God It Hurts!

I was inspired to write this morning. By something I read. Two emails actually. One from someone who knows me and the other from someone who doesn’t know me but has proved who I am.

My last blog was probably about my journey to weight. It lasted a shorter time than I anticipated.

I would like to say that it is because I was diagnosed with early arthritis and as I result I had to stop most of what I was doing.

The truth is though,I found a perfect opportunity to quit.

That is the sad truth.

However, I woke up this morning feeling like a bus has run me over. That is how I feel.

Yesterday was day two.

My ”sadistic with a smile” trainer really pushed me at the gym…that combined with my unique state of unfitness had led to me to my current state.

”God it hurt’s”

I am back.

Why?

fitness-quote-fall-seven-times

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3 Inches Lost

Calm down…it isn’t my waist..or arms…or any other body part that I am working hard to shrink.

I cut my hair last Saturday. It is 3 inches shorter. I wanted to cut more off but my hairdresser actually refused.

She said ”People can’t be struggling to grow their hair and you are busy cutting yours!”

If you saw me, you wouldn’t notice. However, my head actually feels lighter. Which helps at the gym. 🙂

I have a lot to ”report” today.

I had been obsessing about walking to work. I planned to do it at the end of the month after a few more sessions at the gym.

However, I did it last Friday. 10km’s in 2 hours. It felt really good. So good that I want to form a habit out of it.

I also played tennis on Sunday. You can imagine the grief I got from the coach for not showing up in while! More so for not showing up at the Kenya Open. I honestly do love the sport though. It was double joy to have my son and cousin playing on the courts next to me.

So this week, I have been faithful to my plan and I have been at the gym. I have 3 weeks left of cardio and then I get onto the weights.

My body is rebelling in different ways which makes for an interesting experience. Yesterday I was craving sugar! I got hold of caramel popcorn (shame on me I know…but popcorn is a healthy snack right?lol) and a handful of raisins. I supposed its the lack of starch that would normally supply the sugar to my body.

You know I can’t help thinking that the world is an unfair place. I walked with those who have no choice but to walk to work ….and I am denying myself food that others would want so dearly.

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It is a reminder to be grateful.

 I have a friend, who walked 12km’s on Monday, for a cause. I hope he forgives me for quoting an email he sent out to some friends.

”…Today was my turn, walking 12km from home to work. I noticed so many things. But I was also walking to help raise funds for a man who walks 3 hrs to work and 3 hours back home. I asked the man to save a third of the cost of the bike, then I will walk to raise the rest through sponsorship (I have so far raised Sh2,800 so we have Sh3,200 to go)….”

 I felt a little selfish for walking only for my own desires…I must admit.

 His was a noble cause.

 So it has got me thinking about these Friday walks.

 I will let you know what I decide to make of them.

 Until then…

 take care of your body

 Xoxo.

 

 

 

 

My Worst Enemy

Plato quotes

I had a lunch date the other day. My date, a special woman in my life, sat in front of me.

I lusted. I sinned.

She ate a delicious looking burger with fries. It took all the effort I had to resist touching her food. As I ate what a good friend of mine calls bird food…i.e a salad.

My mind wrestled with ideas. ”Surely just one chip won’t affect my weight”

From my last blog…if you read it…you know I am off starch for 60 days.

It has been VERY interesting. I have forgotten what rice tastes like, To be honest though, I do not care much for it anymore.

There has been more progress in the last three days. 

I am back in the gym. 

It has been quite a while since I managed to pull off 3 consecutive days. Even the instructor was surprised. 

My target is 3 days a week at the gym for 6 months and to continue with the no starch diet for 60 days. In a bid to lose 5kg’s a month.

There I have written it down, I have said it, I will it, I want it and I need it.

It also saves me a years membership of the Financial Times for a certain individual who I know will read this!  (He bet against this possibility) 

I have been amused by my own minds creativity though. The negotiations it has with my body.

Temptation is real.

Let us see how well I fight my worst enemy.

conquer your mind

Of Diets and Challenges

It has been so long since I last wrote that even the WordPress format had changed! (jeez!)

I apologise for this…or should I? Am I really sorry?

Today is one of those days…when my own potential scares me and excites me and thus paralyzes me.

Yes…it is a strange state to be in I must admit.

To catch you up on what has been going on…I stopped tennis…my coach wanted me to play at the Kenya Open..yes all 70+ kg’s of me! (jeez!) He believed I could make it..I didn’t. This isn’t necessarily the reason I stopped though.

