Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas (Yawn)

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December is almost over. Christmas is next week and New Year the week after that. Can’t believe that 2012 is over. It’s been a crazy year politically and socially as well. I just decided to talk about some random things that have crossed my mind in the last week as I wish you merry Christmas.

Christmas.

Is it just me or has Christmas lost its meaning? I can’t seem to find that excitement that I used to have when I was a kid. Maybe it’s because as kids we used to get new clothes at Christmas or eating things like nyama choma that we rarely ate any other time in the year. Well now as an adult I can afford to buy clothes any time I want or eat nyama choma so it doesn’t feel that special. I used to love putting up decorations for Christmas. Now I usually do it just for my nephew. Christmas means a lot in terms of my spirituality because it’s the day my savior was born. So that day has great significance to me. But as a holiday it has lost its meaning. Maybe it’s also because I work until the 24th of the month and resume on the 27th of the month. Am I like that those children who stopped believing in Santa Claus? Maybe I am.

Anyway Christmas is a time to give. Every year I go through my closets and give out stuff that I don’t wear to the less fortunate. Many times as women we say we have nothing to wear yet we have closetfuls of clothes. So we buy more things yet there are things that we rarely wear, have grown out of, or are out of fashion. This year think of donating some of those clothes to charity. If you’re a pack rat like me it’s hard to let go of things but it’s good to give to charity. It makes a difference to somebody else, empties your closet of some unwanted items and hey for the shopperholics it does give you an excuse to do more shopping. So it’s a win – win. You can also give your local church foodstuffs, books, and toys to give to the less fortunate. Or you can give money as well if you’re not sure what to buy. If you have time on your hands you can visit an old people’s home like Thogoto, or children’s home. There are plenty of places to visit. God has given us so much and he wants us to give out to others as well. To be our neighbor’s keeper and be God’s loving hands in the world.

Beggars.

There are so many beggars on the street especially during the evenings (a strategy to avoid Kanjo I think). Some nowadays have even migrated to the neighborhoods. It is hard sometimes to say no to these beggars especially when they are blind or have a physical disability. Or if it those sweet little children who come and beg for some money. Over the years the media have uncovered some of the real stories of those beggars. How some children are used to beg but it is not really that they are street children. That some of the so called blind people are not really blind. Or some of those people with gruesome wounds have just put tomato sauce over a bandage or something. This is enough to make you get jaded and harden your heart. I know I have. It’s hard to give your money out to somebody and you don’t know if they are faking it and in the next couple of hours they will be in a bar drinking your money away after a “hard” day’s work. There are two schools of thought. One says give with a pure heart. If they are lying God will deal with them. Then there is the other that says why give them money. They will just buy drugs or alcohol with the money or it won’t benefit them. I don’t know which school of thought you belong to.

Anyway the point of this conversation is about some of the children. Most of the time when you see a blind beggar being moved around it is by a child. This child spends most of their live leading this blind beggar around. What happens if the beggar dies? What happens when this child grows up with no education and is now an adult? What happens then? These children worry me. A child growing up with the mentality that begging is a legitimate job. This child grows into an adult with no legitimate skills or learning. How will such a child survive? I think the government doesn’t think enough about such issues. Are we breeding future thieves or beggars who will turn against the system that created them? Your guess is as good as mine. Something needs to be done about the children who are begging on the streets. They are just as important to Kenya’s future as the other children. Then there are also the other children – the ones who sell items for their parents instead of going to school or the children at the dumpsites (the real street kids). These children need an intervention.

Eco toilets

Yesterday being a hot day I drank a lot of water and by the time I reached town from work I was pressed. I had to go look for a toilet. I think the person who came up with the eco toilets is brilliant. A couple of years ago if you wanted to go to the loo you would have to enter a restaurant, pretend that you are planning to eat there, go to the loo and then dash off after going to the loo. This used to happen a lot at Steers or Nandos. Sometimes you would even be forced to buy a meal so that you would be able to use the toilet. Not anymore. For the simple price of 10 bob you can go to an eco toilet and not have to spend desperate minutes studying the geography of Nairobi asking yourself where the restaurants with clean toilets are. The good thing is the eco toilets are relatively clean and they even give you tissue. And that toilet supports many people. There is usually the shoe shiner booth that’s next and also a shop attached to many of them. So one toilet project supports many jobs. The person who thought up the idea, brilliant. You have my gratitude. We need many more innovative people who can come up with ideas to solve social problems and provide employment at the same time.

Grenades and time bombs.

Yesterday I had to pass through part of Eastleigh. My driver was joking the way we can be thrown for a grenade while we are going about our business. After he said that he closed his window almost to the top. When in the city or its surrounding areas, my window is usually fully closed or with just a small space for air to enter at the top. I don’t take chances. Anyway I was thinking about how insecure this city has become and especially Eastleigh. In the last couple of days there have been explosions in Eastleigh. This is ticking time bomb as soon it will not just become Eastleigh but everywhere. This is very worrying. The government and politicians should be making sure these issues are dealt with. If the politicians cared about our security maybe we would care about their candidate. Frankly I am tired of the circus the politicians seem to be having in the media every day. It would be refreshing if they thought about security issues. The only politician who seems to be discussing the issue of security is Peter Kenneth. We need the government to look like they at least care that citizens are being bombed. Not for them to go around like its business as usual.

Enough rambling for now. I wish you a Merry Christmas and A splendid boxing day. Please remember to give to charity. Make somebody else’s Christmas. Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy the holidays. May your holidays be filled with laughter, good cheer, good friends, and nosy relatives. May you remember that Jesus is the reason for the season! Enjoy the holidays.

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