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

College Memories

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In this photo taken in March 2007 are some of the college students in the institute division of Starehe Boys' Centre where I had my high school and college education. With the possible exception of one student I can't identify, all the students in this photo were later expelled from the institute for a reason I will narrate in the story below.

When I transitioned to the institute division of Starehe Boys' Centre in January 2006 to pursue a diploma in information technology, I formed the habit of sneaking out of school on Sunday mornings. I did that so as to attend the 8.00 a.m. mass of my hometown Catholic church where I enjoyed the company of youths.

One Sunday in 2006 while I was away from Starehe, the students had trouble singing the school song which I regularly accompanied on the piano. That made my absence from Starehe to be felt, and when I went back to the school, some captains threatened to report me to Mr. Joseph Gikubu, the then acting director of the school, for sneaking out of Starehe on Sundays.

I can't remember ever feeling afraid of the captains' threats. All I recall is that the issue died down after a few days and I continued sneaking out of school on Sunday mornings. I was such a daring student.

Apart from sneaking out of school on Sunday mornings, another offence I committed during my days at Starehe Institute in 2006 was failing to report back to school on the official opening day of each term. I would prolong my holidays by four or five days.

In January 2007 when I didn't return to Starehe on opening day, an institute classmate named Jamlick Kogi kept asking me via the internet when I was going to join him in school. I joked to him that I was still around like mud.

While relaxing at home that same January of 2007 after failing to report back to school as expected, I heard on TV over lunchtime news that Starehe had a new director. His name was Prof. Jesse Mugambi. And he sounded eloquent as he addressed journalists about his new role as the director of the school where I was pursuing my education.

On returning to Starehe Institute in January 2007 following my prolonged holiday, I resolved to stop sneaking out of school on Sunday mornings because it no longer felt right to me. I thought it wise to get permission from the new director to be leaving school on Sundays. So I approached one of my hometown Catholic priests and explained my predicament to him.

And wow! The priest turned out to be very understanding. He wrote a letter, requesting the director of Starehe to grant me permission to worship with youths in his church on Sundays. He began the letter by saying, "Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ..." And as he wrote the letter, he informed me that he had read some books by Prof. Jesse Mugambi to whom he was addressing the letter.

The following week, I presented the letter to Prof. Jesse Mugambi who consulted his deputy before granting me permission to be leaving Starehe on Sundays. He printed a note that indicated he approved my absence from Starehe on Sundays. I showed the note, which had the official stamp of Prof. Jesse Mugambi, to the institute captain.

You know what? A few weeks after he granted me permission to be leaving Starehe on Sundays, Prof. Mugambi began acting tough on the institute students of the school. He contemplated expelling some of them for failing their accounting exams. And when he found a few of us dozing during class hours, he warned us that "if you have nothing to do, don't do it here."

Then around March 2007 when KCSE results were released and Starehe emerged tops, some institute students who had excelled in the exams dashed to their homes without permission to celebrate their exemplary performance - something I had also done the year before when I scored an 'A' in those mighty exams. After four gruelling high school years, it felt natural to desire dashing home to rejoice with our families at having excelled in the exams, much in the same way soccer players pause matches to celebrate with their teammates whenever they score.

On learning that some institute students had gone home to celebrate their KCSE results, Prof. Mugambi dealt with them high-handedly when they came back to school. He issued them with threats, summoned their parents to school for interrogation and expelled quite a number of them from the institute, including my friend Richard Kagia who was active in the Christian Union movement.

That time Kagia and his fellow students were being put to task for going home to celebrate their KCSE results, I must have felt safe and secure to have a note that granted me permission to be leaving Starehe on Sundays. Given how Prof. Mugambi was acting tough on institute students, I wonder what would have happened to me if I had continued sneaking out of school on Sundays without permission and a captain breathed a word about it to the new director. It had been very wise of me to acquire that note.

Come to think of it, I am of the opinion that Prof. Mugambi created a storm in a teacup by the actions he took on the institute students who had dashed home to celebrate their KCSE results. He just overreacted. Had I been the director of Starehe at that time, I would have organized a bash at the school canteen for the students when they came back to school.

"Guys!" I would tell them during the bash, "You have done us proud. Thank you so much for preserving the good name of Starehe with your spectacular performance in KCSE exams."

And then towards the end of my congratulatory speech, I would conclude, "But guys, now KCSE stuff is over. I want you to concentrate on your institute courses with the same zeal you studied for KCSE. Okay?"

