29 Dec 2009

Oh, Kenya. Gotta get hold of your chickens!

In today's paper, there is a very interesting, but sad article. It's about dead chicken and Kenyan policemen in a town called Nanyuki

A former street boy sees a van offload a sack at a dumping site. When he goes closer to the vehicle, it speeds away, suspiciously. The bag is bloody. It smells bad, really bad...like rotting flesh. He calls the police, tells them that he thinks fetuses. Why? Because of the smell, the blood, and the license plates of the van were kinda concealed.

The policemen came and took the bags away to a mortuary. They booked the bags as two bodies of twins aged 2 months.

Yep, without even opening the bags!

That was on 27th December. On 28th, 15 hours after the 'fetuses' were brought to the mortuary, the attendants took them out of the refrigerator to wash them.

On opening the bag, there lay 10 chicken carcasses.

Good job guys!

20 Nov 2009

Teaser in Caracas

I'm in Caracas... I have been for a few days now. For some reason I have forgotten how to count days of the week.

I'm overseeing post production of this feature  film...

Togetherness Supreme Teaser from Hot Sun Films on Vimeo.

This is the film that has virtually occupied my waking and sleeping time for 10 months now (well, and Nate). It was directed by Nathan and Produced by yours truly.

The plan is to premiere it in Kenya in March next year. Meanwhile, enjoy the teaser. You can also follow the progress on the the films blog page here.

15 Nov 2009

Hearts of Gold

It was Sunday, Nate was still far from finishing the work he needed to, and he was leaving that evening for China. He was stressed, and anxious. We both knew that if he went to his office, the next time we would see each other is at the airport. So we decided to both go work from his office to be next to each other. We were driving down James Gichuru road, less than 10 minutes from our house, when we saw a man lying on the curb, his head partly on the main road, on the other side.

At first i thought he was drunk, so did Nate. But we slowed down nevertheless.  His arms were raised in what looked like rigor mortis and he had white foam coming from his mouth. We immediately knew that he wasn't just another drunk, he was sick, probably epilepsy. All the while people kept walking by him, other jumping over his body. He looked as dead. There was one of those rapid security response van less than 200 meters from where he lay. We drove to them and asked them if they would call an ambulance. They looked at as like we were crazy. We backed up our car to drive back to the man, and some Indian guy also stopped to talk to the security guys. He also asked for an ambulance. The security men went on lying in the back seat of their van.

Nate drove back to the man as i called Safaricom directory service to give me the number to Kenyatta or Nairobi Hospital. As i waited for the phone to be answered in Kenyatta, we sat in the car... scared. What if he is dead, Nathan asked me. I don't know... i said. What do we do? He asked. Do we take him to hospital? I think we call Kenyatta and tell them to come for him. If they pick their phones... I said. Nathan responded 'Or we call a taxi and pay them to take him to hospital.

Kenyatta picked their phone what seemed like 5 hours later. I told them about the man and the foam in his mouth. They told me they had no car to send. WHAT? anyway, i don't know what i had expected. Nathan saw him move. He was getting up.

We got out of the car and went to him. He sat down shakily, looking around him like he was lost.  I asked what his name was, whether he was sick...

He told us that he had just been released from Muthangari Police Station. He was walking home to Kawangware (approx 10km). He showed me his epilepsy pills, told us that he had already taken them but he had not eaten for days and thought that is why he got the attack. He did not even know how long he had been lying there. He then asked us if we had any bread.  It was around 11am.

Nathan gave him 500 shillings and told him to wait in the shade. We got into the car and drove to the gas station's hop. We got him milk, bread, lucozade... When we handed him the food, he looked at us with a look i have only seen in a child. He made to gave Nate the money back, Nathan told him it was his. All of it? He asked. Yes, Nathan said.

We left him eating and drove to Nathans office. As i sat next to Nate in the car, i couldn't help but think what a good man i have, and what a prefect match for me. Despite the fact that he was backed up to a corner with work, yet to finish packing for a 4 pm flight, he still made time to stop, check up on man he did not know and help. I have a heart for suffering people. Its gets to me so much. Many are the times when i have taken my jacket off my back and covered a sleeping kid on the street. In 2003, while in college i used to walk home, almost for a year so that i could buy food for this family that used to sleep outside Kenya Archives. The mother was sick, she had 3 kids. The oldest was 7, the one i first met. She asked me for money for food, i told her if i give to her she would use it for cobblers glue. She told me that she was not like the rest. And if i didn't believe her, then instead of giving her the money, but the food myself. So i walked with her to Kenchic and got 2 packets of chips. That's when a packet cost 25 shillings. Thus a tradition was born.

Every evening, on my way from college, i would stop by where her mother usually slept, talk to her (i might have looked crazy sitting next to this family), hold her youngest who was about 6 months old and watch people walk by, other without as much as a glance. At 7pm, i would go with the 7 year old to Kenchic, get french fries and sit with them as they ate. One evening, about 9 months later, the family was gone. City Council had made a surprise visit and taken all the street families (the ones who could not run fast) and locked them up. I checked to see if they were back every day. They never came back. Till now, when i find myself near Kenya Archives, i find myself checking...just in case they came back.

When i thought of the kind of man i would like to spend my life with, that is one thing that i always thought i had to compromise on. A heart for people. The capacity to deny yourself for the sake of another. For me, it comes effortlessly. Maybe its a curse of my name. A good curse, but also one that places a heavy burden upon me every time i see suffering and have no way of helping. It keeps me awake at night. Makes me cry just by thinking about it. Most people i told about how much people suffering hurts me could not understand it.  So i kept these little things i do for the helpless to myself and never told anyone. Until Nate. Because i saw the same struggle in him. The strong guilt of having while others don't, and not because you are more deserving.  The man who would understand and share with me the need to help others, to go out of your way to be the angel someone has been asking for. And that Sunday, we both surprised each other. He couldn't stop saying how much he felt that he had fallen in love with me all over again, and i was feeling the same too. He had showed me a side i knew he had but had never seen. And i knew i had found that man. And he had found that girl.

We talked about Andrew, (who we had just helped). Maybe he was thief, maybe a gun-wielding robber. But that did not matter, he was a human being at that moment. We had helped save a life and that all that mattered...

5 Nov 2009

Religion and (my) Children

Over an year ago, a very good friend and i talked about having kids and the what to do when it comes to religion. Today, going back to our conversation, i found this mail that i wrote in response.

