Happy new year. How are you doing? and I mean, really how are you? I left Uganda on 20th Dec and came back a month later on Wednesday last week. My one month in Kenya has left me refreshed and heartbroken. 5 of my close friends are reeling from and dealing with traumatic events from 2020. 3 miscarriages, 3 breakups, 1 stage IV cancer diagnosis. It's been a hard year. Among the many Covid losses, is the inability to gather and comfort. In previous non-Covid years, I'd travel to Nairobi on average 6 times a year. Plenty of opportunity to have walked with some of them during these trying and difficult times. Thankfully, they know my heart and is holding space for them;even from a distance. These conversations remind me of the quote; Be kind. Everyone is fighting a battle you nothing about. In your 2021 battles, I wish you strength, peace and faithful companions.

Sad times

    If was in Kenya, I'd have attended 3 burials this week. Then I learnt of a fourth death this morning and was shattered. We're overflowing in this boat, thanks to the Grim Reaper,  and don't have the words to capture the heartbreak and pain experienced this year. Sabstone, Nikki, Captain, Sam, Kinuthia, Uncle Mbugua, Isabella, Muciru, Ken, Anne, tens of  friends/relatives of friends and acquaintances. May they rest in peace May God comfort their loved ones May they find strength and support systems to navigate their loss May we who've been left behind be grateful to be alive May we live May we extend grace and love to those who are mourning

Covid life

    It was in March when WhatsApp flooded with Covid-19 videos and conspiracy theories. The good old days when we all thought Africans were immune and Madagascar's Covid-Organics   gave us a sliver of hope. Once upon a time. With roughly 7 weeks left in 2020, many of us are heavy laden from the pandemic and wondering where time went. I resumed work  yesterday after  being in self isolation for 10 days. 4 out of 10 colleagues tested positive 2 weeks ago. Thankfully, none of them had serious symptoms. It was tough and now, fear and anxiety are hanging around the office. I know tens of people who've died since April , 2 being close relatives and it's hard to be optimistic of the coming days. Especially when many, including myself, are flouting the Covid guidelines- sanitise, wear a mask, social distance. I yoyo between paranoia, despair, gratitude and yolo-phoria. How are you holding up?

Motherhood penalty

  Of course I've heard of it. The theory that there's a price mothers pay in the the workplace for well, being mothers. I'd never thought of it till recently. My daughter and nephew came home after schools were closed in Mid March and I'm the sole parent. Five and a half months later, they travelled to  Kenya and are now staying with my sister and her family in Mombasa. In the five weeks they've been away, I have attended a 3 day off site team retreat and visited 2 branches for 5 days. I am typing this from a hotel room, on a 3 day field visit to a 3rd branch. The only way I am able to travel this extensively and for long periods is because I no longer have care giving duties. I'm lucky that my remuneration isn't directly tied to these field trips. Millions of working mothers aren't and have to make difficult choices. My heart aches for all of us.

Shame and Love

 I finally admitted to myself and the world that I want love. Which was harder than expected. And this gem of a post made me realise one of the important reasons why. The dominant residue feeling from my past romantic relationships is/ was shame. She hit the multiple nails ob the head for me and my girls. Tonnes of shame have been lifted off our shoulders  Here's some of the Bull's eyes: One of the saddest things about growing up in our culture is that we’re taught to associate unrequited feelings with shame But when situations get murky and confusing, women are usually the ones who helpfully soak up all the ambient shame in the room. So stop soaking up all of the ambient shame in the room. Picture it rolling off you onto the floor. It doesn’t belong to you, so it can’t stick. If you want to love and be loved, the very best thing you can do is to stop looking for feedback from others about how lovable or shameful you are, and build your own religion around how you dese

Wanted: Love

    April -June 2020, Kampala had a 9 week Covid -19 Lockdown. I walked, baked and basked in my thoughts. Hadn't realised how much of a distraction work is. When I didn't have much of it, was gifted with time to take a look at the woman in the mirror. I love her: is ecstatic of who she is and how she has shaped and being shaped by her  journey. She is happy with her choices, proud of the inner and outer life she has cultivated. She now realises wanting romantic love is neither a weakness nor a far fetched dream. She's human and desires to experience life in all it's fullness. Her choices of love and lovers in the past are a testament of her faith and courage. The lessons: good, bad and ugly are an integral part of the rich tapestry of her life. And without knowing how and when the next love will be, she has promised to show up; scars be damned.

The weekend

  It's Sunday 1446hrs. This weekend I've finished reading Love works , started re-reading The Prophet , done yoga, gone for a 1hr walk, whittled the tabs on my phone from 50 to 14, read and listened to poetry, drank wine, caught up with family, slept and napped to my heart's content and had an enjoyable didn't-want-to-end whisky date. All things that brought me joy and fed my soul. Guess what I'm feeling now? Guilt. Crazy, right? I'm feeling guilty that I haven't done any work related stuff. When I prioritise and feed into me, the residue feeling is guilt When I focus on work, to the detriment of my health and happiness, the feeling is accomplishment. Obviously, I have a lot to learn ,unlearn and relearn. In case this happens to you as well, you're not alone. We shall overcome. Remember, we're all a work in progress.