When I was a boy I dreamt of many things, among those were having a big house, a nice car, a wife and kids, we all have such dreams I believe.
I worked hard and smart as my grandma always told me that “there is knowledge gained from books and there is knowledge you are born with…” and she insisted that i should blend both to my success. Indeed what she meant was that there is knowledge and there is wisdom, and that you need both to survive in this world. Grandma, i owe you for that, continue resting easy.
Fast forward, I came to Romania, for work, almost 4 years ago. This was a tough decision to make, had both it’s pros and cons. However when i placed the same on the scale, the pros took preeminence. I went for it. Now, i don’t regret the decision i took 5 years ago!
There have been lots of learnings, and runnings too. This exposure has modeled my view of the world, widened my scope of thinking and has expanded my bag of risk taking.
This boy who turned to be a man still with the boys dreams at heart, went for what he thought would be a dream come true.
I met a lady, a fine “ghel” as they say, a beautiful woman who i did cherish and I even figured out a future with.
Indeed love is blind, I didn’t see it coming though. I guess my blinders were so tight locked. Well as they say, when your head is over the heels, nothing can stop what you wish or believe. I was in for love, for family.
But, it was not yet, yet.
God had other plans for us.
2020 was a year of joy for some, but also a year of pain to many others. The self quarantine, heart break, solitude, confusion took toll of me. I am glad not to have fallen into depression. I saw how small my circle was, yet I had thousands of virtual friends hahaing at my posts.
It was a moment of reflection, a moment of self examination.
I am glad that as i write this, what happened to me is over now. I am busy rebuilding that boy to a man that God wants. A priest to that house to be. One day at a time.
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These were the greetings on the Easter Sunday which we recently had. (28th April 2019). As you may note, it was a week later than the other Christians Easter celebrations! It is based on the Julian calendar instead of the Gregorian calendar!
The Romanians say “Paste Fericit!” meaning Happy Easter!
Here, there are a lot of traditions during the Easter period, in comparison to Kenya, my motherland.
I was struck on the way the celebrations are held dearly. On the eve of Easter all faithfuls gather in their churches and light candles which they later bring to their homes and share with the family members. The eggs are painted red or any other decorations(Have you ever asked why Easter is associated with painted eggs on images you see online?) and they prepare lamb meat (which i missed ) and some cake known as “cozonac”.
This last Sunday my thoughts told me that business would be booming (biashara ni biashara) as people would sell the painted eggs, the cakes, the candles, the lamb meat and all that goes with Easter. I was wrong. All the shops, supermarkets, hypermarkets, restaurants were CLOSED DOWN as employees had a day off to celebrate Easter!
I slept hungry! 😦
The next day, on an early morning i met my neighbor as i was coming from Mega Image, a supermarket, done shopping for breakfast. I shared with him my ordeal and he was like… welcome to Romania!
Afterwards, i had a bell ring on my door, my neighbor brought me some “sarmale” (a Romanian dish, my favorite!), some red painted eggs and the cake, cozonac!
Hey there, Egerton university is the haven for you little comrade.I want to share with you a few salient tips for your survival…now that this is your 3 week!
Take a pen and don’t be a follower (i don’t want disciples),be a student.
1.Keep it Stupid Simple
Why did i start with this? In campus you will meet a Juggernaut camaraderie-ship from fellows coming from different backgrounds.You might be tempted to follow in one of their ways and you might likely be unaware of the hood they emerge.Some from rich,middle-class or even poor backgrounds. Ladies tend to change their dressing codes and fit in the “campus garbs”.Big boys tend to plait their hair which they never did before …am talking to you.Keep it Stupid Simple.Nobody will bother you when you keep your simplicity.You are unique.
2.Focus on your Goals
Hey pal,remember when you were in high school,you were hungry of your dreams.Now there is a door of opportunity opened for you.Pursue your goals relentlessly.Let the rest be AOBs. I am about to finish campus (btw am a finalist).Here i can have a moot point on whether i have met my goals or not.Its all about focus.Be the one to achieve greatness,keep that goal .Inoculate yourself from possibility blindness.
3.Have Fun and Network
In terse,i will suggest,you are in campus,this is not High School.Thus you ought to have fun.Only if in the right manner.Here i will point out the blatantly dressed freshers i saw yesterday night heading to Kililmo. That is not fun.You are wasting your opportunity to be happy in the right way.You don’t know the dangers you expose yourself into.Then there is the mzee moja’s place at Njoks,men there’s too no fun.
