Positive Quote For Today

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty."— Maya Angelou

The Value of Friendships

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Standing and clad in a red polo-shirt and a white pair of shorts is me, posing for a photo with the visitors who came to our home on the morning of last Saturday. More about that visit in the story below.

Earlier last week, I overheard my parents discuss about some visitors who were to come to our home. At first, I kept silent about what my parents were discussing. But when I couldn't contain my curiosity any more, I asked them which visitors were coming and when. They informed me that the visitors were friends of my eldest brother Joe Kagigite and they would be coming on Saturday morning.

My parents looked forward to hosting the visitors at home. A day before the visit, they hired a woman to clean the living room of our mansion. And when Saturday reached, they rose before the crack of dawn to cook and have everything ready.

As for me, I feared the visitors might interfere with my work as a blogger. Because I had scheduled to write a blog story on Saturday morning, I thought it unwise to lock myself in my room to pen my story while we had visitors in the mansion. I therefore decided to start writing my blog story as soon as I woke up at 5.30am on Saturday so that I would be done with it by the time the visitors arrived. And that's what I did when Saturday reached.

The visitors, four gentlemen, together with Joe and his wife Alice, arrived home at around 9.50am, a few minutes after I had shared on social media the blog story I had finished writing. No sooner had the visitors taken their seats in the living room than I went to greet and socialize with them. They turned out to be a gregarious lot.

Before the visitors began eating the food that had been prepared for them, Alice requested me to say grace, a responsibility I accepted gladly. I prayed, "God, for what we are about to receive, make us truly thankful. Amen."

After I was done praying, one of the visitors uttered a joke about the brevity of my prayer. The joke had us shrieking with laughter, thus setting a good tone for the interactions we were to have.

We had a wonderful time swapping stories while feasting on tea and ndoma (arrowroots), the taste which seemed to me superior to even brown bread. Well, I didn't eat anything since I am always watching my weight these days. But I did take part in the conversations we had.

Joe reminisced about our boyhood years when our farm had orange trees that produced plenty of fruits. I told them that I used to sell some of the orange fruits. And I would have divulged into details about how I sold the oranges without Mum's knowledge had not a feeling of self-consciousness swept over me.

At around 11.00am, another visitor joined us. He was even more gregarious than the rest. Soon after he entered the living room, he enlivened our conversations with his hearty laughter and engaging discussions. He, for instance, had us contrast how a number of Kenyan tribes are different from one another.

I had carried with me a newspaper to read in case any idle moments arose during my interactions with the visitors. But as our conversations gathered pace, I put the newspaper aside and kept my eyes focussed on who was talking to avoid creating the impression that I wasn't interested in what they were saying.

At the end of our lively conversations, the visitors went to their cars and came back with cartons of foodstuffs. When Mum thanked them for the foodstuffs in these times of famine in Kenya, I wisecracked that that was relief food. One of the visitors giggled at my joke and then handed to my parents wads of money enclosed in envelopes.

My parents expressed their gratitude to the visitors for their visit and generosity. Mum, in particular, encouraged them to maintain the spirit of friendship that was apparent in them, and then implored them to be coming home more often.

The visitors left us in good spirits. And their visit made me reflect on the value of friendships. In the course of my reflections, it dawned on me that true friends - the ones who bring out the best in us - provide us with companionship. And their companionship increases our joy and decreases our sorrow. It also keeps us from feeling lonely, afraid and hopeless.

Having admired the spirit of friendship that Joe had forged with the visitors, I wished my other three brothers also enjoyed similar friendships wherever they live, work and worship. And I was inspired to continue working on the friendships I have formed over the years and to keep creating new ones as I journey through this crazy adventure called life.

My beloved reader, I beseech you to also nurture the friendships you have created so far. Be there for your friends, encourage them in their endeavors, comfort them in their sorrows and they will come through for you in your time of need. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and one of the wealthiest men of our time, had it right when he recently quipped that good friendships make us happier and healthier. Adieu!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on the value of friendships, you might also enjoy another one on "A True Friend" that I wrote four years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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Death of an Uncle

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On the left side in this photo is my Dad posing for a photo with his brother (my uncle) Julius Gatonga during a certain funeral ceremony in 2003. Uncle Julius, as I will narrate in the story below, passed away last Thursday.

At around 1.20pm last Thursday, my Dad received a phone call. As he went to pick it, I silently hoped that he wouldn't hear any bad news. But alas! When I heard him repeatedly say "Oh, sorry!" in Swahili to whoever he was talking to, I instinctively sensed something tragic had happened. And it was probably about his brother Julius Gatonga.

My instincts turned out to be right because soon after Dad finished his phone conversation, I overheard him inform Mum that his brother was dead. He had breathed his last at 4.00am on Thursday morning.

