Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Value of Black Life - Food for thought

My day began quite ordinarily and ended extraordinarily. I found out that Paul Rusesabagina, he of the Hotel Rwanda fame, was to speak on his experiences during the genocide that took place in April, 1994 in Rwanda. He was the main speaker at a "Critical Issues Series" organized by the Ohio State University Hillel. Watching the movie was in itself a harrowing experience. However, hearing first hand accounts of the atrocities of Africans shedding their brothers and sisters blood was to say the least, saddening, excruciating and mind numbing. I cannot begin to place myself in his shoes for those 100 days of slaughter and thereafter. I do not believe that I would have had the courage that he and so many others possessed and showed in the face of impending death. When asked how he had found the strength to do what he did, he simply replied that his advisor i.e his conscience, would not have allowed him to forsake his friends and the refugees at the Milles Collines Hotel. He also spoke about Darfur - which brings me to the title of this post.
One of the questions fielded to him was if he thought that the World has shown that Black Life is of no or little value. His response was to use an example of how world leaders marked the holocaust at Auschwitz (btw, Cheney's comment in this article left me flummoxed - as if such events in far off places would be justifiable). If you read that article and I highly encourage reading it, it makes you wonder what about that promise "Never again" changed when it came to people of Black skin. Case in point again would be Katrina (no need to recapitulate here). His second point was on Milosevic who killed at least 10, 000 Yugoslavians and yet was arrested and indicted in the Hague via the intelligence network of the so called developed countries. What is so different about the perpertrators of crimes against humanity in Africa? Could not the same 'intelligence" that was used to capture Milosevic be used in Rwanda, Darfur, the Congo?
Nonetheless, charity begins at home. We as Africans must stand up as one and begin to understand that our lives are ours to value and that no one will come to rescue us if we cannot rescue ourselves. Sad thing is how does one rescue oneself from oneself? I found Rusesabagina to not only be a captivating speaker but also a humble and straightfoward man. I am yet to read his book An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography however it is on my current list of books that i plan on reading.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Med Lab Week

This week is National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (4/23-4/29) so we are/have(ing) some interesting activities going on. We have a quasi-olympic theme and had to do the whole flag carrying, speech and lighting the torch shebang. Each lab department had to make their own flag and display it. Need I say that ours was DA BOMB!! Apart from featuring a few DNA helices huku na kule, we had pics of everyone's derrieres with the caption "WE HAVE THE BEST GENES" (nerdy I know). My lab is made up of young cats (as in around mid 20s - mid 30s). The other labs have those jamaas who stick at one jobo for a gazabajillion years so they are as old as Methuselah and are clocking serious anniversary chumes from working so long in the same position. Anyway, being a ka-young group we definitely have some good times lakini we are also very opinionated hence a monthly drama event. Therefore, if you have been to a hosi and had to have lab work done, think about the invisible peeps who take time to do the background work so that your ailment is diagnosed correctly.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Kusoma Kwingi

One of my favorite things about KBW is the ability to learn from each other's experiences and insights. I've come across a couple of bloggers e.g spicebear talking about their favorite reads and I do plan to follow up on some of the books that have been mentioned. Reading for leisure has always been a passion of mine. Admittedly in Kenya I would try to get a hold of as many novels as I could. In primo I ravaged through Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox, Aesop's Fables, Beano, Tin Tin, Asterix and Obelix, including comic books on Lwanda Magere, Mundu Mugo, Nyakio the beautiful, Famous Five, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Sweet Dreams, Sweet Valley High, Danielle Steele and Sidney Sheldon. The list is endless. I never caught onto Mills and Boon although a lot of my girlfriends did. Somewhere around undergrad I lost touch with reading ya kujienjoy lakini I picked up again. I have tried to focus on reading more books by African authors (lazima tujisupport). That said, I thought I would share some interesting reads that I've thoroughly enjoyed fiction and non-fiction:

1) Kwani? (I have all 3 and cannot wait for the next)
2) Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail - Malika Oufkir
3) A is for Ancestors - A selection of works from the Caine Prize for African Writing BTW there is a great story by Andiah Kisia on living abroad. Check it out.
4) Books from the African Writer's Series (Most favorite was "The Concubine" by Elechi Amadi though there are many others that I like from that series)
6) Desert Flower - Waris Dirie (Talk about survival)
7) Kill Me Quick- Meja Mwangi (A classic)
8) Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found - Suketu Mehta (more maonis by Kenyan Pundit)
9) Writing Still New Stories from Zimbabwe (Not yet finished but so far so good)
10) So Long A Letter - Mariama Ba (Talk about lack of women's rights - loved every single bit)

These are just a few and I will continue to share as I come across more. Kwa hivyo nduguzanguni feel free to hit me up and share books that you have come across and are of value to you. I'm open to ideas.

Flashback: Fasihi was easily my least favorite 8-4-4 subject. So my smart self decided that I would only thoroughly study a few books namely "Shamba la Wanyama" and "Visiki". The rest, "Amezidi" and "Kisima cha Giningi" were browsed over lightly (lightly being an overstatement). Shock on me when I found that the Visiki question was a nash for me! So, I chose to answer a question from one of my non-fav books. All I can say is ni Mungu tu! Somehow I managed. And what was up with those shairis that had the konkest swa on the planet?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Agony and some

So, it's been a couple of months of serious agony. I'm in the grad school application process and do I not envy those who are already in. The amount of money spent in applying and going for interviews out of state is just unbelievable. Waiting for a response is enough to send you to Mathare. For once and only once I would like to have at least a wee bit of control over my future and if I can't have any control, at least an illusion of control would be fine by me. So, if anyone out there knows where I can gather some kamuti to weka on these admissions counselors do not hesitate to holler.
On to other storoz. Apparently some characters have decided they would be fit for the presidency in Kenya. *yawn* nothing new about that, let me not waste your time... Spring is here and msichana has been procrastinating on exercising in preparation for the tumbo cut days i.e summer. I even felt inspired and bought some 5 pound dumbbells and a yoga mat ati to start doing some toning at home. Wapi?? Need I mention that those things haven't left the bag they came in from the store?
You Are Independent Sexy
You drive men crazy with your "playing hard to get act" Except, it's really not an act at all. You're a strong, sexy woman with her own life and interests. And that makes men even more interested in you!
What Kind of Sexy Are You?