Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Review..........

I’m struggling with what to write here not that I do not see new things but I have had this struggle with am I sharing too much and telling things that are probably best not told because sometimes I meet people I have not seen in so long and they will ask things like ‘so what language did you speak when the Al-shabaab called you???? me thinking do you now work for the intelligence and are looking to trap me (blank stare), which AS are we talking about?  I read on your blog (sigh of relief)  ama 
Person X: Somali weddings are epic right? 
Me: Yes because although I do not look it my folks are actually Somali (or something close) and therefore we do Somali weddings.
Person X: No I mean that one where you ate  a lot halwa and milkshake 
Me: ohhhhhhhhh.Yes they are and especially if guys decide to do the buran-bur.

Then there are those who thought/think some post was about them and are pissed off at me (why I don’t know, I do not write offensive stuff but such is life people get angry at you for no reason and since they are your friends, you have to keep on apologizing and pull posts that they are angry about down). The weird part is that people I actually have in mind when writing do not think its them or maybe they don’t read my posts.

Some of my friends have inboxed, WhatsApped and after a lot of stories, they will always ask when are you back (I was home in March that’s  like yesterday in relation to work so give this question a rest ) and we are waiting for those Garowe stories. Honestly this place is urban, I’m a village person so I’m lost on what to say plus I spend a lot of time sitting at a desk  therefore nothing much to tell, you know we could like go travel to some nice place (at whose cost I do not know) and then ask me about say how is Abu-Dhabi because Trip Advisor thinks I would love it and sends me these e-mails on what is nice in Abu-Dhabi this week every week and I look at all those places and  think I have travelled even if it’s through seeing pictures. If you need any info on Abu-Dhabi feel free to ask, I'm the expert tour guide based on knowledge gotten from Trip Advisor :-) :-)

There are tarmac roads here and a roundabout in town,there are traffic lights I have not been to the town too many times but the few times I haven’t seen them work but they are there………………shame on the GoK, no tarmac road between Garissa and Mandera and none in any of the towns after Garissa and yet we have been an independent state that is stable for over 50 years and have a very organized way of paying taxes therefore this cannot be an issue of lack of funds but maybe bad prioritization.

Mobile money is big here. Very few people carry cash and every shop even the really small ones have a pay-bill number so you just put the equivalent of your weekly/monthly budget in your phone account based on your level of financial discipline and just pay from your phone how nice is that? Registering for Sahal ( the equivalent of M-pesa) is a story on its own, first there is only 1 place in the town that you can do the registration and they take a picture of you,fill in your information into a computer,you need a witness and this person must be registered with them and they’ll need your four names(what if you have only 2 names like me??) people learn the name of your great grandfather you never know when it will come in handy.

Most shops in the town have glass doors and they are usually closed so if you are me you’ll think maybe the shop-keeper is busy praying, updating his books, doing his cash count or stock count,eating lunch..........but this is the practice here if you want something then you’ll have to push the door and get in.They have these banners  for the hotels and it always something like Midnimo Bar and restaurant what is a bar? The story of inappropriate names reminds of the first day I reported to campus,we did the registration and everything and by the time we finished it was late in the afternoon,we went to the school mess and they had sold all the food, but there was this place around the corner and it was called the milk bar and we thought they actually sold milk so we go in and shock on us the place was a BAR aka alcohol joint which I later learnt was famously known as ''center'',you should have seen how quickly we walked out :-D

The government here is well organized like there is a ministry of everything so now if you need animal health stuff there is the ministry of livestock and animal husbandry, the ministry of agriculture and irrigation, ministry of planning and international cooperation(the headache of all agencies) and of course the big MoH. The  assistant ministers here are called Director Generals in short DG in the event that you hear people talking about the DG of fisheries is based in Bosasso and you have to write DG down to go and google later thank me for you saving you that time. There are so many universities and like everyone at work studies part-time, but there are no Kenyan universities MKU (Mogadishu Kismayu University) has  a branch in Mogadishu and Hargeisa but not in Garowe how??
                                               'The MKU advert on Hapa Kule'

It is the capital city of Puntland  and it’s a small capital city but I have been warned to say this only in whispers as the Puntlanders are very proud of it and rightfully so, there are some supermarkets small ones but yes supermarkets, a big vegetable market, a place for ice-cream and many eating joints and there are so many female drivers here.The houses here are very beautiful, I will generally not notice architecture unless it is very out of the ordinary, but I saw a friend last week and after the usual how do you like Garowe, he tells me about how he finds the houses here beautiful as compared to houses say in Isiolo (he says Isiolo because he is convinced it’s a village and I have to do this Isiolo pitch that I'm always doing as to how it is not a village) and later on we walk together and yes I notice the some of the houses are really nice and he keeps on showing and that one,and that one..................the glass shattered(This is an inside story for anyone who has watched HIMYM remember the episode where they noticed everyones' weird thing Lilly's loud chewing,Marshall and his singing about everything..........) now I see beautiful houses everywhere.

