precious

 

“Friendship consists in forgetting what one gives and remembering what one receives”. – Alexander Dumas.

 

1234

Hello beautiful people 🙂

It’s pretty obvious by now what this post is about. I spent an entire day with my sister from another father and mother, Nafisa, after eight years. She moved to the UK after high school with her entire family and we’d always stayed in touch. We’d started off as ‘best friends’ in our second year of high school but quickly chucked that label a few months in when our friendship grew into sisterhood. You could say we’re complete opposites, and I guess that’s what makes us perfect for each other. She always has such great advice, so confident and always stands up for me when I need her most, I love her ❤

She landed in Kenya a few days before I got back from my trip to Bahrain and went to Mombasa to visit her family so we only got to spend one day together, the day she was traveling back to London. I planned out a day full of touristy stuff to do with her for the few hours we’d be together and hope to explore Nairobi more to have a few more activities for next time 🙂

Hope this list gives you some ideas on fun things to do on a day out with your friend(s) 🙂

  1. Enjoy a meal together:

    We had a great healthy breakfast at Brood which was a few minutes away from our first activity for the day. Food puts you in a great mood, and you don’t want hunger getting you cranky and low on energy in what should be a happy and exciting occasion. We had chicken sandwiches on honey oat bread at Brood with some tea.

  2. Be real:

    Talk about life! Ambitions, love, dreams. Listen to each other and exchange ideas. Getting it all out in a day after eight years away from each other was hardly enough but it’s good for the soul 🙂

  3. Do something fun, preferably outdoors 🙂

    Because fun memories last forever. I need to grow my list of fun places to visit in Nairobi, please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments! I’m that person who discovers a place and goes to it forever. But anyway, we went to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and The Giraffe Center. I’ve written about both places before on the blog, you can find the links below.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
Their website.

The Giraffe Center.
Their website.

Lastly, Ramadhan kareem to all my Muslim readers 🙂
May Allah accept our fast and prayers.

And happy weekend to everyone! 🙂

a better place

“Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me
And the entire human race”.

– Michael Jackson.

123

Hello beautiful people!

From the title and the introduction of this post, it may be obvious to some at this point that I am a Michael Jackson fan. A few months ago, I wrote a post about implementing affirmations in my life under the title, ‘Starting with the girl in the mirror’. I don’t mean to sound so self-righteous, but the truth is I appreciate and deeply respect anyone who makes art with a good intention because I could say I do feel that intent in their work. While putting this post up, ‘Heal the World’ kept playing in my head and I thought it was such an appropriate accompaniment to what I’m trying to express today.

I am gradually becoming more aware of the thoughts and actions I put out in the world recently. It is becoming clear that whatever energy you put out will ultimately come back to you in some form or the other. Just like gravity, what goes up must come down. It’s the same with your thoughts and actions, whatever you put out will come back to you. And so it is important to observe what energy you are inclined towards, and that you should always lean towards the positive.

These past few days, there has been a disconnect in my psyche and I feel like I have been less ‘aware’ of what is going on around me. Work has been busy. I’ve been overworking myself and in practising gratitude for all that I have – I see it as a blessing – but I could feel it wearing me down so here I am. Taking a back seat on life briefly to write on here and talk about how I feel. You see, coming up with not only pictures but appropriate text requires a certain level of focus and presence, it forces me to be still with the intent to create something authentic every single time. It’s like taking time off from the noise – be it music, or thoughts about a million other responsibilities – to just be silent, and I have found it to be very therapeutic.

I’ve had to question my emotions, and try to figure out the root cause of the discomfort or joy I experience. Being at peace and joyful is just wonderful, isn’t it? With time, I’ve managed to reach a point where I can now check my thoughts and control the effect they have on my mood. It is not easy, but I have to admit that it has gotten easier with practice. Somehow as human beings, the easiest state to be in is the ‘victim’. The better state to be in is problem solving, but it is also a challenge to come to this realization most of the time. It doesn’t have to be this way, and so I hope I will master this practice. I look forward to when it becomes as mindless as breathing.

It may sound abrasive and contradictory in some way, but ever since I began this exercise I’ve had to consciously force myself to stay in a positive state of mind and/ or situations that improve my mood and help me stay present. I bombard myself with affirmations, audio books and positive text even when I’m not feeling particularly great. Especially when I’m not feeling great. I question myself at times, wondering what the hell am I doing? But I keep it up because I do see a remarkable – and very positive – change in my thought patterns and my general mood.

