Ice cream

Red letter fridays are making a comeback…slowly but surely

1. Childhood favorites- Ice cream.

Not that I was allowed to eat alot of icecream…but I loved icecream. It was the reason I enjoyed Nairobi Show.One of my favorite memories of icecream, was at Blue Room in Mombasa. My cousin was three at the time. When the waiter asked her what she wanted, she said, ” Can I have my ice cream warm?”- it sounded even funnier, because she asked in Kikuyu “Ndirenda icecream hiu”.

2. Childhood nightmare- Ink. I will not beat this dead horse, but I hated using ink and inkpens! Whose bright idea was that anyway?

3. Song-  I got five on it – Luniz

This song reminds me of the “Good old days”. Memories galore!

4. Random Ad: ” It’s BIC, it’s best!”

5. Favorite Place- Indian Ocean!!

 

 

 

 

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H-A -DOUBLE P -Y

Video

Once upon a time, there lived a man named Uncle George. Funny we all called him uncle, but he was my mom’s uncle, which made him my grandfather…but thats not the point of this post.

What I remember uncle George for was that when he was drunk, he’d always talk to kids. And this is how he would start- ” HA- DOUBLE P”, and we would respond ” Y- HAPPY”.

Then he would say ” Erro (L)- O- V-E – LOVE!”. Since the Kikuyu in him did not allow him to ennunciate the letter L…

It’s been many years since uncle George passed on, but it’s amazing the legacy he left, because everyone remembers him as “Uncle Happy”.

Today, I choose to be happy, will you?

 

 

 

Of Githunguri, gods and the Green Garden School

I am so behind on my alphabet…..so I will make this short and sweet

G is for Githunguri. I remember the first time my grandmother took me to see her coffee farm. The grass was greener in Githunguri. That was many years ago but I can still see the tea farms, and the tea pickers. My best memory of that day was getting to spray the plants with my “mini sprayer”. My cousin and I doing our best to put the pesticide where it belonged.

G is for The gods must be crazy. Wow that movie used to make me laugh so hard I had tears in my eyes.

G is for Mrs Gitau, my neighbor aka Mama Johnie. This woman was kindest person I knew growing up. It was such a joy finding her on facebook and letting her know what an impact she made in my life.

G is for The Green Garden School. I went there in standard 7, and my sister had already been there for like 4 years. My little sister was somewhat a celebrity, and for the first time I was referred to as “Wangari’s sister”. Let me mention that transferring to this school was one of the worst changes I’ve ever had to adapt to, and I hated my first year there. However, I did enjoy the scenery …..My favorite thing about GGS was learning how to play the flute. I think I can still play it. My class was the first standard 8 cohort, and I’m proud to see the school still growing. The school anthem (I think I remember all the words…

” Just as a gardener cultivates his garden, keeping it free from weeds and growing flowers and fruits; so may our God tend the garden of our minds, weeding out all the evil thoughts, so that we may grow and develop into a people whose actions are excellent and acceptable to all. For indeed this is our prayer, that we may be of service to you oh God and to mankind”

F is for Fafi

In my family, everyone has a nickname nicknames, The first nickname I ever had was Fafi. I wish I knew what it meant, but it was bestowed upon me by my aunt W, who still calls me that, even though nobody else in the family does, since I have another nickname. So basically, Fafi was the precursor for nicknames such as “Ciru Nana” and “Ciru wa Uncle” among others. This nickname is dear to me because said aunt has not been present in my life, but I always think happy thoughts when I think of it, because it represents my days as a toddler who hated Food.

My relationship with food is akin this one told here. I loathed food. In order to get me to eat, my dad would sit me at the edge of the pig sty and threaten to throw me in there if I refused to eat. That worked until I realized pigs are not carnivores. So then I mastered the art of chewing the food to the point I had no digestive juices in my mouth. It would take me three hours to eat a small meal, and by the end, I would be crying because my mouth was full of food and I could not swallow. Enter the torn sofa….one day I discovered this crevice in one of our sofas. It must have been one of the happiest days of my life! I didnt need to chew the food, I rolled it into a ball and threw it in the hole. So in those days, my mom’s aunt, cucu W, who is deaf and mute used to live with us…ever heard that deaf people have a strong sense of smell? Guess how I came upon this research? You guessed it, the day when it was her turn to feed me, and noticed the smell nobody else had noticed for days…

F is for French,. Mr Tom was a tall white man who wore a green hat and loved to take pictures. He was also my first French teacher. I loved french lessons “Bonjour Monsieur!” ” Asseyez-vous!”. I remember looking forward to Mr Tom’s lessons. Fast fwd to high school, my first french teacher was Mr S, an immigrant from Rwanda. If there ever was a stranger man! I am confident that the war had made him into a man who could change from being a saint into a demon in 5 minutes. One minute we were learning to conjugate verbs with a smile on his face, the next minute he was screaming ” A genou! A genou! I telli you to kneeli down (he knew very little English)”.. One of my favorite moments with Mr S is when he brought his wife to teach us a Rwandese traditional dance. Ah! It was a highlight. Enter Madame G a few terms later. This post is not enough to express my fear of Madam G! All in all, my French lessons have come in handy as I try to learn Spanish (which here in Texas, you must learn if you plan on working in the medical field).