Teaching about God and teaching religion are two different things. Religions have rituals, and special formations that define them as such. I will  strive to teach my kids about as many religions as possible rather than stick just to the dominant religion in my / their fathers' culture. All of these beliefs should be explained side-by-side, even including the beliefs from ancient religions now usually treated as mythology. If i favor , lets say Christianity, by taking them to church and such,then they become biased.

Bringing up kids ignorant to religion makes them easy pawns for doomsday evangelists and other weirdos. I would not encourage fundamentalism and dogmatism. I see a study of religions, from the beginning of each, how it came to be, who is Buddha, Mohamed, Hare Krisha, the seven faces of Lord Vishnu, Jesus and who these people are to their respective religions, what their significance is. We would discuss The Order, Jihads, Reincarnation, Papacy, Pilgrimism , the crusaders.

What many religions try to  do is to get people who practice some other religion, to quit and join their religion. This is called "converting" someone to your religion. When you think about what these religious people believe -- for example, Christians, who believe that if you don't believe in Jesus, you will burn in hell forever after you die -- you can understand why trying to "convert" others to Christianity seems like the right thing to do, to them: they feel that, if they do not get you to convert, you are going to be sorry after you die, so they feel it's for your own good that you should become a Christian too. The problem is that some people get so excited about converting others, that they end up doing things that are unfair, like making people believe that if someone is a Pagan who worships older gods, they are really a Devil worshipper, and evil (when really, the Wiccan religion, being an Earth-loving religion, is actually quite a gentle belief system).

I like Buddhism - Buddhism is the only one I know of that will actually let you practice whatever religion you are now, and Buddhism, at the same time. This is because the Buddha taught that his followers should not just accept what others say and believe, letting everything rest on "faith" -- but they should study and consider and try things, and when they find what they believe to be true and right and they can see from watching those who are wise that it is true, and right, then they should follow that path.

I want to encourage critical thinking. which does not only apply to religion, but to life in general. I used to have a problem with the fact that my boyfriend (now ex) is an atheist. Until i got it that atheists don't attempt to base their values and principles on the commands of any gods — nor is such a foundation necessary. Atheists may rely upon any number of different foundations for morality, but a common one will be empathy for other human beings - which is shared across all religions.

Empathy for other human beings is hugely superior to basing morality on the alleged commands of an alleged deity/ religion because if a child merely learns to obey orders, then he /she won't learn enough about how to reason out moral dilemmas in new situations — a vital skill given how technologies such as the biological sciences and discoveries  keep advancing and creating new explorable  possibilities for us. Empathy, never ceases to be dominant and is always crucial when it comes to evaluating new dilemmas.

Religion is not necessary for explaining who we are and why we are here. I think kids are indoctrinated with religious dogmas that are contrary to reality. Why do i need to instill fear? I need to instill free thought and a thinking mind that evaluates, other than one that is frightened and coerced into beliefs. Simply because fear is what makes people do things, i don't necessarily think it's the right way around things. Let me digress a bit... Fear is what makes you not do the things you want to do in life. It's what holds you back. What forms our religious backgrounds constitutes into the people we become as adults. The fear of tribulation goes beyond hell fire and brimstones, it boils down to fear of experimentation and breaking through barriers to see what lies beyond what you know, what society has.

I will encourage my kids to go to church, synagogue, mosque, temple...all of them. I will let them see how other worship, the rituals..., why they believe what they believe, it's not about having a Sunday tradition for me to be carried on like a family name.. You taking them to church, as i said earlier, does not indicate a willingness to let them choose. It's setting them free,  but having a long invisible rope around their legs. They can only get so far, before the going to church biases them into Christianity.

27 Oct 2009

African Girls Wanted - The african girl Experience

A few years ago, after blogging too much and spending too much on the internet, after meeting all the wrong men and dating most of them, I decided to re-join a dating site. I graduated from the 'try anything once' school of thought. So i signed up, hoping to learn what goes on there, if there was really something to it. I even added my picture and put in all the truthful details. I was not looking I had just come out of one of those relationships that almost makes you turn gay (not that its a bad thing). I had joined a dating site prior to this while in college, but that was to chat to pass time. I went ahead and dated, forgot about the site for that period and when that relationship kaput, i remembered the site.

I had formed friends in there. Most i never met but we continued to chat over more familiar IM's. We updated each other on life as real friends do. When i went back to the chat room, most of those old friends were there, still looking, or given up. Thing is, if you join a dating site and are still searching for 3 years, time to close it and go to your plan B. On of the most interesting things about dating sites is the weirdos you meet, the wacky profiles you read and to top it, the conversations you have with these weirdos. Pity I never saved those chats. Most would be in the lines of, Do you want to be my slave? Can i come and rescue you from Africa? I'm looking for an African wife... in which case I would tell them ' there are many African wives....slight problem is you will need to talk to their African husbands'

I use Skype a lot. But primarily for business and to talk to Nate even when were are 30 minutes away from each other. A few days ago, i was talking to a girlfriend of mine on Skype when all of a sudden she laments. 'I'm sick and tired of these weirdos!'  Which ones, I ask. These random Skype chats! So she sends me an excerpt of her conversation with some man called Hakan_6494. I have changed her name to V.

19, 2009 2:12 PM] V: [1:23:01 PM] Hakan_6494: hi
[1:44:02 PM] V: hello
[1:46:03 PM] Hakan_6494: hello how are you ?
[1:46:30 PM] V: am well u?
[1:46:41 PM] Hakan_6494: thanks
[1:46:48 PM] Hakan_6494: my name is Hakan .
[1:46:55 PM] Hakan_6494: your name is V ?
[1:47:21 PM] V: yes.
[1:47:31 PM] Hakan_6494: nice to meet you V
[1:47:34 PM] Hakan_6494: (handshake)
[1:47:45 PM] V: nice to meet you too
[1:47:56 PM] Hakan_6494: your old 29 ?
[1:48:11 PM] V: no much older
[1:48:27 PM] Hakan_6494: how old ?
[1:48:48 PM] V: 39
[1:48:53 PM] V: and u?
[1:49:21 PM] Hakan_6494: 33
[1:49:26 PM] Hakan_6494: r u married ?
[1:49:41 PM] V: yes. but i cheat occassionally
[1:49:47 PM] V: where are u from?
[1:49:54 PM] Hakan_6494: Turkey
[1:49:56 PM] V: ooo
[1:50:02 PM] V: too far
[1:50:09 PM] V: and u? married?
[1:50:24 PM] Hakan_6494: no
[1:50:49 PM] V: by 33 was two years into marriage.
[1:52:06 PM] Hakan_6494: ı looking a african girl for marry
[1:52:49 PM] V: whatever happened to love and romance?
[1:53:08 PM] V: n africa? is it the trendy thing to do?
[1:53:23 PM] V: you are interesting!!!!
[1:53:34 PM] Hakan_6494: why ?
[1:54:15 PM] V: a white girl from africa? or a black gal?
[1:54:27 PM] V: or an asian african?
[1:54:42 PM] Hakan_6494: i like african girl
[1:55:05 PM] V: all those races i have described (and much more) can be found in africa
[1:55:39 PM] V: the logical conclusion is that you perceive black as african!!
[1:56:05 PM] V: there is much more to this continent

