Kenyan in and around Cape Town

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Happy 1st Birthday Ciiru (Late post)


Ciiru turned 1 last month!!! yipeee!!

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This blog has taken time though because we have been extremely busy and kinda lost track of time.
So yeah! I have been a father for 13 months today! And seeing as Ciiru turned ONE, I will just share the ONE thing that I will always remember from this past year … UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. Being a parent is not easy; It’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do but in exchange it teaches you the meaning of unconditional love. You learn to accept your children the way we accept trees— with gratitude, because they are a blessing—but do not have expectations or desires. You don’t expect trees to change, you love them as they are!

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And so my birthday message for Ciiru on her 1st Birthday:
“Nothing you become will disappoint me; I have no preconception that I’d like to see you be or do. I have no desire to forsee you, only to discover you. You can’t disappoint me” your loving papa!!

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I have learnt that when your little baby stares at you like they often do, they are actually working hard to memorize your face. She doesn’t understand anything else about the world, but she knows you’re important. Your baby thinks about you even when you’re not around.

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Ciiru on her 1st birthday Party!!!

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Man_made Beauty


Cape Town,
South Africa

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If you’re open to it, Cape Town will teach you about yourself, but if you want to hide from who you really are, the city will help you do that, too.

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I have an affection for this great city. I feel safe here, and enjoy the sweet security of its streets. I think one day Cape Town will be the most beautiful great city left in the world.

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I have also learnt that Happiness can be found in having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.
Finally, you dont need a holiday … you need CAPE TOWN!

Cpt

Cape Town CBD 01

Cape Town CBD 02


Trip down memory lane as I celebrate another birthday!


Today is my birthday. And as we often do, I reflect on how far God has brought me from a tiny little helpless baby to the man I am today. I came into the world hungry and naked but now I live my life surrounded by two beautiful women; my wife and my daughter. A lot could have happened in between but I’m here to-day because God kept me, I’m A live today only because of His grace!

So a little drive down memory lane (in picture speak)
@1 Year 1 month
Ramogi Studio or Studio … Everyone has one of these if you grew up in Nairobi
It is only when you become a parent that you realise what your parents did for you. And for that I am forever grateful to mum and dad for how much of themselves they invested in me and the sacrifices they made for this baby here!

1 Year Old

The beginnings of Formal Education: Treestar Nursery School
I clearly remember my sister coming to pick me up after school so that she could swing on our swings. Meanwhile I would be looking like this (below) with my friends Godfrey Lusanza, Paul Waweru, Thomas Mukoya, and Fredrick Ngángá

Kindergarten

NCC Riruta Satellite Primary School
Prize giving day was always a proud day for me and my mum who came for every school function there was. This was your typical City Council School where the only luxury we ever had was Maziwa ya Nyayo (free milk). But here God blessed me with some of the best teachers and because of it I became the first student to score over 600 marks (out of the possible 700) in satellite primary … but do I say!! And to proceed on to the great Mang’u High School which I had neither seen nor heard of (only that it taught Aviation)!

Prize Giving

Giving my life to God
The best decision I ever made was choosing to follow Christ.
Here I was baptised by Pr. Ndeto at the age of 14. Never looked back … the cross ever before me … the world behind me

Baptism

Mangu High School
Before joining MHS my world was informed by surroundings in Riruta Satellite. In Mangu my world opened up to the rest of Kenya. I realised that there were rich people, poor people, smarter people, people who speak english everyday (what the heck?!!) – And this was probably when I began leaving home …
In this pic here are Architects, pilots, engineers, Scientists and many other great professionals that I am proud to share the Mangu heritage with!

Form 1

JKUAT-Architecture
Here with my fellow architects including the late Fzee! When we did not even know what architecture was. Fawaz, Mumo and Joe in 1st year! Ushamba kwa wingi. Architecture has since become our bread and butter ..

1st Year

The rest of my life
And we lived happily ever after!!
My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me. She is my confidante, my helpmate, my friend. My lover. She is everything the word wife means to me. In my heart, we are wed. In my soul, she is mine.

And Ciiru … Thank you for opening up that childishness in me again!!

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So today am older … and happier!!
And thanks to my dear wife once again in my life birthdays don’t come and go un-noticed! Mwaaah … love you sweetheart!!


2012 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 18,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.


04-08-2012 … I will forever remember you!


