When one Door closes, another one Opens!! 🚪🎆🚪

They say that all good things must come to an end. That when one door closes, another one opens. Personally, I can’t believe it’s finally coming to an end. My stay here in South Africa has literally flown by. It was just the other day I was panicking about leaving home and making this big move. Funny how life works. Not only does it force you to grow but self discovery becomes a continues journey with no end destination. My experiences here in South Africa 🇿🇦 will always have a special place in my heart. Initially I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was that I was in search of something that I still cannot put my finger on upto this date. I needed a change and wanted some type of renewed motivation. I wanted a break from the norm and find new inspiration. The only way I knew to achieve this was to make a drastic change and what better way than to travel half way across the world to a country where nobody knew me and I didn’t know anyone. Truth be told, it was an “Eat,Pray & Love” type of situation and believe it or not, it WORKS!!

The Rainbow Nation has truly surpassed my expectations. I was able to find the things I was looking for and more. From takin on new adventures everyday to lifetime friendships I have formed. Words cannot express the gratitude I have. This newly found confidence, self appreciation and inspiration that I have acquired is proving to be one of the ingredients that I needed to take on the next chapter in my life.Thank you to all those who have supported me in this journey. My family and friends for not only their financial support but their love and understanding that this was something I needed to do for myself. I am grateful to God for fulfilling this dream because HE is the only one who knew how important this experience meant to me. Now that it’s time to move on, I can’t help but be nervouse to what life has in store for me. Being originally Kenyan🇰🇪, I have decided to further this journey to my homeland. Re-kindle old friendships, visit family and relatives. In order for me to move forward I have to remember where I came from and remind myself  the main reason I was put on this earth. 

Please join me in this new adventure as I take on the city under the sun and show you what my mother land has to offer. 🇰🇪🌍☀️

Donald Trump for Presidency👑⚖

With the newly election results, everyone and anyone seems to have an opinion.  I just wrote an article for News7 (http://www.news7newslinc.net/) about the reaction of the elections. I will share with you down below.



It’s been less than 24 hours and the reaction to Donald Trump’s presidency win has gotten everybody wondering what the future holds. While the talk of the American election has had the whole world tuned in for months, everybody seems to have an opinion about the newly outcome of the presidential elections. For some Americans living abroad, they have been bombarded with questions to who they thought or wanted to win the election but now they have to answer to what they think of Donald Trump being their new president.

Adam weesly from Canada but visiting South Africa for vacation, is thrilled with the outcome. “I feel like we need to have faith and give Trump the benefit of doubt. Yes he’s said some crazy absurd things which I don’t agree with but right now America needs someone who can recover the economy. I lived in America for 5years and the economy has really downgraded from what it used to be.”

On the other hand trump’s presidency comes as a shock to fellow student Jordan Bernard. Bernard who is a 3rd year student at Wheelock University but studying abroad at Stellenbosch University did not believe that this day would actually happen. “My initial thought was how can a man with no Healthcare Reform no education reform and no foreign policy be elected over a qualified candidate who has dedicated her entire life to civil service…I then decompressed and realized that as a white cis gender male I need to be an ally to the LGBTQI community, to people of color, to immigrants, and to Muslims… the fact that a hateful malicious male can become president shows just how skewed our racist and patriarchal society is and we as the youth need to fight it and fight for the rights of all and show that “love can truly trump hate”. Bernard who’s originally from Connecticut will be heading home in the next couple days now that his done with his semester abroad.

For most South Africans, what does this mean for their country and the relationship with America moving forward? Amos Ndabala a boutique owner in the township of kayamandi, cannot help but be grateful that the election is finally over. Ndabala says, “America is one country that has a big influence and impact to the rest of the world. You would think a village guy like myself would not be interested to whatever is happening outside my town but in retrospect it does affect me one way or another.’’ Although Ndabala might have not had a say to who might be president, he knows that the outcome will affect him indirectly economy wise here in South Africa no matter who becomes president.

Although protests have been sweeping through major cities in the U.S. with the theme ‘Not My President’, here in South Africa, locals are eagerly waiting to see what trumps next move is, now that he has won the elections. Trump officially takes office in seventy days.

