Thanksgiving, Umuganura


I called my sister from work to tell her  happy thanksgiving and she told me she was asleep and was dreaming eating maize, you know the multicolored maize? This one: photo-1471199855351-450fa931304c

Umuganura is a public holiday in Rwanda, observed on the first Friday in August.

Also known also as Thanksgiving Day or National harvest day, it is a celebration of the beginning of the harvest.

Let me share a bit of history

Umuganura means ‘first-fruits festival’ and can be dated back over a thousand years. It is one of the most important festivals and holidays in Rwanda.

Despite its long history, Umuganura has only been a public holiday since 2011. Its celebration was suppressed during Rwanda’s colonial period.

The focus of the traditional Umuganura was to give the harvest the blessing of the ancestors. This would happen first at a family level focused on that family’s ancestors, then the community would come together to have a wider celebration.

Nowadays, while the festival is still seen as having a focus on the harvest – giving thanks for the current year and a time to think about how to improve future harvests, it is also an opportunity for a yearly celebration of achievements from all sectors that contribute to the development of the country.

So this also marks my New year, I am three days into this new year and waah, so much can happen in a year.

My last year, 2017/2018 was a learning curve. I left my post as a student leader, I gave my self to love and laugh and I tried out new things, very many new things.

What I am thankful is cooked food. My roommates, I would come home to cooked food since January this year. The love in our house was and is amazing.

Now One of my girl’s is married. Urugo Ruhire, Mamy!

One of us lost her dad, RIP papa Vava.

But we thank God almighty.

So plans for this year.

 

Travel. Travel and eat and travel once more. TRAVEL. So help me God.

What are you thankful for this month?

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What is it that you give in a relationships ?


Once I said I was going to talk about relationships but all over a sudden i got the heat for hair things and entirely forgot. Sorry to those who waited for it and were disappointed. I am working on it though so that  I can have a separate section for natural hair and another for such topics as this. Please bare with me as  i organize myself.

So my take on relationships.

“It is up to each person to recognize his or her true preferences.”
Isabel Briggs Myers
 One of my friends’sister is getting married soon. I have never been so excited about two people getting married like these two. Why, you may ask. One is that, this couple is probably one in a million, or billion. The guy has had a crush on the girl since class five. 18++ years later they are getting married. The long and short of this story is that they give me hope for a proper relationship not the one that is presented to us in the media. There is work in a relationship, there is family involved in a relationship. You cannot give what you don’t have. If you don’t know who you are. What you stand for. What are your boundaries. How far are you willing to go. If you cannot be intentional or what it means to be intentional. I believe these things are important,if you can’t answer any of them, what are you offering? A body????
 I  can say there is a lot  involved for it to come to be, sustenance and growth. Have you ever looked at something and it’s just there, where it was a year ago, no progress. I hate such friendships, you always have to walk on tip toes with such people, on eggshells all the time, you can’t  be frank with them ( I have a thing for frankness) you can’t be honest because they will stop talking to you. Such friendships suck big time y’all! I take the same take on relationships,  if we ain’t moving mountains lets just crumble this whole thing.

 

‘ if love can be chemically induced does it matter if the lovers will do the dry cleaning anyways? the point The Effect ( A singaporean theatre production) makes is that there is a difference between infatuation and love. The former can be kindled by volatile chemicals made to react under controlled situations, but love requires steady hard work unfazed by personal catastrophe.’

– Akshita Nanda

Relationships is about something bigger, than just momentary, monetary pleasures. It is about love. It’s about growth.

I am an ENFP( one of the sixteen types of personality.) meaning i don’t like monotonous things. I prefer to focus externally, the world around me,  I prioritize people and emotions. I am curious to know what makes people tick. So, intellectual curiosity is very important to me. This is to mean that, relationships require a conversation. A relationship is a between two people, if you cannot hold a conversation going for more than one hour what are you doing. Which brings me to the next thing I think people of my age should consider, long term.

A relationship is long term. You select this human being and decide to upgrade them on the higher scale of friendship by adding romance. This human being will affect you, change you, influence you, understand you, be there for you, hold you down. If it’s a two days thing then it’s not a relationship. And won’t it be nice to invest in something that will make us happy for such a long time. I mean have pity on your heart and brain. Introducing each month or year to your heart a new human being and ending up broken is hard.

So may take really is, relationships is a lot  of work, but when you enjoy what you are doing time passes by so fast. So select that one human being who makes life fun and upgrade him/her from the friendship level to the romance level. Remember what they say: are you equally yorked?
Jo-

Detangling


Detangling is a word used in the natural hair community meaning to comb out the kinks out of the hair. There is a way Type 4C hair gets matted that one needs to take it slow, care in combing it out. Equipments needed: wide-tooth comb,mirror, water, conditioner, distraction, patience and hands. This must be done in a careful manner ( that is if the individual really cares about their edges)  This past week I undid my protective style of braids. And since in school we had a shortage of water…( third world countries problems) I had to wait until I had sufficient water to wash my hair. But the wait got too much and there was no light at the end of the tunnel that there was going to be running water any-time soon so I fetched water in a bucket and washed it. Mind you my hair had been in a PS for 4 weeks. Have you ever gotten complements for things you did not put effort into and makes you feel guilty? I did feel guilty!

