Tag Archive | WhatsYourStory

The Traditional Ceremony

I came back from my leave. It seemed long at first, until the days flew by and the next thing I knew, Sunday was here and I was putting my work things together – the handbag I mean. When I get off work, I always throw it in some corner in the house and forget about it – it sort of symbolizes the work – home switch. It sure did feel like opening day when I was resuming on Monday morning. Your brain has to adjust to the environment. However, I totally enjoyed having both a mental and physical break. Sometimes your body and mind need some R&R to restore your mojo for everything.

We also had our Ruracio. You know, the traditional ceremony. Just a sneak peak of what it’s all about. The man’s family first visits the lady’s family, for a formal introduction. In Meru, during this formal introduction, miraa (khat, whether in its physical form or cash) symbolizes the booking of the lady. After this, no other man can come to the lady’s house and declare interest. It also helps that you both no longer have the awkward “this is my friend, good friend” conversation with your parents & relatives every time you meet. They know he’s the man you intend to spend your life with. Then once the introductions have been done, the man’s family is then told what the dowry entails and they’re meant to negotiate for thee lady (me in this case). Traditional ceremonies are fun, but of course when you’re on the spectator part of the field, not when you’re the man in the arena. At that point you’re tense from your hair strands to your toes.

So once the man’s family has negotiated with the lady’s family, comes the 2nd meeting which is the Ruracio. They present part of the dowry to the lady’s parents in the presence of the relatives. Apparently, the dowry can’t be paid all at once. It’s an act that’s done over a lifetime, it’s a relationship that has just began. And that’s how you become traditionally married. It’s no longer, the man’s family now but the in law’s – in love’s perhaps. I’m traditionally someone’s wife now. And the question everyone is asking, is what next? “have you set dates for the wedding?”, “have you gotten a dress?”, “what’s your theme?”, “have you settled on a venue?” No one gives you a break to even absorb the fact that you two just made what was possibly the biggest decision (i.e. a lifetime commitment to each other) in your lives just yet.

But we’re not complaining, we’ll definitely need to be bound by law and make that covenant before God and man. And that’s coming soon to a garden near you. Gadamn! How grown up have we become already?

The ceremony was a small one. With family and close friends in attendance. We invited some, others we forgot, important ones, but it was nothing personal. When you have these events – especially if you’re not an events person or quite the planner, your memory tends to be obscured by the event, that’s all you think & dream, the last thing on your mind are who the guests will be in attendance. While we’d have loved to have everyone on board, it was virtually impossible. There are constraints like; their availability, hosting capability, pressure to deliver, and so on that exist. It’s quite an interesting road to pass through because it opens your eyes and it makes you understand why people do things the way they do.

It’s definitely a story worth narrating another day, and using it to encourage others who are going through the same process. We got a lot of support from family and friends. From our friends, I learnt that sisterhood and brotherhood does exist – that your friends can be there for you, even when you haven’t asked them to be. They volunteer, just because. There’s not a day we lost sleep over how we’ll get some things that were expected of us, despite us being clueless about how to go about getting them – from BIG sufuria’s, leso’s, honey and much more. We got so much encouragement, we shared stories and experiences, we laughed, we ate and we celebrated together. But even better, friendships got sealed & our families got bigger. To us, that’s what mattered the most.

To those who wished us well, we are grateful. Lots of love & light!

Ceremony, Ruracio, Traditional Ceremony, Marriage

*Funny, I barely took any pics with my device, the ones I did were a blur. When I get the some good pics soon (from my baptized photographer of the day), I’ll be sure to share.

Signing off ~~~ *Kawi*

 

Say No To Hoarding!

Being a self-confessed hoarder, I was recently struggling with the case of having so many clothes but on the contrary, no clothes to wear. It’s rather disappointing and annoying to a great extent. When you have 3 wardrobes, with all hangers full, and clothes almost bursting out of them but when time comes and you’re dressing up for an occasion or even on a normal day, an emptiness lingers. You feel like you own no clothes. Sometimes you can picture an outfit you want to wear but you can’t find bits of it because it’s hidden somewhere between the clutter.

That’s was a clear indication that there was a problem. A problem that needed to be deal with accordingly. The thing with hoarding, is that you feel the need to keep the things you don’t need. Your mind tells you, “You’ll need this someday, just keep it.” Even when the day never comes, you look at it and you’re like “the day is still coming.” Sounds stingy, no?

