#someonetellcnn

Kenya in the past few days has had its fair share of being in the global limelight – both good and bad.

Im not one to normally write about such topical political issues, but this one just hit a nerve.

TerrorHotbed. Is that what you called us CNN? IS that how you termed our beloved country?

And just who gave you the right to say that? What justifies your thought on another country?

Yes we have terror attacks. Yes we have insecurity. Yes we are in fear of more attacks. Yes we are a developing nation. But that dear media does not give you any right whatsoever to term us as you please.

Did you mention to the world how we have the world-famous migration in the Masai Mara? Did you mention to the world just how hard our victory to independence was? Did you mention how your citizens come as tourists for our scenic destinations? Did you mention the numerous races and cultures we still preserve in our country? Did you even mention that the Global Summit was being held in this Terror Hotbed?

No dear CNN. Because like most people out there you were too busy picking out our flaws.

Media has the freedom of speech- but why does the very same media go on and on day in day out to give us negative news? Is your mission to fill the brains out there full of terror and negativity?

Have you ever stopped to think just how your “terror hotbed” might just be a reason for a terrorist somewhere to smile? Are you fueling the fight or are you out there to help us get back our calm?

Take a moment CNN – Maybe if your reported us and the rest of the world in a positive light, you might just bring about a new revolutionary positive mind shift. Because thats what we need. We need the world to see good and do good.

As a developed nation, the most you could have done is to guide us out of this. Dont fuel this fire. Don’t send your reporters looking for “hot” topics to right about. Send them to write about our endless rivers. About our picturesque Mt Kenya. About the stylish holiday getaways that overlook crocodile infested waters. About craters and valleys. About gorges and deserts. About mud huts and thatched roofs. About out innovations. About our evolving technology. About our ability to fight back to this monster called terrorism. About the ability to stand up as a nation.

Remember – OBAMA or no Obama – Life goes on for us. Your terror hotbed might be a standstill for this weekend, but we will wake up on Monday morning and forget about your name calling. We will go to work and earn our daily bread. We will shape our economy as our kids learn one more thing this Monday morning.1

Lest you forget what humanity is about, we are trying.

Remember CNN, if our #kiderograss grew overnight – Nothing – I repeat Nothing is impossible in our country.

Give us the spotlight CNN – but for all the right reasons this time

#Weareone

It has been a week since you led our country to confusion. Since you stormed into our safe Candle_of_hopehavens and made a mockery of this thing called Life.

Innocent children wailed as you tore the merry making into a war zone. As you tore mothers from their children. As you broke up families. You fired mercilessly, you turned a bright full-of-life Mall into a Graveyard. You watched as scores of people died at your mercy. The very same people made of the same flesh and blood as yourselves.

But more than that, it has been a week of endless patriotism for us.

Your bullets tore through us and wounded even our strongest. You tried to bring our country down. You succeeded in bringing mayhem. You succeeded in killing our people. You succeeded in bringing about a fear that will long give us the shivers. Yes you succeeded in all that.

But the one thing you didn’t succeed in is strength. Every soul you tortured and killed in this week was a soul with a free spirit and a soul able to live at peace in her own country. A freedom you so long yearned for but have never succeeded. The very freedom that angered you.

But what instead you did – is you showed us a Kenya we have never seen before. We saw people come out together and hold hands. We saw different religions and races..different genders and ages come together. You helped us put aside our differences and come together. You helped us become a stronger nation.

We discovered that no human on that fateful day was greater than the other. We discovered that people of all religions were to be safe on our soils. We realised that those who bore the wrath did not die in vain.

We comforted each other, we still fed each other. We got up and though brutally shaken, we still got on with our lives. We still dared to dream. We still wished. We still prayed. As a nation, we still woke up to a sun that shone brighter than the fateful day you etched in our history.

As a country we will mourn the deaths of our fellow brothers and sisters. We will flinch at the bloodshed. But as a nation we have come together. We will heal the wounded. We will comfort the disturbed. We will overcome this.

After all, it is only HE who created us, who can decide when he wants us back. Let no human make that decision for him. Let no nation weep at the blood spilled on her soils.

Kenya

Be at peace,

x x x

A Tanzanian Safari – A beautiful confusion.

So this is one overdue piece of writing- nevertheless Tanzania it was – a getaway close to my heart until i figure out where my next adventure takes place!

This country beautiful as it may be was a mixture of all sorts for me. With under 2 days to get right to the core- it seemed time wasn’t on my side. The safari was a jumble of memories- some of which i will write on.

This blog might seem somewhat confusing- but maybe that is its very purpose. Some things it seems to me – only make sense much much later!

