Friday, 28 December 2018

Taking Stock: Thank you 2018!

Making: Focusing on growing & nurturing my current professional skills and personal creative passions into something tangible, is my biggest priority at present.
It's no secret I love to learn, I just don't like tests or exams!  
But there is an imbalance in other areas of my life and at some point in 2019 I need to address them with the same vigor and maturity I bring to my work/creative life. 
By the way...I am still painting, maybe I shall share my attempts on here soon.

Drinking: I am back on Kwenu's celery juice, and still drinking as much water 
as I can get into my busy schedule, most especially now that I have made physical exercise a regular activity. So much so, that I am now unable to sleep properly throughout the night if I miss my 30 minutes of aerobics/jump roping/light jogging in the evening.

Reading: Below is a screenshot of my completed Goodreads' 12 book challenge for 2018. I lost the gusto for reading in June I dragged myself through the last three books in August. There are at least 15 unread books scattered across my room, and three of them are poetry books. To my shock, I have discovered, sometimes a stanza of poetry lights a fire in me to write, hence my unlikely purchases...

Playing: Pentatonix's Christmas Carols on repeat!

Wishing: That's a secret between myself and God.  

Enjoying: Some few days off over the holidays. It's been an intense year. At one point I arrived back from a nine day training in South Africa on Tuesday and continued with my work week, then traveled to Karamoja the following week (I get anxious all over again, just thinking about it..)  However, there have been fewer episodes of burnout over the last 365 days because I really monitored my work hours. And as part of my self love journey, I claimed overtime when I worked on weekends. Right now I am chilling at home, in the big sitting room, with our lit Christmas tree writing this blog post, and it is making me very content. You know...I woke up at 12.00 pm today. I can't remember the last time time I did that...maybe in my teens? Or the days after I handed in my last assignment for my bachelors...who knows? 

Writing: I took some Skillshare courses on non-fiction writing this year. Wow, the muse has my pen and hand burning on paper .I just need to buckle down and complete each writing project properly.

Loving: My new clothes purchased during my extra time in Bangkok. I feel for once I bought clothes that represent my personality. I even bought some cool pin accessories.

Eating: Cafe Java's Apple Pie Blondie...cause it's the holidays and therefore...

Needing: Time in 2019, to rest and rejuvenate, but  with all the wonderful ideas & goals I would like to accomplish... when will I schedule in this precious time to fully recuperate?

Wearing: Still in love with lipsticks and eye make up. Added the Jaclyn Hill Morphe Palette to the collection, a MAC satin lipstick called Media that looks like nude colored butter on my lips, and lastly Sleek Makeup's I-Divine Vintage Romance Palette has fantastic purple shades for my black brown eyes.

Knowing: Some internal work needs to be done, 
but haven't yet figured out how things will be fixed... #adulting

Giggling Over: Evelyn From The Internets'  old 2015 and 2014 VEDA videos, sometimes I just need a good laugh and her storytelling and foolery always cheer me up!

In the comments below, your major taking stock moments of 2018 please...😊

Monday, 17 December 2018

My Favorite You Tube Videos of 2018 - Watch & Be Inspired...

In this day and age when we struggle to concentrate for long periods of time,
because so much online content is trying to catch our attention ,
whether it is useful or  useless
or purposeful or purpose-less;
I have decided to do my duty as a millennial and share videos,
I enjoyed watching on You Tube this year

So load some data,
and get watching,
Hopefully you'll enjoy them.

Video Essayists 

At the end of last year I discovered video essayists on You Tube, by coming across Nerdwriter1.
These are a thoughtful and articulate crowd of You Tubers, who have helped me learn so much about topics I never would have thought to discover on my own. Some evenings and weekends you can find me glued to my phone screen for 30 minutes at a time just watching these types of videos

For example how Walt Disney and team re-wrote Mary Poppins for the big screen was  an eye opener. Is it fair for them to' 'sprinkle' our problematic past as humans with 'fairy dust'?

We all still listen to the The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, so a video essay about how her music has stood the test of time is a must watch. who isn't a Toy Story Fan? But did you know they almost lost  the whole of movie number 2?

So instead of sitting down to a cozy night by the TV, get your computer/phone out instead and have a cozy night on You Tube with Lindsay Ellis, Nerdwriter or Austin Mcconnell.

The Revisionist World of Disney- Lindsay Mills 

Lauryn Hill: 20 years of Relevance - Nerdwriter1

Remember When Pixar Accidentally deleted Toy Story 2 - Austin Mcconnell

Podcast/ Great Discussions 

I always stumble on these podcasts.
There are none I follow religiously.
However when I do find a good one, the discussion is so addictive that,
I re-watch and re-watch because I learn a lot unexpectedly.