Clearly, this man wants anything with 'African' in it. Which is what most men , (on and offline), especially from Europe are in search of. African girls have become what black babies are to celebrities. An acquisition to get you status and to look trendy. The next Louis Vuitton bag. The next chihuahua in that Louis Vuitton bag. It might sound harsh coming from me, who is dating a white man, but if ever i had the slightest inkling that he was with me for the 'African girl experience, I would dump his white ass faster than he could he could say Kunta Kinte. 

It is sicken really.

But these ones from India did make me laugh

South African muslim male looking for indian girl for marriage   Previous Ad  Next Ad
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Location : International » International
Posted on : 21-Jul-2009

Salaams. i am 32 years old, and live in South Africa, i am a born South African Indian.I am planning to go to India in January 2010 to find a girl for marriage and get married there, then return to South Africa.I am seeking a humble,timid, muslim girl from a poor and common muslim home.I promise and offer a comfortable home back in South Africa, and my family and all are very welcoming and there for me. My family is Urdu speaking,and i understand urdu, and can speak a little of it.Any sincere girls interested in this, can email me .I can also chat on microphone and web camera if you wish and let fate take its course if we find we have something special..i am serious to marry in January.
Related to : seeking humble, poor muslim girl from India for marriage

Contact : Anwar

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Location : Tamil Nadu » Chennai » North » Villivakkam
Posted on : 22-May-2009


I am a Mechanical Engineer by profession, a confident and career oriented person, with a strong values and good sense of humor. I am easy going but socialize selectively. Worked in India, Syria and Singapore. Currently working in Malaysia. I hold B1/B2 visa to USA and also hold PR status in Singapore. Visited USA for business and personal reasons. I like to watch drama and action movies, like music very much, not much interested in sports but like to keep fit. I am a straight forward and understanding person...but very sensitive and serious when it comes to the matter of love and affection. Looking for a partner who will be a friend, willing to stand by me at every stage of my life. should be very understanding by nature.

Had fifteen days of married life in ninety four. No encumbrances, For more details please call or email me.

Wish you good luck......"

Profile ID: M1436292   
Related to : Viswakarma, Goldsmith

Contact : Kumaran
Phone : 017954143

Notice  he is....very sensitive and serious when it comes to the matter of love and affection but had fifteen days of married life in ninety four.

Viva las  Chicas Africanas!

30 Aug 2009

Support the Kibera Film School.

This is a project that my lovely Nate dreamt of a while back. The need to give an opportunity to the lovely youth of Kibera a chance to tell their stories. The need to get off the television the negative images of Kibera. Yes, there is poverty, yes, the sanitation is zero, but yes, there is so much talent its unbelievable. He founded the Hot Sun Foundation, which enabled them to make films and work in little projects. Now it is a reality. The Kibera Film School is up and running, one month and counting.
The instructors are drawn form the Kenyan film industry, practising professionals who are dedicating time and resources, and knowledge to give these kids a chance to tell their stories, make films and earn an income.
So you are wondering what you can do to help? How about donating as little as $10, or as much as you want. $10 will buy lunch for 10 students. What would you have done with that $10?

    That was meant to be for you to state the things you can do without that you spend your $10 on. Now, this is what we spend the $10 on:

    1. $10 - Buys a nutritious lunch for 10 youth trainees at the Kibera Film School. Yep, $1 for each trainee!
    2. $25 - Buys filmmaking materials for one youth trainee at the Kibera Film School.
    3. $50 - Provides a youth filmmaker trainee with a monthly stipend. Remember, most of them are the breadwinners. As much as they love and want the chance to train at the Kibera Film School, they have to provide for theirs siblings. To keep them in school, we provide a monthly stipend for them that will at least help them in taking care of their home expenses as they come to school
    4. $60- Buys a rechargeable video camera battery
    5. $100 - Buys fuel to a generator to provide electricity for one month. Given Kenya's current situation, no rains, no water, hence no electricity as this is generated by water... the govt has resulted to power rationing. The school, which runs from Monday to Saturday, gets power twice a week, which means that we have to use a generator on the other 4 days. This is costly, given the price of fuel in Kenya.
      I encourage you to visit this the the Global Giving site - link on the widget below- to see how else the money is used.

      Go on, support this worthy cause...invest in the future of a youth that is determined to change the way you look at slums.

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      29 Aug 2009

      A girl and her man

      This is the title of  my new blog. As if i dont have enough already. But this is purely about Nate and I and all the stuff that comes from being love. That was, instead of subjecting all you loveless creatures out there to mindless rant about what he said, what I said and how much sex we are having, you get to chose whether you want to know that or not. Not that this blog does contribute to your mental growth anyway, but that might give you pointers. Yeah you know what I am talking about. Occasionally, maybe Nate himself will post. Who knows. I don't, you dont...
      So, in case you cant keep your curiousity in check, here's introducing (pause for effect, drum roll and confetti)
      Horray! Now sit...thank you.
      Yeah, its also open for comments. Except when you wnat to hate on us. Then you can go to hell. Without sunblock and a plan B.
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      New beginnings

      I have been running this blog for about 4 years now. From the humble beginnings on My space, to Blogger, to Wordpress (for a few hours yesterday night).

      As I was sitting in the office, in the dead of the night, it came to me. My blog has been undergoing the same changes as me. It has been reflecting the mood, state of mind and state of being of what is going on in my life. I think that is what blogs are supposed to do anyway.

