Showing posts from October, 2009


Photo credit Vipi marafiki? I've been inundated with our fifth grader's homework assignments these past few days. And truth be told, I am definitely not smarter than a fifth grader. Last night I spent two hours trying to help him finish his math homework - Problem Solving Strategies - six problems consisting of three sentence questions involving the division of decimals. The problems were so confusing, I was convinced they were trick questions. Thank God we have a recent college graduate now living and working in NYC. I told her I would just have him ask his teacher for help at school and she said, "No, mum don't give up so easily!!" Then his Dad came to assist and further progress was made - this was about 9:50 pm last night. After reading the questions a few times, he used a strategy of elimination and with our daughter on a conference call, the two were able to come up with the correct answer. Wow. All this time, I've been admiring his looks, you kno

Trespassing Prohibited

I couldn’t wait to tell Nadia. She lived on the other side of the bougainvillea lined path that separated our properties. I had not talked to her for a few days. And once or twice recently in the evenings, I caught a glimpse of her through the hedges as she walked alone towards the main road. I wondered where she was going and made a note to ask her, then decided to follow her the next time I saw her pass by and surprise her with the good news. The opportunity presented itself easily enough, right after an early dinner that Saturday when she made her way through the path behind our house. I gave her a few minutes to get ahead and then set out after her. It was not long before I realized that she had turned off the main road and was heading towards Sir Michael Blondell’s coffee farm. What was she doing? His was the colonial ranch to be feared, avoided. I followed stealthily behind, the double dose of excitement almost too much to bear. It wasn’t long before I came upon her, s

Balancing Life

Photo credit This young man could very well be a college graduate or a high school graduate. He may also not be a graduate at all. Regardless, as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention . Believe it or not, this young man is a tailor. And balanced on his head is his workstation. Due to the inability to find employment he has resorted to fulfilling a need. In all likelihood, his place of business is somewhere in Lagos, Nigeria. What does he do? He walks the streets looking for customers that need this or that stitched, a button here, a button there, pants hemmed, a skirt stitched. And on a good day, he may be hired to design and sew trousers, a shirt, or a dress. He has steady customers you know; it may seem an odd career but he is fulfilling a need. If he was in America he could have a bunch of uniformed tailors walking the street like him, or driving brand name trucks – franchised! Mama Shujaa.