Say No To Hoarding

I thought my cousin was crazy when one day “something got into her” she emptied her closet and only remained with the clothes that she constantly wears – which were a handful. She gave out the rest to people who she needed them more than she did. I was one of the proud beneficiaries – I fancied her style. Remember when hand me downs were a common phenomenon. It mostly happens when you’re in your teens. You know that stage where your parents can no longer keep up with your growing self and changing fashion style. So they stop buying you clothes and you don’t have money to buy clothes – because well, your income is the pocket-money they give you. For some reason it’s never enough. It’s at that point you become a “hand-me down” charity case.

Well, whatever thing got into her, eventually got into me. I was done with the myriad of clothes & shoes that were not doing it for me. Whether new, old, fitting or not-fitting - considering that I got some of those clothes out of peer pressure, others I’ve out grown, others I just don’t feel the style anymore. Is that what we call maturity? I finally made a conscious decision to just go and bin (give away) those clothes, which is like ¾ of my wardrobe. Someone else needs them more than I do. There’s a teenager out there going through the “hand-me down” phase. On the upside, I have less clothes, which means less stress during dress-up, less organizing, less complaining and more space. It helps more that I know what I have, what I don’t have, what I need and what I don’t need. Considering I’m not a big shopping fan (I must be the only girl who isn’t, hence this post, and this post), this makes planning for it easier and more targeted.

But honestly, it felt like a load off my back and mind. I’m sure my wardrobes feel a little lighter too. Such a liberating experience. Maybe you should try it out and Say No To Hoarding! I could possibly be an activist, and that my cause. Isn’t it a social cause? It’ll save someone and also save you some more.

Long weekend around the corner for my Kenyan peoples. Happy Hump Day Lovelies!

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

 

Curves and All

I read this article on Bev’s blog. Like she had advised, I clicked on the original story, and I was touched by what I read. That’s what informed my post today.

Meaghan Kausman, Curves

Meaghan Kausman’s photoshopped image is above; the untouched photo is below. Credit: Instagram.

In our society, size is a weighty matter. See what I did there. But it is, for everyone really, regardless of your size. “You’ve become skinnier”, “you’ve gained some weight”, “there’s no clothes your size”, “try a size bigger”, “maybe you should try sit ups, press ups or planks”, “you should eat some more”, “no, just eat less – more fruits & vegetables, some protein and less starch”, “don’t eat past 7pm, digestion doesn’t take place”.

I’m pretty sure you’ve encountered some of these random statements in your conversations, if not all of them. And boy isn’t it exasperating. I use them too, so I’m as guilty as charged. How does it make you feel? Well, it makes me a little more conscious about how I look. It makes me think, maybe I can do something about it, like I can make myself shrink instead of expand superpowers. Even when really, it’s nature organizing your body for you. Curves and all.

There’s also this belief that petite people shouldn’t talk about weight, because well, they don’t have weight to talk about. But funny enough just as anyone who’s not petite is affected by weight, so are the people you see as petite (which is relative by the way). So it’s awkward when I tell my friends I’m feeling like I’ve grown a little bigger, but they cannot see what I’m talking about. Sometimes I see it, sometimes I don’t too – it could depend on what I’m wearing, what I’m eating, and other times, just hormones – those that make you feel like you don’t look as hot in the present or as you envision yourself.

The other day, I found myself thinking, “Damn, my clothes are definitely tighter”. My once flat tummy, is not so flat anymore, there’s that bottom bulge. My hips, oh well, they’re shaping up, like they weren’t already. Considering I’m not a big shopping fan. You’ll find that I still have clothes that I used to wear way back in campus which until now still fit. Until one day, I’m finding myself having to jump up and down for them to fit. I’m in disbelief. In all honesty, if I could stay the same size I would, but then I’d have to starve or gym myself to skinniness. Nah, I can’t deal. So I try to keep fit by doing some housework here and there, skipping,  planking sometimes, but mostly, just trying to eat healthy.

One thing I told myself is that, I ain’t 22 anymore. I’m aging and growing and it’s not only the age number that  increases. The height and weight too. Remember, Body Mass Index (BMI)? Remaining the same size will be a little too ambitious, although some people make it happen – genes, regulated meals, some serious work out.

I feel that there’s some alluring confidence and sexiness that comes with embracing your body, as is. Also, not everyone can be a size 8, or a size 14, the world would be a boring place. God knew what he was doing when he made us all different, but still in his image. Rock you, as you are! However, that doesn’t mean you let loose and care less about your appearance or size for that matter. It means don’t look shabby, actually, never look shabby. Always, take care of yourself, look and dress pretty, keep healthy. Don’t Photoshop your body either. When you love yourself, even the people around you accept & love you just as you are, because you are a beautiful petal.

