Donating = Loving

It takes so much time to research, write and edit the stories and videos in this blog. If you do find any joy in going through them, please consider supporting the author with a donation of any amount - anything from buying him a cuppa to treating him to a good dinner. How about that?


Noticing the Little Things

With permission, I have extracted this picture-quote from a website called Meme. All rights reserved worldwide.


During my daily walks to my hometown of Kiserian, I sometimes meet friends who are too absent-minded to notice me. I don't really know what goes on in their minds that makes them absent-minded. Maybe they are usually just mulling over the problems in their lives or worrying about the future.

Two or three Sundays ago, I met a young man called Timo who was walking with his face looking down as if he was searching for a lost coin. I thought that was a pathetic way of walking but I didn't take him to task over it; I just greeted him and continued minding my own business.

As for me, I usually make an effort to walk with my chin up while wearing a cheerful face. I also try to notice the little things as I go about my walking. Today, let me tell you about some interesting writings I have observed over the last six years during my walks and travels.

***********
A couple of years ago, I met a neighbour called Likam who is tall and somehow huge. He was wearing a T-shirt that had these sentence printed on it, "I am not big; you are the one who is small." I found that writing on Likam's T-shirt so amusing that I mentioned it to his son a few weeks later.

***********
At another time a couple of years ago while I was heading back home from a walk, I spotted a tuktuk with the words "Air Force One" written at the top of its windshield. If you don't know, Air Force One is the jet that the President of the United States flies in. So you can imagine the kind of swagger the owner of the tuktuk was trying to project by calling it "Air Force One".

***********
A few months ago, I saw a young woman wearing a T-shirt that said, "I was not born in Africa; Africa was born in me." Going by that writing on her T-shirt, I suppose she must be proud of her African roots.

***********
At another time a few weeks ago, I saw a young man wearing a T-shirt that said, "Hey! I am good." And I thought that was a cool way of telling the world he was a nice guy.

***********
About three weeks ago as I was commuting to a place called Kasarani in Nairobi, I saw the following writing on the back of a bus: "Laugh at mine; yours will be resisted." That writing aptly captures what we should tell those who mock or belittle our efforts, doesn't it?

***********
Two or three days ago, I saw a young man wearing a pullover written "Satan" on it. Were it me wearing such a pullover, I would have been worried sick about people thinking I am a devil-worshipper. But the young man seemed indifferent to the image he could be projecting with such a pullover. Maybe he is just a little educated guy who bought the pullover to keep him warm.

***********
I have noted how frequently I meet people on the streets wearing sweaters and shirts with names of American cities, states and universities printed on them. Names such as Cleveland, Virginia and Harvard. And I don't understand why the obsession with names of places in America. Maybe it's because of the way America is idealized as the land of freedom, opportunity and prosperity.

***********
Not all writings I have observed during my walks and travels are hilarious or about American places. Some have been inspirational. Like a month or two ago, I saw a guy with a T-shirt that said, "Believe there is some good in the world."

Then a few weeks ago, I saw another guy wearing a T-shirt that said, "We rise by lifting others up." I found that writing educative and spot-on.

And then three weeks ago during that time I have told you I was commuting to Kasarani in Nairobi, I found myself in a bus with a sticker that had this quote printed on it: "In every desert of calamity, God has an oasis of comfort."

*********************
FEEDBACK: Would you be so kind as to offer your feedback on the stories I post in this blog? Just click on the "Feedback" link on the menu at the top of this blog and share your thoughts with me. Thanks in advance for your comments.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Sharing is Caring

Like this story? Then share it on:

Donating = Loving

It takes so much time to research, write and edit the stories and videos in this blog. If you do find any joy in going through them, please consider supporting the author with a donation of any amount - anything from buying him a cuppa to treating him to a good dinner. Thanks to everyone who is contributing; you rock!

Memories of My Days at Noru-Moru

With permission, I have extracted this picture-quote from a blog called Power of Positivity. All rights reserved worldwide.


As I was taking a leisurely walk around our home's compound today afternoon, I couldn't help thinking about my days at Noru-Moru Primary school where I began my schooling in 1993 and stayed on till Standard Seven in the year 2000. Noru-Moru is a public primary school that caters for the educational needs of children of the poor in my home-area.