The place was/is  peaceful(security is unpredictable) , the outside tea places are more vibrant at night than they are at day time, talking of outside tea places the miraa here comes from Meru as in!!!!!!! kuna vile wameru lazima walipishwe taxes by the federal government of Somalia they are making too much cash out of these people, you could find shops open at 9 PM and the town doesn’t really shut down until after 10 PM  how do I know this, there was a day I was in town upto like 10.05 PM and it was open and people were just doing their stuff. Does this sum-up what this place is most definitely  no, it doesn’t say the population, what people do to earn an income,when the town was started what clans live here and how they share power and all that goes into writing a profile of a place but this is for simpletons like me who judge new places by places to eat ice cream and ease of sleeping at night.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Njambi and Njugush :-)

I have always had this idea of how it would be to live alone you know no roommates you are the only one who has the key to the door how cool right? Trust me not cool. I figured it will come with freedom like you can eat from the sufuria, decide how to arrange the house, when to cook………….but truth is  living alone sucks. Now more than ever I realize home is not a place it’s more of the people that live with you even if its people you share space with and rarely talk to. How I know this I have lived in a lot of places with different people some places felt/still feel more like home as compared to others.

Rhamu: I lived here and taught Hemedy who developed the art of conning me because I’m his big sister and was his teacher then. unajua tumeambiwa tulete pesa ya kununua leakage ya English and when KCSE was done with he tells me the way the paper they ‘bought’ not even 1 question came in the real paper and that he just needed the money, he will bully form ones by letting them line up and get the food then he takes their plate and walks off with it and these form ones will tell me and I will warn him and he’ll say wachana nao, eating at oscars what was it with eating/serving raw onions with food??, his math teacher will tell me how he is doing badly in math so that I could give help him out if he only he knew this boy doesn’t actually see me as his teacher and that he would seat and listen to me outside class would be a miracle, how we used to laugh at the drama in his IRE classes, student asks a question, then the IRE teacher stares at the ceiling board and goes like ‘God knows’  and that’s the end of that question. He still calls me madam and tells me they had nicknamed me ‘you and me’ and the way I thought I was a nice teacher surely I deserve better than ‘you and me’.

Me and Mresh  lived in Elwak  for 2 years, We have these very fond memories from the ‘white city’ the way Mresh was the supuu of the town and me well the sister of  the supuu, fries at Haj Dayow’s, the market and my love for diracs, we discovered malado and thought it could act as peanut butter but later found out its not food, at some point I thought I would forget swa, so I will sit in the kitchen and converse with myself in swa  (almost everyone even at work spoke garee) but upside I can hold very very serious and deep conversations in garee. I hear songs that are Elwak seriously(and Moyale always doing the translation for me :-)), Mresh sings some songs and goes like hiyo nyimbo ni ya nani?? Meaning who sang that song to who, people in Elwak were rooooooooomantics. Mresh more than me has friends who keep in touch and tell her what going on there, we must visit Elwak sometime  Insha aa Allah if for  nothing else the fries  and to see everyone’s babies and wives/husbands this hearsay is killing us right?. Habaswein and Wajir I made some good friends that I don’t see much of but still I talk to some, learnt a lot of the little somali I know, in hindsight there were some very hot dudes there,I should have maybe talked to one of them nicely :-). Dadaab was/is EPIC what!!!!!!! All those house parties, icecream, cakes, fries the place cannot be categorised as fieldwork that would be an abuse to people who are actually in the field, Luuq taught me fear of people you’ll go to the field and if you see a car behind you,you wonder wether it has AS in it, phone calls from AS asking for cash, attacks by them, public executions, I remember the first few months I would think how going there was the worst decision I have ever made and I would complain to my friends and one of them told me you never know God’s plans maybe it’s to launch you on to better things I lived there for more than a year got used to it and as for bigger things I learnt a lot. Nairobi is an in between Mresh and Murshid live in the big city they make it home .Isiolo is HOME my mum lives there.Why all these places mean home they are people there whom are friends and family who love me I think and whom I’m sure I love, we have memories and can sit, talk and laugh about the past.

