Dazzling beauty of stepping out of the usual

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Not every day you get to see magnificent sceneries, spectacular views or have simple yet uniquely awesome holiday experiences especially not in the most unspoken sites. Before I go on, you probably already know that usually I would enjoy sharing this with friends on a weekend or during my “feierabend” hours somewhere at the usual hangout spots. But then, I realized I had to catch up with the rest of you who enjoy a good read. You will enjoy this one as well, that’s for sure, I hope.

Now, as I was saying, for most of us upon having thoughts of holiday destinations in Rwanda, areas like Kibuye, Gisenyi, Rusizi and the likes ring the loudest bells. And, it’s in these places that you will catch crowds flocking every now and then simply because there is not so much of options or they are used to business as usual. There are plenty of other cool places to visit in Rwanda; you just have to look away from the usual

Somewhere on the twin lakes, Burera and Ruhondo in Northern Rwanda lies several islands gently placed on the lakes. I recently found myself enjoying the stay at one of the islands with my girlfriend and it could not have gotten any better.

To get there, requires bit of patience as the mini-bus from Musanze town to Rugarama center (last bus terminal to the shore) will start a bunch of times before it completely sets off. And as if that’s not enough, the bus will have to make several stops anywhere and everywhere to have passengers on and off, sort of awakened my Kampala mini-bus experiences. In any case the bus ride will take you 30-40 minute to the shore terminal.

You will be happy to get off the bus squeeze for a more interesting adventure, the walk to the shore. Any dweller of the surrounding will lay conviction that it’s a 20 minutes’ walk but I would advise to buckle up for almost an hour of calisthenics down to the lake shore, less exhausting if you have less luggage. Upon reaching the shore you will indisputably start doing the math of your way back to the bus terminal because you will then have realized the downhill exhaustion which you will be comparing to the uphill on your way back. Ok, relax; you will make it somehow (if you believe so).  For now you would want to optically treat yourself to the startling views that stretch to the horizons as you bend low to get on the 10 minutes canoe ride to the island.

Normally it takes me great valor to get on a canoe on a water body as I am a less than an average swimmer and a renown aqua phobic especially in this particular case where a few had  to peddle and one of us constantly fetching the water from the leaking canoe back to the lake. Admittedly, I couldn’t afford unflinching but I was assured that nothing could go wrong. Still, I kept thinking about the dangerous aquatic animals, for a while

Soon enough the aqua-phobia was drifted away by the undeniable distraction of the breath-taking and unmatched splendors surrounding the lake. I turned my head uncontrollably from side to side to look at the stunning rolling hills and epic green mountainous sights engulfing the lake. By this time it was getting dark from grayish and I didn’t even notice but still it was marvelous.

The calm wind blowing and the noticeable silence during the peddle breaks obliged the pinnacle of the surrounding beauty. As we got closer to the island dock, more unmatched landscapes unfolded, highlight of which was the Muhabura volcanoe that loomed sublimely in space and above the rest. Before I knew it we were at the island shore and couldn’t stop staring as we walked to the island facilities.

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The structural comfort and facility set up of the residing premises perhaps won’t meet your standards but your eyes and mind will be more than pleased and compel you to stay longer at mama la Pillotte (where visitors/tourists stay), Cyuza island. The place is very simple, beautiful, isolated and an ample relaxation type of spot. The island is really small with not more than 4 local dwelling families on it plus the mama la Pillote humble residing facility where we stayed. You can only camp there though and they will be happy to accommodate you in their ever standing tents; adjacent to the lake  and access the kitchen as well. Just carry some food from Musanze town or centers neighboring the shore.  There will be also someone arranged to cook for you should there be the need.

I can’t imagine forgetting the support crew at the island, 3 or 4 boys, one of them Sylus, will be there to help with stuff like clean up, arrange cooking, make a camp fire, offer a boat ride to the neighboring islands, give historical facts of the area etc. They are very nice and will simply make you feel at home. They will wake up very early to set things up and engage in hard work throughout the day here and there but they will still carry a smile and tend to you excellently when needed. Their hard day’s workload is washed off by evening grins and giggles from chats and jokes over a camp fire or heavy load of potatoes and vegetables for dinner. I looked on as I saw their face beaming in blessedness and peace.

Every evening we staged up at the terrace to gaze at the sunset until the darkness took over.  In the fore ground is the evening glitters of the lake and in the middle ground are the shanty-like trees assembled at the shady and slanting hill helms curving a line across the landscapes and against the slightly dimming sky with cloud scatters in the far background. Imagine that.

The phone camera let me down though, didn’t do justice to the pictures as you may see. Our plan was to stay one night but ended up adding an extra night, we wished we could stay longer but adventure called elsewhere. If the weather allows, you will be able to do quite a bunch at the islands and have a great time. Well folks, I would like to continue with this but I would rather let the rest be seen than heard or read. Till next time.

To Happy Endings.