Back in the '90s when I was a student there, all the windowpanes of the school's classrooms were broken and nobody bothered to have them repaired. The school had no access to electricity and piped water. It also had no fence around it. And some pupils used to attend the school barefooted and in tattered uniform. It truly was a school of the poor.

Because the school had no fence around it back in the '90s, pupils could get into it from any direction. And that was advantageous to latecomers who tried to dodge teachers on duty.

I don't really know what it was about Noru-Moru that made quite a number of my schoolmates to repeat classes. Maybe it's because some teachers were lackadaisical by their not finishing the syllabus on time. Or maybe it's because of the humble backgrounds from which some of its pupils came from. All I remember is that quite a number of my schoolmates did repeat class as if they were getting paid to stay longer in school. Imagine I would at times study in the same class with pupils who had been classmates of my senior siblings.

When I talk of pupils repeating class, I have been reminded of a Maasai elder called Ole Murkuk who owned vast tracts of land near Noru-Moru. A polygamous man, Ole Murkuk used to have kids in almost every class in the school - from kindergarten to Standard Eight. He was such a virile man.

Besides its pupils, the other people of Noru-Moru I remember were, of course, the teachers. I especially recall those who were ruthless when it came to disciplining pupils. Among those ruthless teachers was one I recollect vaguely as Miss Kaloki.

Miss Kaloki was a young light-skinned Kamba woman who never spared the rod. On several occasions in 1997 when she heard us making noise in our classroom which was near the staffroom, she would come inside and command us in Swahili, "Toeni hizo magunia! (Remove those sacks!)" By telling us to remove our sacks, she meant our sweaters. She would then start caning us on the back, one by one.

Then there was Mr. Wanjohi, a no-nonsense man who taught Mathematics and Science in the school. He was merciless when it came to admonishing and caning pupils who could not follow his instructions. And he aroused such fear in us that whenever he entered class in the morning, some pupils would start trembling like trees on a windy day.

Mr. Wanjohi tutored me in Standard Five and again in Standard Seven. I recollect distinctly one lesson in Standard Seven, he taught us English in Kikuyu, his mother-tongue, by telling us that if we wanted to remember how the word "tongue" is spelt, we should pronounce it as "to ngu e". In Kikuyu, "to ngu e" means "I can die!"

Stern as he was, Mr. Wanjohi had a favourite pupil of his whom he admired because of his brilliance. And the pupil was my immediate elder brother Paddy. It was not only Mr. Wanjohi who admired Paddy; some other teachers did too.

I recall vividly one afternoon in the late '90s, a female teacher found me guilty of some wrongdoing. She took to the staffroom, asked me to lie flat on a bench and then beat me repeatedly on my buttocks, as if they were a set of drums, while asking me, "Why aren't you like your brother [Paddy]?"

Another tough teacher I remember from my schooling days at Noru-Moru is Mrs. Waguchu. Like Miss Kaloki, she too never spared the rod when it came to correcting pupils. As luck would have it, she only taught me for a short time in Standard One in 1994, so I can't recollect her ever disciplining me. Instead what I remember most about her was the way she uttered a positive comment about me in the mid '90s during one lesson.

Well, Mrs. Waguchu and another teacher called Mr. Sakuda were checking our schoolwork during that lesson. And when it was my turn, Mrs. Waguchu told Mr. Sakuda that I would grow up to be a great man someday - or something along those lines. Now that I am a grown-up man, I am trying to live up to Mrs. Waguchu's expectations.

I still meet Mrs. Waguchu every now and then during my walks to my hometown of Kiserian. She has long since retired from teaching. A couple of years ago when her son was seriously ill, she asked me for the phone number of my brother Paddy who is now a doctor. That Noru-Moru could produce a doctor shows it wasn't such a bad school after all.

********************
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story of mine on my memories at Noru-Moru, you might also enjoy another story I wrote sometimes back on "Remembering My Teachers". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Sharing is Caring

Like this story? Then share it on:

Donating = Loving

It takes so much time to research, write and edit the stories and videos in this blog. If you do find any joy in going through them, please consider supporting the author with a donation of any amount - anything from buying him a cuppa to treating him to a good dinner. Thanks to everyone who is contributing; you rock!

← Newer Stories  ||   Older Stories →