I wanted to start a diet that would ensure I lose at least 7kg’s in a month…and then…I was asked to write reviews about restaurants. This involves eating all kind of food. This isn’t necessarily why I didn’t start the diet though.

I have read many book and articles on diets and weight loss and one thing that seems to be consistent is the absence of starch from the diet. So..I am on day 2 of 60. Let us see how this goes right?

The last 3 paragraphs have nothing to do with my current state by the way. (Except of apparent hunger)

The time has come again for big decisions and even bigger steps.

Today I had a good meeting with someone who saw right through me. It is hard to find people who are courageous enough to say things he said.

He challenged me though.

Sometimes all you need is someone to plant a seed. A more experienced mind. A professional. A mentor if you like.

So the new journey begins.

Posting this was a challenge on its own…as strange as that sounds.

That is all I have today.

Goodbye. 🙂

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Sexy At Six

ImageA man..who knows what he wants.

There is something that is unbelievably attractive about him. The focus, the effort, the time, the money…spent on a chase.

He may not be the best looking or the best dressed, but he KNOWS and GOES for what he wants.

That is ”sexy” defined.

On June 11th 2008, my country, Kenya, recognized Customized Catering Services Limited as a company free to trade. (We since re-branded to Spez)

Meaning, yesterday was our 6th Birthday. (Cue song ”Happy Birthday To Us”)

It has been SUCH a journey.

The last year ( apparently infamous in my industry..year 5) has been the one with the most lessons. It has given a MUCH clearer picture of the destination (Vision) of the Company and the means (Mission) of getting there.

There is an analogy I used almost 3years ago with my staff. I told them we are on a train…with a destination set…the journey will be long and hard…many people will get on and off the train..but the train WILL keep moving.

I thank the good Lord for enabling this journey to continue.

Yesterday we spent the day and night preparing and serving DT DOBIE and their executive clients as they launched the S1. A car worth almost 20Million Kshs.

Spez is now sexier than ever in my eyes.

I see the brand and respect it. I am now at it’s mercy.

We still have a LONG way to go. Nothing is perfect…and I do mean NOTHING.

However, she (SPEZ) knows what she wants and is going for it…and that….is sexy!

To all those who have been part of the journey in one way or another, the Board, our suppliers, our employees (both old and current) and of course..our clients, I thank you.

Happy Birthday to us!

Viva Spez!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Eagle View Camp, Mara Naboisho

It is 10:18 am as I sit with an amazing view before me.

I wish I had the words to describe every single detail.

I shall attempt to.

In one word though…beauty.

There is a cool wind blowing against my face, I can hear maybe six kinds of birds around. I can hear the ”maa’s” of the Wildebeest grazing nearby.The air is amazingly fresh.

I have just had a delicious breakfast. The juice is so fresh I can taste each fruit in it.

I am seated in a dining room with a very simple but elegant design. The dinosaur walking lizards are crawling around the floor near me. ( lol! I have made them sound more dramatic than they are)

I can hear the low tones of the amazing staff in the background. They are QUITE a team. Faces and voices I will never forget.

I am bitter though at a number of things. Most importantly that this is our last day here.

Naboisho means coming together as one in Maasai.

Yesterday morning, Derrick our tour guide gave us quite a bit of information about this 51,000 acre conservancy.

In 2007 the community came together to build a camp. This was first called the Wilderness Camp comprised of 5 cottages built by the locals. A few years down, after searching for the right partners, they decided to let it out to Basecamp Explorers owned by Ron Beaton.

It took two years to have negotiations with 518 local land owners who agreed to let the land, all 51,000 acres, become a conservancy.

In 2013 the 5 cottages they built were transformed to 9 beautiful tents. This increased capacity and from what I have seen, made it a lot more attractive.

Each tent is simple but VERY tastefully designes with a lovely bathroom and an outdoor shower as well.

The name Eagle View is only natural as the camp sits on the top of a hill and has a stunning view of the savannah below.

Each of the 518 land owners benefits from the various camps set on the conservancy as they receive a fixed income every month, regardless of occupancy.

I feel this story really does show the power and beauty of people coming together for an amazing cause.

I asked Derrick what his plans for his future are. This 30 year old man had so much pride as he said;

” I consider myself an ambassador of nature and of the people”

His knowledge of the land came out very clearly during our 2 hour conversation about the conservancy.

There is a sincere pride that comes out as he spoke about the land, the people and the animals.

His comfort in this environment was so evident during the game drive we had later in the day.