There is fun in Egerton main in so many other ways.You can visit me,you help me cook as we interact (terms and conditions applied).You can check out for a movie…or even join any of the clubs and societies.Today am in Naks having fun…i wish you came along with me.Endure the purity of thought and joy will follow you as your shadow.
A man is manacled by His thoughts and actions,they are jailer of fate-they imprison being base,they are also angels of freedom-they liberate-being noble. -Anonymous
Dear Fresher,know whether you will to put into account the above tips,nevertheless,the message is Home. #Twittertonians.
The expedition in campus life is almost done .I have gone through many hurdles and all in all God has seen me through.Glory be to Him.Just the other day i was a fresha 🙂 So innocent with a lot of expectations.Having a crush was my first experience anyway…less of that now.Meticulous was my word while in search of education.I never had ‘free time’ but i used to ‘create time’ [even now].
God is faithful for sure,i am now yet to be back for my last year in my course.A question in my mind begs,”Have my expectations been fulfilled? ” I wish i had the privilege to name them here but i feel i am 80% loading…Maybe the remaining 20% will be done this academic year 🙂
I do hope to achieve a Summa cum laude 🙂 yes that one,nothing is impossible when God is involved.Despite the last minute assignment handing in,the rule of camaraderie->’kupiga Iso'(ctr+c &ctr +v),missing classes[with a reason ofcourse] etc.
Anyway i am a good student.Thus i feel i need to ‘pull up my socks’.I also hope to be out with a Software company ,if not,be a software developer in detail.Friends this has enacted in mind after i read a book “In your Life Lie Your future”-Erick Opingo.His book elated me.I now believe in the positivity of my life,despite the past trials and failures.
Rather than keeping litany of grouses,i will rise up from my normal zone which leads me to a comfort zone.That not withstanding , I am not ready to be a recluse.A single man and the end of campus is here…NO.What next?
“Labani nouthie kuraya…akoro ni ukwenda..”[Laban you can go far, only if you wish…] Those were the words she used to encourage me with and persuade me to get back to books and read, when I sat glued in front of the black and white ‘Greatwall’ TV watching soaps.I loved Soap operas then. My favorite soap was ‘The Storm over Paradise’,the Mexican Soap Opera featuring the star Eric Elias and Sara Maldonado acting as Nicholas and Amyar respectively .I honestly felt the love of Nicholas…remember? I even stole some of his pick-up lines and tried them in High school…and they worked! Enough of the same now am changed, I hate soap operas.
Her memories are indelible in my mind. She was the first woman to share with me the secret behind every woman. No wonder she loved soap operas too. She nurtured me from her heart, never got tired of punishing me, by all means when I erred. The best thing about her, she was always forgiving. She always insisted on a man who is a hardworking,a fast man when doing his chores.I remember one day I had to run an errand for her, but I delayed returning back.When I returned she was like “Ke uthire Meru…mundurume ni mituki…”[Did you go to Meru,a man is fast…].We always considered the town,Meru as that far.
The woman who stepped in and filled the gap in my life. Raised me on behalf of my blood mother. After their divorce with my dad, when I was 7. Lobbied my dad to grant me some favors, one I can’t forget when I was in form two, she persuaded my dad to pay for me a trip to Egerton University, where I am today. That was the first time I saw the university, then I kept praying working hard to get there. The Lord is ever faithful, I am finally a student at Egerton University.
When I finished my form four, she never stopped advising me.Though old and ailing, she assured me of getting to campus, only if I was serious. She asked of me if possible, to finish the University and bring home the degree together with my ‘better half’, from campus. Just like in the soaps we watched on our black and white TV. Today I thank God for He confirmed to her I was getting to the university someday. When the KCSE results were released, she was the first I shared with my grade.
Shucks, she never got to know which university I was admitted to. She passed away during the two year JAB selection period. Anyway grandma, I thought of you this morning. I know your spirit of courage will always live inside me.I give thanks to God for the time we shared together.
On Tuesday 2nd at around 12:10 pm i checked in at Southern Sun MayFair,Nairobi.Along the Westlands drive.In there I was warmly welcomed and taken to the reception. There I was given the room number 249 where I was to spend four days. Excitement filled the air, another attendant took my bag and directed me to the room. The housekeeper was very courteous even in the way the engaged me.
