A Day at the National Library
A True Story
on Nov 13, 2019
At one time in 2008 when I was at the university in JKUAT, the Kenya National Library in Upperhill, Nairobi, became the focal point of my life. I used to spend some of my days there, reading books and magazines in those days when I had no worry about where my next meal would come from.
Among the books I remember reading at the library in 2008 was a tome containing biographies of all American presidents up to that time. I learnt from that tome an interesting fact about President John F. Kennedy which I will not disclose here. I also learnt from it of how being stricken by polio made President Franklin D. Roosevelt more sensitive to the problems of other people.
Of the magazines I went through in the library in 2008, the ones that had a strong impression on me were those with colourful pictures of beautiful women. I very much admired the clear blue eyes of those beautiful women. Unfortunately, I can't recall the names of those magazines - which says much about my lack of interest in their contents.
Then in the year 2011 when I was at the University of Nairobi, I again made the Kenya National Library the centre of my life. This time, in addition to reading books and magazines, I browsed the internet that was provided for free at the library. It was during those browsing sessions that I discovered Goodreads.com - a social networking site for book lovers.
The book I recall reading at the library in 2011 was a voluminous dictionary of quotes. I particularly liked quotes in the dictionary from the Bible that touched my heart in a way they had never done before. Oh, how I have wished to add that dictionary of quotes to my home library!
Over the years since 2011, I have made a number of visits to the Kenya National Library - though not as frequently as I used to do in 2008 and 2011 because of my inability to afford commuting fares to the library. And during some of those visits to the library, I have found a book or two that have moved me.
Like at one time, I came across in the library a colourful history book that discussed major events of the world since the formation of the universe. I found that history book so uplifting that I have longed to also add it to my home library.
Then during another visit to the library, I found Dr. Myles Munroe's The Spirit of Leadership in the reference section. Though I didn't get to read much of the book, I was invigorated by an anecdote in it that challenged me to awaken the spirit of leadership in me. Because of time, let me not tell you more about the anecdote.
Yesterday, I decided to spend my day at the Kenya National Library after having been away from the library for more than three years. Because I was feeling groggy in the head (something I attribute to lack of regular exercise and writing in the past ten days), I hoped to find a book in the library that would move me deeply to a point of making me feel whole again. I also hoped to meet a beautiful young woman in the library with whom I could engage in a conversation.
As I walked to the library in the morning, I could feel my mind brightening up in anticipation of what I would read and who I would meet. And when I entered into the library, I noted how big it has become after the construction of a new building. I also noted that the old building that used to house the library in 2008 had been demolished.
Well, I didn't come across a book at the library that moved me deeply yesterday. I also didn't spot any beautiful young woman worthy of my conversation. And I was a bit disappointed to find that the internet was down in the library. But I nonetheless enjoyed my time in the library where I read a few pages from a couple of books. I so much enjoyed perusing books that I wished the library was within walking distance from home.
All told, yesterday turned out to be a splendid day for me. I found it fulfilling to go through books in search of inspiring ideas. A library is a great place to be. That's all I am saying.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story of mine on a day at the national library, you might also enjoy another one I wrote sometimes back on "Book Review: 'Be Inspired Before You Expire'". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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Visiting My Relatives
A True Story
on Nov 1, 2019
Last Saturday, my parents were scheduled to visit a relative of ours called Kaguma (an uncle to me) who was hosting a party in his home. The party, known as "itegi" in Kikuyu, was for the families of Uncle Kaguma and of his future in-laws to get to know each other. I hadn't purposed to attend the party but when I came back home from an energizing one-hour walk, I contemplated going. So I enquired of the Lord, "Should I attend the party or not?"
Shortly after enquiring that of the Lord, I became convinced that it was proper for me to attend the party so that I could interact with people and know my relatives. I therefore made up my mind that I would visit Uncle Kaguma together with my parents.
When time for leaving home reached, it started raining heavily which made Dad doubt whether it was wise of us to go. But when it stopped raining, he phoned a certain taxi driver who came home immediately. On seeing the taxi drive into our home, I went inside the house to pick my bag in which I had packed my Bible for reading during any idle moments that might arise. I also uttered a short prayer for journey mercies and for delightful interactions with people.
We left home at around 1.00p.m. The sky was cloudy as we headed to Uncle Kaguma's home. And there was a hint of chill in the air. Thankfully, it was pleasantly warm inside the taxi. And whenever the taxi got stuck in traffic, I read in the Bible the story of how King Solomon built the temple of the Lord.
When we reached Runda Estate where Uncle Kaguma lives, we passed by a posh mansion - the kind I would love to own - and thought to myself, "Now, when will I ever build such a house?"
While in Runda Estate, we had trouble finding the street on which Uncle Kaguma's house is located. But after asking for directions for about six times, we finally reached our destination. We found guests lining up for food. I too lined up and served myself a couple of dishes.
As I feasted on the dishes, I struck up conversations with a number of people including Uncle Kaguma. I also listened to the songs that were playing in the background. And I particularly remember one Kikuyu song that said there is a God in heaven who never embarasses those who put their trust in Him.
Because we had to visit my brother Paddy who lives nearby, we didn't stay at Uncle Kaguma's home for long. So I didn't get to know and meet Uncle Kaguma's family and his future in-laws. We left his home at around 5.35p.m. And as we were heading to Paddy's home, I saw a rainbow majestically curving across the sky. I marvelled at the sight of the rainbow and motioned Mum to have a look at it too.
At Paddy's home, I was impressed with the way my nephew Nathan has grown into a playful, energetic ball of shiny muscle. He kept running around the house while shouting like the siren of an ambulance. And he was talking a level of English I wouldn't have expected from a two-year old. Like when my mother asked him where butter-nut was, he replied, "I don't know!"
As we were in Paddy's house, Nathan started kicking a ball to his dad (Paddy, that is). Everytime he kicked the ball to Paddy, he would turn to me and triumphantly say, "I did it!" And once when he kicked the ball and it bounced into the kitchen, he yelled to Paddy, " Go for it!"
If my nephew Nathan stays on that trajectory of speaking intelligent English, I foresee him becoming a great author and speaker. I really was impressed with his talking.
We also didn't stay at Paddy's home for long because it was getting dark. So after Mum finished the meal that had been prepared for her in the house, we began our journey back home and arrived safely at around 9.15p.m. When I got back home, I thank God for the journey mercies and for the delightful conversations I had had with my relatives. He had answered my prayer.
All told, last Saturday turned out to be a well-spent day for me. And I will strive to create more such days in the future.. So help me God.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story of mine on visiting my relatives, you might also enjoy another one I wrote sometimes back on "A Trip to My Ancestral Land". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.