We sat about 4 meters away from mating lions as he served us drinks and snacks. (This was during the night drive)

Derrick does not sound like he looks. When I first spoke to him on phone during all the drama of the previous day I assumed I would see a guide in a safari outfit. Imagine my shock when I saw him approach driving towards us the previous night in an open land rover fully dressed in the Masai attire.

This he wears with pride.

The camp has given a lot back to the community. Drilling boreholes in several areas, building a clinic closer to the people who previously had to walk 30km’s to the closest one. There also exists a guide school not far from where we are.

Derrick was a student there 6 years ago. Many of those who have been to the school have got employment in other camps in the conservancy.

There have been many cases of poaching in Kenya in the last year. I was relieved to hear that it is not very common in the Mara area. I believe it is as a result of the appreciation the community here have for these beautiful creatures.

Derrick also mentioned the community is educated on the animals and thus have fewer cases of deaths caused by the inhabitants.

It is 10:56 am now and we have to head back to Nairobi soon, so I have to go.

If you do have the chance to come to the Mara, please visit this amazing camp.

The service is amazing, the food is delicious and the view…is breathtaking. You are assured of seeing at least 3 of the big five.

Edward-O just got up to take pictures of  mini migration of  wildebeest in the plains below us….I can’t think of a more beautiful way to be sent off by the Mara.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mechanical Angels

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I believe in Angels.

I am a Catholic as I have mentioned before. I believe in Angels. Which is why I named my son after one.

I am also a very paranoid human being.

So…Edward-O and I left the Naivasha Police Station at 1pm heading towards Narok. ( In case you haven’t read the previous blog post…though you should… we ‘’decided’’ to use the longer scenic route…and got arrested )

About 30Km’s from Narok we stopped to buy maize. (We had not had breakfast and after all the drama we were even hungrier)

As we were negotiating to buy maize from one guy (we only wanted one piece and we were flocked by a number of guys selling them)….one of the guys mentioned that our car had a leak.

”My paranoia” told Edward-O that it may be a stunt to rob us (remember we were technically in the middle of nowhere) and I told him we should stop ahead, away from the crowd, to check. So we did stop further ahead and saw that we did had a small leak.

It didn’t look very serious though, more so the temperature gauge was looking fine so we continued on with the trip.
20 Km’s before Narok we were flagged down by two guys along the road who were pointing at the bonnet.

We stopped again, further ahead, to check it out.

One of the guys who flagged us down came to the car. (You can imagine my paranoia at this point) He told us he could see some smoke coming out of the bottom of the engine.

He HAPPENED to be a mechanic and advised that we have it checked at a petrol station nearby. So we went over to have it checked. He followed us.

Turns out, the car WAS overheating but the gauge just wasn’t working. We got it drained and about an hour later we were ready to set off again. Except the car wouldn’t start. The battery had died in the process. So we had to get that fixed and then finally set off.

We were supposed to have got to Eagle View by 1pm in time for lunch. This was now almost 3pm and we were nowhere near Narok yet…despite having left Nairobi at 9am.

We finally got to Narok and were on the road to Mara when suddenly the car went off.

Now at least before we stopped on a main road with many other cars passing by. This time we were on a rough road with not much traffic on it, surrounded by bush! The last town was QUITE a way back.

While Edward-O was trying to figure what was wrong with the car some guys in a car passing by stopped to check on us. (Paranoia Galore)

The driver informed us that he HAPPENED to have a mechanic with him. A guy called Toet.

The guy checked out the car and couldn’t quite figure out what was wrong with it. All this time I was calling the car rental company to inform them what was going on.

They were willing to send AA from Nairobi to come and tow the car. Which was consoling but then again it was almost 5pm.

Finally we figured out what was wrong. The fuel gauge was not working.

Derrick, our tour guide from Eagle View, who had been patiently waiting for us from morning was already on the way to pick us up. (We had decided to tow the car to a nearby hotel and just continue the journey with him)

So we asked him to bring us some fuel. The mechanics who had stopped to help us had to leave at that point. Advising us to stay in the car as past 7pm it was not the safest place to be. (Paranoia Galore)

Thankfully, Derrick arrived a few minutes later.

We put the fuel in but the car still wouldn’t start. The battery was dead again.

Unfortunately neither of us had jumper cables. We flagged down some guys in a construction pick up to assist. They did and FINALLY the car started.

After all the drama with the car, we decided it was best to leave it behind anyway and head to the camp with Derrick.