I never cared whether stories, discussion and the likes winded up in happy endings or not. Not really. It’s quite interesting though how some people suffer from an incessant desire for happy endings story-wise. like for every story, there should be a happy ending no matter what. Not until i was put to a challenge in a rather friendly way by a friend to tailor a ‘not happy ending joke’ that i had told her in to a happy ending story. as always, i find pleasure in uttering out the words “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED”.

So, let me take you back a little, started when i cracked one old joke for a friend which undoubtedly is far from a happy ending type. Yet, my friend is quite the staunch fun of happy endings. Therefore she asked me to complete the joke, in to a happy ending story instead.

Lets get to the joke part first. This guy (Timothy) falls for a girl and he can’t help it. one night he gathered his courage and decides to text her about how he feels. and the text reads, “Hello Doreen, i really love you, i want us to start dating, kindly reply asap and tell me how you feel”. a few seconds later he receives a message alert oh his phone. He was so scared and too tensed to open it that night so he decided not to check the message until the next morning when he’s less tense and in a better sense. So he went to sleep.

When he woke up the next day, he prayed seriously about the message for good news, went about doing his morning chores, brushed his teeth, had breakfast, took a bath, dressed himself up and then climbed in to the bed and picked the phone to read the message on his phone. This was the response he read: “Dear customer, you have insufficient balance to send this message. Please recharge your account and try again”.

And, that was the joke, obviously not a happy ending for this young guy.

This brings me to the very crux of this exact post, sorry for keeping you waiting folks. So, to honor my friend’s challenge, i cooked up something to fit to a not happy ending joke to happy ending story. If you don’t mind, read with me down below;

So, later after this guy reads the text message he long waited for, which is actually not exactly what he expected to receive, he rushes out of the bed, dressed in his pajamas (Who cares) and directly to the airtime/credit vendors. He purchases the phone credit and admittedly forgets his change because he is too rushy to remember (When a man loves a woman). Quickly he loads it.

after loading it, with his hands already sweaty on the phone, shaking and fidgeting, he starts to text again. He laments and chants same sweet words as they fall from mind to mouth to phone buttons. After texting, he pauses to re-read the text, letter by letter not mess it up.His fear for the response is already lost to accuracy of the text. Looking perplexed whether to send or not, he takes a huge sigh, breathes in, one hand on his forehead, the other holds barely holds the phone with quakes. finally ‘Message Sent” is what shows on his phone screen.

All this time, he was in the middle of the street, caught in the shady-blurred moment of wondering if the text is delivered or not, he is awaken by a hooting car which scares him to death (the things men do for love-risk their lives). As he paves way for the cars and clearing himself from the street, he realizes he is putting on only pajamas, somehow every one is keenly looking at him. he is sort of embarrassed.

Quickly he gathers him self and rushes back home. Tosses him self and lies on the couch, with belief that the bed is a bad omen as proved in the previous text (in the joke), therefore change of waiting scenery. His hands calmly pressed on his belly, his legs straightened and crossed, his eyes closed he silently swallows and gallops bits of saliva.
He is all covered in fear for the response, you could smell the fear miles away, even a blind man could see it. He thinks and thinks. Ultimately, he puts the phone in silence, throws it on the table and tries to forget about it, perhaps this could calm down his fear and panic. He pretends to be sleeping but it doesn’t help.

Amidst his inner fight to compound himself, a message alert pops in.
Swiftly he strays out of the couch upon hearing it as if a lunch bell was rung back in high school. His eyes sharply pointed to the phone, almost oozing out of their orbits, he breathes heavily, nearly peed in his pants (the fear of rejection).
He gathers him self up, picks up the phone, his face wrinkled, one could say its a 90-year-old face on such a young guy (but can you blame him)??
He slowly maneuvers through his phone and boom! he is in his inbox, and yes, it’s the response from the girl.
before opening the message, he could read a short line, like the starting part of the message, he could read the rest after opening the message fully the short line read, hello Timothy, Sorry….

This gives him a hypertension attack, like his heart is about to be ripped out through his mouth. He noticeably starts to shiver like his consumed by a plague.
For a while you could easily tell  his on his way to loosing his senses but, what the f**k, he finally opens the message and here is what it read.

“Hey Timothy, sorry, i couldn’t reply you right away, my phone was charging in my room. Thank you for the message, i got carried away when i read your message because i was wondering if by any chance you felt the same way i feel about you. reading your text message surely gave mean a comforting assurance of our mutual feeling. i just didn’t know how to say it to you all this time. So, how about African tea together for our first date this weekend? waiting for your reply asap”
Timothy couldn’t have been happier about this response, its like he was…..can’t even explain it. You know what i mean.

Join me to toast to “Happy Endings”.

The Comfort Zone Disaster

She thought for a while and then proceeded “Do you really think it’s rather a problem of mindset, social system set up or scarce job opportunities?” my work colleague asked me in a rather casual discussion about different work attitudes during our lunch break. The discussion was very interesting which is what actually inspired me to get back on this horse (writing). Thanks Claire.