I was a tad too shocked when I heard of the death of Uncle Julius. But I had seen it coming. Over the past one year, I would hear that he urgently needed money for dialysis and chemotherapy. Apparently, he had cancer and kidney problems.

Although I never bothered to find out which type of cancer Uncle Julius suffered from, I had asked God not to call him home soon since I feared his death might interrupt the disciplined daily routine I have been subjecting myself to. Too bad that God didn't answer that prayer.

After I learnt of Uncle Julius's demise on Thursday afternoon, I processed the bad news while seated at my desk. I wondered how my Dad was feeling for losing a brother he grew up with. Was he sorrowful? Did he feel like bursting into tears?

Surprisingly, I didn't note any change in Dad's mood as the Thursday afternoon wore on. He calmly continued with his work in his home office, while occasionally making calls to his other relatives to relay news of his brother's death. How stoic and worldly-wise my Dad is!

Uncle Julius was the only blood brother of my Dad. He was a humble and soft-spoken man who used to work as a primary school teacher before he reached retirement age. His immediate family must be devastated to lose him.

As for me, I will miss Uncle Julius: his presence, his humility and his wisdom. I will also miss his encouraging voice. Back in 1999 when I was in primary school, he exhorted me to work hard in my studies so that I could excel in academics like my immediate elder brother Paddy.

Besides his encouraging voice, the other thing I liked about Uncle Julius was the way he turned up for our family affairs. He attended the wedding ceremonies of my brothers Paddy and Bob Njinju in November 2012 and April 2014 respectively.

At the end of Paddy's wedding in November 2012, my eldest brother Joe Kagigite offered Dad, Uncle Julius and I a lift in his car. Joe was grumpy that day. He refused to drive us all the way home. Instead, he dropped us in a town called Ngong. As we walked in that town, Uncle Julius kept asking Dad where we were.

Then on the day of Bob Njinju's wedding in April 2014, I travelled with Uncle Julius to and from the wedding venue. Uncle Julius was quite slow on the uptake that day, probably because he wasn't used to travelling in a busy city. I had to guide him to our destinations.

Uncle Julius last visited us in 2016 when he came home to fetch some important documents he needed from Dad. He looked much older than Dad even though he was younger than Dad. And I noted he still had that passion for reading newspapers that is characteristic of men of his age.

In December last year, I heard one of his sons was graduating from a local university called Rongo. The Sunday before the graduation ceremony, Uncle Julius phoned Dad to beg for money for travelling to Rongo University. Dad came through to his aid. And that marked the last time I heard him converse with Dad. His health went downhill afterwards.

I will miss Uncle Julius for shizzle. And his death has inspired me to pursue my passions with greater zeal while I still have breath in my nostrils because in the grave where we are all headed, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom. Till we meet again, fare thee well Uncle Julius Gatonga!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story about the death of my Uncle Julius Gatonga, you might also enjoy another one on "Bidding a Friend Farewell" that I wrote more than four years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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Bible Quote

"Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice! Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do... Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand."

~Phillipians 4:4-7 (TLB)

About the Author

Name: Thuita J. Maina
Nationality: Kenyan
Lives in: Kiserian, Rift Valley, Kenya
Mission: To inspire the world to godly living, one person at a time.

Just For Laughs

There was this drunkard named Azoge who loved drinking at Josiah's Bar. On being told a certain Hon. Nanga was flying to America to be conferred a law degree so that he could be admitted to the bar, Azoge replied, "Why fly all the way to America to be admitted to the bar while you can get into Josiah's Bar any time?"

The 7 Deadly Sins

  1. Pride
  2. Envy
  3. Gluttony
  4. Lust
  5. Anger
  6. Greed
  7. Sloth

Author's Note

I am learning to treat life as a journey, not a destination. So I am trying to enjoy each day as I anticipate to fulfill my dreams especially meeting my soulmate and traveling abroad. Tomorrow may never be mine.

Fun Facts

  1. The fear of having no cell-phone service, running out of battery, or losing sight of your phone is called Nomophobia, reportedly affecting 66% of people.
  2. A single Google search needs more computing power than it took to send Apollo 11 to the moon. The Apollo computer was less equipped than a modern toaster.
  3. Besides being some of the biggest names in the tech industry, HP, Apple, Google and Microsoft share another commonality. They all started in garages.
~Extracted from Codingforums.com

Health Tip

So many of us take for granted the wonderful construction of the human body and the workings of its various parts. Some of us even expect it to function efficiently with less than the minimum care and attention. Learn the much you can about your body and how the care of it can help to give you that greatest blessing of all - good health.

Wonders of the Modern World

  1. The Simplon Tunnel
  2. The Sky-scrapers of New York
  3. The Boulder Dam of Colorado
  4. The Panama Canal
  5. The Golden Gate Bridge
  6. The Taj Mahal at Agra in India
  7. The North Sea Oil Drilling Rigs

Great Example for Politicians

"My life in politics was a joy. I loved campaigns and I loved governing. I always tried to keep things moving in the right direction, to give more people a chance to live their dreams, to lift people's spirits, and to bring them together. That's the way I kept score."

