Tag Archives: about me

So what did you expect?

This morning the Mr and I had a little fight. I had to take my car for a service – something that in my horror, totally feels like a dentist’s visit what with the information asymmetry, pain (actual and to the wallet) and the fact that there is a specialist whom you trust but then again, information asymmetry. At the root of the fight though is that ugly word: Expectations.

Any one about to be married, or married for a day and an hour will long have heard the mantra that expectations kill a marriage and that the counter is communicate, communicate, communicate. Our little fight had me reassessing all the different expectations that I had regarding marriage and an assessment of all other expectations I have held since our marriage started.

  1. I expected a partner that would take charge of cars and who would directly engage with mechanics and basically inform me when I needed to do any car-related changes.
  2. Ergo, any fixing of stuff around the house. I would highlight any issues and he would oversee to the fixing – whether directly or outsourced, I am ambivalent. To be honest, a lot of the technical stuff I was happy to delegate away.
  3. All newly weds are told that they need to set time for date night or else … Consequently, I too came into marriage with this (fear-driven) expectation and very early on we both figured out that given the pace of our lives it would be infeasible to designate a specific evening to always hang out. Having said that, when one of us is hectic, there is no expectation to do stuff but when things simmer down, we often hang out.
  4. My family has a habit of starting to plan for Christmas from as early as August/September. His family? Not so much. Initially this made me feel slightly helpless. Besides the family tradition, my personality is such that, you can never be too prepared OR start preparing too early. What we now try and do to incorporate both our idiosyncrasies is to have a lose discussion in September and refine it in the following months. This is certainly imperfect (according to me) but it definitely helps somewhat.
  5.  I thought that I would hate meal planning. Turns out, I love it.
  6. Sometimes as wives we expect that our husbands will become our best (female) buddy. That’s not the case and surely it’s not the reason that we fell in love to begin with. So keep your buddies and work on building a friendship with your husband too.
  7. Before the wedding I had heard of brides that often felt a bit sad after the wedding because things had gone back to “normal”. Did I feel the same way? Emphatically, NO!! After the energy and time spent planning the wedding, I was only too happy to settle for normal.

I must say these lessons are over and above learning how selfish I am, how much space and time alone I require. All of that. Marriage is certainly not the penultimate goal, neither is it my most defining relationship but I must say I have learnt a lot and it has been very fulfilling for me.

Some of my (long) holiday reads ..

  1. If you are not a Longreads fan already, here is a list of their best articles of 2016.
  2. I am all about female friendships and stuff. I also love the authors idea of an article’s club.
  3. My friends and I have these kinds of conversations all the time. Why can’t I ever record them???
  4. Things people say after a miscarriage.
  5. Black Power!
  6. Kindness is the glue that holds couples together.
  7. What to choose when considering a Bible Study to join. We all need tips on how to improve our prayer life. Yep. At least me!!
  8. I guess con artistes are always looking to make a quick one so academia is also fair game.
  9. Short-run solutions to youth unemployment in South Africa. Can young offenders reform successfully?
  10. I love the aesthetics of this home!! This housing option seems quaint, but not for me.
  11. Helping kids to make New Year resolutions. Some help for adults too. More help from podcasts.
  12. Cool places to chill in Johannesburg. And in Uganda.
  13. On identity and what makes us, us. 
  14. I watched the movie Birth of a Nation and liked it.
  15. Recipes: Cooking with soy sauceFragrant Chickpea Basmati Rice with Fresh Coriander.

Decisions that have made me

little breakfast nook

I have to make some life decisions and that always makes me draw back on previous decisions I made and how those turned out. Some of the decisions I have made in life that I am quite proud of:

  1. The decision to accept Jesus as my Lord to live for Him after.
  2. To study Economics.
  3. To never try hard drugs.
  4. To settle down with my husband.
  5. To drop certain friendships.
  6. Financial discipline.
  7. To stop eating red meat and to a smaller extent chicken.
  8. To leave a straining job with no prospects at the time.

Are there any decisions I regret? Sure but that’s another days post 🙂 

Things to do in Nairobi (for me)

I was listening to Cape Talk this afternoon and the presenter was talking of the touristy things in Cape Town that local residents had never gotten round to doing. This triggered a similar thought for Nairobi. So here goes my list according to Travel Start and Migrationology.com.