Elon Musk talking about the perils of artificial intelligence with Joe Rogan ,
 is the scariest  thing I have ever listened too, worse than a sci-fi movie!
On a lighter note Ashley Graham's interview with Noor Tagouri left me so inspired,
 I just wanted to go out and achieve all my dreams in record time lol!

Sharon Mundia making a video with Dr Karen,  seemed a brave thing for her to share.
Some of us are still learning  that we need to take care of how mental health, in the same way we do for our physical self. Society's judgement is still a major deterrent for people seeking help.  I have enjoyed their discussions and hope she keeps sharing such content on her You Tube channel. 

Then there is Carol Mutoko talking about the boy issues... it is controversial, but hey... these are the types of conversations that  make me stop scrolling on You Tube

Slate's discussion with Mona Eltahawy, got me wondering... how are we, as believers,  ensuring that our holy spaces remain sacred and safe for everyone?

So once again make yourself some tea/coffee, get comfortable and get listening!

Joe Rogan- Elon Musk  on Artificial Intelligence

Pretty Big Deal with Ashley Graham - Noor Tagouri

Trolls, Perfection and the Pressures of keeping Up with Social Media - This is Ess

The Boy Issues- Calling Out The Man Early -Caroline Mutoko

Why the #MeToo Movement is especially distressing for Muslim Women

Docu-Series Style Videos

The Discovery & the National Geographic Channels on DSTV  have failed to be a source of enjoyment, learning and discovery for me anymore.

They used be my go-too for documentaries.
My father would make my siblings and I sit down to watch at least one, once a week.

You Tube has become that place for me.

So in my choices for you below..

Learn  about the children that disappeared in Irish orphanages
owned by the Catholic Church decades ago...

Or about the big-lizard-like things that once roamed the earth....

Or even about how the beauty industry is using unsafe ingredients...

Or about the oldest hotel in India and it's charming employees...

How the Catholic Church Hid Away Hundreds of Irish Children -The New York Times

When Giant Amphibians Reigned- PBS Eons.

The Naked Truth Behind Beauty 2018 - Bri Hall

Hotel India - Barcroft TV


This is a global initiative that supports creators tackling social issues and raising awareness.
I have been surprised and educated by this content.
Watched channels that I never would  have gravitated towards, and that You Tube would not have put in my 'recommended for you' section.

Also so many of them are young (25 years old  &below), with such powerful messages.  I am always left wondering what effort I am making to create positive change in the world, or even just in my small digital community. 

The following are recommended for your personal consumption...

YouTube Creators For Change Contagious- Episode 1

#findingnenek - The Girl in the Batik Dress- Beni

The Importance of Creativity

Because we ALL need to be creative every now and then....

 In order for that to happen I sometimes watch other people's content.
Then fueled by their mastery, I get cracking on my new project.

I just love KickThePJ's imagination and creativity. 
To me he is so fresh and so unique!.

Hallease makes me want to film my shots meticulously, and edit them well.
One day I want to tell my stories with her kind of finesse! #ChaoticGood

And this video by Mutua Mutheka, well I just need to try
new storytelling techniques.... but how? 

Although Rose-from-the-past's channel is dormant, this video is what every creative needs to hear.

PJ and the Bunchow - PJtheKick

This is uncomfortable - Hallease

Why Do I SHOOT?- Mutua Mutheka

Creativity and Talent - Rosefromthepast

Because We ALL need to LOL sometimes!

Sometimes it's been a long day, I need to laugh my problems away.

Evelyn From The Internets' VEDA videos from 2014, 2015 and 2016 always have me rolling.

I also discovered Elle Mills this year (another one with seeeeeeeerious film-making finesse)

Blue Ivy's Edges Are More Valuable Than You- Evelyn from the Internets

My First 4th of July - Elle Mills 

About Living Healthy Lifestyles & how should do that...

It has become important for us to search for ways to improve our lifestyles

I watched many videos this year, but Matt D'Avella and Wheezy Waiter are my current favs.  

I Quit Social Media for  30 days -Matt D'Avella

Why do People Exercise - Wheezy Waiter

Special Mention Goes To... 

If I put all the videos I enjoyed in this post, it would be two weeks long.

So I decided to add a special mention part. 

For Leena Norms who put new books on my radar...

Beauty News  for intriguing videos on make up...

Nanci Mwai for her charismatic presence....

Furry Little Peach for making me want to sketch in a museum and make  home made wrapping paper...

And Joel Jemba for  his vlog with a phone, it caught my attention cause I attended a training in this year on digital storytelling. 

Is Your Dream Career too Competitive - Leena Norms

Beauty News!

Something That You Should Know - Nanci Mwai

Sketching at the Museum -Furry Little Peach

Showing You Around Ggaba Kampala - Joel  Jemba

So that's all folks!
Hope you enjoyed, and comment below with any of your
 recommendations. I would love to discover new channels. 

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Dear Dad, I will be here...