We have all been down this lane of looking for a job right after or/and before finishing college and we know how unfriendly it can get. To some it’s not as unfriendly though, but, either way it’s less likely to come on a silver plate.
Ask yourself what could have been your longest period in searching for a job? Assuming you got it no matter how long it took you to get it, how dear and close did you hold it? Did you get too comfortable to remember how badly you needed it in the first place and what a tough hustle it was getting it?

My point here is that getting a job nowadays is more than a climb to the peak of mountain Everest, to the very worst while bear footed. When some of us have the dice flipping in our favor and get that job, not necessarily our dream or averagely desirable jobs, we in turn care less about the trauma of not actually having one. Think about it, you got that one job after a series of other failed job applications and unsuccessful interviews. It could be fitting your qualification or you are even less qualified for it, so to speak.
A job that millions of other young stars, in more or less cases are more qualified than you, are craving for but does not haunt you enough to raid you out of your comfort zone. Thing is right after getting it, you praise and worship God for answering your prayer. Sooner than later, your perception about it changes goal posts, you think it’s boring, next thing you start racing with the clock cursing why time is slow and it never gets to 5pm.

Instead of finishing your tasks, you prefer to push them to the next day and the best news for you daily is that clock ticking 5pm, time to go home. It’s not about what time it is rather than what work have I accomplished. You deliberately accord less value and meaning to your job, taking it for a derail, forgetting how cumbersome finding one, not to mention living without one is in this crazy life.

Rather than holding that job dear to us, work hard like it’s the only one we will ever get, try to maximize our potential, use that; no matter what an unpleasant job it is, to get us better opportunities, we get reluctant on fulfilling our tasks and duties and continuously complain about everything there is to it. It’s our comfort zone that will drag us down to the peril of sorrow losers

The same job we can’t do anything but complain about is the same job that feeds us, enables us to send money to family and relatives, helps us meet our medical bills, got us our first pair of shoes that makes us shine at parties, to the very least enables us to afford mobile phone units for texts and calls. Could not be enough to get us our dream life and fantasies but allows us capture the sunrise the following morning. More so, not all of us are brave, confident and smart enough to re-invent ourselves in to mere entrepreneurs.
Therefore if we don’t have a better choice at hand/ready there, I suggest we that we unreservedly protect what we already have before it slips between our fingers and we blunder back in the mud of job hunting.

In my experience, it hurts so much looking for a job but all in vain, but it’s even worse losing a job when there is not another for us right away; forcing our transitional unemployment to hit us hard and long enough to regret and wish we could get less desirable jobs than our previous ones.

If you are willing to coddle in the luxury of your comfort zone at work as if there is nothing to improve or for fight for and the reality before you clouded by false imagination of mixed self-satisfaction and job dissatisfaction given the disastrous effects of being jobless then you are a true disciple of miserable failure. Well, ultimately your indecisive satisfaction is the death of desire for development.

The essence is to put extra efforts and have a clean and positive attitude in whatever seemingly horrible job you have. It’s that same so called “stupid job” that will see you to what you refer to a “better job”. You just have to give it your best unconditionally.

The Simple But Powerful Expression

ThanksThank you all dear esteemed readers for your patience. You have been long waiting to hear from me and you have not given up. And, I have thought of no greater and valuable gift to present to you other than Thank you which led me to thinking of the significance of such a seemingly simple but powerful expression. Take a moment to reflect a speck more on the often underrated Thank you. Thinking about it got me drifting my mind to random scenarios of abandoned gratitude. Couple of days ago I was attending a social event in the outskirts of Kigali. While trekking through streets I lost my way to the venue-Shocked? Don’t be, stuff happens. I decided to ask a random cyclist by the road side for directions. He could tell from the perplexed look on my face that I needed help (No objection on that). Kindly, he pointed and offered a few directions which by the way finally got me at the venue. But what did I do? I absorbed his response with great focus and walked away. I did not say thank you. I was wrapped up in myself that I forgot to say it. Not a terribly big deal, really. I imagine we have all found ourselves at one time or another absorbed in the importance of what we have been doing that somehow thank you vanishes. Thank you holds an unusual position in any matter or transaction for that case. Think about it — by the time you speak it, you probably already have what you came for. A cynic could even say its water under the bridge. Quite often we make a request/s explicit or implicit of someone to do something for us but because of our innate capacity of taking things for granted, we fail to acknowledge someone for doing something for us. That acknowledgement is the right thing to do. Take an example of someone doing his/her job for instance a waiter refilling your water glass or your house boy(“Kadogo”) serving you dinner, what harm/pain is inflicted by simply saying thank you? Surely its someone’s job but does that make him/her any less deserving of gratitude for doing it and for making our lives just a little bit easier? If we don’t acknowledge our thanks, I’m thinking we lose a human moment, a human connection — those tiny little fragments of our humanity. Some people say thank you because they want the other person to know that they value what they have done for them and, may be, encourage them to offer help again in future. Totally valid. A genuine thank you comes with a nice and friendly feeling to both the giving and receiving parties. Remember to say thank you. As a traveling enthusiast and, may be even some of you are as well. Among the things I think of before I set for voyage, is how to say that simple expression (thank you) in the local language of a respective destination simply because I value its significance. It is important. In winding up, let us all agree that with such a simple expression, satisfaction is affirmed, respect is understood, roads of goodwill are paved and we are bound to one another just a little bit more than we otherwise might have been. So, all that jotted, I thank you for taking your precious time to stop by. Make time to say thank you to someone before the day ends and tell them why. It might be the best thing you will have done the entire day. Feel free to start by thanking me!