  1. Go Karting on Langata Road.
  2. Ice Skating at Panari Sky Centre.
  3. Watch a local production at Phoenix Theatre.
  4. Visit the highest floor of the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC).
  5. Attend Rugby Sevens.

Do you live in an iconic city? Have you crossed off most items on your city’s to-do list?

 

Blogaversary

According to WordPress, today is NINE YEARS since I started blogging. What? Where has time gone?

This here little blog really means so much to me and gives me an outlet to share about myself and some of my interests and I am grateful for this opportunity and for many of you guys that read, comment, like and follow.

Thanks and here’s to many more!!

If I Was Having Coffee With My Younger Self

If we were having coffee, I would tell you of the different moments when I knew I was grown and I was OK with it. Minute 5:22 of this video.

“As you start to get older it’s about reconciling the fantasy with reality and still maintaining the vision for your life. So that you are going towards what you want but still incorporating the reality of life’s experience and reconciling that certain things you don’t have control over.” Tracee Ellis Ross

We all have this age when it hits us that some of the plans we made as young people will not take the single format we had envisioned.

When I was young, I knew that I would one day be married, never really planned the wedding but knew that I would be married. In my head, I was going to meet my husband at 24 get married at 26 and have my first child at 28 like my mom. Well, when at 23 I enrolled to do my Masters, I knew that this was never going to happen. Also, when I started working and realised the cost of weddings, I knew I had to push it out.

Or the dream to join the World Bank Young Professional Programme? Slowly and painfully letting this one go as I approach 32 and resting on the fact that hopefully I can join the Bank at a later stage in my career.

Similarly, how quickly I dropped the dream to go to the London School of Economics and do my Masters – one day I looked at their prospectus and realised that I was not interested in their course offering.

The dream to live alone before I was married. Things changed and it was fine.

I guess at different stages I learnt that the dream does not have to come in only one format and that you know what, it’s OK to reconfigure, to rediscover to restart or redo. It’s OK. My new thing is to keep it moving and to keep trying forward.

About this blogging challenge!

8 years

Nidhi_3 Happy hour Butterfly Wonder art

Source

On this day in history, well, only eight years ago,I boarded a plane with a plan for two years but all of my worldly possessions and came to start my Honors and then Masters Degree the next year.

All I can say, this far the Lord has brought me and has continued to sustain me through so many lessons, firsts, lasts and experiences altogether. In keeping with my desire to be grateful this year, I am extremely grateful and my heart bubbles over.

Thanks for the memories and here’s to so many more years to come.

Reviewing 2015 through posts

I have enjoyed posting so much this year and pushing myself to write more, write in different formats or on different topics than the typical ones I would. Thanks for the reads, sharing and comments!

  1. My theme this year was on obedience.
  2. Listened to great music too!!
  3. Took care of myself!!
  4. Really got into podcasts.
  5. Ten little things I enjoyed this year (the first of many similar posts)
  6. I hurt when the Xenophobic attacks broke out! In February. Twice.
  7. Read a lot about women struggling with infertility.
  8. Cooked some nice things.
  9. Read some good and bad books!! The invention of wings was easily my book of the year.
  10. Made a personal announcement too!!

Enjoy and looking forward to 2016!!

What do I do for a living?

Check out this definition by Jason Zweig:

ECONOMIST, n.  A professor who studies the interaction of people, goods and money in a chaotic world. To do so, the economist applies mathematical tools that are the equivalent of using a ruler and a stopwatch to measure the movement of matter in a particle accelerator, where the velocity of subatomic particles can approach the speed of light. The painstaking measurements taken by the economist enable him to make powerful predictions about the future behavior of the ruler and the stopwatch.

Some wedding dresses for brides to be

Wouldn’t do any of these but I would love to be friends with the girl that could carry them off.
Penelope-1

164A9121

Agata-1

Luisa-1 Francesca Miranda FW 2016 collection

Yes, I still check out wedding stuff from some of my old favourites.

My favourites are number 1 and 4.

Love that #1 is playful but it could also be adapted into a long, short or midi dress. I also like the polka dots on the trail and seeing it again, it could be done into a jumpsuit!