      I noticed that when Nate and I got together, I changed my blog template. I had been meaning to do that, I just never got around to doing it. I guess there is an unconcious need in me to change my stuff with a new change in my life.

      So, I have changed the blog's header to Nate's Girl. Because that is what I love being. His girl. I have refrained from getting all mushy and lovey on the blog for the period we have been together, and most of my readers have no idea who this Nate is that i suddenely started blogging about. Not to worry, I will tell all soon. And possibly , you will notice that he is about to become a permanent fixture on this blog. Along with Frosty, Biggie and Blackie. Anf Togetherness Supreme, our film. No, the film is not about us. It's about this.

      Welcome to the changes.

      Temporary Insanity

      ...that is what I had yesterday night. It was a blessing in disguise as it made my mind so tired, I promtly fell I asleep when I finally went to bed. At 1 am. Trying to figure out CSS and contemplating my new move.

      I had a short stint at Wordpress. Long enough to discover that I could not make any changes to my CSS. Oh, I could make changes, I just could not save them. Until I purchased the upgrade. I am cheap, when it comes to blogging. I know maintaining these things requires money, but in my reasoning, since my blogging is not for money but to merely bore entertain you with my life escapades, I chose to stay here at Blogger. 

      I just noticed that they (Blogger) have also reworked their text  / post editor and its now so much better! Maybe my threat to move did get some heads rolling!

      Blogger, I am back.

      28 Aug 2009

      Being a Woman

      Today is one of those days when I am in a mood. A mood that makes me even hate to be with myself. The most annoying thing about this mood is that I don't understand it myself. If I did, I would know how to get out of it, right? Maybe...
      I can't seem to want to enjoy anything. Not even Nate's attempt at dinner by making what he knows best. Hotdogs. Oh, those are his second best. His first is the source of my woes. Pasta.

      So while in this in mood, I have decided that Blogger is crap. I have no idea why since I don't know the first thing about blogging in Wordpress.

      So, I have packed all my bags ( read posts) and moved to Wordpress. And I am going to hate myself fo this. I know this. I will curse this move. And i might be not  come back But I am in a mood that is out to punish me... and I am playing along. Here I come Wordpress.


      We live in a quiet, if you like, leafy suburb, with everything within a 10 -15 minutes walking distance. Serious, we walk our lovely spitz-terrier to the vet, wakj to the gymn, walk to the shopping mall, cinema, bookstore, grocery and if we ever get kids while still here, they will literally walk to school.

      We are also suspect that we are dangerously close to some adoption agency. More than 30% of the apartments have a white couple with a little pram that houses a black baby. They like to walk them to the above mentioned facilities and speak to them in Dutch. At first, it was a joke between Nate and I as to where they get the babies. I suggested that maybe there is a Babies R US but i later found out that that shop deals with Baby Stuff not babies themselves. Then we thouhgt that maybe they get the babies from some website called something in the line of adopt-a-black-baby.com. I Googled that, just for kicks, and for sure, it exists! I found adopt-a-black-baby.com.

      Their motto is, We are better than Oxfam!

      They also realise the importance of marketing. And what best way to do that than to post this:

      All I need to do is find out the physical location. As i said, it can't be too far from us!
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      14 Aug 2009

      World's Oldest Student is Dead

      He made headlines, in Kenya and internationally as being the oldest pupil in the world. He had taken advantage of the free primary school that the Kenyan Thieves Government had pretended to offer for free. His main aim for going to school was, he said, to learn how to read the bible.

      At the (tender) age of 84, he enrolled at
      Kapkenduiywo Primary School in Eldoret. The post elections violence that rocked most parts of the Rift Valley and other areas in Kenya, Maruge lost his property and had to move to Nairobi. At one time, he almost quit school. He moved to Nairobi, moved to the not so affluent Kariobangi Estate, where he continued his studies.

      In May this year, he was baptised during the celebration of the World Communications Day ay the Kariobangi Holy Trinity Parish in Nairobi, taking 'Stephen' as his patron saint. He died at Cheshire Home for the Aged, in Nairobi’s Kariobangi South estate where he has been staying, according to police and officials there.

      “He passed away at 1.30pm; his body is still lying in the house. He has been sick and his condition had deteriorated lately,” an official at the home Donatila Ekuyi said.

      Maruge, a widower whose life is about to become a major Hollywood film will never see his life epitomised on film. The film has been going back and forth, between the international producers, with a 'fight' as to where the film will be shot; South Africa or Kenya.

      Given that the man championing for it to be brought to Kenya has tendered his resignation from the Kenya Film Commission, David Maingi was seen to be the one to help shape the country's industry, and have films like The First Grader shot here. After all, it is a Kenyan story... Maybe Maruge's death will touch the hearts of the thie...ahem, I mean the hearts of the government (people) to give rebates and tax breaks and make sure that the film is shot here, if only to honor the courageous man.

      1 Aug 2009

      Sad Saturday

      It's a lazy Saturday afternoon, and having just done a productive instructors meeting at the Kibera Film School which is opening on Monday, ( a story for another day Nate and I are lying in bed watching badly produced afternoon TV shows. I flip the channel and there is the breaking news.

      A plane has crashed over Nairobi's Highrise Estate. The plane owned by AIM was on its way to Kibera to take pictures / film. The plane, with 4 on board, hit an electricity post, caught fire, and then crashed next to a house in Highrise Estate the middle class apartments adjoining Kibera. The plane came down at around 3PM (Kenyan time, +3GMT) having taken off Wilson Airport.
      It is feared that 2 of the passengers have died on the spot, while the other two have been rushed to hospital with intensive burns.The nationalities of those on board is yet to be established.

      I don't normally report any news here but this is very close to me. On July 5, less than a month ago, I was on a mission similar to that - filming over Kibera on a plane that we had hired from ALS, an air charter company based at the same airport.

      Whatever caused the crash, it is still sad.

      Later I will post photos I took from that filming trip

      14 Jul 2009

      A tiny country called Africa

      To help reduce the amount of ignorance that Americans, eer sorry, rest of the world has for Kenya and the rest of Africa, I will dedicate the next couple of posts to the Africa Awareness. No, I will not hold sessions and workshops to educate them, I will post some of the most stupid questiions ever asked, and the equally stupid answers they recieved.

      These questions about Kenya were posted on a Kenyan Tourism portal and were answered by the website owner.

