The places I want to see and re-see

Ngare ndare2

Two years ago my family took a holiday in Diani and last year, we decided to change the scenery and visit Nyali. I expected the kids to be excited about the warm water and sand the same way they were about Diani but, no. My son said he wants to go back to the other Mombasa – the one that has a lot of white sand and clean water. Clearly not all beaches are created equal.

2018 is the year to visit a few places in Kenya, first because Kenya is a beautiful country and you need to enjoy all this beauty; it shouldn’t just be for tourists from China and the UK. Secondly, traveling around and mixing with other people may help us to better appreciate all the roles that we all play to make this a great republic and why we all need each other.

Lastly, they say that you are happier spending your money on experiences rather than on things. What happened to the recommendation to have companies pay for our local vacations?

Here are places you should visit.

  1. Diani Beach. Of course because my five-year-old son believes this is a superior beach but so do other people. When I told someone previously that I had never been to Diani, she looked at me as if I had dropped from another planet. “The water is so blue, the beaches are clean and the sand is pure white; you can’t compare with these north coast beaches,” she said. My colleague told me I should include a day trip to Wasini Island for some snorkeling and to swim with the dolphins. The kids won’t forget, she promised. You can ride further in to the Kisite Marine Park and enjoy Kenya’s underwater animals. If you’ve already been there done that, it’s time to venture north to Malindi and finally Lamu to call yourself a true connoisseur of Destination Kenya. Malindi is quieter and it made me fall in love with eggplant. I’m still thinking if Lamu is a trip worth making.
  2. Takawiri Island. This has been called the most beautiful island on Lake Victoria because of its white sandy beach, palm trees, turquoise water and unspoilt serenity away from everything you know. Definitely a place to surprise yourself with when you decide its #RouteLakeVictoria. For me I have been ogling pictures of the lodges on Rusinga and Mfangano islands for a few years. From my wish list to God’s ears.
  3. Kakamega Forest. Majestic nature, small details amplified, the only remaining rainforest in Kenya, abundant and unique birdlife, home to 40 per cent of the total butterfly population of Kenya, delicious kuku kienyeji at Rondo Retreat, over 60 species of orchids… you need more reasons to visit Kach?
  4. Masai Mara. Because it is weird that people have the Mara on their bucket list and fly thousands of miles to see our wildebeests yet you who lives 200km away has never been to a game park.
  5. Mt Kenya. Everyone needs to attempt to try and climb a mountain at least once in their lifetime. Mountains, I was told, humble you. Mt Kenya, being the second largest mountain in Africa, makes for a challenging but still life-transforming experience. You can get to base camp and still get bragging rights, by the way.
  6. Kerio Valley through Iten. The drive up the highlands from Nakuru is sweat inducing yet full of fascination for a first timer. You get a glimpse of former President Moi’s backyard in Kabarnet and get to steam a little on the floor of the rift valley then are caught up in wonder again as you ascend the Tambach escarpment into Iten, the home of champions. It’s a breathtaking drive and you can make it more breathtaking by paragliding down the escarpment or getting a hotel room overlooking the valley where you are sure to catch a glimpse of a wonderful sunrise. But any time of day, sitting on a rock staring at the vastness below will sing music to the introvert in you.
  7. The majestic north, rugged wild with jaw-dropping landscapes stretching to forever. It has some top of the range luxury camps that I can only dream about for now. If you want to play it safe visit Ol Pejeta for a chance to see the only living northern white rhinos in the world, Najin, Fatu and Sudan, before they go extinct; see game from the sky walkway in Ngare Ndare Forest and skinny dip in the forest plunge pools or go run in the wild at Lewa for a good cause.
  8. Lake Turkana. Leave the beaten path and walk into pre-history, a possible home of pre-modern man. This is one of Kenya’s six World Heritage Sites and there’s record of the existence tools as old as 2.3 million years old from here. Meet communities whose lives are still unmarred by modernity including the almost extinct El Molo. Understand the other side of Kenya after passing through Suguta Valley. You can time your visit to the Lake Turkana Festival to enjoy local culture and food and possibly lose some vanity.

Away from Kenya I really would like to go to Greece – because I love Mama Mia the movie and Santorini looks like a lil piece of heaven. Then of course the Big Apple because a girl gatta say she’s been to Amerrca.

Advertisements

Mean mothers, you are bullies

anger 2

I’ve been following this #AfricanMumChallenge on Twitter and it’s hilarious. All our mums were clearly cut from the same cloth. Worse still, I have turned into my mother – that African mum who walks in and says “”It’s 7pm. Weka News,” then walks to the bedroom and forgets I interrupted someonés TV time. Or the one who sends my littles to take my plate to the kitchen, then follows there after to go wash my hands in the same kitchen. Yes, I’ve even interrupted my son’s playtime to get him to pick something from the floor because I’m too lazy/tired to get my backside off the couch.

But the worst realisation is that African mums can be real meanies. I have an aunt who was the queen of sarcasm and rude remarks. I’d get home and ask her where my mum is and she would tell me, “She’s here in my pocket!” If I made the mistake of asking her where an item of clothing is, the simple retort would be, “Kwani tunavaanga na wewe?”

The acid tongue of course grew on me, and I found myself regurgitating some of those things to my kids. When I ask my kids to do something and they complain about how tired they are, I ask them if they spent the whole day tilling in the farm.