#4 has the type of neckline that I just love and indeed, my wedding dress had an illusion neckline as well.

If you any girl that would wear these dresses, send her my way 🙂

 

On Female Friendships

Source

I can easily name a handful and a half of women that I would do this with/to!!

Missing my gals (and cheers to discovering a new comic).

What’s in your bag?

IMG_1836[1]

My current bag …

IMG_1846[1]

From left to right:

  1. A wallet
  2. A notebook
  3. A pen and highlighter
  4. Tissue
  5. A small purse for delicates and a card
  6. My drivers licence and ID
  7. Lip care stuff
  8. Hand lotion
  9. Contact lense solution and case
  10. Specs case
  11. A book
  12. Random receipts or papers

So what do you always carry in your bag?

Before making it a home …

…. this is a list of things I have to do!

Breath out slowly ... Fun times ahead …. xoxo

31. Goodbye October, see you next year!!

Afternoon me

Over the past three years I have tried to blog each day in October and each time it has been quite the experience! I start with a definite list of what to talk about and I try and make it 31 on the list then in-between life happens and I add some other items in between.

I have enjoyed this October and thanks all for the support. I must say it gets better with each round!!

See you in 2016 God willing!

20. And now for an announcement

Seems like October is the month when I announce or detail changes in my personal life and this year is no different!

The Mr and I are headed to Cape Town and while a part of me feels meh! about it, I am also looking forward to it because I feel it will be a lovely time for us in this phase of our life. So packing, moving and getting used to a new city!!

15. Some fashion advice I live by ..

That I have gotten mainly from my dad and my stylish first born sister. Also, stuff that I have picked up over time.

  1. Always be comfortable in whatever you wear. Otherwise you get awkward and it shows.
  2. Dress appropriately for whatever the function / occasion.
  3. Fit, fit, fit …. pick the right size of clothes. Always.
  4. My sister always says wear a belt with any pair of trousers/skirt that has belt hoops.
  5. Carry a handbag (When I was nine, ten, eleven, she would already try and impress this on me and I would look at her like huh? and now look at me!)
  6. From my dad, don’t mix black and brown. I NEVER DO!
  7. If you wear something chunky at the top, balance it out with something fitting on the bottom.
  8. I NEVER wear skirts with shoes that show my toes. Just eeks me out!
  9. I prefer round toe heels because  feel like they are kinder on my toes.
  10. In general I am a very conservative dresser – not too loud prints, very dark tones, sensible and comfortable shoes.

Any fashion rules you live by?

12. South Africa v Kenya 2015 audit

Following from Fridays post and this one two years back I would like to extend the list by  a few things that say home to me and that don’t feel the same here

