stop and think. Really hard!
  5. Somali nicknames are hilarious 🙂
  6. So many white tears in this article. I see that they have only a given demographic of foreign spouses married to South Africans.
  7. Also, this IS cultural expropriation.
  8. More on how couples deal with finances.
  9. I didn’t know there were Nigerian Jews in Johannesburg. Today’s fact!!
  10. What does it mean to be a boy or girl? National Geographic asks 9/10 year old kids.
  11. Stealing from one of the comments, “This is by far the best article I’ve read regarding LBGT and the gospel.”
  12. Chocolate cake and another vegetarian pasta recipe.

Fact: You and I are God’s beloved

But now, this is what the Lord says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
    Cush[a] and Seba in your stead.
Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
    and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
    nations in exchange for your life.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
    I will bring your children from the east
    and gather you from the west.
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
    and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
    and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
everyone who is called by my name,
    whom I created for my glory,
    whom I formed and made.”

Isaiah 43:1-7 (NIV)

I love these verses. They remind me of God’s personal promises to us His children. We are loved and precious to Him. It also reminds me of a very dear friend of mine because she really got me into this verse. I have highlighted and underlined verses that are particularly meaningful to me.

So we would like to date you

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One of the things that I thought would happen with marriage is that we would automatically become part of a group of other couples and we would often hang out and as the babies came, they would all grow up together. Why is this important for me? Well, I believe that as a couple, it is important to have a community that you can learn from and you can be open with. Not the entire world but some people that hold you both accountable and keep you both encouraged in this game of marriage.

Two years later, I can’t really say this has been the case.

If I think about our friendship cycle, we have either had that one couple that always invites us over to theirs and that we have occasionally hosted or the ones we always invite to ours/ out to dinner but upon our initiation and not theirs. Very binary. We are both really puzzled as to how  other couples go about befriending other couples. Where are the best kinds of places/activities to meet and interact? In the past, we have invited people for dinner or lunch but it has tended to revolve around food. Another possible place is church but our local church has less than 40 people (clergy included) and is very old. Where else?

Who would our ideal couple be? This has been the toughest bit in truth. As we have no kids this rules out the flexibility of having another couple with one or two kids in tow to pop by at random. With single people, we have observed that they sometimes project third wheel vybes when we hang together. Which means that we either chill with our single pals separately or host few people sporadically. Our ideal couple would be similar in age, committed to being married and fairly authentic – separately and jointly as a couple.

So, have you got a couple pal? How did you meet and what is the benefit to you to dating/being married and having a crowd of witnesses?

This guy is on his way to being a dictator ..

Thanks Gaddo ❤

Some dining room ideas

 

BECKI OWENS -:

I love the simplicity of the table and the matching chairs. For some reason I am also loving the arch and the additional bookshelf in the corners.

L'artisanat africain : une nouvelle façon d'habiller nos murs:

I love the back wall with the baskets and the intense colour. 

Eten en tegelijkertijd bedenken wat je nog van de wereld wilt zien.:

Because I really love maps and how they can add some interest to a boring wall

 

Let’s talk money

I read this interesting NYT article on seven essential money questions that start a conversation and thought it might be interesting to try and answer.

What lessons about money did you learn from your parents?

  • Always save and live within your means.
  • Never loan money to a friend unless you don’t mind losing the friendship.
  • Tithe.

What does the word “money” conjure up for you?

Freedom. Options. A nest egg.Independence.

How many children would you like to have when you retire?

Two.

How do you think your children feel about that?

N/A

Tell me about your financial situation when you first met.

We were both students, working part-time through school for pocket money.

What are the most important things in your life?

God (faith/church), Family, Education/ Career.

What does the prospect of retirement look like to you?

Leisure/ comfort, time to pursue other interests, financial independence.

Yep … so true

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Every woman needs a friend …

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  • Who lifts them when they are down.

  • Who can lovingly reproach and correct you when needs be.

  • Who challenges you to be more than you are or do better.

  • That you can call up on short notice and they will take your call or make the time.

  • With whom you can dream up big ideas.

  • You trust fully.

