Demolition in my Neighborhood
A True Story
on Apr 5, 2021
My family relocated to my home area of Kiserian in 1986, about a year or two before I was born. They built a wooden house on a piece of land in the area, a wooden house which resembled the log cabin that Abraham Lincoln grew up in. And that wooden house was my home for many years before my senior brothers built a new brick mansion in 2015.
I have vivid memories of how our home area looked like in the early '90s when I was growing up. The land to the east of our home was covered with wild Savannah grasslands. Sometimes when going to Kiserian Town, I would criss-cross those grasslands instead of following the main road so that I could reach my destination in less time.
One evening in 1994, the wild Savannah grasslands caught fire. I never got to know what started the fire since I was just a small boy back then. All I remember was my neighbors being called to assist in putting out the fire. They succeeded in extinguishing it before the fire escalated into a damaging conflagration.
Then the road leading to our home (which was later christened Church Road) had sisal bushes growing along its sides back in the early '90s. Gangsters would sometimes hide in those sisal bushes, waiting to pounce on anyone passing by. Like one early night in 1993, some gangsters emerged from those sisal bushes and attacked my father while he was heading home. The gangsters broke my father's left arm as he tried to defend himself from them.
As the '90s rolled on, the owner of the land to the east of our home sold it. And the people who bought the land have built stately houses which they have fenced with neat kei-apple plants. Among those who built stately homes in my neighborhood is Mr. Titus Naikuni, the former CEO of Kenya Airways. Thanks to those developments, our home area now resembles one of those leafy suburbs for the rich.
Perhaps not wanting to be left behind by the developments in my home area, an Anglican church in my neighborhood called Good Samaritan Church has built a big church (see photo above). One-storey and spacious, the church must be the biggest of its kind in my county. I once overheard my younger brother Symo tell Dad that the construction of the church has raised the value of land in our home area.
As for me, I came to think that the construction of the Good Samaritan Church was a bad idea because the road leading to it (Church Road) is only wide enough for one car to pass through. Motorists driving on the road have to stop and park on the side when they spot another car approaching in the opposite direction. The situation gets worse on Sundays when Good Samaritan Church attenders are leaving a morning service while others are arriving for the next service.
About three months ago, I came across a notice glued on one of my neighbor's gates. The notice said that surveyors would survey our home area to find out which home-owners had encroached on Church Road. That got me worried as I feared our home would be affected and we would thus be forced to pull down our fence that my Dad struggled to make secure with kei-apple plants in the '90s.
A week or two later when I heard from Dad that our home wasn't among those that had encroached on Church Road, I breathed a sigh of relief and thanked God for sparing us the agony of tearing down our fence. I truly was thankful.
It has turned out that the home-owners who encroached on Church Road are the folks who bought the land to the east of our home, the land that had wild Savannah grasslands in the early '90s. The home-owners are now pulling down the fences and felling down the trees they had planted along Church Road. They are also demolishing houses next to the road and erecting new fences. And goodness knows how long it will take for kei-apple plants and trees to grow along their new fences if they decide to plant them.
The worst affected homeowner is Mr. Titus Naikuni who has done a lot of demolition and felling down of trees. There is also another affluent neighbor who is being forced to demolish a 3-storey structure that he built next to Church Road. The structure, which doubles as a servants' quarters and water tanks holder, began to be demolished yesterday.
Stressful though the demolitions must be for the home-owners, the Good Samaritan Church attenders will be the biggest beneficiaries once Church Road is expanded as there will be no more traffic gridlock on Sundays. And if it is the Good Samaritan Church that complained to authorities about Church Road being too narrow to accommodate two cars, then our good and loving God heard its prayers. Adieu!