  • Kenya has a huge tea culture. Even when families have a big do and people have been drinkin’ when tea time (4-5pm) rolls in, people – old and young, male and female, will all take a break and have a cuppa. Not so much in SA. How many times have I hosted people, offered tea and heard, ” well, we are drinkin’ so maybe not.”
  • Also, just the fact we prefer tea to coffee. Despite growing and exporting both.
  • Also, just the fact that it took me years to find a local brand of tea bags that was brewed as strong as the one I loved at home. Hello Five Roses African Blend which is perfectly strong and is sourced from Eastern Africa teas.
  • Taxis that do not have a fare collector or someone that calls out the route. Meaning that the person that seats up front, next to the driver, has to take the fare and give back any change. Nerve wracking when I used to take a taxi where the fare was R11.50 per person and you had to quickly decide how much was due for all the 15  taxi passengers. Fast. It also never ceased to amuse me how the driver would be so uninterested i.e. if you needed him to give you two fifty cents for R1, he would look ahead and say he has no change! So what must happen?
  • In addition, you have to learn all the different taxi signs to be able to signal correctly to the driver.
  • All this, against the fact that I do not speak any Zulu, which is standard taxi language for Johannesburg. NERVE WRACKING!
  • Also, I find that I still compare the price of taxi (matatu) fare in Kenya v SA. Very expensive in South Africa.
  • Standard rice in South Africa is fat and Basmati is quite expensive. I will just leave that here because in Kenya we have different quality of Basmati rice for all!
  • One ply tissue? One ply tissue? WHY? What does it do. I find that I totally judge any establishment that has one ply because ONE PLY TISSUE IS INEFFECTIVE!
  • Fast food and eating out is much cheaper in South Africa than in Kenya. Although, the food in Kenya is naturally organic whereas it is highly processed in SA. On this, I would rather be in Kenya.
  • Being asked all of the time (still) what my name means. Urrggh! Almost universal fact is that all South African names have a meaning and it is expected that similarly African names on the continent will be the same. Which for the most part is true. I just happen to be that minority with a name similar to a local name that has a meaning, but mine doesn’t. It would take a separate post to explain all the inappropriate places where I have been asked what my name means – just off the top of my head, calling for official purposes to speak to an individual and having to leave a message with the receptionist who will keep me on the phone longer to ask what my name means and whether I have heard of the local equivalent. Urgggh just urgggh!
  • I miss the fruits in Nairobi that taste great all the time!! Not so much here where it’s a lottery of what you might get.
  • Talk radio. Bye Bye all the morning drive filth in Nairobi. Just good bye and good riddance!
  • How the country bleeds or shines when the Boks, Proteas and Bafana Bafana play. I don’t get it. I am most likely to be the person shopping because people are at home or at Sports bars and I can finally pack by the entrance to the shopping centre.
  • South Africans have labour rights and a social security system that actually works. It still surprises me!
  • The state of education. I argue all the time with people I know that it is unacceptable and that in Kenya poor people work hard and get the best quality of education that they can possibly get for their kids and the pass mark is much much higher than here. It saddens me that in Public primary schools, the kids get like half an hour of homework, Monday to Wednesday and maybe on Thursday and this stops almost a month to the final exams! Yes, I know there are private schools but there you get what you pay for – as it to be expected!
  • Beach fronts in Cape Town and Durban are easily accessible to the public. You can park your car and walk to the beach and not to have to walk through a dingy path or pretend that you had gone for drinks at a hotel. Nah! None of that, you just walk across and sit beach side 🙂
  • Expiring data??? Not sure if this applies in Kenya but where does expired data go? Does it slow down or what happens? I do not understand why data has an expiry date.
  • Also just Kenya rocks for the fact that Wireless is widespread and the net speed is much faster.
  • Our lackluster presidents. UK and JZ belong together and both sadden me!

If you have been to or lived in either country, please let me know your thoughts? If you have only ever lived in the one country, what makes it home for you?

9. And what is my heritage?

UG independence day

Happy Birthday Uganda!! 53 today and counting 🙂

South Africa has a Public Holiday on the 24th of September – Heritage Day. There is a bit of a history of this day. There is also ill-feeling around the fact that this has now been White-washed to National Braai Day which cheapens the day. Be that as it may, I would like to commemorate my own Heritage Day and share part of what makes me, me.

