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On Sex, Love & Relationships

With permission, I have extracted this picture-quote from Marriage.com. All rights reserved worldwide.


When I was at the University of Nairobi in early 2011, I happened to occasionally meet with Miss Edith Karaimu, the first director of Starehe Girls' Centre - a respected national school that opened its doors in 2005. That time in 2011 when I met with Miss Karaimu, she had long since resigned as the director of Starehe Girls'. And I didn't bother to ask her what she was doing at the University of Nairobi.

One afternoon, I sat down with Miss Karaimu on a bench at the university. That a former director of a respected national school could sit down with a little known young man like me shows how humble Miss Karaimu is, doesn't it?

Well, I can't recall most of what we talked about that afternoon. All I remember is me telling Miss Karaimu that I was part of a choir in a church in Nairobi, probably thinking she would be impressed with me, only for her to strongly advise me not to hang around with old people.

"Stay with young people of your age," Miss Karaimu counselled me.

Later on, I heeded Miss Karaimu's advice by becoming a member of my home church youth group. I found the youths friendly and fun to be with. And I was impressed with the way they openly discussed sex and relationships. Like in one church youth meeting I attended on a Sunday afternoon, the speaker gave us a lecture during which he told us that some people can undress a woman in their minds as she is talking. I found that statement amusing, especially taking into account that it was being uttered in a church.

Then on another Sunday afternoon, we - the youth group - went to visit one of our members called Liz in her rented room. We had lively conversations that afternoon, and I was impressed with myself for taking part in them; it showed how much I had grown. There was a time, I must tell you, when I used to feel horribly shy and aloof in social gatherings.

Among the issues we discussed at Liz's room were relationships. I advised the youths not to consider wealth as one of the criteria for selecting a relationship partner but instead look at character and potential for achievement. And I gave them an example of Hillary Clinton who fell in love with Bill Clinton in the 1970s when Bill was a man of little means.

As our conversations became more lively, I posed this question to the youth members, "What if you get married in church and then later on, you come across a woman who is better than your wife or a man who is better than your husband?"

One of the youths was so impressed with my question that she asked me to repeat it. I did and then began coming up with a solution by telling the youths that it is important to nurture a relationship with love and caring so that a spouse can't come across a better partner. But I was cut short by a youth who told me the married youths present in the room were the ones fit to answer my question. Unfortunately, I can't remember what they said.

After Liz served us with refreshments, we began introducing ourselves. I was the first one to stand up. " My name in Thuita J. Maina," I told them, " I am single and HIV negative." As soon as I said I was single and HIV negative, there was a roar of laughter and excitement in the room. It showed how fun the youths were.

And then on yet another Sunday evening as I was heading home, I passed by our church where I found several youths having an informal discussion about sex and relationships. I joined in the conversations in the course of which I told them I have never had sex.

"You mean you have never slept with a woman?" one of the youths called Mwanzia asked me in Sheng.

I again told them I had never had sex but being the honest young man that I am, I confessed to entertaining lustful thoughts in my mind. Then Liz mentioned the word I had been trying to avoid by shouting, " Masturbation!" When Liz began talking about masturbation and how sinful it is, I told her being a man is no easy task.

And when we began discussing about women and virginity that Sunday evening, I felt compelled to tell the youths about a Swahili play titled Kitumbua Kimeingia Mchanga that we studied in high school. The play was about a woman who people doubted whether she was a virgin because of the way she conversed with men a lot. But one man went ahead to marry her, and guess what! The night of the day they got married, the woman turned out to have been a virgin because blood oozed from her body during sex.

After I had finished sharing that story of the play with the youths, Mwanzia added thoughtfully in Sheng, "The quiet women are usually the worst!" By saying so, Mwanzia was insinuating that shy and reticent women are the ones who mostly mess up. That's all he said.

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A Trip to My Ancestral Land

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


Last Friday, my maternal grandmother was hosting a get-together for her family and some other relatives of ours in her rural home in Murang'a, Kenya - my ancestral land. My mother, who is currently crippled by stroke, had purposed to attend the get-together and had been looking forward to it. And when Friday reached, she was elated when my brothers hired a taxi to ferry her to Murang'a.

As for me, I hadn't planned to attend the get-together. But when my younger brother Symo asked me to accompany Mum and offered to pay me for doing so, I quickly got dressed for the trip. Before leaving, I ensured I had my smartphone tablet and sunglasses in my bag. I also carried with me Stephen R. Covey's enlightening book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, for re-reading during any idle moments that might arise. Once I had all those items in the bag, I locked our house and rushed to join Mum in the taxi my brothers had hired.

We left my hometown of Kiserian at around 11.30am. As the taxi driver drove to Nairobi, we got stuck in traffic several times. I took advantage of the slow-moving traffic by re-reading some text from the Stephen R. Covey's book I had carried with me.

Then as we were heading to Murang'a from Nairobi, the taxi started moving fast and smoothly thanks to the Thika superhighway that was constructed by the administration of Mwai Kibaki, Kenya's third president. I contemplated of continuing to re-read Covey's book during that smooth ride but sooner than later, I thought it wise to observe the environs of the roads on which we were travelling on.

Travelling on Thika superhighway reminded me of my undergraduate years at JKUAT a decade ago because I used to commute on it on my way to the university. And while observing the environs of the superhighway, I realized how big the Earth is and how small we humans are.

As the taxi gathered pace, Thika superhighway gave way to other minor tarmac roads that passed through hilly countrysides. The hilly countrysides were breathtakingly beautiful in their verdant colour. Kenya is indeed a beautiful country.

We arrived at my grandma's home at around 4.00pm. And because I didn't want to carry the heavy bundles of maize and wheat flour that we had bought on the way as a gift to grandma, I quickly alighted from the taxi as the driver was receiving instructions on where to park.

When I entered grandma's homestead, I found my relatives gathered on the compound. I greeted each of them warmly after which they asked me to have a meal. There was plenty of food to feast on but unfortunately, I was feeling full in the stomach even though I hadn't eaten anything for lunch. So I only partook a few slices of chapatti and several spoonfuls of cabbage stew.

Food aside, what impressed me most that Friday evening was to see my relatives in my ancestral land living peacefully with each other. There was a time, I must tell you, in December 2006 when I had found some of the relatives not talking to each other. And when I tried to mediate peace among them that time, Auntie Wachinga dismissed my efforts by telling me that's how people in rural areas live.

Last Friday evening during our visit, I exchanged pleasantries with the relatives and heard them share stories. But after about an hour, I got bored with taking part in their conversations. And never one to sit idly, I opened my bag, took out Stephen R. Covey's book and continued re-reading it. From the book, I learnt that it is prudent to consider people's character and competence before hiring them.

I would have loved to take a tour in my grandma's lush green farm and watch water flow in the Godo River that borders her farm, but there was no time for doing that. And as it was nearing dark, I got concerned that we were running late since we still had another long journey to make back to Kiserian. But Mum and the taxi driver didn't seem to mind how long we were staying at grandma's home. They continued sharing tales nonchalantly and taking drinks that were being served.

Finally, we left grandma's home at around 7.00pm. Since it was too dark outside to observe surroundings and equally too dark inside the taxi to continue re-reading Covey's book, I removed my smartphone tablet and read quotes from a website in the internet. Among the quotes I read is one that said, "Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body."

After what seemed a long trip, we arrived back home safely at around 10.30pm. I thanked God for the journey mercies and for the delightful interactions I had had with my relatives. And as I retired to bed that Friday night, I considered the day well spent.

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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.

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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!

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