Celebrate that life.

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I don’t know what is worse; Lots of regretful life moments, worrying about what tomorrow will bring or the fear of stepping out to celebrate a single moment of life. Whatever the case, the sunshine will still shine tomorrow and the birds will sing.
It is quite clear that you will not live twice and less likely that you will live for more than 100 years, not even if you bribed the almighty which is most certainly impossible.

If you are a slave to and haunted by your past, characterized with regrets, I suggested you get off that bus and hop on the one for Celebrating life because there are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.

I am not writing this because I lead the happiest of lives, the ‘on cloud nine’ or ‘tickled pink’ type. I am only a guy who lives a life more or less similar to yours; it’s just that I choose to celebrate it even at the lowest point of it.

You see, if there is anything that life has taught me, it’s the fact that it is too important to take it seriously. Use all your energy taking life seriously but one thing I sure know is that you will never make it out of it alive. And so, I say take that glass of life and celebrate it when you still can because you will not afford a refill.

Sometimes I question myself if I should measure life by the number of breathes I take or by the moments that take my breath away? The former wouldn’t let me write this, look at myself in the mirror before I walk out, smoke a cigar(if at all I did), order a bottle of Guinness.. arghh, my bad, a bottle of coke, flirt with bimbos(if there were any), or even recite a prayer…blah blah blah because I would be busy counting every breath. Can you believe that!

On the other hand, the later would with no doubt open me to a life of celebrations. Moments that take your breathes away in life will hold on to you when you are down and from them you gather yourself to get back up. If you wanna get up again, come on, celebrate that life.

Imagine yourself in your 80’s, looking at that picture or memory of any sort with you and your family, friends, wife/husband ex, etc celebrating a life moment back in time, wouldn’t you feel a live and forever young like the Jayz hit? Now, stop imagining and get that life celebrated before it’s drawn out of you.

If you hoping to travel to, own, earn, win or consume happiness, I suggest you try a different planet because happiness is that spiritual satisfaction experienced in every minute of life celebrating moments of love, grace, gratitude, name it. So, why not throw your hands in the air and celebrate life and experience that happiness.

Even the famous American singer and song writer, Pharrell Williams puts it out the world that life is worth celebrating with his ‘happy’ song which lifts us up in to celebrations of what defines happiness to our lives.

The young, middle aged and old have different ways of celebrating life despite the level of living standard or how much burdens. Some choose to celebrate it by drinking wine, be it locally brewed or whatever, eat good food, engage in games/sports, spend quality time with good friends or family, smile, laugh, travel the world, dance to their favorite style, sing listen to their favorite tunes, do what they love, so on and so forth. Now, enough of planning and thinking, get out there and celebrate your life.

In the events of life turning in to a heavy and unbearable storm and nothing else in view but only darkness, I choose to be the guy who dares the storm and lives rather than stay sheltered on shore and merely exist because then I can look back and have a reason to celebrate my living. At times you don’t need to find a reason, it finds you and what do you do? Celebrate that life moment.

You work your ass off to make ends meet, study hard to earn that degree, do crazy stupid things to win that girl’s/boy’s heart and explorer the world to record history but would all that matter or be of value to you if it didn’t draw you to celebrations with your family and friends exchanging hugs and smiles? Yes, the taste of desired success might be far from reach but do you kill yourself over it, NO? So dive in and celebrate life.

We all have our moments when we believe that the best option is the earth to open up and swallow us and declare our roads to have hit the end button but believe me, that’s what part of life is and if you find yourself in that state, then consider yourself alive for your have probably reached one terminal point of life (Bottom/depression) and headed for the other terminal point (Top/boom) because once you have hit the bottom, you cannot go any lower, you can only go up. So, cheer up, smile and Celebrate life

I wish I could continue and not unplug your reading cable by cutting this scene short but forgive me I have another avenue to celebrate life. But endeavor to remember that you only live once but if you do it right and celebrate it, once is enough.

Truly,

Vumi.

Rotary Poem

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Ohh Rotary, what can I say and what can I not say? Words fail me yet I have to find tongue and pronounce your magnificence even though words can hardly unwrap it all.

Ohh Rotary with you, the beginning and the end bear similarity with the difference for they are all happy and pleasing parts of your story, told all around the world.

Rotary Rotary…you have brought us together and made us family, a family that we neither had nor wish to leave, a crosscutting family that we meet to rejoice, celebrate, learn, share, grow, and develop irrespective of our differences no matter how tiny or huge. A family we call home and proud to be associated with.

Ohh Rotary what part of life doors have you not knocked on? What part of the world has your voice not been heard? What sort of global friendship and International family have you not created? What sort of life have you not changed or about to light up?