  1. I am not a refugee. I remember being in lower primary at school and hearing people call me one and I had honestly never heard that phrase and when I dutifully went home and asked my parents what it meant, I saw the disgust in their face and honestly thought it was a swear word. My parents moved to Kenya as part of the East Africa Community and they got jobs in Nairobi. Yes I am a foreigner, but a legal one and really a labour migrant.
  2. The same thing applies to my status in South Africa. I am proudly foreign but also extremely legal and here by choice. Weirdly, I had my own status prior to marrying a local boy. Yes I am aware that marriages of convenience do happen but by the time we got to settling down, they had tightened up all of those loopholes. And they continue to do so even to date. Don’t even remind the number of height of hoops we had to jump through to get married.
  3. Growing up in a very Ugandan home but in a foreign country, was never confusing. Not in the least. Without much explanation, it was always known what happened at home and what was non-negotiable and the level of influence that we could pick up outside and bring home and you just knew what fit where.
  4. Some non-negotiable Ugandan aspects? We always knelt to greet my parents and other visitors, we proudly bore only our Ugandan names- my mom was particularly clear about us using our first names that identified us as coming from my fathers community and not our middle ones that are from her community. Our foods always had groundnuts, we had groundnut sauce, sweet potatoesamukeke (dried and steamed sweet potatoes),  matooke (plantain)atap (millet),  firinda (beans), obutusi (traditional mushrooms),  smoked and dried beef and fish. Just brought tears to my eyes and loads of salivating as I remember some of these meals.
  5. We also learnt Kiswahili and Sheng’ that was spoken by our contemporaries. We adopted chapati (flat bread), ugali (steamed maize flour) and sukuma wiki (kales). We wrote local exams and went to local schools living and mingling with predominantly Kenyans. My accent? How many times have I been in Uganda and had people walk up to me and refuse to accept that I am Ugandan because of my accent. I think it is now a confusing thing because the most I get is, “Are you from East Africa?”
  6. As I have gotten older, I have learnt not to question too much what makes me me. I have certain core beliefs that I hold dear to me and surprisingly, a lot of them are inspired by my Christian faith as I view that as my first and biggest cultural lens. Thereafter, in light of what makes the most sense to me as an African child. Some cultural practices differ from community to community and indeed nation to nation but for the most part, they are summarised by respect for all, care and regard for all and your enviroment and in some cases, there are gender expectations that you must adhere to.
  7. In planning the wedding, it did get confusing but even then it played out how I order my worldview – get all the requirements for the Church wedding out of the way and then get the traditional/ civil stuff finalised. The traditional stuff was a mix of both my mom and dad’s practices and you would expect it to be similar but it wasn’t and as long as I was told where to stand and what to do,I did and it got done.
  8. As I am getting older/ maybe in the last four to five years, I have seen an increased interest in my traditional dress (ssuka) and I delight in wearing it to special occasions. As a married woman, there is also additional jewelry that I get to wear it with which makes it even more special. An interesting finding for me was also the fact that I asked my dad whether my grandma took my granddad’s surname and he told me two things: (i) in our culture, before the  wazungu (White man) came, we didn’t typically take on surnames because it was taboo to name someone after yourself unless the baby was born when you were going to die or were at war and were expected/feared dead  and (ii) names in our culture are indicators of a clan and since a man would never marry a sister (a fellow clanmate) it was never expected that you would take on the new (clan) surname. On that note, I figured why take it on then?
  9. Something I do ask is what is Kenyan culture. What of that background contributes to me. A friend asked me recently, when you say you are going home, where do you mean? Unequivocally, Kenya. I KNOW the people, the context of stories, the language, the setting, so many firsts and memories singly and with others.  It’s a whole part of my life and a part I love with such intensity, it is both exciting and scary. But is all mine to pick and play with.
  10. So happy heritage day and here’s to all the things that make me,me. Cheers!!

PS: If you are from Uganda (the Motherland), please let me know if my spelling of the food is fine – prior to now, I have never had to spell them out.

3. (Hair and Dress) Pins that receive love on my Pinterest

I am not really big on Pinterest but occasionally, I pin stuff and get a lotta love for that. So below, some recent loves and the reason I pinned them in the first place.

Joli:

I don’t really like the high low fashion but I love how she styled the high-low skirt and the pairing of the loud print on the skirt with the other colours 🙂

joli:

I remember I considered this dress as one of the traditional dresses at my wedding. I don’t know, I love the lace detail. It was simple but the fish net detail would have made it appear more glamorous.

colorusbeautiful:Love this pic of @neen___! She’s so pretty! And...:

I am enjoying having my locs down and curly so I love the option to hold it up into a messy bun with a fringe 🙂 I really liked her make up and how her eyes just pop!

naturalhairdaily:  Love this! @tokendreadgirl  #naturalhair...:

I love the curls. There was something loud about this look that just seemed to work – different from how I would do myself up but its beautiful and it works.

And this Baby bonus ….

Photo:

She seems so confident and bigger than her little self. Reminds me of a little girl I know that is so girly …. ❤

1. Lessons missed

The one thing I have never learnt is how to play pool (snooker). I see how people enjoy it and the thrill it gives them and I can’t help but stand by the side and just enjoy their fun. As a teen I felt slightly conscious sticking my bum in the air to learn to play and now I don’t know what’s holding me back except the fact that everybody can do it and now I will look odd learning. Well no one said I wasn’t image conscious.

The other thing is riding a bike. Somehow my siblings all learnt to and I never did. At some point my sister that eventually got me to be a proficient car driver tried and when she told me that I had to fall in the process of learning to ride, I exited to the left and never came back for another lesson.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Lazy Learners.”