      Q: Does it ever get windy in Kenya ? I have never seen it rain on TV, so how do the plants grow? (UK )
      A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

      Q: Will I be able to see elephants in the street? (USA )
      A: Depends how much you've been drinking.

      Q: I want to walk from Mombasa to Nakuru - can I follow the railroad tracks? ( Sweden)
      A: Sure, it's only two thousand kilometres....take lots of water.

      Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Kenya ? (Sweden).
      A: So it's true what they say about Swedes.

      Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Kenya ? Can you send me a list of them in Nairobi and Mombasa? (UK)
      A: What did your last slave die of?

      Q: Can you give me some information about Koala Bear racing in Kenya ? (USA)
      A: Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the pacific. A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe which does not ...oh forget it! Sure, the Koala Bear racing is every Tuesday night in Koinange Street. Come naked.

      Q: Which direction is north in Kenya ? (USA)
      A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.

      Q: Can I bring cutlery into Kenya ? ( UK)
      A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

      Q: Do you have perfume in Kenya ? ( France)
      A: No. We don't stink.

      Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Kenya? (USA )
      A: Anywhere where a significant number of Americans gather.

      Q: Can you tell me the regions in Kenya where the female population is smaller than the male population? (Italy )
      A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

      Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Kenya ? (France)
      A: Only at Christmas.

      Q: Are there killer bees in Kenya ? ( Germany)
      A: Not yet, but for you, we'll import them.

      Q: Are there supermarkets in Nairobi and is milk available all year round?
      A: No, we are a peaceful civilisation of vegan hunter-gatherers. Milk is illegal.

      Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Kenya who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
      A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca, which is where YOU come from. All Kenyan snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

      Q: I was in Kenya in 1969 and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Mombasa. Can you help? ( USA)
      A: Yes, but you will probably still have to pay her by the hour.

      Q: Will I be able to speek English most places I go? (USA )
      A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first.

      Thanks to the divemaster, Simon R.

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      27 Jun 2009

      Is there a Santa?

      (from an engineering standpoint)

      As a result of an overwhelming lack of requests, and with research help from that renown scientific journal SPY magazine (January, 1990) - I am pleased to present the annual scientific inquiry into Santa Claus.

      1) No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.

      2) There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to to 15% of the total - 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each.

      3) Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about. .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc.

      This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man- made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.

      4) The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized Lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload - not even counting the weight of the sleigh - to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison - this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth.

      5) 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecrafts re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.

      In conclusion -
      If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead now.

      **Not an original piece...

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      19 Jun 2009

      First Steps

      For close to an year now, I have been talking about doing this one project. Everybody with whom i have shared the idea with tells me to go for it. Now I have finally gotten off my behind and gone for it.

      I want to teach film.

      I know, we have too many film makers. But, how many of those are Ogiek? You don't know who / what Ogiek is? They are a tribe. Why dont you know them? Because they are not even counted as part of the 42 tribes of Kenya. They are about 20,000 of them, in a country that has a population of about 38,000,000. That is, 0.052% of the Kenyan population. This minute group of people, 10,000 of them live in the Mau Forest. Mau forest has been a bone of contention between the Kenyan Government and the 'protectors of the forest', the Ogiek. They are a hunting / gathering community. They have lived there for centuries... but the government wants them out. Why? They say they are degrading the forest. They are logging, cultivating, hearding, etc,the government says The cycle is fucked up, for luck of a better word. Yes, the Ogiek are farming. I went there, I saw it. So are many other people.

      Now, long ago, before the people with power allocated the very beautiful, very fertile mau forest to their families and friends, the Ogiek lived there. They had no cows (in fact, the Maasai call them ildodobo, meaning ' a poor man with no cattle', neither did they farm. They hunted gathered, amongst other things, honey from the beehives they made. When logging and farming started, they were forced deeper into the forest. Deeper and deeper they moved as the clearing of the forest continued. Less that 12% of the forest now remains. The Ogiek can move no further, there are no enough trees to erect hives on, no enough animals for them to hunt. So they farm.

      But even in their farming, it is easy to see they are not the cause. While other communities like the Kikuyu and Kalenjin farm with tractors and till land that is acres and acres , the Ogiek farm on less than an acre per family. The other communities have build nice and posh houses while the Ogiek live in dilapidated thatch roof huts.

      But who cares? When the Mau forest is spoken about, all fingers point to the 10,000 people living in the area, an area of 46,278 hectares. Aint no way 10,000 people are the ones responsible for the destruction! A report in 2007 showed that most people had bought land in Mau forest, and its not secret that Timsales logs in the forest. Who owns Timsales? This might give you a little history lesson!

      Sorry for rambling on and on. The point is, someone needs to aid the Ogiek in raising their voice against evictions, harassment, killings...they need to show the world that they are not savages, they are also Kenyans, and more importantly, human beings threatened with extinction!

      How can you help? You can:

      **follow the projects progress and share on this blog
      **Join the Facebook Page and share with others
      **Suggest ways that you can help to protect this indigenous community.

      18 Jun 2009

      The Coin

      Today I watched a short film, whose name i cant quite recall. It was about this coin that made its current holder lucky then unlucky...and the cycle would continue if one kept the coin. If one made a call using the coin, regardless of the number would called, you would be connected to the previous owner of the coin. If you begun with bad luck, good luck would follow and if you kept the coin, more bad luck.

      Aussie money coins

      The hardest part is always letting go of the coin. The owners of the coin were so wrapped up in the idea that regardless of the fact that it brings them pain. They always looked at the wealth and fortune they would accumulate.

      This film made me think about us Kenyans and politics. We cry for change, claim that we want it so bad, yet we still want to keep the unlucky coin, aka recycled politicians. We keep looking at the money they shower us with during campaign and election time, and forget that the first thing they do when they walk in to the August House is increase their non-taxable allowances. Why can't we get rid of that coin? Why are we so hang up on it? Are we really that short-sighted?

      Why don't I want to know the answers to those questions?

      10 Jun 2009


      I have filmed in Kibera on and off in the past couple of years, but always managed to separate myself from the people I met and keep it 'strictly business'. That was my defense mechanism, such that I did not feel guilty for having what I had, what I took for granted that I deserved. Try as I may, I could not run away from it. The reality of how the people lived in Kibera was with me, in my mind, everyday. I did not want to get involved, because I knew once I got in, there was no turning back.