Dear Dad,

I delayed waking up.
Took me hours to get dressed,
You had left the house by the time I came down.

I got dressed in a fumble,
Trying to put all of  my adult myself together.

In a midst of organizing my handbag, 
I accused the driver of stealing my smart phone,
a moment of blind stupid panic.

We turned the house upside down, me & my brother,
me & your son.
 I located it two minutes later,
 carelessly placed under a pile of clean clothes 
that should have been hanged in the cupboard a week ago.

Yes... Yes
I know...
 I should stop putting 'the damn thing' on silent.

Alright...since it is painfully obvious,
Let me be honest and  just say,
I really don't want to go..
I really really really don't want to go...
I mean these are all signs,
My style of resistance has not changed since childhood
 taking an unusual number of  hours to put on a decent dress,
misplacing things,
Also I forget to mention
nearly throwing up my breakfast.
Like all those times when I didn't want to go to school.

I am an adult now
You cannot force me to go
But  you're disappointed scrunched-up face from last night in the TV room
 haunted me till the morning hours
You really want us to be there.
It is my duty as your daughter ,
So I  will be there Dad.

My feet are heavy.
But I drag them ,
Into the hired grey beige super-custom.
And we finally depart.

We drive,
past Kingdom Church,
past that place where the road collapsed from the rain some weeks ago,
past Forever Business Finance,
past Faith Drug Store,
past Agar Petrol Station,
past the make shift furniture shacks,
past the shells of future homes,
past the goat imprisoned by a rope attached to a mango tree,
past A Chicken Delight restaurant that also provide wedding cakes,
Past the Equator sign.

White tents and loud speakers blasting the village choir hymns,
ensure us we have reached the right location.
 There is mud is everywhere.
It is that time of year when the rain has no mercy.
We jump over giant tire skid marks in the road as we walk to the house.

I think mass is almost done.
It seems your whole neighborhood is here Dad.
Even the guys who sell those odd calender's with photos of the deceased are here.

You are seated near the alter,
In front of the main house
There are 10 priests settled around you.
You are an important guest.
For sure there is no way I will avoid kneeling while greeting today.
You smile when you see me
I see the surprise in your eyes
I think you had resigned yourself to the fact that my millennial self would let you down
yet I am here Dad.

Uncle brings me a white plastic chair
and we all sit beside you.
You now look a little taller now,
and Dad, you sing the hymns much brighter
Cause your children are by your side.

I see the coffin of your aunt
Your mother's best friend
I see women in bursutis all seated on the mukekas beside it
And every now and them one raises her hand,
to adjust the cloth that keeps sliding off the casket.
They too must do their duty as daughters and granddaughters.

How come you  never brought us to see her while she was alive?
I never knew all this time she was here.

Final announcements are made
Mass is done.
The men of the family lift your Aunty,
and take her away,
down the foot path,
behind the house.
We do not follow.
Uncle says it's not a place we can manage.
Remember the rain has no mercy?

I know the reason for my internal tantrum Dad.
I am not ready.

I want you to be my parent forever Dad
And me forever the child.
We are adults now I know.
We are busying building our lives
But you are the only anchor left.
So I am not ready.
I wasn't ready for Mum to go.
Wasn't prepared for the last five years of her absence
Don't you see how long it's taken me to find my focus, my purpose & my direction?
I don't know if I'll ever be ready Dad.

Deep Breath.
I tell myself
Stare away.
I tell myself
Blink the tears back.
I tell myself.
Quick! Quick!
I tell myself.
Blink those tears back,
into the corners of the eyes from which they came.
I tell myself
Deep deep breath.
Don't speak.
 Your voice will betray you
Just Breath.
I tell myself.

I am keeping myself together Dad

I know my duty as your daughter
We know our duties as your children

We will be here Dad.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Take Good Care of Yourself My Dear...

When they don't CC you on e-mails that they should...
When they purposely forget to call you, and keep you informed,
When you realize they were never really your friend to begin with,
When they take your ideas and make them your own,
When they continuously invade your space so that you feel small
When they sit you in the corner and treat you like a child,
When they shout at you, and get right in your face,
pointing and spitting cause they want their way,
When they treat you like you don't matter,
When they judge you before you've even had a chance to tell them who you are,
When they try to gaslight you because you have discovered
who they REALLY are..

Just remember,

No weapon formed against you shall prosper(Isaiah 54:17)
They will not win these battles
They won't get very far.
That's why it is soooooooo important,
to take good care of yourself  my dear,
one day allllllll that you have worked hard for,
 will finally manifest right thereeeeee,
Right there in front of you,
And you need to be ready.
 Ready to comfortably & graciously take your seat at the table.
Ready to do what you have been called alllllllll along to do.

So take good care of yourself my dear,
Cause who else will? 