Sometime in the past two years, God begun convicting me about my meanness. Empathy wasn’t just a word for people out there. It’s also a word for us mums.

I wondered if my son would receive the love of God from me or identify with my prayers if he thought of how horrible a person I am. So I started to practice empathy with my kids, being mindful of their feelings, being actually being aware that they have feelings. Then I started praying that since gentleness was a fruit of the Holy Spirit, that God would help me become a gentler mother and wife. I needed joy too; and goodness and self control.

There’s no trophy for being the mean bully mum who belittles my children and their feelings. But there is everything to gain from being a calm, gentle and respectful mum.

Sijafika! But God is growing me.

NB:// To that Kilimani Mum who was saying her kid makes her so angry she feels she may beat him to death one day- embrace the stretching. Parenting made me realise i had anger issues and pad patterns from my past and God helped me deal with them. Everything is a tool in God’s hands to make you holy; even your own children will be like sandpaper, grating away at those annoying parts of your character and personality until you are what God needs you to be.

Thoughts on marriage worth resharing

Beautiful white wedding arch outdoors

“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6, 8). He didn’t die for us because he finally found the love of his life. We were not marriage material when he met us. No, he died to make us the love of his life, despite how little we deserved him. A love like his makes a marriage worth wanting, and it makes a marriage worth keeping. ” Marshall Segal

 

“Wedding vows,” writes Tim Keller, “are not a declaration of present love, but a mutually binding promise of future love.” Marriage is mainly a love declared, not a love discovered. You’re not standing there together before God, family, and friends to say, “I really do love you,” but to say instead, “I really will love you” — whatever it takes, however hard it gets, whatever happens, however much I want to leave. That kind of love will stand out in the world, and it will last long after many have given up and walked away.- Marshall Segal

 

 

Because marriage is precious

rings1

A verse from Hebrews 13:4 has been ringing in my head the last two weeks. “Let marriage be held in honour among all…”

Our society today does not highly esteem the institution of marriage. I was commenting to a group of friends how quick we are to tell people to walk out of their marriages for all manner of big and petty reasons. But if we honoured marriage, if we thought of it as highly as God does, we would not get into it as lightly and casually as we often do. We would not treat our unions and those of others with the contempt that we often do. And we would not be quick to dissolve it as we are in the habit of doing.

The Bible commands everyone to honour marriage. Not just the married people but everyone — the State, the church, the media, children, the single, the divorced, the widows, those who swing the other side, inlaws. To honour in this sense means to highly value something — to appreciate, cherish and recognise it as a priceless treasure or jewel.

How many of us think of our marriages in this sense- as something of value, a priceless treasure? Are our hearts where our treasure is?

John Piper, author, founder and teacher of desiringGod.org, writes: “Let marriage always be thought of as precious. Let it be treasured like gold and silver and rare jewels. Let it be revered and respected like the noblest, most virtuous person you have ever known. Let it be esteemed and valued as something terribly costly like the long, black, marble Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. In other words, when you think of marriage, let yourself be gripped by emotions of tremendous respect and sanctity. In relation to marriage cultivate the feeling that this not to be touched quickly or handled casually or treated commonly. In God’s eyes marriage is precious and therefore he says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all.”

Making stupid jokes about marriage dishonours marriage. Coming in between a couple dishonours marriage. Rushing into marriage vows dishonors marriage. Infidelity dishonours marriage. And dishonouring mariage dishonours God who highly values marriage.

In Malachi 2: 13-16, the prophet writes: “And this second thing you do. You cover the Lord‘s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. 14 But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union?[a] And what was the one God[b] seeking?[c] Godly offspring. So guard yourselves[d] in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. 16 “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her,[e] says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers[f] his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”

Are some men’s (and women’s) prayers not being answered because they have broken their marriage vows? What did you vow to do on your wedding day- it might be time to get your wedding DVD out and brush up on the things you committed to do and be before God and many witnesses.

Peter in 1 Peter 3:7 calls on men to live with wives with understanding and to honour them so that their prayers may not be hindered.

The Message paraphrase says, “And here’s a second offense: You fill the place of worship with your whining and sniveling because you don’t get what you want from God. Do you know why? Simple. Because God was there as a witness when you spoke your marriage vows to your young bride, and now you’ve broken those vows, broken the faith-bond with your vowed companion, your covenant wife. God, not you, made marriage. His Spirit inhabits even the smallest details of marriage. And what does he want from marriage? Children of God, that’s what. So guard the spirit of marriage within you. Don’t cheat on your spouse.

I believe there are several reasons why God honours marriage and wants us to do the same. First, he ordained marriage. It was his idea. For his purposes. Secondly he is a part of the covenant and if the Bible has taught us anything is that God does not break his covenant. Marriage isn’t a legal contract between two people but a covenant made with God as a witness and sealer. Third, He says he seeks godly offspring. In God’s perfect plan, marriage is the ideal situation to raise godly children. Divorce devastates children and threatens their spiritual destinies. Fourth, marriage illustrates the relationship between Christ and the Church and Christ does not take that relationship lightly. I mean, he gave his life for his bride. I don’t think Christ will ever forsake his bride; neither should we.

I have put a mental note to everyday look for ways to appreciate the preciousness of this gift that God has given me and to let God’s purposes be worked out in my marriage; that I will not take my marriage or those of others lightly or treat them with disdain.

Let’s honour marriage and keep the marriage bed undefiled.