      So to make sure that I was as far away from the reality as possible, I agreed to produce the film, Togetherness Supreme, set and filmed entirely in...Kibera! I had been not so secretly following up on the progress of the script development, again, all in effort to runaway from reality. I am beginning to think that I'm (not) very good in this 'running away' business.

      For 4 months, everyday, I went to work in Kibera on the film. The first 2 months were preproduction. I had thrown myself in the front-line, with no exit strategy. I was forced to deal with the people, look at them, live in their reality everyday. I did not like it. I liked the part where it was fun to watch dramas unfold, playing with the kids, exercising my famous passenger-side road rage fighting with Matatus, eating the best fries I have ever had...for some reason Kibera fries are heavenly! Forget Java and Savanna, they got nothin' on Mama Akinyi's Delicious Cafe!

      Then I got to talking with some residents of Africa's largest slum. (Dont even argue that Soweto is!). My spoilt mind thought that all the people would want to talk about is leaving the slum for greener pastures. Uh-uh. They liked it! They liked the simplicity of life in the slums, the liked the fact that there was something or the other that kept them entertained. Like the neighbour's wife who has been sleeping with the blacksmith next door who sneaks in to her house when her husband leaves, only that on this particular day, the husband forgot his wallet...or the woman who has buried 4 husbands and no one will buy roast beef from her...or the guy who is always so drunk, thugs don't mug him anymore...

      They even made me tell them how much I pay in rent for my 'suburbia' apartment. They calculated, and told me proudly...

      'What you pay in a month is enough to pay rent my rent for 58 months.'

      If you like, 4.8 years. They figured that they had the best sense when it comes to investment and saving money, and I was just one lost soul. Of course they do not like it that they have to jump over sewers to get to their houses, or the fact that you are bound to step on a 'flying toilet' that will 'explode' on you...or the fact that when it rains, you are more likely to be electrocuted by the illegal wiring done underground by so called Kibera Electricity Suppliers. A story was told to me about a man who went to pee by the roadside, only to have his treasures explode in his face. Apparently he was peeing on a live wire, thus ending up functioning as the electricity conductor...

      Nothing much goes on in my neighbourhood. Just lots of bi-racial kids playing and acting snotty when you need to drive into the compound as you are interrupting their rollerblading. The only is when one of our cats run away and the neighbourlady offers (read insists) that i give him to her. I did however see enough to make a couple of feature films during my short stint in Kibera. The people are happy. They are content to pull a chair and sit by the roadside and just watch. Which is what explains why when something (un) interesting happens, a crowd forms in seconds, most of whom are willing to help out, whether be in stoning a thief, chasing the Kenya Power and Lighting Co. workers who come to charge them for using the electricity, uproot the railway when Museveni decides to claim Migingo Island, the piece of rocky island in the middle of L.Victoria...and they love it!

      Which makes me wonder, would they ever be happy if there were moved to a blocks of flats, where you can hardly sit in your bedroom and chat with your neighbour who is in her/her own bedroom too...where nothing happens??

      The simplicity of life is defined by the fact that whatever commodity you can think of, it can be broken down to the tiniest amount so that people can afford it. You will find 1/4 litre of kerosene, 1/2 of 1/4 of beef, imagine it, it is there! If you moved to a more established neighbourhood, it would be hard to get these things.

      So is there such a thing as slum-a-holics? I now do believe there is. And I know that it sounds condescending, but slumaholicism is too ideticall to laziness...

      6 Jun 2009

      Sex Kills!

      Did David Carradine pull a Michael Hutchence?

      Like the INXS singer, whose mysterious 1997 death in a Sydney hotel was believed to have been related to a sex act gone wrong, police in Thailand are focusing on the possibility that the star of Kung Fu and Kill Bill may have accidentally killed himself while engaging in autoerotic asphyxiation.

      Autoerotic asphyxiation is a practice whereby a person intentionally cuts off oxygen to the brain for the purpose of sexual arousal.

      A representative for the Bangkok Swissotel's Nai Lert Park hotel told E! News that a maid found the 72-year-old actor's naked body hanging in a closet in his luxury suite. Now, investigators quoted in the Thai news site the Nation are revealing that there was also a rope tied around his genitals.

      "The two ropes were tied together," Police Lt. Gen. Worapong Chewprecha told reporters. "It is unclear whether he committed suicide or not, or he died of suffocation or heart failure."

      A coroner completed an autopsy earlier today, but authorities say the results will not be released for at least three weeks, per standard procedure given the "unusual circumstances" surrounding Carradine's death and pending toxicology results.

      Thai officials initially announced the erstwhile Grasshopper apparently committed suicide, but that theory was categorically shot down by Carradine's reps and shocked members of his family yesterday.

      "I know for a fact that he did not commit suicide," comanager Tiffany Smith told E! News.

      Her partner, Chuck Binder, wondered whether foul play may have played a part.

      "I heard from a producer in Bangkok that his hands were tied behind his back and that it's being covered up," Binder said. "How do you get a rope around your neck and around your genitals and do all this by yourself?"

      He continued: "The more I talk to people the more I think there's no way he killed himself. My take is there was definitely foul-play. There’s a lot of weird stuff that happens in Bangkok. This isn't L.A. or New York."

      Smith said that Carradine was "full of life" when he arrived in Thailand May 29 to shoot a movie called Stretch.

      That description fit with statements from eyewitnesses who saw him the night he died. One of those was a hotel employee who said the martial-arts enthusiast seemed to be in a "good mood," often smiling while drinking at the lobby bar Wednesday night and chatting up various staff members before retiring to his room sometime around 9 p.m.

      Carradine was a no-show at a crew dinner later that night and detectives say his room key card record shows he never left his suite. While there's also no indication anyone else entered the thespian's room, police have yet to officially rule out murder.

      The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok is expected to repatriate Carradine's body on Saturday. No word yet on funeral arrangements.

      Meanwhile, perhaps lending credence to the new theory of his death, The Smoking Gun has unearthed a circa 2003 affidavit filed in court by Carradine's ex-wife Marina Anderson claiming the actor engaged in unspecified "deviant sexual behavior."

      Fans of the prolific character actor should take comfort in knowing that Carradine had at least a half-dozen projects in the can at the time of his death. First up is a guest shot on Tuesday's episode of Mental.

      From Eonline.