  • Who accepts and loves you as you are …

Is goodbye possible if you have their number crammed?

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When we first started dating, the Mr had this theory about how girls shed friends in their 20s. Shed. His word, not mine. And always, I would scoff at him and state how I am too loyal a friend to ever lose a friendship. See, I know of myself that I am a particularly loyal friend. Loyal to the point of abuse or pain.

As a result, I am fairly ready to make amends and walk a mile in someone else’s shoe, try and be there for them, and basically to be the type of pal that I would want to have and the type of friend that they also talk of wanting in their life. As a result, I often struggle with when to let go of a difficult/ trying/ unfulfilling relationship. To be honest, I always start with never, you can try a bit more, come on, give it another go.

However, I currently find myself  pondering over this issue with a friend that I have known for over 10 years. In truth, the struggle was to allow myself to walk away and I am now at that place.

The best part of this friendship has always been the fact that we are two peas in a pod, kindred spirits in a sense. She and I have the same outlook in life. She has that gentleness in her that I know I can trust and that she will never take advantage of me. Which I totally loved and will always cherish about her. Having said that there has always been this doubt of my motives, what I say or don’t say and this has been the undertone of our entire friendship and led to many instances of not talking to each other or a lot of misunderstandings/conflict. This has been tiring and taken an overall toll on the friendship particularly now that we live in different cities and often rely on texts and emails that often don’t generally convey true meaning.

Another element of a great friendship is that as both parties get older, there is natural room for both parties to grow, experiment and come to terms with themselves in the new phase and both parties have to allow for this to naturally play itself out. Friendship cannot be rigid or imposing or it naturally dies away. As we have gotten older, I have also struggled to embrace all her choices and some of the decisions she has made have made me quite uncomfortable and I am struggling to be the friend she needs in this phase of her life.

More than that however is the fact that our friendship is steeped in the past. We are not generating new memories, we are hanging onto old memories but none of us is invested in going forward. In fact, if we did not have friends in common, we wouldn’t really know what the other was doing or what they were up to. I honestly think ten years has been great but we truly don’t need each other that much any way and so although painful, its probably the right thing to do.

Making friends as an adult is tough

{sisters} #PardonMyFro #freelancer #digitalart #blackgirlmagic #illustration #afroart #naturalsisters:

This post on friendship has been doing the rounds which got me thinking about friendships in general. I love this quote:

What I’ve been telling my daughter is this: Yes, pray for and hope for new and closer friendships. That’s a good thing to want. But also don’t be so idealistic that you don’t see the opportunities for friendship right in front of you. The person in your life that you least expect might end up the answer to your prayer.

It looks like taking the initiative when we’d rather wait to be invited. It looks like pursuing that person already in our life instead of waiting for someone who might not exist. It looks like looking out for who might need a friend more than me. It looks like keeping healthy boundaries when we feel particularly vulnerable about all this (I’m looking at you, social media).

It looks like continually keeping our eyes peeled for someone who fits our bill, but it looks even more like keeping partial solutions at the forefront of our mind when we desire companionship.

In turn this got me thinking about my friendships and I would like to reflect on this over a couple of posts.

Sunday Reads

  1. Loving these sets of articles about women, women and ambition and the work place.
  2. Thinking of doing this for someone I love.
  3. Something about this video made me so homesick for Nairobi.
  4. Some tips for all the new moms out there.
  5. Love that this guy acknowledges what White Male Privilege has meant for him and his accomplishments.
  6. Kenya goes to the polls in  August this year. A quick primer of some of the issues.
  7. Some great African books to look forward to this year.
  8. Somehow not a fan of all these baby products that work on selling fear to parents.
  9. Some more Obama stuff.
  10. We cannot run from God’s voice, where is He calling you to today?
  11. An effective way to incorporate prayer into your life.
  12. yummy fish recipe.
  13. Getting kids to [always] eat veggies.

Happy birthday to me

I got a diary that asked me to write a letter to myself on the 1st of January and read it at the end of the year. Well, as I am twenty five days too late. Happy 29th birthday and all the best for t…

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