All this was being done courtesy of Google Inc,they had organized a Google Students’ Ambassador training summit termed and hashtaged as #gsummit13.The summit was hosting more than 150 Google Student Ambassadors from different countries in Africa also from various universities. Egerton University was represented by my very own course mate Dickens Otieno and I.
My roommate was Lawal Mashal,an Oga from Nigeria.I was watching Afro-cinema live from my room …LOL.
That evening after checking in we were welcomed for a candle light dinner at Oasis Restaurant. Here the experience was so amazing. I met different Nationalities that had checked in earlier. Kenyan will ever be Kenyans anyway…their demeanor never changes …look at a conversation I heard between two Kenyans;
Gentleman:Hi,am Geff and it’s a pleasure meeting you here…(spoke with a British English accent..);
Lady:Hi too,am Fiona from *cccccc,a University in Kenya…
Gentleman:mmmmh…Kwenda huko…!wewe ni mkenya!…(Go away…you are a Kenyan..!)
This was really fun. I too introduced myself to several…then retired to bed for the night.
Early next morning we had to take breakfast at Oasis Restaurant, served as buffet, then leave to Visa Oshwal Center, where our training was based. All the GSAs were gleaming in red GSA T-shirts. This was cool,meeting the Googlers and other wonderful minds in the world. I took the same for my advantage and got cosy with several…
In the evening, dinner was set to be
served at Village Market. Some of these places I normally see them in the media being advertised. I really thank God for the favor of even going there. At Steers, you had to buy anything worth equal or less than a 1000 bob. Chicken and fries were my favorite…
Again as usual, breakfast was served at Oasis Restaurant. Then we got to the buses which ferried us again to Visa Oshwal Center.The day’s event were exciting, we had talks from different Googlers,at a time we had dances to stretch up and more shwag!! followed.
The dinner that evening was at Westgate Mall, along Westlands drive.The recipe was drooling…I ate to my full.The Googlers proved to me that, to win a man’s heart, is through the stomach! That night climaxed at the Theatre, The Westgate Movies, we were to watch ‘The Internship’-a Nooglers movie. This was too awesome .By the time it was midnight, I was just tired of the day’s events.
The day’s activities started off well, ostensibly everyone looked sad…this was because this
was the last day for the #HappyDays Summit .Off at Visa Oshwal guys looked busy exchanging twitter, Google+ an fb contacts, for they knew some were to catch a flight early the next day. I was not left out. That’s why I write this as a memoir. I took as many as I could. That very day we also had our first win as the Kenyan GSA team. These all happened after being given a challenge, you solve it, then post it on Google+. The team with the highest number of +1 carried the day. Kenyans tenaciously worked over and definitely won $1000!!!.[Congratulations]
Well, the climax of the whole summit finally met us, Gala night. It was hosted at Panari
Hotel along Mombasa road.The rule of the game was to have any traditional attire…because am proud to be an African,I wore a Maasai shirt and I was good to go. Africans outfits were awesome, this was asserted by some South African GSAs who were whites.My roommate Lawal,the Nigerian,was in their Oga Igwe outfit…this was awesome. Not to forget, the ladies from Ethiopia, they looked cute … 🙂
First I got a seat next to a lady from Uganda.That was my first achievement 🙂 then got a free dinner party thrown courtesy of Google Inc.I won’t share with you our conversation which is much promising and futurist! …anyway Nyama choma (roasted meat) was the order of the night!…then for the lovers of dance-hall, came their time,a full blown party for them.
I can’t share with you everything here in writing, because the experience at #gsummit13 was much than this. It’s a memoir that can’t be scratched out in my mind. As I pen off, the most crucial lesson that I learnt and I would like to share is that, everyone can change his/her social milieu ,it only takes you being tenacious and making pragmatic decisions…one more thing,our God is ever Faithful,He made the whole summit successful.
Tweeps…oh my…isn’t the Lord so gracious?Just a week ago i was done with my third year,after hustling in campus with submission of
assignments,projects,proposals,practicals,cats,exams…Aggie’s restaurant queues,bagging in and out of campus…and not to forget roommates,friends…the list is endless.
When i got to third year,i had a lot of expectations.I knew this was my academic year of ‘Jubilee’ as they said.This happens as i remembered my first crash with a med student,when i was just fresh in campus.I thought i could stalk the embers.Well,that’s a story for another blog.My expectations were high,taking Bsc Computer Science,i had a plan to put up my own company.This was to happen with the little savings i had and the bank of skills in web designing and Mobile programming. Anyway,i have a dream.I know it will finally come to pass.