Embrace your body, curves and all.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Back to Life

Let me tell you something we (bloggers) don’t tell you; sometimes, we run out of things to say, then we get a sudden epiphany or an inspiration from the people or things around us. Other times, you have things to say but you question its validity. Considering everyone has their own personal opinion on that thing that you’re about to write on, yet you’re putting your opinion out there for it to be judged. It’s a tough hobby this one, but fun all the same because you put your mind out there.

Where the old school people at? Remember Soul II Soul’s – Back to Life? They had such cool rhythms and flows then, that when you think of a word, the lyrics all come flowing, even if you’re poor at cramming lyrics like I am. I just thought of “back to life” and the next thing that came along was “back to reality” and a tune to back it up. Also, made me think of LPs and how cool they were and if they’re available anymore, even on the olx.com.gh’s of this world, they’d make good keepsake’s now. Took me back for a moment there.

Anyhow, I divert. This weekend we did our 1st traditional visit – I was in the clouds, now I’m back to life. You know where the fiancé comes over with his boys and his uncles to book his girl (for lack of a better way to say it), state their intentions and discuss the way forward in terms of dowry and the marriage that follows. It was a new experience and quite interesting too given the . Life is about learning, unlearning and re-learning – that’s one thing I appreciate about it. There are things they never teach you in school and this weekend I got a dose of what they didn’t teach me, our culture and its importance.

I always wondered why folks made a big deal about the culture. I didn’t think it’s necessary at some point, I thought it was just a way of them making the process hard for you, you know like their parents did. At the mention of culture I cringed, because of the stories I’ve heard. Stories about the bride’s family extorting the groom’s family. I always wondered why people in the western world just went ahead and dated, engaged and got married without any internal processes taking place. Maybe I got that wrong, because I’ve never actually been in one or know a friend who told me the story, it’s what I saw in movies.

I won’t lie, I wasn’t nervous at first because I know my family. I know my parents, my aunties and my uncles, but the more I let the thought of “what if the stories I hear come closer home”, I started becoming nervous. Then I expressed my fear to my parents and aunts and I loved how they taught me this lesson.

Like a girl attending a basics class on tradition and culture 101, they first explained to me how theirs went down. They were all so funny, because none of them were even there, their parents are the ones who carried out the process because they were far but had identified their spouses, but for them to go ahead and get married, the families first had to meet, know where each other is from and create a bond. And this is what the introduction, dowry and many other process did.

Every society has a culture. Culture is made up of traditions, beliefs, and ways of life, from the most spiritual to the most material. It gives us meaning, a way of leading our lives. Without which we’ll lose ourselves and the core of who we really are. Culture is just not another adornment or accessory that we human beings can use, it’s what makes us human. Culture helps us to define our relationships and engagements with our immediate family and the society at large. It’s also what helps us grow the bond between the different societies, by allowing them to identify with others of similar mindsets and backgrounds. The meeting and mutual respect between two different cultures and how they merge to become one big family.

This weekend, I am proud that my family finally connected with my fiancé’s family and that by living up to our different cultures, we were united. And truth be told, now that it all makes so much sense, when I have kids, I will make sure that we do the same. It’s something to be proud of, especially when done with respect and love … it depicts appreciation to the parents for raising you and that you still want your family (from both sides) to be a part of you. This was just the beginning of many more to come, looking forward.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

 

 

You’ve Got To Start Somewhere

The other day I bumped into one of my childhood friends and as we were catching up, we start talking about how it is living on our own. I’m slightly older than she is so I’d been out in the woods a little longer. This got me thinking of my journey, because I just didn’t wake up one day and find myself where I am today, I ain’t no rocket.

I started somewhere. That somewhere sure wasn’t the top either. You know how we sing along to that “started from the bottom, now we’re here” song in the club, it pretty much comes to perspective. I haven’t reached there yet, but at least I believe I’m on the right tangent that’ll eventually lead me there, my own house.

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Back to where I started, she asked me about my 1st house. First, my 1st house was like a miracle, because I looked for it out of desperation. I wasn’t being chased out of home per se, but my parents were moving to a place that was going to be a little too far from my work place. Plus, I was going back to school, so the commute would have taken a toll on me. Basically, the only other solution was to get a place and move out. I honestly never imagined that moving out would require such little convincing, I thought my dad would flatly refuse. I searched around and through my mums network I was directed to an SQ at Ngumo. I liked the house despite it having its shortfalls – water issues, the bathroom was outside (gave me the creeps a couple of times), zero natural light into the house, overnight rent inflation, non-refunded deposit and so on.

