Positive Quote For Today

"The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself."— C. JoyBell C.

The Girls I Have Loved

On the right side in this photo is me with my classmates Veronica Kitmet and Samuel Njathi, posing for a picture with our class teacher, Mr. Kimemia. The photo was taken when we were in Standard 5 way back in 1998 after we were awarded exercise books for topping our class. Have you noticed I am barefooted?

As the world celebrated Valentine's Day last Tuesday, I felt alone but not lonely. I was full of life, enjoying my current status as a single, footloose and fancy-free young man. And I thought back to some of the girls I have loved and admired over the years, since I was a boy in primary school to when I was a young adult at the university in JKUAT.

I began my formal education in 1993 at Naro-Moru Primary School, which was about a 40-minutes' walk from my home. During my days there, Naro-Moru was a poorly resourced school for kids of low-income families in our home-area. The school had no library, electricity or piped water. And some of its pupils reported to class barefooted.

Poorly resourced though Naro-Moru was, the school holds wonderful memories for me. I particularly remember when I got into Standard 5 in 1998, there enrolled into our class a girl named Veronica Kitmet (see photo above).

Veronica was a bright and beautiful girl. I used to secretly admire her and visualize myself taking her out for dates. So much did I admire her that over the weekends, I would sometimes trot along the road near her home, hoping to meet her.

But you know what? Never at any one time did I express my feelings to Veronica because of my shyness. And whenever we met in our hometown of Kiserian, my heart would start pounding like a tom-tom, making me too afraid to greet her.

Interestingly, Veronica and I used to worship in the same church (our hometown Catholic Church), something that should have given me an advantage over other boys in our school who also admired her. I often hoped that she would see me play the piano during Sunday masses and develop an interest in me. She must have seen me play the piano but whether she admired me for that is something I never got to know.

I will never forget the Sunday when Veronica came and stood next to me. It was during a mass (Palm Sunday, I think) when we went around Kiserian with other hundred or so congregants. But imagine in all the minutes that Veronica stood next to me, I didn't tell her anything. I just stayed put, as if I was a tree.

Another girl I loved in my primary school years was a pretty daughter of one of our neighbours. Her name was Grace Twity. I came to notice her during the evenings when she came to our home to fetch milk for her family. But as was the case with Veronica, I never disclosed to Twity how I loved and admired her.

One evening in 2001 when Twity came for milk as usual, she found me all alone at home. That would have presented me with a golden opportunity to pour out my soul to her. But owing to my poor social skills, I served her milk without uttering a single word to her. Poor me!

And the other girl I loved that I remembered on Valentine's Day last Tuesday was a lass I spotted at JKUAT when I was a first-year engineering student at the university in 2007. The lass was the most gorgeous female I had ever laid my eyes on. It was like God had taken extra effort while coding the DNA instructions that dictated how she would grow.

Enticed by the beauty of the lass, I had a crush on her. During one Chemistry lesson in 2007 for all engineering students - a lesson that was held in the university assembly hall because of the large number of students involved - I kept turning my gaze towards her as the lecturer droned on with her lecture.

Then on another night, I found the lass by herself at a table in the university canteen. I ordered a meal and sat next to her while longing to engage her in a conversation. But as you would expect of me, words failed me due to my shyness.

By the way, I didn't see the gorgeous lass again when I reported back to JKUAT in 2008 for my second year. She must have dropped out of the university. And I am ashamed to admit that in all the weeks I secretly admired her, I never got to know her name and the exact engineering course she was pursuing at JKUAT.

Since 2007, I have never met another damsel who has captivated my eyes the way that lass at JKUAT did. But I have vowed that should I spot one in the future, I will screw up my courage, approach her and initiate a chat with her. I just have to overcome the shyness that has kept me from falling in love with the girls I have admired. Belated happy Valentine's Day!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story about the girls I have loved, you might also enjoy another one on "My Naro-Moru Days" that I wrote more than three years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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Reading the Bible in Public

With permission, I have extracted this picture-quote from a website called Renew a Nation. All rights reserved worldwide.