Rotary Rotary…you have seen us to transform in to exemplary leaders, made us global citizens and not to mention the extent of importance we feel to our society.

Rotary Rotary…..because of you libraries(sources of knowledge) flourish like the wild plants on banks of lakes, limbs have been replaced, bridges constructed, peace restored valuable friends made and now Polio pushed to the edge of vanishing from the face of earth….ohhhh Rotary. The young and old, short and tall, rich and poor, black and white, male and female all smilingly utter out how good and helpful you (Rotary) are.

Ohh…Rotary, to the communities you are a true source of positive change, a definition of hope and inspiration, who is to say otherwise?

Your endeavored and tireless commitment towards Service Above self to the communities and families reach millions of those who fall under need, aspiring for excellence in making the world a better place.

Every year you give the world new hopes reflected in your various themes of; from Reach with in to embrace humanity, Peace Through Service, Engage Rotary Change Lives to Lighting Up Rotary and many more before and after said.

Oh Rotary, to you we run for endless fun and shoulders to lean on, for your beauty is mirrored in the people we meet, friends we make, lives we change and who we become as we fellowship through service.

If the seas and oceans were ink, I could drain them all writing about you and still have more words to Light you up.

Long Live Rotary International, Long live Rotary, Long live Rotaract,  Long live Interact.

If you choose drinking.

934579I pray my drinking friends don’t skin me alive for this. But I honestly have nothing against your tipsy tendencies and regretful hangovers; after nights of bottoms up among other subsequent things that you in, most cases don’t recall at all. My mind was induced and set to this purpose after reading my friends’ (PKO) blog about why he drinks.

As a non drinker, without any personal grudge, religious ties or cultural norms restraining me from drinking, I felt the need to bake a simple, friendly and reasonable note in response though i have a feeling this might cost me a round or so. Remember, this is for the sake of your safety.That is how much I care about you, which you might choose to say that you don’t need but at least let me do it.

But how could a guy who has never tested alcohol possibly know a thing about it? Truth is I invested my time in hanging out with several drinkers, especially the ones I am sure would deep a hand in a furnace for a single sip. I actually made sure that we have these conversations far from bottles and glasses and, at the peak of their sobriety so as not have influenced information. This writing is not entirely based on my personal comprehension of the drinking society but also on the conscious minds of my bottle loving friends.
First, I am quite aware that alcohol is part of culture here and there around the world, also that it helps groups and individuals celebrate and socialize, and it enhances religious ceremonies which give it global attention and popularity. But does that give it the right to lead us to trouble land?
I wish I could give you enough reasons to help you quit drinking. But even though I did, the ultimate decision to quit or not quit lies with you. Mine is just to remind you of the same catastrophes you encounter (for drinkers) or you will encounter (for you thinking of starting to drink). It is funny how our beloved drinkers take comfort in the term ‘Moderate Drinking’ as an excuse to stop by the counter and order a cold beer or anything of the sort.

What I do not understand is in what standard unit do we measure ‘Moderate?’. Fact is every drinking spree that leads to a drunk dial, a fight with a friend, unprotected sex, trusting your life to a drunk driver or losing your virginity to a stranger starts with the so called moderate drinking.
Take for instance a second and imagine, you’re chatting with friends at a party and a waitress comes around with a tray full of bottles/glasses of booze. You drink one, then another, maybe even a few more. Before you realize it, you are laughing more loudly than usual and swaying as you walk.By the end of the evening, you are too slow to move out of the way of a waiter with a dessert tray and have trouble speaking clearly. The next morning, you wake up feeling dizzy and your head hurts. You may have a hard time remembering everything you did the night before. Everyone who has been drunk enough to get wasted, has a horror story.

What people don’t understand about booze is that it plays a dirty trick on you: it can make you feel more confident and cool, when to outside observers you’re slowly turning into a slurring, stumbling, red-faced mess. And if you pass out from drinking, you’ve basically transformed from an intelligent human being into a canvas for Sharpies and whatever other gross stuff people want to put on you. Do you want to look like yourself, or do you want to look like one of the sorry people throwing up in their friends’ house and they probably don’t recall a thing.

Getting drunk often means waking up the next morning with a couple of calls or texts in your phone log that you totally regret sending. They can range in cringe-worthiness from begging your ex to take you back, to revealing your feelings to your crush, to apologizing to your mom for being such a disappointment. Since leaving your cell phone at home probably isn’t an option, your best bet to avoid drunk dialing is to not get drunk in the first place.

I realized that when people are drunk, they don’t taken in or care that friends or strangers are taking pictures of them but those photos could come back to haunt you in a terrible way. Drunken pictures have cost people their careers, reputations, credibility name it. And since cameras are everywhere, drinking at a party pretty much guarantees there w’ll be evidence of it on Facebook or a whatsapp group the next day.