The safari seemed in its very element to be surrounded amidst picturesque views and dazzling animals. A 6 am safari to the Ngorongoro Crater revealed pleasant surprises in kind. As our guide stopped at the peak of the crater- he enlightened us to a beautiful crater hidden here in the folds of Tanzania. Vast areas of green with a mirror-like lake in the middle. Never mind the chill that made me chatter!

Ngorongoro Crater

The clouds passed by like cotton candy- not tantalizing to the tongue, yet every bit ecstatic to the smooth of the skin. Did someone say Heaven on Earth?

A journey down this crater revealed a treasure like no other. Not only were we armed with an amazing driver who knew his thing- we also had our very own “self-made” Travel guide-friend – who insisted every hill had this long name that you would forget, and every species had 2 scientific names! Oh the agony! ( I promise you he is worth hiring!)

The beauty about these animals as we discovered lay in the fact that these animals were here naturally. No mankind interference. No planned wildlife- simply natural!! The lions grazed besides the zebra’s. watching ever so carefully – probably yearning for a meal or simply domineering over its area. the zebra’s in every bit graceful- munching away at the lush crater-bed grass.

That is until we notice a huge lion panting 2  metres away from our van. He looked old and his mane tattered- a result of years and years of defending his throne.

SimbaHis panting got heavier and heavier until it lay in the cool puddle of muddy water- awaiting a mid morning siesta. It felt as though after all his years he had somewhat completed the mission he was sent here for- and he now humbly lay besides us posing as the beauty he once was- showing off a beauty that will always be..

 

The Rest of the Tanzanian safari was a mixture of culture and some farm life. yes- feeding cows!! So that’s not really your typical safari- but remember the confusion bit? Yes- welcome to my safari!!

We got a feel of the Masai culture- from their Manyatta’s to their clothing- to their culture and rhythms of life.

Farm life! And that’s where the cows come in. Masai’s are natural cow herders. Its their prized possession. So the little villager side of me came out- alongside this awesome Kano-Boy who just looks like a natural amidst the cows.. and there we were- Moo’ing away with the cows- feeding them and occasionally stepping on fresh Cow dung- Oh boy!! Someday i must own a farm!!!

 

I must not forget an awesome pot i saw in the Masai Village. It was a brown earthen pot- with a cow skin laced onto it- sitting in a green- almost neon light. I asked my self -just how magical did this look? Many walked past this pot- yet it struck my eye as extraordinary.

Neon potIt was more like a human. Natural and beautiful covered up in a skin so fine. Sitting so quietly and wisely- was it full of secrets? Or did it hold a deathly secret? I could not tell. I leave you with its image- and ask but of you- how do you judge something so fine?

 

The rest of the trip was a blur of meals and fine dining. Of dancing away to African beats and running around in the pounding late night rain. Sleep was but limited- trying to squeeze in plenty of sight seeing.

Tanzania was great and a well deserving break. I’m not sure whether you will understand the confusion in my safari. I’m not sure whether you are lost amidst the wildlife and farmlife. Amidst the cultures and serenity of a crater so huge..

kenyan-flagHowever, 3 days later – here i was crossing borders once again- back to a place i call home. My motherland- Kenya. And the confusion seemed to have instantaneously vanished. I’m not sure whether it was my mind sensing a land that had nurtured me – or the simple flurry of activity in our sister country borders. Whatever it was, this was a trip to remember.

One that let my confusion gel together in a fusion of fine memories, each leaving a mark in a haphazard yet defined way.

To the safaris we hold close to our hearts,

x x x

A Tanzanian safari – The Crossover from Kenya

Last week found me traveling the East African side of the continent. As a child, i believed you needed to know your own country first, and then your neighbours, a little bit more about the rest of your continent before globe trotting!!

So here i was – bags packed, passport in pocket on my way to make this dream bear fruit.

Kenya is a beautiful country- unlike anything i presume i will ever see. It is after all Home to me. The countryside stretched on for miles and miles, dwindling in the first Easter rays- colluding into a wintry affair amidst misty clouds and ending up pierced in the dawning African sun.

The roads stretched on and on- until we reached the Kenya – Tanzania border. Captivating. The hills on the right felt like they were picked right out of the oriental Kashmir border. The exit from my motherland a flurry of trucks and people bustling in and out of the countries.

Walking on to no-man-land was somewhat mixed up. I never did expect so much confusion, i never did expect so much commotion. I never did expect it to look so normal- but yet that was it. So much for my flowery expectations!

And then there was the board.

Welcome to Tanzania

” You are now entering Tanzania. Welcome.”

It didn’t get any better. There i was finally in Eastern Africa. Ready to explore another country.