By saying so, I would have boosted the morale of the students, unlike Prof. Mugambi who demoralized them by issuing them with threats, summoning their parents to school and expelling those who didn't comply with his instructions.

Indeed, Prof. Mugambi just created a storm in a teacup. Or to put it in other words, he used a sledgehammer to crack a nut, for he ended up causing more harm by messing up with the lives of students who were relying on Starehe Institute for their education.

Prof. Mugambi also denied Starehe the talents of such dedicated students as Richard Kagia who was skilled at soloing traditional Agikuyu folk songs. It was sad to see Kagia go during our college days at Starehe Institute. Ciao!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on my college memories, you might also enjoy another one on "How My Captain Helped Me" which I wrote a couple of years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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Dad Develops Complications

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This is me with Dad at home. Lying on the ground is the crutch he has been walking with.

God blessed my brothers and I with the best Dad we could ever have wished for. He has always been there for us, rarely spending a night away from home. And he has always taken a keen interest in our lives ever since we were small boys.

It is Dad who introduced us to the fascinating world of books. Right from when we were young, he encouraged us to read widely and wisely. He urged us to devour novels like Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe while seeing to it that we excelled in our studies at school.

Probably because he is an accountant, maths was his forte. So he gave us home lessons in maths when we were in primary school. Thanks to those home lessons, I learnt a few mathematical wonders before my classmates did at school. Wonders such as subtracting 7 from 3, something I previously thought impossible.

Dad also seemed to have an intuitive understanding of how writing can improve the quality of our thinking and ultimately the quality of our lives. For how else can you explain the effort he took to correct the letters and compositions he had us write?

A couple of years ago, my younger brother Symo recounted in our WhatsApp group how, when he was a boy, he copied a story from a textbook and presented it to Dad as his own composition. Dad went ahead to correct several sentences in the composition. He was such a grammar Nazi.

Although he is well past 70 years now, Dad still plays an active role in our lives. He sometimes dishes out advice to us, especially to Symo who is based in the British island of Bermuda. And he occasionally sends us informative messages and video clips on WhatsApp.

Here at home, Dad ensures we have food, water and electricity. He especially likes it when there are eggs and fruits for me to feast on. And by attending the meetings of a certain home-area association, he keeps us in touch with our neighbours.

Before Mum passed away about two months ago, Dad used to impress me with his devotion to her. Without complaining, he regularly washed her clothes and cleaned up after her. He also bought her anything she desired, such as skirts, phone credit and seeds for planting.

Since we laid Mum to rest, Dad has developed some health complications that are similar to those Mum had. At first, he complained of pain in his left knee. The pain made it difficult for him to walk for a long distance.

As the days have rolled by, Dad's complications have grown worse. He is now walking with the crutches that were Mum's. Whenever he has to travel anywhere, he has to hire a taxi because he can't cover the distance from home to our nearest town on foot.

Last Tuesday when Dad arrived home from the hospital, he called me and then asked me to help him ascend a short flight of stairs to our mansion - the same thing Mum used to ask us to do.

Again like Mum, Dad is now requesting me to go for his phone when it rings while he is far from it. Soon, I know he will be ordering me to serve visitors with tea the way Mum used to have me do.

It's saddening to observe Dad lose his physical abilities when I recall how hardworking and self-reliant he has always been. But that's life.

As I continue living with Dad in our beautifully rustic home here in Kiserian, I don't want to commit the same sins I did to my late mother. Imagine there were times I would flatly refuse to attend to Mum when she needed my assistance.

On one Sunday afternoon in 2015 for instance, Mum implored me to place a chair for her outside our house. After I declined her request several times, she blurted out words that still haunt me to this day. She yelled at me in Kikuyu, "When I die, never come near my grave!"

Fortunately, Mum appeared happy with me before that Sunday ended. And over the last four years before she died, I strived to be there for her. But I would sometimes refuse to do things for her, which made her refer to me as the errant son.

Such are the kind of sins I don't want to repeat on Dad now that he is becoming disabled like Mum. Even though I can't tease him the way I used to do to Mum because he is naturally a reserved person, I will at least help him out in anything he is unable to do.

By helping Dad, I will be obeying the Commandment which says, "Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. (Exodus 20:12)" And that's the first Commandment with a promise. Ciao!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on how Dad has developed complications, you might also enjoy another one on "Dad's Heart Surgery" which I wrote last year. 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)