We have to agree that the more you drink, the worse your judgment is, and the more likely you’ll do stupid stuff that you’ll hate yourself for tomorrow (or even for the rest of your life). But must you really choose that road, just don’t drink and you will have less things to regret in life.
Did you know that every time you drink, your brain dies a little? Well you could visit google and read what experts have to say about it but first, rely on what I tell you for its equally true and important for your health.

Drinking just once a week has been shown to cause long-term brain damage especially in young people. Drinking too much now while your brain is still forming and when you get to your adult years, you’ll have more trouble completing difficult tasks, processing information and making decisions than the young people around you now who aren’t getting drunk. More further, Experts say the global burden of disease and injury attributable to alcohol is large and growing.

In 2010, alcohol was responsible for 5.5 percent of this overall burden, third after high blood pressure and tobacco smoking — among 67 risk factors overall. Actually it is a proven fact that alcohol consumption has been found to cause more than 200 different diseases and injuries
If you are still thinking of ordering another bottle after reading this so far, tell me I stop here so I can go hiking or shooting some pool.

People have different reasons why they drink say like; doing away with a bad mood stressful day or drive away horrible/memories of sadness. But isn’t true that drinking may trigger memories of past traumatic experiences that involve alcohol, leading to greater distress, increased shame, depression, anxiety or worse? Think about it.
A friend of mine once told me that drinking helps him provide short-term relief when he is anxious, however, it in turn leads to rebound anxiety, which makes matters worse.

Nowadays some people solicit or lure friends in to lending them money immediately/urgently with reason convincingly equivalent to solving the world’s worst problem but in the actual sense they want to quench the thirst and satisfy the addiction. Funny thing is when time to give back the money comes, their cell phones die a natural death, their social media accounts take vacation and tracing them becomes literally impossible. They simply disappear from the face of earth. God I am never gonna drink.

Have you ever paused for a moment and thought of how it is a really disturbing feeling trying to hide the evidence of your love for booze from family, colleagues, boss or events when drinking becomes prohibited/restricted?. You do a lot and get far in hiding it all, say like in drawers, back shelf, an empty juice or soda bottle (Coke Zero) etc. But why all that hustle? Just quit drinking and live a free and happier life.

I am not sure I can exhaust this to the bottom of it all right now but I am quite certain that you are thinking of revising your drinking habits already to be sober for some time longer or thinking of a friend to save from getting himself wasted somewhere in the neighborhood.
My simple advice to you is that just because there’s alcohol around you, that doesn’t mean you have to drink it – it’s pretty easy to say no and drink some soda, which is full of aspartame but the consequences are less harmful than that of alcohol or drink something else. But don’t do it just because I said so. Do it because getting drunk could make your night (and possibly a lot of nights after it) a whole lot worse

When I Kissed the Sky

Now I can cross flying from my list of things to do before I dine and ‘hi5’ with angels in heaven. Two things now left on the list. On the same note, going to a strip dance club and getting a lap dance should vanish from my list of places to go to. That leaves me with several more like the Chinese great wall, the Egyptian pyramids, the Aso and Zuma rock formations in Abuja, Mecca and the Eifel tower in Paris, at least for now. Every journey starts with the first step, surely I have taken mine but should I be worried that, that first step was taken with several nude girls wobbling and humping all over me? I guess not.  IMG00676-20140414-1214

You see the thing about flying is that no matter how good a story about it is told, it can never near the actual feeling one experiences while flying. Not even when told by the world’s greatest story teller.
On the 06 April, 2014 I had a flight to catch from Kigali Rwanda to Yaounde, Cameroon through Libreville with Rwandair Boeing 737 700 series. But Rwandair was to stop at Doula then get a connecting flight-Camair Co to Yaounde, my final destination. I was travelling for Rotary International District Conference for RI District 9150 comprised of 10 countries; Rwanda,Cameroon Burundi, Gabon, Tchad, DRC, Sao tome and Principal, Central African Republic, Guinea equatorial and Congo Brazzaville.
Lets get straight to it, the check in and airport security procedures are not that exciting. I made sure that I sit on the window so I could be able to see everything. Time to take off, the captain has switched on the seat belt sign, tighten your seat belt and pay attention to instructions given by stewardesses/steward. IMG-20140408-WA010

The point of actually taking off, like wheels off ground is a disturbing phenomena for first timers. Your head goes in spinning mode, you hold on to your sit so tight clearly convinced that you might fall off, your head strongly leaned against the top part of the seat and your heart pounding hard. Your neighbor finds no trouble figuring out that it’s your first time flying with all that nervous look on your face.

The scary part is you looking down the ground as the plane takes off. On the contrary, it’s so amazing to see everything from above wondering if it’s actually true that you up are up in the sky. The higher the plane goes, the more it stabilizes and takes normal course, at least you tell yourself that. Stewardesses welcome you and give you details of the flight like duration of flight, altitude etc.

Flying at an altitude of 11886 meters high and a speed of 800km/h, it is challenging to imagine that the plane is that fast because to your eyes it seems rather slower than a tortoise as it is opposed to looking at it from down below on the ground while it swiftly swims in the sky. The higher you go the smaller the objects below get, becoming tiny randomly dotted particles on green surface. All that is clear to you is the sky and the clouds.