The last academic year was so fair to me,I did my assignments in the last minute…(not that am lazy…am just a geek).I was able to balance code and books.I was not caught up with any deadline.I remember the last assignment which i was forced to do…only because the ‘chepes’ in the class did,and it was not advised so by the lecturer!
I had the expectation of another degree as i graduate…you know it if you are reading this.Actually i had posed a million dollar question to someone.All this was as a fulfillment of my expectations.Well,God keeps the best for us,to add unto that, i also read somewhere written “Love waits for one thing; The right moment.“.I never lost…you can read more of what happened from my other blog (http://labanish.blogspot.com/2013/05/small-still-voicemy-own-confessions.html) *winks*.
I had the dream of once being a Google Student Ambassador,i kept an eye on the vacancies to be announced.I remember i shot so many one-minute video pitches trying to come up with the best expressing my yearning for the same.Check out my video(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4XKpbnkI0M).Luckily enough God heard my prayers,and i got the chance.
I have been in campus for 3 years now…i guess i can share a sober advice to any 2nd year or 1st year…take the little i can give,it can be your turning point.
Come,learn,appreciate and be yourself- #EgertonCampusLife
Tweeps on Friday last week,the Computer Science Student Association (EUCOSSA) held a Hackathon at the EUCOSSA Hub which went on the whole night till late Saturday even.Hackathon?Whats the hell is this?Ok.For dummies a hackathon -a name derived from two words,Hacker-i guess you know what is hacking or just Google,the latter is the best,then Marathon-a race… thus when rephrased by #nerds its then called hackathon.An event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development with an ultimate goal to bring solutions to some of the problems we face in life.-A nice introduction i guess.
The hackthon was dubbed “The Last Debug”,this was all in dedication to all the CS finalist in campus.The issues to be covered were based on the Egerton Campus Life .We grouped ourselves and each group chose a software to implement on such categories like:
A software to improve communication and interaction among the University Fraternity
A software to enhance entertainment within Egerton University
I got into a group of around 9 members,of whom some were dummy programmers,just to be honest-i like the fact that they all stayed the whole night.Our group developed an online interaction system branded Egercity-Thanks to our lead programmer @BryanTirohp and all members for each member’s contribution was worth while applauding.
We had 4 groups in total,where each group had about 6-9 members each.The apps created that two day hackathon were;
PartyHunt-Helps you to get informed of where you can check in for parties
Egercity-An interative system between the Lectures and students
NotBuk-An online Notice board
Findout-An online lost and found portal and interactive system.
Btw,this was all a competition where the best group was to walk away 4000/= plus a Eucossa T-shirt! The second best won 3000/= ,while the third group took home 2000/=.This was worthwhile coding for,easy cash…
Very group had the hope of winning the same,so trending #eucossathon #eucossaFriday was left to the judges @moffatmn @dmabiria and @nellynyakan1 as were put into task programming.However some #geeks were unable to put up,even after the cool music playing at the background,maybe it was all due to too much coffee + code #coffeeConnoisseur.
Dawn met us,and we paused for clean up,and to brush up our apps for presentation later on the day.I couldn’t believe how i managed all that for hours-power behind Caffeine.
During the apps presentation,the judging criteria was;
Functionality of our app
The graphical user interface-how appealing was the app.
Database tables relationships
Pitching wasn’t an easy task,shaky at first then adopted the niche.The questions were an avoidable-all you needed was to work smart.After the presentation,the moment awaited came,the winners were announced as;
Egercity-took the first place!
Notbuk-ranked second best
Findout -took the 3rd place.
The Group two guys conceded defeat instantly,i liked that.
Then there was a great talk from our guest Mr Agosta Liko,the CEO of PesaPal and Verviant. Key Success Drivers —> Big three #Education #Experience #Exposure.This was awesome @AgostaL, thanks:-)
We faced wee challenges like a low turnout from the ladies and the finalists,few people knew programming and to some,it was there first time to spend a night staring at a bright screen-Programming.
Thus i recommend out there if you are in Egerton University and you are a techie,Join us,EUCOSSA-Innovation and Creativity.(@eucossa)
As i pen off,i wish to thank our judges @moffatmn @dmabiria @nellynyakan1 and your guest judge @AgostaL,you judged farely. Also many thanks to all who came and participated on the same,you made the hackathon a success.Also not to forget the Chairman of the Computer Science department,Dr Gikaru for the support he has given EUCOSSA in promoting technology in Egerton University.