My guilt got the best of me and I sat down and detangled the hair. While sitting there wincing at how painful it was, how much hair was falling off, I thought of so many things (my hate for cats, what caused the first world war, what if I just cut of this hair, how many people would be screaming at me, Who is Chrysostom? should I do my assignment? ……many things go through my mind at any given moment its scary) and one of them was principles.

Principles are those things that holds you as a person, differentiates you from the next individual….but that is my definition, the English dictionary says: a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behaviour or for a chain of reasoning.
what are your principles? what are your fundamental beliefs or behaviour?
In the daily life of this human being I call me, I was able to learn new truths about myself, or lets just say reconfirmation of certain truths. One is that I am frank, open, honest, and direct in speech or writing, especially when dealing with unpalatable matters.   I have for a long time known that but this week i was able to deal with it, and see myself from another point of view.With synonyms such as: plain, straight, straightforward, explicit, unequivocal, candid, direct,etc I noted that was being more straight forward than candid.

To get to where I want to reach with this topic for today, what I want to say is that just as when detangling hair one needs a list of things, one to define who they are what they stand for, what are their principles we all need those things.

One, we need a mirror, a mirror in this case is an honest friend, to tell you like it is without pretence or fear.
Two, we need conditioner, the restoring, the hope that things can get better. Conditioner restores the hair, gives it shine, repairs damages,etc. That is belief in a better tomorrow.
Three, we need hands: we need to do the work ourselves, our parents will not, our friends will not, as much as your pastor is a loving person and very mentoring he/she will not do the work for you. It is a personal journey.
Four, we need a wide-tooth comb, one can not enclose themselves away from everything and everyone and expect to learn or develop anything new. In this case what I mean is exposure, experience, information, people….
Five, we all need patience. Rome was not built in a day.Look at the great men and women that we consider our heroes and role models ( Nelson Mandela, Wangari Maathai, Martin Luther King Jr., Billy Graham, Margaret Thatcher, Steve Jobs, Maya Angelou,etc) they are all share an element of age. Look at the age at which they were finally famed? Take your time in working on your foundation. Patience is a virtue.
Six, we all need water. Water is life. John 14: 6. Jesus is the way, the truth and life. Get connect to Jesus.

P.s : thank you for reading, and your comments and suggestion, which I appreciate very much are being worked on. Next post will cover relationships and my take.As one of you asked. Keep it right here for that and send in what you would like me to write about.
Love,Jo

Climbing Mount Kenya with one shoe


My school this semester organised an excursion to Mount Kenya.
As an FYI, Mount Kenya is the highest Mountain in Kenya with the highest peak being Batian which stands at 5,199 meters. Being the second highest mountain in Africa, being just 2.5-3 hours away from Nairobi,I think it was about time to make a few memories and landmarks. I was talking to this teacher, he is a Reverend, and we were talking about paper money and how he collects from different countries, he has 242 different paper money and about 340 coin money. He stopped and told me, I’m telling you this so you can be jealous, so that you will want it for your self or even better, so that when we meet one day in the future you will tell me ‘I have also been to 56 countries’For him so far he has been to 13 African countries and in total 55 countries.

As the story goes, we were to go there animal sighting, not the hike or climbing, but as bad planning goes, we left school at 6:30 instead of 5:30 as anticipated. We stopped in Karatina town for tea break and continued the journey , buy the time were were getting to the gates it was 12:30 PM.

 

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DSCF0844 The rains started just when we were to begin the walk, do we stop or do were go ahead?

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A little rain never hurt no body! Natural hair representing!!! No need to get cover or hide, water is good for you 😉

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This tree must have seen harsh days, reminds me of a hunted house.

 

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This is my favorite tree of them all. See the way it is twisted? Awesome!

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This is as far as we could go considering the time and the unpreparedness to climb all the way. I was informed that to get all the way, one needs for days.

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There have been constructing a road,to facilitate rescues, this is how it looks so far. It is very slippery.

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When i say muddy, slippery and a lady who was not ready for a hike, this are the results, my shoes got stuck in mud, lifted my leg and the sole of the shoe come off. I had to walk all the way with one shoe. 20 PLUS KILOMETERS WITH ONE SHOE! All the stones, the mud, the slips, everything.

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The sock fought a good fight,served me well.

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And that ladies and gentlemen is how my first Mount Kenya Climb went. If you can climb barefoot is we should trade notes.

See you on the next unplanned event.