The sky is totally different from the earth; it is 100 times more magnificent and beautiful. The window seat allowed me a perfect view of the sky which is why everything I am telling is as it is and no fiction. Clouds formation of completely irregular but pleasant to the eye shapes steal your attention leaving you perplexed and amused by God’s power of creation. So many different shapes of clouds occupy the sky. Some form layers of whitish fur-like beddings floating in space barely allowing you a view of the earth below. Others appear like drumlin hills connected together and firmly fitted in space. IMG00665-20140414-1053

The creamy-milky rolling humps of clouds pausing in considerable distance from each other in the sky have an unequaled exquisiteness. They can be viewed more spaced from one another in a close distance and less spaced, squeezing close to each other as they draw further to the softly sky blue horizon depicting an incredibly spectacular view. God the sky is beautiful!.

The sun artistically paints a side of the thick opaque clouds light and the other one dark depending on the sun’s direction making you want to look at the feature forever. Where the clouds are thin and transparent, you catch a fairly clear view of the geographical physical features of mother earth at their best sight like headlands, bays, river meanders and while looking closely, my face slightly attached to the window glass, I saw a feature that I highly suspect could have been a coral reef down the waters.
If you flanked in your physical geography lessons back in high school and your best score was most definitely a ‘D’, you are surely not to blame. Blame falls on failure to have the field work studies in the sky because it’s only the sky that can give a perfect connection between theory and reality. IMG-20140408-WA005

If I had a chance to go back to high school, my physical geography grades would have been totally different, that is from ‘B’s to ‘A’s because I could literally see a bunch features and lines of their descriptions running through my mind. To be crystal clear about the sky and flying, there is no description that can do justice to the feeling of being up in the sky flying. I wish I could tell the story much better, perhaps a much able hand can fill in. One important thing that I can’t forget to mention is the excellent and outstanding Rwandair’s in-flight amenities. From meals to seats to entertainment to comfort and to professional way of handling passengers by the crew. The service is indeed impeccable. I would not wish to pull the plug off for my esteemed reader by pausing this story here but i really have to go for prayers, will be right back.

Told From Darkness

ImageAt the end of the day, u choose to brand your day good(light) or bad(dark) or, even a mixture of the two(5050). So you can choose to tell someone about it from the dark, light or 5050 side of it. But all in all, everyday comes to pass, no matter the outcome. The unfortunate part of my last 2 days is that they inevitably signed up on the dark side. However, lessons have been recorded making me a lot stronger.
Both days have been characterized by a sequence of terrible and nerve wrecking scenarios, one after another. It is natural for us to encounter such things and deal with them but some of them weigh heavily on your mind and you find places like this a perfect spot for you to rest them so that good people like you can read them and make comments of ‘grow up, ‘sorry’ or ‘that’s life Vumi’. let me not bore you with every single detail.
I have a full time job that calls for my attention and besides that, i am a Rotaractor, part of the Rotary movement. google can be helpful to shade more light on what Rotaract and Rotary are. Only good stuff, if i were you and not a member i would be joining that fraternity right away. I hope my boss does not read this. For two days i literally put my job duties on hold in pursue of the biggest post in ROTARACT, The District Rotaract Representative(DRR). A Rotary district is a a  collection of several countries, headed by a District Governor who is always a Rotarian in charge of all the Rotary Clubs in a particular District. The DRR is in charge of the young version of all Rotary Clubs, that is  Rotaract clubs in a particular District, in this case i was chasing to be the DRR for District 9150 composed of 11 countries, my country Rwanda Inclusive.
Now that i have given you all the above background, allow me to lead you through the darkness, don’t be afraid i will be with you all the way, i need you to read this to the end, just make sure you are hypertension free.
The journey to being DRR had a lot of paper work in form of qualification criteria which i had to meet like recommendations, certificates, application letters etc. Days already closed in to deadline, pressure of wanting to complete everything in a short time mounted, panic was inevitable.

First i needed financial support to facilitate my travel from Kigali to Yaounde for the District Conference where i was to be Voted in as DRR. More to that i needed recommendations and certifications from different authoritarians to prove myself a qualified candidate for the DRR Position. And that’s where everything goes dark. I started playing hide and seek with my boss. My attention wholly immersed deep in the chase of my once in a life time dream, completely ignoring my bread earner. The first bomb exploded when i wrote an email to a group of  concerned authoritarians humbly requesting for financial aid.

The reply was a total disaster, more than dreadful. I only had 6 hours to submit in my documents and successfully transfer district fees (120$) which was part of the prerequisites, not mention my flight ticket, registration, accommodation, Visa etc. While on a bike rushing to pick a loan from a friend to help me clear district fees, i got a call from my boss yelling that i had not been in office for 4 hours and no one seems to know my where bouts. I convinced him that i was meeting a client around town, at that moment i had stopped the biker and asked him to pack by the road side so that my boss couldn’t figure out that i am on the road. after the call, which i hope convinced him, i hopped back on the bike. I reached at my friend’s work place and he was not in office, his phone was off.