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story on demolition in my neighborhood, you might also enjoy another one I wrote more than two years ago on "Bidding a Friend Farewell". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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A Terrible Experience
A True Story
on Mar 31, 2021
At around 5.00pm yesterday, I left home for my one-hour evening exercises to my hometown of Kiserian. I usually do some jogging during the exercises and walk the rest of the way. Part of the reason why I do the exercises is to keep myself fit and stimulate my intellectual thinking. And boy, don't I enjoy the evening exercises!
After I was done jogging yesterday, I saw a dark-colored Toyota landcruiser (also known as Prado) traveling in the opposite direction. Prado being my dream car, I envied the one that I saw and wondered when I will ever own a similar car. That triggered a series of thoughts in my mind during which I thought of the way prominent politicians in Kenya own such Prados.
As I continued wallowing in such envious thoughts, I remembered what the book of Proverbs says about envy: that it rots the bones. So I quickly did away with the covetous thoughts and thanked God that I was feeling happy and peaceful in my soul. I walked on into Kiserian Town, reached a place on the northern side of the town and then turned on my heel for a return journey to my home.
While heading home and while still in Kiserian Town, I felt some discomfort in my stomach. I uttered a short prayer to God, asking Him to heal whatever was wrong in my tummy. But alas! The ache in my stomach persisted and saliva started forming in my mouth. Having found it disgusting - nauseating, even - to see people spit saliva in public, I restrained myself from spitting the saliva that was accumulating in my mouth for fear that I could disgust other people.
But when I reached a certain place, I was unable to contain the saliva in my mouth anymore. So I pulled down my face mask and spat all that was in my mouth. What came out was a stream of saliva that was foamy as if I had mixed it with a detergent. On spitting the saliva, I spotted a man on the opposite side of the road munching on something and hoped I hadn't disgusted him if he observed me spitting saliva on the roadside.
As I walked on towards home, my stomachache worsened. What's worse, I felt like vomiting. The thought of hiring a motorbike to carry me home crossed my mind but I quickly dismissed the idea. I just had to finish my one-hour evening exercises like I always do.
At some point when the urge to throw up grew in intensity, I walked into a business apartment and headed straight to the loo where I found the toilets open. I entered into one of the toilets and spewed up all that was in my stomach. It surprised me that the food I had eaten for lunch about four hours before was still in my stomach.
Every time my stomach aches and I throw up, I have diarrhea as well. Fortunately yesterday when I got into the toilet of the business apartment to vomit, I didn't have diarrhea. And that was fortunate for me because there was no roll of tissue paper in the toilet and I didn't have one in any of my pockets.
After I left the business apartment and continued with my walk towards home, the discomfort in my stomach kept bothering me. I asked God to just at least let me reach home in one piece. And I was so focused on reaching home that I didn't notice the people I was passing by. A lady-friend of mine called Priscilla had to greet me aloud to catch my attention. I responded to her greetings without pausing to exchange more pleasantries. My tummy upset was having a heavy toll on me.
When I finally reached home, I ignored a request from my sick Mum to assist her in something and headed straight to my toilet where I had the diarrhea that I knew was coming. As I sat on the toilet bowl, I thanked God for letting me reach home without messing myself up. Now that I was in the comfort of my toilet where I had plenty of tissue paper, I stayed in it for about five minutes. And when I was done relieving myself, I felt so weak that I contemplated getting into bed earlier than usual.
Because of the sickness I had yesterday evening (stomachache, diarrhea and vomiting), I didn't enjoy my evening exercises as I often do. And that terrible experience has made me appreciate good health. Truly, as Mahatma Gandhi said, it is health that is real wealth - not pieces of gold and silver, or those sleek Prados that I see cruising on the road every now and then. So I have resolved to be expressing gratitude to my Maker whenever I am in good health.
My dear reader, I urge you to also treasure your health - more than even your wealth. Eat well, drink water, exercise as much as you can and sleep fitfully at night. And remember if you have good health, you have the greatest blessing one can ever have. That's all I am saying.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story on a terrible experience I had yesterday, you might also enjoy another story I wrote last year on "Appreciating Good Health". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.