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Showing posts from 2016

My 2016 reading challenge

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Earlier this year I posted this picture on Instagram:



Because I'm a total bookworm and I'd seen lots of other folks doing reading challenges and I thought that this might be somewhat manageable (meaning the list wasn't super long). It would push me to actually seek out books more intentionally than before. Also, I'm a sucker for dares and challenges. Side-effects of being a very competitive person I suppose.

   I kept track of my progress using my instagram and goodreads accounts. I will now attempt to take stock and see how I did.


1. A book published this year
Harry Potter and the cursed child - John Tiffany



A lot of people I know had mixed feelings about this book after all the hype. Personally I'd been waiting for a new Harry Potter book since I finished Deathly Hallows at the age of 17. I loved it, even the script-format. All I can say is: Broaden your horizons and literary palates people!


2. A book you can finish in one day
Shadows on the moon - Zoe Marriot



  …

What it's like to be an introvert

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When I was in High school we had an annual parents’ open day for the form two students. Basically all your teachers sat at different tables and you and your folks went round from table to table so that they (your folks) could meet the teachers and discuss how you’re doing and what-not. I was struggling a bit with some of my grades and it didn’t help for me to have the teachers for the two subjects I was struggling the most in: Math and chemistry – tell my parents that I barely participated in class. I was deeply offended. In my view I was doing very well at class participation. I was practically slaying class participation. Those teachers had it wrong and my parents were equally as wrong for not believing me. That’s what it’s like to be an introvert.


   Of course the only people who can appreciate that deep struggle are fellow introverts and ambiverts (Ambiverts are people who have both extroverted and introverted traits). Extroverts don’t see when you’re putting in 100% effort to…

What a doctor looks like

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The hashtag #WhatADoctorLooksLike is sweeping the internet and with good reason.  In case you're not familiar with the story, I'll catch-you-up. Last week a man on a Delta airlines flight collapsed. So the flight attendant did what we've all watched in movies but few have seen in real life.  She asked if there was a doctor on board. A young African-American OBGYN (The kind of doctor that attends to women during pregnancy, pregnancy related issues and all other female-specific health issues) raised her hand because duh! She's a doctor. And even th The flight attendant saw her but automatically assumed she wanted to ask about something else, so she dismissed her and asked again for a doctor. She managed to get the attendant's attention again and this time informed her that she is a doctor.  So the unnecessary time-wasting and possible patient-killing Q & A ensued. Apparently the flight attendant was having a hard time believing that our young African-American…

Foodie Fridays: Homemade Butter Naan

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I am obsessed with Indian food. My family knows it and I know it. I’m currently looking for a support group. One which hopefully bankrolls trips to local Indian restaurants.  :-D  So you can only imagine the glee I felt when I stumbled across this gem of a recipe on Pinterest. It’s quite simple especially if your chapatti making skills are on point! And even if they’re not on point, it’s still easy enough.  I modified the recipe a bit and improvised here and there but it still turned out great!  So without further ado:
Ingredients
3⁄4 cup warm water 1 tsp. honey 1 teaspoon active dry yeast 2 cups all-purpose flour 1⁄2 cup plain yogurt 2 tablespoon cooking oil 1⁄2 teaspoon salt ½ a cup of melted butter (or cooking oil) ½ cup chopped cilantro (Dhania)
Instructions
1.Stir the water and honey in a bowl; add yeast and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.
2.Add the flour, yogurt, oil, and salt and mix thoroughly. Using your hands, knead the dough in the bowl until smooth. Cover the doug…

Foodie Fridays: Pineapple and beef stew

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It’s been a while. Months actually since I last wrote anything. School got so crazy that I could barely muster the strength to write anything worth-while. And I don’t do things half-way. Go big or go home right? But I have a bit of a reprieve at the moment and this is me trying to get back on the writing saddle. What better way to do it than with a recipe that will absolutely blow your taste-buds!    I mentioned a while back how much I love fruit-juice marinades. They have this unique flavor and have a way of making food sweet without being as overwhelming as sugar can be at times. Plus, they are healthy!
   Short biology lesson: Pineapple juice contains an enzyme called bromelain which actually breaks down tough proteins, such as the ones found in the harder cuts of meat therefore softening the meat. It’s a natural meat tenderizer! No more boiling for hours on end or using a pressure cooker to make meat chewable. Just marinate it in pineapple juice for 2-3 hours and your good to…

#Priorities

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What are the things that keep you up at night? Are they your studies? Work? The simple task of feeding your kids from one day to the next? It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that for the average Kenyan, a little ache here or a pain there can wait. A cough that’s lasted for more than a month despite having drank an arsenal of cough syrups is only slightly worrisome. Please don’t get me started on our unhealthy tendency to self-medicate. I’m guilty of doing it myself.  The average Kenyan goes to the hospital when the pain is so much that it wakes them up at night. When the headache starts affecting their sight. In other words, when they can’t put it off any longer. And who can blame them; they have bigger problems to worry about. They can’t afford to miss a day or even a morning of work to go to the hospital. They can’t afford transport to the nearest hospital or health centre. They have to choose between feeding themselves and their loved ones and taking a trip that …

About that Nairobi brusqueness

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Brusque - Synonyms: curt, abrupt, blunt, short, sharp, terse, peremptory, gruff; 
offhand, discourteous, impolite, rude

  Being a Christian and a Nairobian is a delicate balancing act. On one hand I want to be kind and accommodating toward people. But on the other I'm hyper-aware of the rampant conman-ship we encounter on a daily basis. So you genuinely try to be concerned about the needs of other...but from a slight distance, you know. Just in case.