How I furnished the house, I recall, I didn’t get everything at once, but I had saved enough to pay my deposit, rent and shop for necessary items. I also had my little monthly income (weh, that was an experience on learning how to manage the little you have…lol). I worked with a list that indicated things in order of priority. For instance, I sat on cushions and watched movies on my laptop the 1st few months (so a couch and TV were bottom on the list). I got some “hand me downs” from my mum, while my dad played a huge role in sponsoring and ensuring that I acquired the things that were flagged *important* especially those pertaining to food – his biggest worry was that I should be able to cook and store my food when it remains, so for him a cooker and fridge were top priority (it’s funny when I think of it now).

All the same, I loved my little first house, I made it habitable. Time came for me to move out of there after a year and some months when my landlord experienced some issue with the main landlord (rental house issues). It was unexpected, and looking for a house is no easy feat. I prayed about it and voila, asking around, my friend linked me up with an agent in Kilimani who showed me a house that I fell in love with at first sight. It solved all the problems I had with my first SQ. This one was an extension with water than never run out; normal internal bathrooms; signed agreement – no rent inflation and deposit is refunded minus maintenance; excess light, with a sun roof in my bedroom, it’s like the landlord was going green; much bigger, everything fit perfectly.

Somewhere along the way, in as much as I loved my little light haven, I felt like I was growing out of it. Like I would like to move in to a bigger space, that’s not within someone’s compound, an apartment. I respected my feeling and urge to look for another house. After a few searches here and consultations there, a prayer and some more, I found the house I now live in. It’s just what I wanted. Now the next feeling, I sense it from afar, is to own a house.

Just like I found my way around different houses that meet my growing needs, or just like I progressed from one stage to another and learnt along the way, that’s how life is in general. My inner being nudges me to grow in the different spheres of my life and pushes me to seek for more even when it almost seems impossible. I believe that’s how you #ChaseYourDreams. With dreams, they don’t come easy, you’ve got to start somewhere.

Happy Hump Day!

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

The Million Dollar Question?

Even after I said “YES”, the first question that ran through my mind was, “how did you know the size of my finger?” I was too curious, because that would have been my only selling point.

The story, now that’s the question everyone has been asking of late. I’m not the best at narrating the same story over and over. But it seems for this season that I’m in, I need to get used to it and, that this bling sure does bring a lot of attention. I didn’t see myself in this phase this soon, and maybe that’s why the mister managed to sneak away with it. I was being very futuristic, I didn’t want to give him pressure in as much as all of you out there gave me pressure *looks at you, you and you*. I just wanted to go with the flow.

And with the flow I went. He’s a sneaky one, because on that Saturday 19th April, it was my turn on the rotter to work. He diligently dropped me at work, no signs whatsoever except him booking me for the day and night. All through work, I felt like I was in a daze, which made me think with the weather change I could be in the process of catching a cold. However, I wrote a post too, it was too pressing, I had learnt a couple of things that week through him and with him. Time to go home, I call him just to give him a heads up, and he offers to come back and pick me up. He’d done this a couple of times before so again, it felt normal.

When he picks me up, he hands me a gift bag and inside is perfume. WOW! He had chosen a yummy scent that I immediately adopted as My Scent. I was still in a daze. Let me explain the state, “happy and floaty for no reason, so it just feels a little awkward”. Does that make some sense?

photo (4)

So we go grab something to bite and go home to watch some flicks looking forward to dinner. This Easter was pretty chilled out with no out-of-town plans (contrary to what we had earlier planned). So I was looking forward to the food, he was clearly looking forward to other grander things. If only I knew. I would have bought a new dress…lol. When evening reaches, he nudges me and tells me to dress-up. With his special line “we can’t be late for this one.” You know we women and our delaying tactics, I got it from my mum.  I was on time this time round, funny enough I didn’t even  give him a hard time getting dressed up. Normally I’d be in jeans but that day, I was very willing to dress up.

Out we went, where? “It’s a surprise,” he says. We check in to Serena and I’m like aha, but the “Captains Table at The Mandhari Restaurant” AHA! I only see all that attention in movies. And the attention is from when you check in to when you’re leaving the building. God bless those lovely waiters.  With a whole bottle of Moet to ourselves, if I knew what was going on, I’d have had a photographer on speed-dial. We just had make do with what we had by ourselves and the new fad – selfies to make memories. I loved the privacy, he knows me too well.