I have been quiet here for about 3 weeks … and for good reason. Our daughter Gaila Wanjiru Gathua (aka Ciiru) was born on the 4th of August,2012 at 1918hours. And what a day it was. At midnight my wife woke me up saying she had some pains and was not sure what that was about. Being the novices we are, we quickly turned to my tried and tested android app “what to expect when you are expecting” for what to look out for when you are in labor. We established that the cramp like pains were actually contractions. Soon after that the water broke. The app says that this is the point where you take a quick shower, take your hospital bag and hit the road.

It is quiet and lonely on the freeway at 2am and we just drove silently at 80kph listening to our favorite Linda Randel music not knowing what to think or say to each other. We were going to have a baby. The thought refused to sink in and so we chose to sit in the “nothing” box for the duration of the 25minute drive to hospital. At the hospital we walked in half shy and even though we had done the drill before (twice) we still went via reception to ask what to do and where to go. It was here at Kings-bury hospital that the CTG machine confirmed our expectation and the sister calmly said …”you are not going home today, you are going to have a baby… daddy please go to admissions and book in mummy”

What followed was the longest day of my life!
I sat there in the labor delivery room watching my sweetheart agonize! Her back wasn’t aching so it wasn’t even useful rubbing her back and my usual humor failed me this day. I cannot begin to describe the frustration of watching your loved one go through labor pains… 2 to 3 contractions every 10minutes, and having strangers come in and take charge over your wife!! They subject her to all manner of tests while you sit and watch- helpless! 18hours later in a matter of minutes we made the call to go into theater.

The nurses promptly supplied my green uniform and my wife was moved to the the movable bed … an ER scene was unfolding in my very presence. After short call to the bathroom, a tear or 2, and a quick prayer, I washed my face and followed my wife into theater! this was the beginning of a new phase of our lives together. We were about to meet our baby. 39 weeks 4 days later, the time had come. I took my seat next to my wife on the theater table and held her hand and put on my strongest face as the cheerful surgeons begun their work … scissors!… gauze! …

A short 5 minutes later the nurse announced “baby coming out!!” and I took a deeeeep breath and stood. Time stood steel with me as my eyes were transfixed upon our baby covered in all manner of fluids … snap! snap! I fought hard to keep away my tears and followed the nurse as baby was taken to a waiting group of very professional nurses who cleaned baby and switched on the vocal chords that had waited 9 months for this moment to show their capacity as our baby let out the loudest cry I have ever heard! I then took the scissors to cut the chord as I set her free of “mummy” after 39 weeks of attachment.

She was then wrapped and handed over to a proud daddy who was shaking by this time as he slowly walked back to mummy to introduce her to our lovely daughter. Meanwhile my mind was a turmoil of emotions … anxiety, joy, tears, laughter all compounded in my head! God had blessed our union with the most adorable little girl ever and I said a prayer for her there and then to dedicate her to God Almighty to take care of her and give us wisdom to shape her character and mould her for heaven …

Like PEGGY VINCENT, (Baby Catcher) said, “This day provided the drama I craved, the thrill of peeking over the primal edge of creation, the rush of the unexpected …” In witnessing the birth of our child, I experienced the meaning of the word miracle.

Then … It’s indescribable… You hold this newborn, and you realize you’ve got responsibilities like you’ve never had before!!

The beginning of “lived happily ever after”


Sucker for sunsets!


Sucker for sunsets!.


David Phelps was in Town


Its Friday evening, my wife and I get busy … am rolling and my wife is frying chapatis for dinner before the sun sets! Since we have an open kitchen, we have turned the TV to face us and we are playing Gaither home coming series, Linda Randel, David Phelps or one of the other Gaither artists! This is one of my favorite times! It reminds me of days when we would spend the entire Sunday afternoon and the better part of the evening doing the same thing at home frying chapatis for a family that had 6 boys!!! (Do the math … each consumed atleast 4 chapatis …and we had to make enough for lunch on Monday!!) ya!!

So when we heard that David Phelps was coming to town we were so excited especially because we missed the Gaither Vocal band South Africa tour last year!! We bought our tickets like 2 months in advance and he did not disappoint. Together with our friends Joe and Beryl we were blessed by one of the best tenors in the world! Sitting there listening to old hymns just like we do in our home was AMAZING!!! our baby was kicking all through the concert and praise and worship was in abundance!! There was a sweet sweet spirit in the hall!! The only thing missing was the chapatis!!

Then he sang “The love of God is greater afar” and my dear wife whom I love very much couldn’t contain her joy as she sang word for word!!
And then he sang “End of the beginning” …. and finally he did one of my personal favorites … “What a day that will be”

The evening was too short but atleast we got a compilation album of David Phelps best moments!!! May the Lord bless him, his wife and kids and their ministry!!