Last Wednesday, I woke up effortlessly at 5.20am. After making my bed and uttering the Lord's Prayer, I took a shower, got dressed and packed everything I needed for the hymn I was scheduled to produce on that day in the studio of my friend Sylvester Otieno. Among the items I packed in my bag was my Bible for reading during any idle moments that might arise.

On taking my breakfast - a delicious meal of sugared tea and brown bread - I picked my bag, bid my parents goodbye and then set out for Sylvester's studio which is in Utawala, a town about twenty kilometres from Nairobi City. My journey to Utawala was quite long as it entailed walking, boarding two public service vehicles and riding in a motorbike.

I arrived at Sylvester's studio at around 10.00am, just as we had agreed. What was even better was that I was feeling bright and cheerful while I walked into the compound of the buildings that house the studio. Unhappily though, Sylvester was busy doing something in the studio. He therefore requested me to wait in another mansion next to the studio.

The mansion, which was under construction, was reeking of paint. And there were workers, clad in paint-stained clothes, who were busy hammering some bricks and carrying bags of cement for use in whatever they were constructing. I feared the smell of paint could cause me a headache, thus making me less bright and cheerful.

As I waited for Sylvester to finish what he was doing, I took out my Bible and re-read the book of Ezra, just to remind myself who Ezra was and why he is considered a noble character. I also read some information in the glossary pages of the Bible.

Well, I can't remember what I learnt about Ezra since the workers kept interrupting me with their work. The little I gleaned from the Bible was that Cyrus, who is mentioned in the book of Ezra, was a king of Persia. And Persia was an ancient nation in what is now Iran. Did you know that?

I paused reading my Bible when I spotted Sylvester outside his studio. Carrying the Bible with me, I went to ask him whether he was done with whatever he was doing. He was with another lady who I greeted as I talked with Sylvester. The lady responded to my greetings warmly, and when she saw me clutching my Bible, she asked me in Swahili, "Kwani wewe ni muhubiri? (Are you a preacher?)"

To tell you the truth, the lady's question embarrassed me. I also felt ashamed to be seen with my Bible. Not wanting to be thought of as a preacher, I mumbled something to her along the lines of having never been a pastor. Thankfully, she received a phone call that cut our conversation short. As she engaged her caller in a talk, I asked myself, "Why should I be embarrassed of reading the Bible in public?"

By the way, that was not the first time I had been ashamed of being seen reading the Bible in public. I have had similar experiences in the past. And I don't know why I have found it shameful to be seen with my Bible in public. Maybe it's because people who read the Bible are considered pious, and pious people are thought of as strict, preachy, boring and intolerant - the last traits I'd like to have on Earth.

I have always wanted to be someone fun to be with, someone with a warm personality, who respects the beliefs of others. And when I get married, I'd like to have an exciting sex life with my wife. The Bible does actually exhort us to be kind, friendly and accepting of others. It says God's wish for us is that we love all people, judge no one and enjoy sexual ecstasy in marriage.

As I now reflect on the experiences I had last Wednesday in Sylvester's studio, I regret feeling embarrassed to be seen carrying my Bible in public. But I am glad I read it on my trip back home during which I memorized Zephaniah 3:17, a comforting verse that says:
The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
Now that I have come to know the Bible as a wonderful source of hope, wisdom and encouragement, I have resolved to never again feel embarrassed of reading it in public. I will pore over it while waiting to be served in a bank, a supermarket or a barbershop. And I will also unashamedly read it while travelling in a car or an airplane. Not an unwise thing for you to do as well, my beloved reader!

NEW! NEW! NEW! If you missed my social media update two days ago, let me take this opportunity to inform you that I have produced a new hymn entitled "Lord of All Power". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the hymn.


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