   I met a woman in the bus the other day. She was sitting next to me and I probably wouldn't have spoken to her if it wasn't for the fact that the bus ran out of fuel and abruptly stalled in the middle of the road....at 7.30 pm in the evening. And yes I’ll admit it. Up until that moment my face was firmly glued to my phone screen. So she sighed and asked me how she would get to the hospital (Kenyatta National Hospital) considering that the bus had stopped and was refusing to start. She was to meet somebody there and her phone w…

Foodie Fridays: Spaghetti in sausage with marinara sauce

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It’s been a while since I made a Foodie Friday post. I could say it’s because I’ve been experimenting a lot with my palate. But mostly it’s because I’ve been busy. And hopefully you guys will get to see what my palate has discovered when I’m not busy.

   So I’m sure you saw this photo doing the rounds on Facebook a while back:

 Since that day this recipe has been a culinary goal for me. So yesterday I figured, why not! I borrowed the basic concept of the photo and combined it with what I know about pasta cooking and bam! This is what I got. So without further ado...
Ingredients
For the pasta: 10 sausages sliced into thick chunks Spaghetti 4 cloves garlic finely chopped 1 tablespoon of parsley ½ tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon cooking oil 5 cups hot water
For the marinara sauce: 1 large onion finely chopped 4 cloves garlic finely chopped 1 table spoon butter 4 large ripe tomatoes Red chilli / Cayenne pepper to taste ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon brown sugar ½ teaspoon vinegar
Method
1.Slice th…

Count your blessings

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Human beings are such ridiculously myopic beings. Whenever a public figure makes a mistake, we focus on that one incident and completely forget all the good they had previously done. It’s easier for us to focus on the bad in a situation and forget all the good. Even in our own personal lives. When something bad happens to us, we focus on it, lament about, worry about it, tell the whole world about it and promptly forget about anything else that was positive in our lives. I think the author of this hymn was onto that. Because the lyrics hit so close to home with an accuracy that is timeless.


   There is something refreshing about counting one’s blessings. It’s a reminder that whatever situation you are in is really not that bad and that this too shall pass. It gives you the strength to go on. It reminds you that indeed God is still here and He is still good.    So I don’t know about you, but I’ve made a decision to do it more regularly. For myself and for others. Maybe you should t…

Don't be that girl!

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My first encounter with sexism occurred when I was 12 years old. It was report-card day at the end of 2nd term and I was in class 7. This was an especially important report-card day because it was one short step to class 8 and everything was taken more seriously by the school. In-fact to prove just how serious things were, class 7s and 8s had to wear their school-uniforms while the rest of the school got to wear regular clothes! I was a bit nervous but not that much. I went to school with a pretty competitive bunch of kids so by this day after the marking, verification and revision of most exam papers; we’d taken the liberty of compiling a rough estimate of our total marks and averages. I knew I was in a good place. I just didn’t know how much.
   For the first time in a long time, I’d come first in my class! I told you I went to school with competitive kids. It was hard to maintain the top position for more than one or even two terms. We kept on shifting positions with every exam…

9 ways med-school changes you

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I've written about being in med-school before and the things you learn. But I've never written about how it inadvertently changes you.

You: 1.Start using big words in every-day conversations. Case-in-point: ‘inadvertent’ there above
2.Choose comfort over style. Depending on the activities of the day you may end up choosing these comfy flats that you can stand hours in instead of cute ballet flats, sandals or heels. Those you shall reserve for the weekend.
3.Lose most of your verbal filter.
And therefore end-up often saying stuff that may shock non-medics. It's so normal to you that you only notice it when they give you the 'look'.
4.Get used to strange meal-times.
Early morning classes might mean breakfast at 8/9...despite the fact that you've been up since 5/6am. Lunch at 12/2pm because of surgeries or clinics become a regular thing.
5.Begin to collect a wide range of studs and other nondescript ear-wear.
Because big hanging ear-rings can be an occupational hazard. Tha…

Successful adulting is:

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Forgive the apparent typo, but there really is no better way to express this than by the use of a recently-coined millennial verb. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the word ‘adulting’ made its way into next year’s edition of the oxford dictionary. We seem to be borrowing so much from pop culture these days. Now for everyone born before 1980, according to urban dictionary ‘adulting’ can be defined as ‘doing grown-up things and holding responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups’. Okay? All good? Now that we’re on the same page allow me to make my list.
   Successful adulting is: 1.Pretending to know what you’re doing 80% of the time and actually knowing what you’re doing only 20% of the time. I have early childhood memories of my parents being total ninjas at stuff. I recently found myself in similar situations and shockingly realised just how much of a coin-toss said ninja activities are! Well, at least …