Journey of the expectant father


Today’s post was taken in a proffesional studio (New-age potraits) and is a moment in time for 2-in-love expectant parents!!
Lights … camera … action!

Its been a while since I was here but soon reasons why will be evident. My relatives would say “… sasa unafanya kazi inaonekana” (literally… “we can see what you’ve been upto!”). A few weeks from today I will become the artist formally known as “kgee”!! My wife and I are on an exciting pre natal journey with many diverse and sometimes extreme experiences … you would have to talk to me in private for the juice 🙂

In between the sometimes outrageous cravings, the supportive pot belly I have started to grow, the emotions, doctors visits, scans, looking for baby names, buying baby stuff (I never had so much shopping done for me in 1 go), maternity exercises etc etc we took sometime off to put on record this milestone in our incredible journey together. I am blessed with a beautiful wife (And am not saying this just bcoz its a nice thing to say … my wife trully is drop dead gorgeous! … ata nimelamba mchanga 🙂 … she has a heart molded with utmost delicacy and on God’s best day. Every bit of her, both in and out was shaped with finesse! There is no doubt in my mind that she will make a most wonderful mother to our children. Because of her I think I will make a good dad!

THE BABY DREAMS:
The other day I had dream, one of many I have been having of late … I dreamt that I took our baby to Cape Town Convention Center and was explaining details and how the building came together to be what it is now. Am I already seeing an architect/ engineer? Sometimes as am driving and I see people from all walks of life. Rich men, poor men, thieves, sportsmen, high flying women … I think about all of my friends, my relatives and people I have met in my journey on this planet… and I wonder to myself “who is our baby going to be like?” Is she going to be an award winning student … will we one day sit, proud parents somewhere applauding her excellence? will she make a good wife to a good man someday? will he make a father and husband after God’s own heart? Will he or she excel and be fruitful and abound in wisdom?

THE DOUBTS & THE ANXIETY:
Other times I wonder whether am a good supporting expectant father! Really its not easy being a father to be … you wish for your wife’s experience of your unborn child. Many time I see her smiling to herself. When I ask she says that the baby is tickling her from inside. How I wish I could share those baby movements 1st hand … but then again being pregnant cant be easy … what with the awkward sleeping styles and patterns?! what of the midnight snacks … the walks around the room when sleep evades you? How about the cravings, the enormous appetite, the fatigue and the extra weight? Yet we call women the weaker sex …! If men got pregnant, we would have discovered a way to give birth in under 1 month!!! I don’t doubt that! … yet in-spite of all that my wife still says “Am gonna miss being pregnant :)”

THE DAY DREAMS:
If there is one moment that constantly plays in my mind, its the day I will sit with our baby in a very quiet and serene environment … a very quiet and peaceful place. Mummy will be sleeping quietly beside us or on my lap and the 2 of us will just be staring into nothingness or at one of Gods wonderful creations. And with each passing moment my baby will just come closer and closer and find a comfortable place under my wings. Then we shall experience this amazing sunset, or this amazing waterfall or some other magical moment and I will start to explain to our baby how God created heaven and earth and all that is in them. Then after some peaceful silence I see our child turn to whisper something in my ear … “daddy … I love you!”

1 Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD;
that walketh in his ways.
2 For thou shalt eat the labor of thine hands:
happy shalt thou be,
and it shall be well with thee.

3 Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine
by the sides of thine house:
thy children like olive plants
round about thy table.

4 Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD.

5 The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion:
and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem
all the days of thy life.
6 Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children,
and peace upon Israel.


Kibanda culture



Sometimes I miss those days when we used to frequent vibandas for lunch; for ugali samaki, chapati dondo, mchele dondo etc even just to entertain yourselves with all this fancy names on a chalkboard. Fast forward to 2012… the IWISA ugali and kovo (what a name for sukuma wiki)! Doesnt beat the ‘Jogoo’ ugali from Kenya but its still ugali!


Coconuts and bananas


Sometimes I forget how beautiful Cape Town is… from almost anywhere and anyhow you look at it. However if I could change just one thing … just one, I would desaturate the minds of most Capetonians. I would grayscale their vision and add a multiply blend to it to just make the contrast stronger. Then there would not be white, black or colored. We would all just be people … fat, thin, tall, short etc … but just people. No one would call anyone ‘coconut’, brown on the outside and white on the inside … or ‘banana types’ … colored outside and white on the inside … we would leave fruit names to gadgets like ‘apple’ and ‘blackberry’ etc …. hmmmmm!