At around 9 pm after a long bumpy ride in, we finally got to The Eagle View Mara Naboisho Camp.

It was pitch dark and quite cold but wewere received with such a good welcome that soon we forgot our troubles.

Toet, the second mechanic who stopped to help us actually called to check if we were ok.

We settled down at a little bonfire in the lounge area and warmed ourselves up a bit. The sounds of the lions roaring close by was so amazing.

Depsite the darkness we could tell that there was an amazing view below and the guides even pointed out a hippo grazing nearby.

We were politely ushered by Daniel the waiter to our dinner table. As I sat I was covered by a warm maasai blanket.

Dinner was amazing. Remember… this was our first meal of the day.

We started with a delicious mushroom soup served with warm freshly baked buns. The main course was a perfectly done steak with potatoes. The plating of the meal was excellent. To top it all off we had a double chocolate cake.

You can imagine how exhausted Edward-O and I were by this time. So we were led to our beautiful room and retired for the night.

I thank God for all the mechanical Angels he had cross our path that day because quite honestly….what are the chances of being helped out twice, in the middle of nowhere, by mechanics who JUST HAPPENED to be around.

The good Lord works in mysterious ways.

PATRICK

ImageI have never been in a cell before.

It is perhaps one of my greatest fears.

‘’Edward-O’’ (aka my MKM) and I left Nairobi at about 9am yesterday. (The 16th of May) heading towards the Naboisho Conservancy in the Mara. We ‘’decided’’ to take the scenic route and head to Naivasha.

As we approached Naivasha town, we were flagged down by the police. I was SURE that it was because of the tint on our rental car.

The police officer kindly asked for Edward-O’s license and he gave it to him. After which the officer casually mentioned that we were at a speed of 124Kmph which was 24Kmph above the speed limit.

I laughed.

I was amused at the fact that HE over speeding. If you remember I told you I really like driving and I do not drive slow. So if I was the one caught, I would have been VERY guilty.

However, Edward-O is a very careful driver, in fact I threatened him that if he went any slower I would kick him out and drive myself. So I was pretty sure he WAS NOT over speeding.

After enough of us had been rounded up (as was evident by the line of cars behind us) a policewoman came to the window and said ‘’Niingie gari yenu?’’ Edward-O promptly responded ‘’Kwa nini unataka lift?’’

We found ourselves at the cop station.

I must admit it is quite a clean and well laid out station.

I kept asking where the machine that ‘’caught’’ us was and they informed us that it was on the way.

Before it got there, Edward-O was promptly escorted to a holding cell where he would stay for the next two hours.

This is where he met Patrick.

Two years ago Patrick left Athi river in search of a job to support his small brothers. He ended up in Naivasha working for a man who owned a couple of bikes. So he got a job riding a boda boda. He stayed at this man’s house in a little extension at the back.

In December last year, Patrick had an accident while carrying a passenger. His bike fell and the passenger got quite a number of bruises. Patrick was taken to the police station charged with over speeding and endangering passengers.

His case has been rolled over each time, for the last 6 months. If you are a Kenyan reading this, you know why he isn’t out yet. (If you are not, tap the Kenyan next to you and ask  )

Patrick is 19 years old…seated in a cell for the last 6 months in a place he does not consider home. The only thing he had on was his sleeveless reflector jacket, a pair of jeans and work out snickers. He wears a marvin to cover the scars from wounds that have not healed that well.

You see 6 months ago, he was trying to avoid hitting a lorry on the road and ended up with a bike on the ground, a hurt passenger and scars on his head.

Patrick has had most of his clothes taken from him. Holding on only to his reflector jacket just in case the court claims he didn’t have one on.

His next court date is 26th June 2014.

I am supposed to be writing about my journey but I cannot seem to get this young boy out of my mind. My heart breaks to think of all the other similar cases that exist.

I pray he someday gets out.

Edward-O was released after I ran around looking for 30,000 Kshs to pay the fine for over speeding. As he walked out I felt so much relief.

As we got Edward-O’s licence from the main office I asked the officer whether the machine had come. He happily said yes and called on another officer to bring it.

He quickly looked through it and happily picked out our car. Except it wasn’t our plates.

At that point my blood began to boil as now it appeared we had evidence that we were wrongfully accused except this was after admitting to it.

The officer nervously began looking through the recordings in search of our vehicle. What was evident was most of the cars were caught while overtaking. (Of course you will be ”speeding” while over taking!!!!!)