Back to the story of living alone, first there is no one to tell anything like what went down at work or who you met, you instead think of what to cook considering you are on a diet and settle on pasta and tuna why because it’s easy and the downside it’s not exactly a diet kind of food, but it’s easy so it wins however once I sit to eat guilt sets in and I think how can you loose weight eating all these pasta…………negative self-talk I put the plate away but there is no one else to eat it and throwing away food is worse than not eating it. So I eat and sleep feeling guilty, the cycle repeats itself maybe I need to get a room-mate but who? or stop cooking and loose weight(sounds like the  plan). After eating what to do? I have watched a lot of movies and series in less than 1 month so no, sleep it’s still too early, I look at my phone and think of people to call but calling every day is crazy right? You have nothing to talk about, WhatsApp I chat but peeps are  mostly busy because to think you are lengaing me is too sad just to let you know people WhatsApp shows seen and read so I know you have read my messages reply!!!!!!!.The silver lining in all these is that I have discovered the real house helps of Kawangware, washa akina Njambi  na Njugush wakuwe my new friends as I work on getting friends and making new memories :-) :-)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Story of the gals in my life

As I'm still recovering from my ninjaness of deciding to run the beyond zero marathon with very little exercise(skipping rope for not more that 1 hour total and jogging whilst carrying Sokor for the sole purpose of making her laugh). I figured March 8th let me write about the women(gals) that Allah has blessed me with lucky for me many but the ones I really hang out with 4 because I'm too lazy and rarely leave the house when I'm home.People visit me please I will cook and  have very interesting stories  to tell :-)

Top on this list is my mum no words can explain how much my mum is a star,she knows everything even that story you told her 10 years ago and completely forgot about she will raise it at some point when its relevant,she is and I'm not exxagerating the best cook ever.My mum's place has to be the best hang out.she will only cook your favourite food when you are at home and most days are feasts and because I am me and I'm always scared of being fat  and love all the junk food in this world I will eat all the fries and chapo and nowadays my resolve is zero kitambo I could you know eat a piece of chapo and stop now I eat many so envitably weight has come and my mum will say he na umekonda siku hizi(what else can beat this level of support) and then I hear her and my sister talking about the way I have put on weight when they think I can't hear.Isorait Mresh but I digress.

She worked really hard and ensured that we got all we needed and were happy, when we were small she sewed dresses for our dolls,plaited their hair and all that,and some evenings she will us tell us stories and each story had a moral lesson. She had mastered parenting, when I was small there was nothing more I wanted more than to go to some 'fancy boarding school' aka Turesia girls, the school was out my mum's range at that point but there was no way she was breaking my heart with this reality so everytime she will tell me,'mum next term nitakupekeleka huko' and I will fantasize about everything boarding school this went on until I finished primary school and then she says si unaona si wasichana wa Turesia pekee yao hu-pass. She knows what research I want to do for my Msc better than me and has even offered a portion of her shamba and asks haiya zile nyanya zako utapanda lini(as I have no definite timeframe I just keep quite),mum maliza shule, hii uvivu wachana nayo....................I pray that she always remains happy and has all her heart desires.

Mresh,this gal knows everything,there is no way I could ever know what she knows, as she puts it wewe kuna kitu ingine unajua kubaki story za job(story of my life in one sentence).One day as we are watching some music show on TV a song comes on.

Mresh: Unajua Sauti Sol walicopy Banky W kwa ile song yao ya Still the One.

Me:Banky W ni nani?

Before she could wonder under which rock I live and I'm not playing the song that came immediately after Yes/No is still the one and between these two some one clearly copied the other's video concept.She has schooled me on so many things,most importantly standing up for myself ,minding my own business and what people think of  me is none of my business, a diamond by all standards this gal.

Sokor:My little niece,I love her  more that anyone myself included.Yaani she has been my teacher feeding a baby check,washing a baby check,changing diapers check,singing to a baby check,making a crying baby laugh check,feeding her sugary food behind her mothers back check and so many other things.If you look through my phone so many pictures and videos of her.I pray and want the very best for her and Insha aa Allah Mresh, mum and me will be those old women who'll be dancing at her graduation and wedding :-)

Miss Katra: Story of how we met at some point we worked for the same agency.I was new and she added me on FB,her security settings then  allowed me to look through her pictures before being her friend, I remember thinking to myself avoid this chick what!!!!!!!!!!!pictures at safari sevens without Hijab so I lengad that request.But I'm loud she is loud so we become friends slowly.............. we sat at lunch together,then we travelled home together and courtesy of her stories,music on her phone and us deciding to get braces at the same time we became friends.One of the most beautiful people (inside and outside) I know,has fun to the extremes who decides to go to coasto to party on her own in a single afternoon? but I guess opposites attract.I became louder and understand more in relation to partying and being carefree thanks to her and as Mresh says huyu Katra amekufundisha urembo(by association I guess)