I am delighted to have a glimpse of yet another year.
2011 wasn’t so bad for me. I made resolutions and accomplished nearly half of them…C’mon I tried!
I managed to craft and maintain a blog. Believe me it’s tasking to be tied to publishing weekly especially with minimum or no supervision. I have grown immensely…not in the flesh, but as a writer. I have met other bloggers who egg me on with their loyalty to readers and they too intrigue me in more ways than one. I’ve got readers who motivate me with their staunch readership and comments. I’ve got likes that I will never know who clicked and idle marketers who posted piles of awfully long jargon thingy’s that were pending for me to approve.
Pesh finally believes nyonyo has run out of milk, and yes, she stopped being my hand bag. Ok she’s trying. She is growing too fast and those baby trousers I folded and hid under a shawl now work as three quarter tights. She writes on every page in my work diary and can make out pictures in a book. She has learnt to clasp her hands together and pray after me and now, it just hit me that come January, I will be shopping for school stockings, plasticine and hopefully no metallic buckets or jembes.
Jane, my housie left for shags and everyone assured me that she would get a man, get married and be pregnant by New Year. House helps are like fat people; apparently, they just don’t work out! So Pesh and her daddy had a Daddy and Pesh day, when I had to go to work for a day. They ate half the box of weetabix, and slept the afternoon away. He did a splendid job in the morning and proved a lot to me *smiles nostalgically* though at this rate I would have two fat kids in my house!
I attended several weddings while Pesh got a new dress worth Kshs. 7,000. I promise if it were up to me, I would never have spent a dime on it. I don’t own an outfit that costs more than Kshs. 3,000. This exterminator dress was imported for a posh wedding she graced as a flower girl. She looked glorious!
She enjoyed a sleep-over at grandma’s while we maximised our time alone in our suddenly echoing house.
We travelled to the hilly suburbs of Taita. Five days out of town. This was the longest road trip I had ever taken and unlike my niece Essie, who kept faltering aloud whether we were there yet, I kept wondering to myself how much further we had to go. I stepped on my invented brakes half the time while my heart got fed up with me making it skip with every passing of an overloaded, overtaking truck. We got home at sundown.
Yes, more than eight hours on the road and I couldn’t even see my dad-in law clearly as he ushered us in. It was close to 8pm. My butt hurt from all the sitting, and Pesh, sitting, sleeping, tossing and turning on me. My head felt like I had been knocked down by all the trucks I saw that day…even those that we saw lying on their sides like big baby dinosaurs who couldn’t get themselves up.
The first this thing that caught my attention was the smell of fresh green air and the swaying of trees that took away the smoke from kitchen chimneys. I felt like I had just walked into a herbal sauna. Mgambonyi, Taita is out of the ordinary. I never knew I could one day touch a cloud with my feet flat on the ground. We were perched on top of a hill and on the first evening, I happened to watch with my mouth wide agape as rain came from the neighbouring hill to us! Literary!
We climbed hills on fours and crossed a river to go to the nearest shop. It takes about an hour to and fro so if the sugar is out and the tea is boiling, one had better have it that way lest you back from the shops at midday!
A sheep died when we got there.
It wasn’t an accident. It died for us; for us to get full on it.
We paid copious visits to relatives to say hello. Unlike here in the city, people in Taita value visits. In fact you look stuck-up if you do not greet everyone you meet. I more often than not had a hard time remembering to greet women who I hardly noticed were tilling the lands that were securely tucked down hill and sandwiched by forests. One very old lady, we went to see is a next door neighbour. I heard she has a Major in gossiping and nose poking. ‘I heard the car drive by and wondered who it was. I see it was you,’ she garbled her tongue between her almost toothless mouth. I’d just met a new auntie.
Then we met the old man. This man I have waited patiently to meet ever since I heard of him. He is 93 and still strong, with a mouthful of teeth and a good memory; Pesh’s great granddad.
We found him sitting on a log outside his house and as always waiting for God to take him to his wife. ‘You are lucky you found me here’, he began, ‘next time you may find me gone; gone to be with your grandmother.’ He has been saying this to all his visitors for the last five years or so I hear. We kept him company as he chitchatted of his uneventful life and how people from the land of bananas…my land, chop off his trees and steal them away.
We made a few more rounds before finally retiring for the day. Pesh stopped calling me mommy and like her cousins and other relatives, she resolved to refer to me as Mama Pesh or Auntie Fannie. I was distraught.
Dinner was ready to be served. End of day one.