(Post written on Tuesday, 3 Jan 2017)
Happy new year friends!
Everyone hated 2016, I did too- initially. But it got better and better as the year progressed. I’m hoping 2017 will be lovely for all of us. I pray nothing but goodness, love and joy for you all. How and where you find those, is up to you. So seek them, and seize them!
Let’s get into the first Taking Stock post of the year. These posts, for me, are really a good way to keep track of checkpoints in the year, and self-evaluate/ reflect.
Making: plans for my birthday this month. I would have loved to visit the Danakil Depression in Ethiopia, but it’s sooooooooooooo expensive! Any sponsors, email me. 😉
Cooking: Going to brew coffee
Drinking: Water, tea and coffee
- Pride and Prejudice- Jane Austen. I’ve BEEN reading this book! Started and restarted it several times. It’s just nothing that I’m used to. It is set in 19 century England, landed gentry society. See why it’s difficult to relate to? It does explore interesting themes of ‘feminism’ and marriage, education and social class, so for that, I should finish it. It was also published on my birthday in 1813! FATE.
- Homegoing- Yaa Gyasi. Just started this one. It tells the story of two half-sisters: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. I’ll let you know in the next segment how it was. But so far, so good!
Edit: Had to abandon this one because it’s my sister’s and she’s discussing it with a friend.
- Scarlet Song- Mariama Ba. My sister, as I was leaving home, said that I must read this book. I vaguely remember reading it in high school, but couldn’t tell you what it was about, or if I finished it. Set in Dakar, Mariama tells the story of a poor but very smart Senegalese boy/man and his romance with the daughter of a French diplomat. She writes really vivid descriptions- you can taste, feel, smell, hear and see everything. I’m only about a third-way in, but have had two tear jerking moments from the powerful prevailing themes of interracial love, racism, Africanism and poverty. It is a deceptively thin book that packs in a lot!
Wanting: to go to Dakar so bad! Someone I met has got me obsessed with Senegal and specifically Dakar. (Totally coincidental that I’m currently reading a book set in Dakar.)
Playing: a random mix on SoundCloud
Wasting: this has got to be one of the hardest parts of this template. Really gets you thinking. I think I might be wasting money; which is not something you want to be wasting, ever. Not because I’ve got lots of it, but I’m not keeping track of my finances very closely, I don’t really have a financial plan and I just kind of spend as I go. I should change that.
Sewing: I got my tailor to sew this Ankara crop set for me!
Wishing: Africa would open up more to its citizens. Why can’t we still travel freely within our own continent?
Enjoying: the last of my time in Nairobi with my family.
Liking: these shoes that I got for KES 300 each (USD 3 each) at Toi market!
Wondering: what it would be like to live in a desert country. I think I would die. Nairobi heat tortures me, Lagos heat incinerates me. I really would die.
Loving: where I’m at in life. I’ve got lots of anxieties and concerns, but overall, I feel really blessed and fortunate.
Hoping: this year is great! I will not go in with any expectations, but I will do my best in everything- my work and my relationships with my loved ones, self and God.
Marveling: at animals and personality. I’ve been observing my dog and he is so fascinating. He is an extremely picky eater, seems to always want to test and push boundaries, and oftentimes isn’t the smartest. He can get really whiny, and loves belly rubs and massages to an obnoxious point. What gives dogs their personality? What is it that makes the ‘soul’? Is soul the same as spirit? What happens when they die? Why do some animals have more complex personalities than others? Do all creatures have an ‘other’ entity separate from body?
Needing: another holiday!
Smelling: tea tree oil (which I use for everything)
Wearing: head-wraps a lot more now that I’ve got my natural hair out. I normally braid underneath and wear a turban/ head-wrap to keep it out of the way.
Edit: now in faux locs
Following: the following Instagram pages recently (ish):
- @findingpaola– This woman is everything. She is bold, beautiful and black; enterprising and fun. I first discovered her on my explore page when I came across a video of her wedding which was so different and fresh. She wore a big bold head-wrap, a champagne-coloured dress, and walked down the aisle barefoot to traditional Haitian drumming. I was obsessed.
- @bantuwax– “Real beachwear from the real Africa”. I’m wearing their swimsuit here.
- @nafiz.emre– Turkish photographer with a beautiful feed.
- @german_backpacker– Just that.
- @dakarlives– refer to Dakar-obsession above.
Noticing: that I’ve put on an inch or two 😩 and I’m not talking about hair. LOL
Knowing: that this is the year I go back to that veg life! #PlantStrong
Thinking: that I really need to ‘stop slacking’ in the words of my friend Julie, and put up my blog posts and vlogs. I’ve got so much content from Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Zanzibar (TZ) that would have the blog so lit! But I’ve been so kak at finding the right work-life balance. Which really shouldn’t be, because I only just started work, and it will only get harder from here…
Feeling: a little sad about leaving home. It’s really not easy being physically away from your support system.
Bookmarking: tonnes of articles I’ve saved from Facebook but been too lazy to read. From foreign policy and business, to travel and lifestyle.
Opening: my bed covers to go make coffee
Giggling: at remembering how my mum nearly fell off the bed today when we were chatting, and she literally saw her life flash before her. I could see it in her eyes. It was hilarious. Love you momsie.
Lots of love friends.
PS: I had every intention of editing a vlog to go with this post, hence delaying the publishing of this post. Clearly that didn’t happen, but I hope this will do, for now. ❤