~Bill Clinton

Scientific Marvels

  1. Space travel
  2. Heart surgery
  3. Fibre-optics communication
  4. Concorde
  5. Computers & Radios
  6. Anesthetics
  7. The atom bomb

My Supreme Desire

Although I'd like to be rich and famous, my supreme desire is to be radiant: to radiate health, cheerfulness, calm courage and goodwill. I wish to live without hate, guilt, worry, jealousy, cynicism and envy. I wish to be honest, natural, confident, clean in mind and body - ready to say "I do not know" if it be so and to treat all men with kindness - to meet any loss, failure, criticism and rejection unabashed and unafraid.

Greatest American Presidents

  1. Abraham Lincoln
  2. George Washington
  3. Thomas Jefferson
  4. Franklin Roosevelt
  5. Theodore Roosevelt
  6. Woodrow Wilson
  7. Andrew Jackson

Making Peace With the Past

"Dwell not on your past. Use it to illustrate a point, then leave it behind. Nothing really matters except what you do now in this instant of time. From this moment onwards you can be an entirely different person, filled with love and understanding, ready with an outstretched hand, uplifted and positive in every thought and deed."

~Eileen Caddy

Toughest Colleges to Get Into

  1. MIT
  2. Princeton
  3. Harvard
  4. Yale
  5. Stanford
  6. Brown
  7. Columbia

Why You Should Trust God

"Men and women who turn their lives over to God will find out that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities and pour out peace."

~Ezra Taft Benson

The 7 Greatest Scientists

  1. Albert Einstein
  2. Isaac Newton
  3. Galileo Galilei
  4. Nikola Tesla
  5. Aristotle
  6. Archimedes
  7. Charles Darwin

You Matter

"Always be yourself. Never try to hide who you are. The only shame is to have shame. Always stand up for what you believe in. Always question what other people tell you. Never regret the past; it's a waste of time. There's a reason for everything. Every mistake, every moment of weakness, every terrible thing that has happened to you, grow from it. The only way you can ever get the respect of others is when you show them that you respect yourself and most importantly, do your thing and never apologize for being you."


The Most Industrialized Nations

  1. The United States
  2. Japan
  3. Germany
  4. France
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Italy
  7. Canada

Keys to Success

"...in his effort to withstand temptation, to economize, to exercise thrift, to disregard the superficial for the real - the shadow for the substance; to be great yet small, in his effort to be patient in the laying of a firm foundation; to so grow in skill and knowledge that he shall place his services in demand by reason of his intrinsic and superior worth. This is the key that unlocks every door of opportunity, and all others fail."

~Booker T. Washington

The 7 Social Sins

  1. Politics without principle
  2. Wealth without work
  3. Pleasure without conscience
  4. Knowledge without character
  5. Commerce without morality
  6. Worship without sacrifice
  7. Science without humanity

Cherish What You Love

"Cherish your visions, cherish your ideals, cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts - for out of them will grow all heavenly environment, of these if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built."~James Allen

The World's Largest Cities

  1. London in England
  2. New York in the United States
  3. Tokyo in Japan
  4. Berlin in Germany
  5. Chicago in the United States
  6. Shanghai in China
  7. Paris in France

Benefits of Optimism

"In terms of success, optimistic people out perform their pessimistic colleagues. Research shows that they are consistently promoted higher and make more money while working fewer hours than those who think pessimistically. Optimists also contribute more significantly to social progress. It is the optimists who start and run successful companies, who win elections and carry out reforms, and who make breakthroughs in the realms of science and technology."

~Pepe Minambo

The World's Greatest Lakes

  1. Caspian Sea in the Commonwealth of Independent States, C.I.S. (formerly U.S.S.R)
  2. Lake Superior in North America
  3. Victoria Nyanza in Central Africa
  4. Aral Sea in C.I.S.
  5. Lake Huron in North America
  6. Lake Michigan in North America

Demonstrating His Love

"Take your communication for instance - the way you address others. It ought to be with loving, gracious and edifying words. Never talk people down. Never use words that hurt and demean people. Communicate excellently with others without destroying their self-image or making them feel sorry for themselves. Talk to people in a way that they never forget the excellence of your words, the love and grace of Christ that you communicated. It's how God wants us to love."

~Dr. Chris Oyakhilome

World's Longest Rivers

  1. Missouri-Mississipi (U.S.)
  2. Amazon (Brazil)
  3. Nile (Egypt)
  4. Yangtse (China)
  5. Lena (Russia)
  6. Zaire (Central Africa)
  7. Niger (West Africa)