      (Originally published June 5, 2009, at 6:45 a.m. PT)

      5 Jun 2009

      HTML angels

      A couple of years ago, I was blogging on Myspace and not thinking much about my blog being indexed on the www or any of that SEO mumble-jumble. Now that I moved to Blogger, its has become second to nature to want to increase the number of readers and visitors, in hope that one day, I shall rule the world. Ok, maybe not...

      I got tired of my blog's old look and decided to change it. This is not easy to do especially if you have maintained the same look for years. And being the stubborn one that i am, instead of changing the look bit by bit, i simply Ctrl A > Delete, and paste the new HTML Code. As most of you know (don't worry if you don't, I'll tell anyway), this completely erases any modifications you had done on your site and you literally have to start afresh. This pisses the hell out of me, but then again, I wanted a new site, right?

      I believe in giving credit where its due. And this time my blogger angles have been Garry Conn (you might not know him, but he is the nemesis of John Cow. Now that one you DO know) and Bloggertricks. And trick does he /she do! I call myself an expert on Blogger but this blogger still manages to make me shake my head and get that admiration little smile...

      Garry is the kind of tech-whiz that makes you think you are a total genius. I dont think it is possible for anyonme to simply things he way he does. I swear, if i my 6 month old spitz understood the English Alphabet, he would be maitaining my blog using Garry's guidance.

      Guys, you might never read this blog, but your free consultation has not gone unappreciated. And I hope the many hours I spent on your website, and the many 'trips' i made to your sites did contribute to your traffic and earned you some adsense money :-)

      Thank you!

      Paris Hilton in Rwanda

      Socialite Paris Hilton arrived at the Hôtel des Milles Collines late Tuesday night after an 18 hour flight from JFK to Kigali’s International Airport. She arrived without the speculated loads of luggage; all ten pieces had been mistakenly sent to the Seychelles. The heiress found replacement clothing in the hotel’s souvenir shop; she wore Rwandan beer Mutzig and Primus t-shirts for the remainder of her week.

      Though not well known in Rwanda for whatever it is that she does, Hilton’s name caused some apprehension in the small country. Rwandans still hold France responsible for its troubles and are not fond of French expatriates. Many learned with some relief that Hilton is American, and with some surprise that she does not actually speak French.

      First on her itinerary was to visit an orphanage where she and the ministers of education and health took pictures with selected orphans. She spent around 15 minutes passing out tootsie pops, Bratz® dolls and lip-gloss to eager young girls. But when the orphans began to eat the strawberry flavored lip-gloss and play football with the Bratz® heads, it was time to go. She moved on to an AIDS clinic in downtown Kigali where her experience as a medical assistant on The Simple Life came to no use. The socialite looked uncomfortable and pensive as she spoke with dying patients about how her difficult time in a California prison had inspired her to help Rwandans by having their picture taken with her.
      The wives of many ministers told Hilton that she looked fat and happy. Her eyes brimmed with tears through many interviews with local journalists who also exclaimed how très grosse she was. She was overheard whispering to her entourage that Rwandans were the rudest people she had ever met.

      An interpreter explained to her that fat was actually a compliment and that it was a good thing because it meant she didn’t have AIDS. The interpreter did not explain the truth, which was that many Rwandans strongly believed that she in fact had AIDS both because of her thin frame and her reoccurring film roles.

      Before leaving for Africa, Ms. Hilton was quoted as saying she would help Rwandan children by “bringing attention” with her. She would bring the attention; others would do the philanthropy. But for once the paparazzi did not want to follow her. Her own camera crew was left with very little footage of the heiress doing anything but looking pretty. In order to get the attention such a journey deserves, Hilton has bought airtime on E! to turn her “safari” into another reality show. Rwandan orphans replace simple Arkansas country folk as extras on another season of The Simple Life.

      Hilton wanted to go on safari before leaving Africa but was told that most of the big game in Rwanda had been eaten during the civil war. She concluded her trip to the motherland by making a stop in South Africa to shop for diamonds and go on a wine-tasting tour. There she experienced a terrible reaction with her mefloquine and alcohol and promtly fell over and died.

      21 May 2009

      The cat that won't stay

      A lost mother cat found its way to my boyfriend's old apartment and decided that it looked good enough to function as a maternity. So few days later, the Collett family name had been passed on to Biggie and Blackie. He then took the mother to Kibera to live with in the office with the caretaker, an action that Lucy( aka mother cat) did not take kindly to. He basically took her from suburbia and moved her to the Ghetto. Lucy, albeit a stray cat, was used to posh dustbins to scrounge in, not the 'flying toilets' of Kibera. To top it, as if he had not done enough damage, he took her to be neutered. We all looked at it as a honorable deed, Lucy did not. Everyday, she made it a point to show Nathan just how much she loathed him. She would pretend to walk past him, and somehow, her claws would graze Nathan's feet. The seconds it took him to look down, Lucy would saunter off, tail raised high.

      I still think that the kittens know what he did to the mother and Biggie, being the older one and the boy of the family, has decided to make us pay. Every day we open the door, he is there waiting to rush out. at first it was alright. They both would play by the stairs, then scratch the door five minutes later begging to be let in. Now, Biggie waits for the door to open so that he can ran off. Thing is he always runs off the the same house, which i find rather stupid! I swear you can see the smug grin on his face every time we go over to the next apartment block to pick him up. It's like he is saying ' You so wanna kill me right now, dont you?'

      As if that is not stressful enough, the two have devised a game called 'Jump Off' As the name suggests, they jump off the the balcony of our 3rd floor apartment when the mood strikes. Now we've pretty much gotten used to it, but the first time they did that, they nearly gave Nate and I a join heart attack. We stopped letting them on the balcony and would close off all the windows. Somehow a window was left open and they jumped again. When we found no broken bones, nor blood....we opened the fort. Now they dont jump anymore.

      Go figure!

      27 Apr 2009

      The Update

      For 6 weeks, I was on Pre-prod, producing a feature film set in Kibera, the biggest slum in Africa. The cast is drawn from the slum, most with no prior filmin experience.

      The crew, with the exception of the Heads of Dept, are also form Kibera. The film, Togetherness Supreme seeks to draw out and cultivate the talent of the people of Kibera in a manner that has never before been tried, double the challenge!

