Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Shifting house

The highlight of an eventful week ended with us (Me + part of the family I live with) moving out from the upmarket side of town that I'd called home for the last 3 years to middle class side (with up market finishing). The fact that my sis is owning rather than renting means that the change is definately better for all, most of all me who is free loading, since it means I do it with a clearer conscience. I'm definately looking forward to meeting a few beautiful neighbours...

Of course the subject of my own moving out has come up in discussion severally. My opinion is that I still don't see the need, and being single, there's virtually no pressure (or is that the reason why...). The cash for rent can be used elsewhere (read spoilt kid) and I'm sort of useful to my sis (a few errands here and there). So for now, I'll stick it out and make the most of it. Speaking of which, it seems we've been eating only chicken and surprisingly fish the last week or so, and it's not only us but even workmates. Makes you wonder if we are all paranoid or just making sure that we are safe.

This week saw an interesting scene in my life. A pal of old times contacted me about needing help writing a business plan for an idea she has. I was meant to meet her in her office in town. Turns out the 'office' is a VCT centre (I never saw that one coming)!! Of course, this accorded me the opportunity to ask the kind of questions one always wanted to know from these guys i.e. is AIDS real, does donor support pay well, what is the reaction when the people coming in are jamaas you know (especially teenagers) as well as the reaction when you meet the clients in the streets? One interesting thing she told me was that usually for couples who want to take the AIDS test, the individuals go separately first to check their status, then come as couple, denying vehemently that they have been there before! Talk about trust!!!

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Spare time

Nice (but seemingly short) weekend saw me spend most of it watching Prison Break. Took me from 31st Dec to last saturday to finish season 1, and I'm now midway season 2. I must admit that guys said it was good and I wasn't too enthusiastic but when I got to sit down and watch the whole season through, it's a killer.

Update on the book scene, I finished Men are like Waffles - Women are like Spaghetti and the essence of the book is that jamaas keep their stuff separate i.e. work, family, relationships, money etc while chics integrate (engineering speak) kila kitu so you can't affect one without the others. This apparently shows why jamaas can't keep up with a chic's conversation, since he's unable to jump in between boxes at the speed the chic keeps switching. A summary of the book is that women seek security (yaani it's true) while men seek simplicity. As always, there's debate as to the validity of the findings, but I'll take what I like and leave the rest.

My next read is How to Grow Leaders, an interesting book by one of the top gurus in leadership, John Adair. Useful for organizations seeking to grow leaders. Interestingly, as part of the trainee program I'm in, my first assignment was to write a report on the difference between managers and leaders. The person who gave this assignment wanted to ingrain in us the fact that leaders are needed more than managers in the corporate world, since staff need people who'll get them to do what
is difficult, without being pushed and actually delight in it, stuff to do with vision and purpose as opposed to process and function. Guess no better foundation with which to start one's career ama?

That, coupled with a visit to the latest addition to my collection of nieces (welcome to the world GNW) and helping a pal to carry a water container from town to her digs, is a peek of one of my interesting weekends. How was yours???


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Taking stock and plotting strategy

Good bye 2006!
A stock take on maisha back then:

Financial: Kengen, HFCK are my key highlights, not so good with Mumias, Scangroup but since I'm in it for long term, I'm sure things will turn positive sometime. Opportunities missed (no free cash available) included BBK (twice!) & EAC.

Also, invested in wheat (20% profit on investment due to rain during harvest) and maize (during short rains, harvest expected early 07).

Career: Good progress on the trainee thing, few hiccups but mostly pluses on the management presentations. The team is fantastic and all is set for the coming year.

Social: Unfortunately despite the mingi hook ups, stats reveal that only 1 new number & subsequent date (Braces chic) obtained from outside my normal social circles (x-campus, work, church). All in all, good year coz still single and lots of fun. Memorable highlight: 2 Australian friends coming to digs at 3 am just to watch the Ashes cricket match vs England!!! Outrageous!!

Spiritual: Hooked up with 2 ekklesiae, so not too bad. But not much progress with the God relationship, if human success markers are used...

Enter 2007
Financial: Still expect NSE to be the place to be for good gains. However, set up of an investment group with former campusmates, and buying a plot of land on the outskirts of the city are my new targets.

Career: Expect to finish the trainee programme before end of year. Where I'll be posted remains a mystery, but expect to build a professional plan once that bridge is crossed. Enrolling in college to further education with a few professional courses in technology/business might be explored.

Social: Definate expansion in the pool of people. It started today morning. I met someone in an office where I needed to get info on nse research, and in less than 10 min had asked if she was single (she replied 'sort of') and then got her to give me her number, I'll take her for coffee to discuss financial investments (of course) and she agreed!!!

Spiritual: Put in significant effort to better relations with God by a lot more service and vibe on my part.

Political: Vote!!! My stats read won 2 (presidential and civic 2002), lost 2 (parliamentary 2002 and constitution referendum 2005).

Last Year's resolution: Read 1 book a month. Results: Did 10, since Capitalist Nigger was 5th, then Walk On - the spiritual journey of U2, The Richest Man in Babylon (fantastic), Hand of God, Affluenza, and finally Men are like Waffles - Women are like Spaghetti - which I'm still reading. 83% achievement is enough (in my view) to make the resolution achieved (sort of)...

This Year's resolution: Climb Mount Kenya. My best pal who runs such trips has told me to set a tentative date for August. The trip is 10k, and snow plus fly chic included (subject to terms and conditions). Will definately help in expanding the social scene, as well as touch Kenyan snow before global warming has something else to say about it.

To all who visit the blogsphere, have a fab 2007. Keep your resolutions simple and achievable. God's favour in everything.