You wouldn’t expect much difference in a country so close. Its somewhat like having a person so close to your heart- like your better half and feeling like you are so alike- but when the reality sets in – its the similarity in the differences that actually bind your relation together. So here i was in Tanzania – i could already feel the difference.

Sweeter Swahili- more complicated Swahili compared to our Kenyan one. Polite tones.

“Naomba” ….. “Tafadhali” …..You will not go anywhere without these 2 words! Believe you me- the lady in the bus almost got ignored on alighting for not using these words. Sigh!! Beautiful manners fellow Africans!! But here in Kenya- that shall never work- sadly!!

What surprised me the most – was the nature of their roads. Stretching out for miles and  miles in perfection. Straight. It was different. I was so used to the Kenyan twists and turns, bumps and potholes- this felt new! Almost surreal.

It got me thinking. You think you know a country- like you think u know a person. but the diversity within a person can be so vast- and you can but just accept it. That when you accept the reality of things – it feels so much better. You can appreciate it for what it is and not what you want. You discover something different from what you were used too.

And that this difference is what makes 2 individuals come together. To forge a bond and merge as neighbours. To feel alive in either country – yet strangers at each others borders.

All said and done- there lay my passport stamped haphazardly yet distinctly –

Exit Kenya. Entry Tanzania.

Hello Tz!!

And that folks- was the beginning of a lovely Easter Holiday!!

Keep reading as i write about the rest of this serene get away!!!

x x x

Bees & Grass- A natural Haven..!!!

Traveling the Rift Valley- amidst the beauty of Kenya’s finest- back to a place where it all begun..back to where nature is at its best- truest and purest form, i was overwhelmed with a sense of belonging. A place that made me feel safe- that expected nothing from me but gratitude. A place bound by an everlasting beauty- captivated by its serene form and tantalizing views.

It had something to do with how it felt to be out in the wild. For days now, my world had been humanly controlled. Full of technology and beeping devices. Full of schedules, schedules and even more schedules! And it was driving me crazy!!  I seemed to have forgotten what it was like to be in a world so simple, yet feel so at peace. I had forgotten what it was like to be in a world not controlled at the click of a button. A world not run on commands and dodgy politics. I had forgotten what it was like to walk amidst natures finest; to take time out for myself; to simply listen to the pleasant chords of music the world has for me.

And here i was in a place with an unexplainable connectedness. Its sights and sounds eerily comforting. It wasn’t an ordinary visit though. It was magical- it was my very being.

The earth was warm under me. The sun above scorching- yet somewhat comforting. A green monster seemed to have over populated the choppy waters. Waters who had broken their banks with the torrents of Kenyan rain. A wooden platform lined the shores. Whilst shaky with every step, this was truly magnifique so to speak!! It existed in its own rhythm- a feat built by man, yet controlled by the very nature of the changing waters.

Totally disconnected from the reality of daily life, lunching under the cool of the makuti roof, the beat of the soft music hummed in my mind. I could smell the grass.. I could see the bees.. I was breathing a dose of fresh African air.  Bliss!!

As if impressing me, taking me away from the beauty before me, a giraffe strolls lazily past me. I’m thinking-  ‘Yes- im lunching- but what are you doing here tall fellow?’ Unaware at my awestruck self, it gracefully rips the leaves of the acacia tree, probably trying to be my lunch date partner. Did you know that giraffes are mammals? That makes them one of our own- a secret i only just discovered as we lunched somewhat together.
Ditching its lunch date with me, it brought out one of its own. Just 3 metres away – Two giraffes!! Standing tall, undisturbed and totally into their own world. Unaware at their picture perfect pose- unaware that they held my full attention. Somewhat refuting the belief that man must control everything. Beauty!!!

Giraffe

Whilst inhaling such a breath taking sight- lunching in the wild..Dancing to the sounds of crickets and buzzing bumblebees..Dipping our feet in the icy waters.. Hopping to the Earth’s music- here i was happy. Actually that was an understatement. I was ecstatic. Fully rejuvenated- totally free and with a sense of belonging.

Find your safe haven and get disconnected. Take the time out to see the little pleasures that nature has in store. Make it your own secret. And then share your secret with the most deserving. For me, it is a place that never disappoints. That always offers me something new. That absorbs your secrets and buries them deep in the brown earth. That does not tell. That does not judge.

And as the day closed upon me- i did not want to be anything more. I was as happy as i could ever be. And maybe that is the greatest feeling of all. To feel complete. To be captivated in life’s little pleasures. To call a place your own. To connect with this place and dissolve into a reality that most people can only dream of.

Nilpa

 

“It is a commonplace of all religious thought, even the most primitive, that the man seeking visions and insight must go apart from his fellows and love for a time in the wilderness.”

Loren Eiseley

 

 

Until you find your safe haven,

x x x