The clock is ticking, only 4 hours left. I had to find another way out. I had booked an appointment with one of the Authoritarians to sign on my recommendation letters. i received a text from him telling me to be at his office in 10 minutes without fail in order to get his signature because he had a flight to catch . Again i hopped on another bike, seconds after, i received another call from my boss demanding for my presence at the office in less than 10 minutes. I wished i could replicate in to two pieces of me so i could be in two different places at the same time, it was a hard decision to make of where i should go first. My boss had no flight to catch so i made him wait and went to get the signature which i indeed secured.

I rushed to the office and i arrived 20 minutes later after my bosses call. As soon as i stepped at the reception, there he was, his face filled with anger and his eyes nearly popping out of his orbits. ‘Where have you been?’ he asked. before i found the guts to answer, he shouted at me ‘In my office now’. i was really freaked out. As i tailed him up to his office a call from a friend who had promised to get me cash came in. A piece me of felt like not picking it and another one pushed to me picking it but i ended up picking it anyways. My friend wanted me to meet him at a certain restaurant in about 15 minutes to give me the money. I guaranteed him to be there shortly not knowing how long the meeting with my boss will take. ‘I have started to notice…’ my boss hard started lamenting before a guest he had been waiting for knocked on the door.

I must say the guest saved me from the rest of whatever my boss had to furiously charge me for. he asked me to excuse my self which i happily did. Immediately i rushed out go get the cash from my friend. Luckily, i found him and he handed the money to me as he muttered of how i should pay it back in time demanding for my word. 3 hours left. i went to Rwandair offices to book for my ticket even though i didn’t have the money for it. instead of missing the ticket i opted to go convince the person in charge of booking to secure a ticket for me and promised him to bring the money latest the following day.
I got back to office to work on a pitch that was meant to solicit for funds from my sponsor club to cater for my ticket, accommodation, and Visa. No sooner had i placed my fingers on the Key board than the power went off. I decided to go to the near by internet cafe that managed to have a generator. I quickly worked on the pitch and put it on a flash disk. surprisingly i didn’t receive any more calls from my boss, i guess he had gotten busier.
It occurred to me while on my back to the office from the internet cafe that i had not scanned my passport, certificates and all the letters. I headed home to pick my passport and returned to the internet cafe where i did all the scanning and attachments. 30 minutes left to the submitting of all documents and transferring the district fees to responsible personnel. At this point my neck tie had loosed and my shirt hanging lousy on my body and half tucked in, not to mention the sweat dripping all over my face. I searched for the nearest moneygram agent. The sum to be transferred and the involved charges mounted to more than i had.  I asked the lady at the teller to bare with me and do the paper work for me as i headed to the nearest ATM machine and she accepted, my she be blessed. Upon returning everything was ready and a transfer was successfully completed. i texted the recipient notifying him that i had sent the money. 10 minutes left to deadline.
I could not go back to the internet cafe because it was too far, so i went to the near by restaurant which is popularly know for its fast wi-fi. Power had come back. i got my laptop, signed in to my email, swiftly attached the documents and then sent it. 3 Minutes to deadline. I texted the recipient again notifying him that i had sent the documents. 2 minutes later i received a text confirming that he had received the money and the documents. A sigh of relief found its way through my gut. Now, the ticket, accommodation and the visa were left to finish. I went back to office and ran in to my boss by the reception. He asked me to see him the following day in his office.

I sat down and finished my pitch. That evening at a Rotary meeting, room filled with Rotarians, i started pitching about my need to go for the conference in Yaounde. Thank God i had talked to one of the senior Rotarians and he assured me of his support during my pitch at their meeting. He made it clear to every one that its important i go for the conference. His assurance was backed by my well revised pitch which left everyone convinced. After my 2 Minutes pitch, one by one, the Rotarians started pledging and giving in contributions in dollars and Rwandese francs, a faint smile ran on my face, i guess no one noticed that. Finally the sum was raised both in pledges and cash. i was to pick the entire sum the following day. The following morning i met my boss and he was rather calm and relaxed. He blamed me for a lot mistakes here and there to which i sincerely apologized before i presented to him an invitation letter to attend the one week Rotary conference in Yaounde to him.
He seemed astonished but decided to offer me the leave. I thank him for that despite the earlier mistreats. After the meeting i dealt with leave forms and after i got back on my travel quest. I moved from office to office picking money from rotarians that made pledges. I paused a little after i had gotten enough for the ticket. I made my way to Rwandair offices to book my ticket and it was all good. I again took tours in town collecting the money. I didn’t manage to get it all but at least i got most of it. The missing portion i used my savings to fill it up.
I couldn’t believe that it was all done and all that was left was making sure that all my stuff is well packed and ready for the travel. Finally the long dark filled days had come to pass. A lot of lessons were learned and obstacles overcome. You can do anything if you put your mind and heart to it. Don’t give up at anytime…..just keeping going no matter how many times you fall, keep your head up.

Catch me later on the ‘When i kissed the sky’ story, a product of this particular one.