KawiSnippets, Engaged

1. I, very clueless  2. The Mandhari Restaurant Menu 3. Moet, 4. So sparkly, champagne ain’t the yummiest beverage at first but the taste grows on you. 5. The Master of selfies, takes us one. 6. Healthy starter – with wheat, nuts and all things healthy. 7. Mushroom Soup 8. Chicken Soup, 9. with a Quail egg to compliment (even with all the hype, I’d never eaten one yet, there’s a 1st for everything) – It had a name, I can’t remember. 10. Chefs special – Shrimp (with things in it) – I could have eaten more of those, too yummy for just one. 11. Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes – Pure yumminess in a cup plate. I’m now a potato person – being the person who hated potatoes in her food, but with cheese & butter anything is possible. 12. Pork Ribs. 13. Lamb Chops. 14, 15, 16. Those are two happy & grateful people.

It looks like my main word is yummy. It’s either yummy or not yummy. In a nut shell that’s how the evening went down of course followed with a nigh-out with a couple we look up to (not the parents haha, Mr & Mrs Ngigi). I was overwhelmed with joy. Too overwhelmed that we forgot to take pics of the dessert which the waiter said “comes served very hot.” Eh it was hot when she flung open the lid and I saw petals, a box ring and my boyfriend down on one knee.

No, I didn’t cry, not just yet. I think I was too surprised that he decided that it’s about time he “put a ring on my fatty-fatty finger”. I had asked God to give me someone I’ll be ready to spend the rest of my interesting life with. And with him, I felt that this was it. We have been together through the murks and the light as well, we’re growing together, we try up lift each other when either of us is down, we share the same values, beliefs and principles, he loves me all the time, even when I get to his nerves – like when I give completely wrong directions. He’s my all-weather friend. What more could I ask for? I am thankful to God that he’s taken his time to bring closer to me my life partner and we’re on the same page.

Engagement

For the next chapter, there’s no pressure. We’ll arrange it how we know it best, with the help of those who want the best for us. In all honesty, I’m the most clueless of bride-to-be, but we’ll sail through with God’s blessings. Can’t wait for that day and the lifetime to follow though.

To him,

Have a lovely week, now won’t you? To a wonderful journey we’ll have on here. Lot’s of love, light & peace from us to you.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

 

Simplicity Equals Functionality

Normally, I don’t go back to read on what I have written before, because it’s awkward reading what I’ve written. You know the same way it’s awkward listening to your voice. I don’t know if you find it awkward, do you? I already know I wouldn’t make a good radio presenter. I cringe when I hear my voice somewhere in an audio/video (not that it’s bad, don’t burst my bubble just yet, it’s just … awkward).

Anyhow, I decided to just go back and see what I’m usually on about and I figured I really underestimate myself. I still don’t think I’m really good at whatever I do. I’m confident I can do it, but that’s just about where it ends.  Looking back, I actually do say things that make sense even days and years after.

I forget what I wrote about, when I wrote it, why I wrote it and what I was going through when I wrote it.

Every post has its account. There’s a reason I decide to take a particular angle and not another or why one I decide to say this and not that. Maybe that’s why I don’t revisit them, because I go through a situation, learn my lesson and move on. But I have come to realize that most of the stuff that happens in most cases is not new. It’s the same old experience regenerating itself, in a lesser or a greater way. And the same lessons you learnt then, are the same lessons you learn now. Only difference is that maybe your maturity level has increased and you’re able to handle the situation better.

This could be anything ranging from family, friendships, relationships, career, personal experiences, or general life things. The posts are also a reminder that I’ve grown, even how I process things. I like it when people read the articles and interpret the story by themselves without trying to figure out why I wrote what I did or what drove that thought. I love it when someone can relate a story to their life and even more when it helps them through a situation. Many at times, I also look for inspirations from others through their books, blogs and conversations.

In other related news, one of my “new year” i.e. Birthday resolutions, was to make my life more functional. To me, functionality = simplicity. You can use sites such as OLX Free Classifieds to fix something or buy something that’s functional and reduce the clutter, then you have made your life a little simpler.

Kawi Snippets

That couch – got a carpenter to make one for me, can’t wait for it + the decor on there is just it … ideas). Fixed a cupboard my mum had handed down to me, now it looks fancier. Finally got a cooker – baking can become a reality.

For some reason, I like keeping stuff, but at the same time, I hate clutter and I value space. When I gave this some thought, I figured what I needed is functionality, hence the resolutions. Now, have yourself a lovely 4-day week and #ChaseYourDream.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*