While trying to attract more positive experiences, I now also actively seek them out. So on the last Saturday of January, I met an old high school friend of mine I hadn’t seen for almost eight years. Shout out – hey Fatima! 🙂 Being the adventurous free spirits we are, the obvious way to celebrate our reunion was to watch happy baby elephants play in the mud alongside warthogs and then enjoy some iced tea afterwards – duh. The most logical thing to do, yes?

Question – do you want to make the world a better place? That was a rhetoric question, because I’m sure you do. You just made my world a little bit better by clicking on my blog and reading this post 🙂 Well, the truth is not even Bill Gates can save the ENTIRE world. But I’m sure he starts with whatever he can, and so can you. I have a suggestion that could prove to be fun and pocket friendly as well. How does saving baby elephants’ lives sound for a start?

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust embraces all measures that compliment the conservation, preservation and protection of wildlife. These include anti-poaching, safe guarding the natural environment, enhancing community awareness, addressing animal welfare issues, providing veterinary assistance to animals in need, rescuing and hand rearing elephant and rhino orphans, along with other species that can ultimately enjoy a quality of life in wild terms when grown.

– David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

The point I’m trying to make is that you can make the world a better place just by, first, changing your thoughts – by practising ‘mindfulness’ and consciously trying to attract better things into your life 🙂

Start at the elephants’ orphanage, maybe take a friend. Or two, or ten! You will get to learn a lot about the DSWT efforts, about the orphan elephants and the entrance fee you pay will be put to good use. You are literally saving the world, sort of. 🙂

Then find something else to do. Anyone who’s got a suggestion for me this weekend?

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Entrance: 500 Ksh. per person.
Viewing of the elephants happens only for an hour, between 11 am-12 noon so be punctual 🙂
Directions: Google maps link opens in new tab.
More information on their website here.

genius loci

“The spaces where life occurs are places…A place is a space which has a distinct character. Since ancient times the genius loci, or spirit of place, has been recognized as the concrete reality man has to face and come to terms with in his daily life. Architecture means to visualize the genius loci and the task of the architect is to create meaningful places, whereby he helps man to dwell.”

Christian Norberg-Schulz.

11234

Can one add ‘day dreaming’ to their list of skills on a CV? Because I think I am a professional at it. Just as I’ve noted ‘Professional wanderluster’ on my Instagram bio, I have a penchant (and utmost urgency) for wanting to see the world – as I’m sure we all do. I always manage to find myself on Louis’ and Raya’s YouTube channels on a daily basis to get my much needed dose of inspiration, in hopes that my subconscious will work in my favour and attract more travel in my life. That, and an added bonus of good vibes through my day (which almost always ultimately takes me back to the daydreaming).

Sounds crazy, but have you ever been so immersed in a place or experience that your soul identifies a certain feeling with the place? Nostalgia becomes a different emotion every time if you’re as sensitive as I am to these things. Today I found myself missing how I feel when I’m at The African Heritage House (read the first post here). It’s more than just a house/ museum, but an experience of it’s own. What comes to mind is this book we were made to read for a certain unit in my third year of architecture school, “Genius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture”, where the author Christian Norberg-Schulz describes the concept of ‘spirit of place’ or genius loci. Some places can be described to have a strong spirit of place, and this is one of those spaces for me.

I was last there on the afternoon of New Year’s eve, with the intention of starting my new year on a rich note, dismissing the ordinary coffee shop experience (saving it for countdown a few hours later). It was my second visit to the house in the year 2016, and I’m sure I will be a regular in 2017 – perhaps even have lunch or dinner there one of these days. The tour is always a new experience because there’s so much detail you’d always find yourself picking up on something new. It was all the more charming with the delicately themed Christmas decorations, and I guess I was more present and therefore emotionally attached because of the new year clocking in just a few hours. Or maybe because it hits me more every single time that I am surrounded by art from all over the world, I can feel the richness, the presence of history.

There is something about resilience that I find so attractive. In people, things, culture, history. Because these things transcend time and serve a larger purpose. Knowing the history behind this house makes it earn my respect even more each time I go.

Putting up this post is a way of following through with my energy and ambition from 27 days ago. 27 days ago. Can you imagine January is already coming to an end? I hope you have managed to follow through on your goals, I’m trying my best over here 🙂

Let’s keep chasing our dreams, yes?

The African Heritage House

Location: Google Maps link opens in separate tab.
1000 Ksh. for a house tour (accommodation available on inquiry).
More information on their website here.

PS. How great is it that my first article about the house was shared on their website? Scroll to the bottom of the page, just fantastic 🙂 🙂