      The feature was born out of a short film called Kibera Kid. Kibera Kid is a 2006 award winning fictional short film set in the Kibera slums in Nairobi, Kenya, one of the largest slums in Africa. It was written, directed and co-produced by Nathan Collett in collaboration with the youth of Kibera. This twelve minute film features Kibera actors in all the principle roles. It has played at film festivals worldwide including the Berlin Film Festival and it won a Student EMMY from Hollywood. It has been profiled by BBC, Reuters, Al Jazeera English and many others.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kibera_Kid)

      After the success of Kibera Kid, the Kibera Youth wanted more, and the Kibera Kid Feature Film was born. The cast is from Kibera, with with little or no screen exprience. Apart from the Heads of Departments, the rest of the crew are youth from Kibera. Most of them have never worked in production before, triple the challenge!

      We went on location on 23rd March and has been rolling since. Today, is supposed to be the final shoot day... We are shooting on the RED camera, another first.

      It is the first time a RED camera has been used in a slum, on a such a project and the first to be owned in Kenya. Despite the challenges of doing a project of such magnitude, the crew and cast are all in high spirits and everyday, I realise how deep an impact this project has on the people of Kibera.

      To learn more, support us, you can ask me questions here, or email me- kookync@gmail.com. You can also visit http://kiberakid.blogspot.com to see more of what is going on on location....and to donate.

      We also have a film maker making a documentary about the film, and you get her version of our film here - http://worthydocs.blogspot.com/


      5 Feb 2009

      Flying Without Wings

      On my way to Jamaica - (sorry, you did not know that!) anyway, while there, I did this and this. Back to my story. Where I was in the land of Patois (Patwa), I kept thinking how far I have come from the 12 year old who dreamt of marrying Nick Carter and touring the world with him, and living in Florida. If you don't know Nick Carter, you are way too old to reading my blog. (sic) This is he

      He once ruled my world with his little army called the Backstreet Boys. By now you know that I did not marry him, mainly because he dated Paris Hilton. As much as it hurt, I had to call it off on my 16th birthday. This thoughts started when i was in Ft. Lauderdale waiting to connect to Montego Bay. Here i was, 13 years later ( you can stop doing the math as to how old i am) in Florida, the only place i ever wanted to be. I started to think of what had changed about me. I guess we never think about the boyband crushes girls go through as teenagers, and how we believe anything is possible. I mean, there I was, another 12 year old, deep in the heart of Kenya, dreaming of marrying a boy in one of the biggest boybands of our time. Where was that little girl? I don't dream that big anymore. I dare call it to 'dream big' because given background, I needed a probability hyper drive to come close to realizing that dream. I hardly think Boy Carter had dreams of marrying a little African girl from Kenya....

      So why don't I dream like that anymore? Not of boybands and blond-blue-eyed teenage heartthrobs, but of greatness and accomplishments beyond the wildest dreams? You might retort and say it is because i grew up and became realistic. I don't think so. It would have been equally unrealistic for me to dream that i would be sitting in Florida on my way to a holiday in the
      Caribbean . When I went to Disney World a few months ago, these thoughts did not go through my head. I never grew up wanting to be a princess or a fairy, or even wanting to meeting one. It was never 'real' enough to me. Disney never held that 'magic' for me. It could be the environment i grew up in. Play was not filled with barbie dolls and make-up, it was polyethene paper balls, mud and clay dolls and used cooking fat tins cooked food. No, my mother did not feed me that. In those days (damn, i can finally use those words), cooking fat / oil was packaged in cans, more like canned beans. We would get the empty tins, steal a little bit of cooking fat from the house, two or so leaves of vegetables, charcoal and matchboxes. We would light a makeshift burner and play 'house pretend', where we actually cooked the food. Every child had to bring an item from home and i did most of that. My parents were always away on business and the nanny / housegirl cared less what i did.

      My parents never knew that i did this. Both my parents were very protective and my father would rather get me anything i wanted rather than let me out to play. I never got what his reasoning was since he could only do this in the short periods he was home , but i was rarely allowed out of the house when he was around. I took full advantage when we he was away. I also watched too much TV. My TV supervision came later in my teenage, when I had lost interest in it and loved Mills and Boon far much more. In the occasion that my dad was home, i would lock myself in my room and fantasize for hours about Nick. The things we would do, the names we would give our kids, the places we would visit....My mind was uninhibited in its wandering. As i left Ft. Lauderdale, i longed for that feeling. Not that I have stopped dreaming, but i have limited myself as to what i can dream about. I want to make life changing films, but i dream of making them up to a certain budgets. I daren't (it's a word) dream of the endless possibilities that could be, that are actually available. Making films is just an example, there are so many other things...

      I replaced Nick Carter with Mark Feehily. Once again, let me be the fist to show you he

      Mark is the one with the angelic ( i still think so) voice in the Irish boy band called Westlife. Hiw blue eyes drove me wild. Yes, my affair with blue eyes dates that far back. I happened to see a song i used to love (secretly still do) in a Karaoke book in Montego Bay, and I got up and sang it. I was transported back to me as a 15 year old, wanting everything Irish. I now wanted to move Ireland, I knew everything there was to know about Eire, you'd have thought i grew up in Sligo. Again, I never held back my dreams of Ireland and Mark. I swore to myself that my son was going to be called Shane, after the lead singer of the band. I have not been to Ireland yet, but I'm not closing my mind to that. In my head, I'm going to roam in the lush green of the hills, smell the rain....because i have learnt that only I can limit what I achieve my limiting my dreams. I have learnt that there is not dream to big, and the is no fantazy too wild and if i never get to have it in reality, at least i can explore its full beauty in my mind, which is more vivid than anything that Technicolor will ever come up with.

      Because dreaming is flying without wings. Nothing to control you, letting wind that is your imagination fuel the images that fill your mind. It is the free-falling of thought, with arms wide open and outstretched.

      And right now, sitting here at JFK waiting for my flight, ( airports seem to make me think), I'm playing Westlife over and over again. It feels stupid, very juvenile in fact... but there is also this feeling of release in my heart and mind, the feeling that I have opened myself to more things than i will ever appreciate, more love, health, wealth, happiness and fullness of life.

      And to quote the song:

      ....And when you know how much it means
      You've found that special thing
      You're flying without wings

      So, impossible as it may seem
      You've got to fight for every dream
      Cos who's to know which one you let go
      Would have made you complete
      ....And it's like flying without wings....

      Now playing: Westlife - Flying without wings