Thursday, 8 November 2018

EAT, SHOP, See Some CULTURE: My Time in Bangkok Thailand

Show respect for Buddha

It is a well known fact that a few days in a new place can do wonders for a person's mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health . 

I learnt this the first time I went away on a writing retreat.

And this year, that's what a few days in Bangkok Thailand did for me.

It was a work trip so I decided to incorporate some leave days to enjoy the city sights, and to catch up with a friend I had not seen since university graduation. 
After all, I thought to myself,
 "Who knows when I'll be on this side of the world again!" 

So first things first... the hotel  Novotel Platinum Pratunam was lovely. Comfortable room, lovely view and great hospitality!

It was rainy season in Bangkok. 

That's the hotel! photo taken from across the street. 

Day time view from the room.

From day one....I ate. 

I ate in restaurants, on side walks, in my hotel room...I ate!

I eat charcoal vanilla flavoured ice cream and prawns that still had legs and eyes!

 I think it is important to try new food, even if sometimes you need to google how to eat it properly .

Vanilla Charcoal Ice Cream

Chocolate Cake

Creme Brulee


Noodles with squid ink

Egg Fried Rice

Lunch plate  during the work shop 

Seafood red soup

On one of the days I had 4 cappuccinos...they we sooo tasty! #noshame

I fell in love with their savory porridge with chicken or pork and dried onion shreds 

Room Service, a result of  jet lag induced hunger pags!
I can't remember the name of this dish 

I drank a lot of ice cold coconut water!

Mango, Sticky rice and coconut milk 
A yummy curry dish, I can't remember the name 

I shopped.

Oh dear Lord forgive me,  I shoooooooooopped!

I was surrounded by 4 huge shopping malls

Including the 10 story one below my hotel and
The night market across the street!

So thank God I had been good this year with my money, I had some savings to spend on myself.

I even stumbled into a tech mall and bought some gadgets for filming at a bargain! 

It sure is overwhelming at first, just the shear amount of stuff available, so I would recommend you spend a day  window shopping  before purchasing anything. Just peruse through and see everything so that you have time to decide what you'd really like to buy. 

I think this city is the go-to-area, to buy your outfits for the year. Things may be cheap, but speaking for myself, the quality of the clothing is great. You will not regret it when you return home. 

You will find anything and everything!

I didn't buy makeup but all the brands were there and all the accessories too.

Brushes, glue and eyelashes... you name it. 

Seeeeeeeeephoraaaaaa we meet finally!

So hard to resist that red sign 

For me. it's like I met!

My finally saw Fenty Beauty with my own eyes!

I loved all the scarfs, patterns were so unique!

Soooooo many floors of shops!

The tech mall

Always take a cocktail break....

That is what I did. Only a few though. 

With dinner. 

The margarita's sassy cousin!

Some bubble gum , berry flavored contraption...

I was advised to purchase a sim card so that I could keep in contact with my friend, which I did from a 7 Eleven. Very Cheaply!

The same friend  graciously organised to show me around The Grand Palace , Wat Pho and  Wat Arun . 

I was just in awe.

They value their temples as religious and cultural places but also they are very aware of  their role as tourist attractions.

The temples are well taken care of. 

We were not allowed in sacred places with shoes, and modest clothing had to be worn. I saw people in tiny shorts & spaghetti tops being guided to purchase new clothing before being allowed to enter the premises. 

And in sacred areas...No pictures allowed!

It rained heavily that afternoon, the palace was packed with soaked happy tourists.

We were all scrambling to get our Instagram pics lol.

Ancient paints telling the stories of the Thai Buddhist religion 

So much details sometimes I didn't know where to look. 

I kept taking pictures of these men at the palace and  the temples. Fascinated 

I just LOVED the detail! 

Can you see the Jade pictures allowed we took one here.

Apparently this is the popular  Instagram photo spot

These tall warriors always protecting exits and entrances even at the airport

The trees reminded me of Dr Sseus. 

The Reclining Buddha in all it's glory 

It's huge!

The feet of the reclining Buddha

I loved the Chinese statues of the old men , they were once ballasts on ships 

Gosh the flowery details ! So lovely. There are four of them representing the first four kings of the current dynasty

Reclining Buddha in different positions. Wat Pho was the public university in Thailand. 

Sacred warriors protecting the Temple of Dawn . 

They recently restored The Temple of Dawn, was told it used to be grey but now they added colour. 

I walked everywhere and enjoyed it.

I mean I was eating and I temporarily abandoned my exercise routine 
so I NEEDED to me on that one lol. 

Took a boat once to see a temple and a taxi to the palace. 

But literally spent more time walking.

Another interesting sight, was shrines placed around the city. People would stop , pray and give offerings. 

All in all as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I needed those few days. I got some time just to rest my mind, my body and my spirit,
 but also to be inspired by the sights and sounds of the city. 

It was amaaaaaazing Bangkok! Hope one day I can return and see more of Thailand.