I was already on the phone with my lawyer (again) to find out what happens if they do not find the evidence….when the officer found the car.I could tell he wanted to jump for joy.

I just walked off.

I was next on the steering wheel. Trying my best to keep to the limit.

Edward-O told me about many people in the cell, Patrick though, will be on my mind for a very long time.

What is of more concern is when and if he comes out who will this young man be?

Please remember Patrick and those like him in your prayers tonight.

 

 

 

Spotted

GO-at-least-once-a-year-to-a-place-you-have-never-been-before

I haven’t been to my sanctuary in ages. (The Nairobi National Park)

This life can create stress levels that would make one a little more insane than they are. So after an unbelievable offer….. (In fact I may not believe it until I am actually there)…tomorrow morning I am off for a little road trip.

For those of you who have been following the last 98 blog posts that I have written..(this is the point where you make a note to scroll down and read a few more)…..you followed my journey around East Africa with One Touch Media. I absolutely loved that experience.

There is something about the road…..that…..brings me so much joy.

There is something about wild animals….that….brings me….peace.

This weekend, tomorrow morning, I have an amazing opportunity to get on the road and head to the Naboisho Conservancy. This is in the Maasai Mara.

I have been there twice in my life. Once as a child, I think I was about 7 years old. I do not remember too much.

The next time was in High School. I remember camping and getting stuck in the mud while on a game drive. It was sooooo much fun pushing the bus out of the mud! (That is about all I remember)

Tomorrow morning I set out with a friend of mine 🙂 to the Eagle View Mara Naboisho Camp.

I have heard quite a bit about the place. However, I will tell you more about it after I actually experience it.

The Maasai Mara National Reserve (also known as Masai Mara and by the locals as The Mara) is a large game reserve in Narok County, Kenya, contiguous with the Serengeti National Park in Mara Region, Tanzania. It is named in honor of the Maasai people (the ancestral inhabitants of the area) and their description of the area when looked at from afar: “Mara,” which is Maa (Maasai language) for “spotted,” an apt description for the circles of trees, scrub, savanna, and cloud shadows that mark the area.

Wikipedia

I love the feeling before a trip. It is almost 11pm and on an ordinary day after tennis (like today should be) I come home completely knackered and black out by 9:30pm.

However, I am excited. Tomorrow I get the thrill of the road and peace from one of our most beautiful reserves.

Stay Tuned for more of the experience.

Good night good world. 🙂

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Aabu

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Goa Listeni/ˈɡ.ə/ is India’s smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Located in West India in the region known as the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its western coast. Goa is India’s richest state with a GDP per capita two and a half times that of the country as a whole.[4] It was ranked the best placed state by the Eleventh Finance Commission for its infrastructure and ranked on top for the best quality of life in India by the National Commission on Population based on the 12 Indicators.[4]

Panaji is the state’s capital, while Vasco da Gama is the largest city. The historic city of Margao still exhibits the cultural influence of the Portuguese, who first landed in the early 16th century as merchants and conquered it soon thereafter. Goa is a former Portuguese province; the Portuguese overseas territory of Portuguese India existed for about 450 years until it was annexed by India in 1961.[5][6]

Goa is visited by large numbers of international and domestic tourists each year for its beaches, places of worship and world heritage architecture. It also has rich flora and fauna, owing to its location on the Western Ghats range, which is classified as a biodiversity hotspot.

Wikipedia

I think I may be growing up. (Lol! At 28 I hope so!)

In the 1930’s there was a man who got onto a dhow from Goa heading to Africa in search of a job. He left his family behind. His wife and his two children.

I am unsure about how long it took him to get to Africa, but he did. His first stop was Tanzania.

He walked all the way up to Kenya. Communicating with his family by writing letters.

This man was my grandfather.

I say I am growing up because I have developed an unbelievable interest in my family history. I managed to get some amazing information from my father last weekend.

People always wonder where I come from. More often than not it is assumed I am Ethiopian or Somali. My complexion is confusing/misleading I suppose.

I discovered I have such a rich history full of stories of struggles and triumphs.

They say we inevitably become products of our past and our lineage. After all, it is in our genes.

So I will be sharing a couple of these stories with you once in a while.

I still feel I have so much to learn about my family history. I hope someday I am able to go to Goa.

Konkani is the language spoken in Goa and ”Aabu” is Konkani for paternal grandfather.

I remember him sitting on his bed playing his violin.

He passed on when I was about 12 years old I think.

I’ll tell you more about him soon.

I wish you a lovely day ahead.