F is for Fish, and Mama Fish. So, once upon a time, my sister and my cousin made an investment with some lose change they helped themselves with from my father’s wallet ..needless to say there was a lady at the bus stop who used to sell fish, aka Mama Fish. Fried fish is so yummy, especially when your parents forbid you from eating it. So, here is how it went down, Sis and cousin got off the school bus, and purchased fish. They ate it as fast as they could, then realized they smelled like fish all over…so they came up with the brilliant plan of rubbing their hands on soil to get rid of the smell. I think they would have succeeded in ridding themselves of the fish smell, but unfortunately they came home looking like they had been laboring on a farm all day instead of going to school. If there ever was a spanking I would have taken for my sister, it was the one she received that day. I wonder if she still likes fish…

F is also for fountain pen. Fountain pens made my life a living hell. Thank God for the day I reached standard 8 and was allowed to use a biro! I am going to post my “Year of Ink” note from my facebook so you can all appreciate how horrible fountain ink and pens made my life!

F is for Fanta Passion and Fanta Black currant! No wonder I hate soda in America. Nothing compares to a Kenyan Fanta!

F is for Falling’ by Alicia Keys. I dare not try to sing it, but I love the song

F is also a memory from high school, of a girl named Faith who had decided to name herself “Fanta Jessica”. We were all required to call her Fanta, and woe unto you if you failed. She made my first two years of high school bearable with her hilarious stories. Thank you Fanta!

Finally, F is for Fiat. I’m glad the Americans are discovering the Fiat!

E is for Elizabeth and Escrava Isaura

Elizabeth, Mary, Gaga, etc….we have called my sister so many names in her lifetime, its a wonder she answers to all of them. She came to the world when I was six, and has been an interesting character in the story of my life. We weren’t always the best of friends when we were younger, especially during her teen years, because of our age difference. One day. I was having a conversation with a  close friend of mine who is 13 years older than me, and she made me understand that at a certain age, regardless of the age difference, your sister should become your friend. She pointed out that even she may find me a kid in her mind, but it doesn’t stop us from being great friends, Thanks Bibi, for being such a wise woman!

I dont know how many of you watched Escrava Isaura, but I loved this show, when I was in primary and high school. I loved Isaura, and I was so moved by her story. The story of the slaves was such a moving one. Anyway, I really liked the intro music, even though I had no idea what they were saying.

Does anyone remember the movie “Everybody’s baby”? They played it so many times on KBC, I think I watched it over 20 times. It’s based on a true story of a girl who fell in a well, and the 58 hour rescue operation…and I cried over this movie….

Easter: I miss Easter in Kenya- Good Friday, Easter Sunday. Unfortunately, here in the US, Easter becomes another one of those holidays when kids eat excessive amounts of sweets….chocolate for this one. Not much on going to church on Good Friday, and all the wonderful things we looked forward to as children. One of my favorite movies as a child was the Easter Movie- the Jesus story. (The link is the two hour movie, incase anyone has been looking for it). The only downside is that this movie induced nightmares because of one scene when Jesus is in the desert with the snake…but I watched it almost every Easter.

I love Eve’s old music…does she sing any more?

Ah this song was one of my favorites, I know all the words 😉 (Warning there are some explicit lyrics)…it speaks volumes about violence in relationships.

 

 

Of Cousins, cheese and Christmas

Hi Folks! I’m back. I have been very lazy.

Cousins. And the fun times I had with them. So, as a kid I had 3 boy cousins (one was really my uncle but thats a story for another day. We used to play this game where we would go to the playing field at my grandma’s place and kick each other. When I think of this game, I cringe because its amazing that none of us got internal injuries. My special talent was the ” Stomach kick”….You’d think these games prepared me for life, but I’ve never been in a singe fight.

Cheese. Growing up, my mother would occasionally surprise us with new things. I remember the first day I ate cheese, I was so disgusted, I thought my mom had bought some expired stuff. I proceeded to throw it in the flower garden. Good thing I gave cheese a second chance as an adult.

Christmas.I love Christmas….or at least my memories of Christmas. We always had Christmas at my maternal grandma’s place, all my cousins and aunts. There were lots of games, lots of food. And some alcohol, that the adults would occassionally slip to us….The highlight of the day was when my uncle would get drunk and threaten to cut everyone with a panga (machete)…we would all lock ourselves in the house,barricade the doors, then my grandma would call the police post, and then the police would come for my uncle….and we would bail him out on Boxing day. This was not a funny story then, but when I look back, I laugh at it. Did I mention his middle name is Charles….see he makes it in this post, by virtue of his name.

Have a drunk- free weekend folks! Remember, don’t drink and drive. Its not about you, it’s about the other lives on the road. That is all.