The Art of Wine🍷🍾

It’s been approximately 4 months and my taste buds are just one of the things that have evolved and changed for the better. I mean, being the food lover that I am, your taste buds mean everything. It’s one of your major tools needed to experience this life that is full of flavor. It’s like a singer who relies on their voice. Dare to imagine a life where you taste buds are all kinds of messed up or just don’t function. You might as well just give up on life. (I am definitely exaggerating)

Being here in the rainbow nation and living in the land surrounded by vineyards of the Cape Winelands (Stellenbosch), a glass of wine a day is as normal as taking my daily vitamins. Ever since I joined the world of alcohol consumption, I have always fancied the art of drinking wine and being knowledgeable about it. The type of sophistication and class that wine culture brings about is literally my aspirations. Well lord and behold, my wish finally came true hence my blog post for today.

Wine tasting for me has become my newest hobby. Not only is it very affordable here in SA but the atmosphere that it comes with is just relaxing and very calming. Learning the art of wine from tasting, to pairing it, is no different than learning to really appreciate music or art. It takes time and effort to understand wine and even training your pallet to enjoy the different kinds of wine. Being able to break down the different dynamics of wine from the aroma to the diverse aspect of the taste that it comes with, also takes time.

I never used to drink wine as much. In all reality, the only wine that I used to drink was white Moscato brands or anything that was predominantly sweet. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, as I preferably like to say now, those kind of wines are the entry levels to joining the wine society. Especially if you fancy the art of winery like I do.

Living in Stellenbosch has been a wine education boot camp for me. Stellenbosch which is well known for its viticulture (the science, production, and study of grapes in a vineyard) is one of the larger two main wine growing regions in South Africa. The South African wine industry itself produces about 1,000,000,000 liters of wine annually. It honestly can’t get any better than that.


In no way am I trying to say that I am a wine expert but I have learned quite a few basics. Pairing wine and food, how to swirl wine in a glass, and the difference between taste vs. flavor. Initially, red wine was never an option for me as well as any wine that was typically dry but now I am able to enjoy any kind of wine. Of course I do have some dislikes with certain flavors of wines but it is not like before where I couldn’t handle drinking specific wines.​

​Part of me also believes that when it comes to wine, one has to acquire the taste of it gradually over time. Just like how you would never eat some foods when you were younger but as you grow older, you start eating them. Some people are just not wine fanatics whatsoever and that’s perfectly fine. The same way I am not a big fan of beer.🍻🍺​

​As my time here winds up. I will continue visiting wine tasting farms and enjoy this new hobby to the fullest. We all know back at home, wine tasting can be quite expensive.

Exam Week!!📖📚📝

The weeks are going by way too fast and my final days here in South Africa are quickly winding up. Honestly it’s finally hitting me that I am about to go home. With this week being the start of exams, I am now realizing that my education was the one thing that brought me here. Meaning, I seriously need to pass my exams.

My school experience has been quite interesting. I have gotten to take diverse classes that I know I would not have heard the opportunity to take, back at my home university. Needless to say, I have learnt a lot.  It’s one thing if you learn about something but you’re not in the environment of what you’re being taught. For example, one of my classes that I have been taking is called ‘HIV and Aids from a South African perspective’. I guarantee you, if I took this same class back at home, I doubt that it would have made an impact, compared to me taking the class here, where I have interacted with real life people with real life experiences.

One thing that’s caught me off guard is the style of the exams here at Stellenbosch University. I am not sure if it’s just a Stellenbosch thing or a South African thing but they don’t offer multiple choice in their exams. I guess it’s a privilege for us because it’s definitely changed my style of studying. To be honest I am actually panicking but I am crossing my fingers that all will be well.

In the spirit of exam week, I am not only reflecting what I have learnt in class but what life has taught me during my stay here in South Africa. In the words of John Dewey, “education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”

Wish me luck!!

Fat Boy Hiking Tips 📝

With all my hiking experience, I think I have gained the qualification to give some tips on hiking. I mean not to say that I am a pro but kind of share my knowledge to those who like to hike but not necessarily obsessed with it. Let’s be real, hiking is not easy. Especially if you can only tolerate nature to a certain extent.

Hiking is a difficult task and can be very exhausting. If you’ve experienced the body sores after, then you absolutely know what I am talking about. I don’t work out that much or go to the gym so that could be the reason but in the bigger grand of scheme, I am sure there are some of you out there that can relate. Truth be told, I only hike in the name of snap-chat and Instagram 👻📱.We all have different motivations and this just happens to be mine. If you are judging me right now, it’s because you do not share the love of photography and storytelling. From an average guy to another, here are some tips that might change your hiking experience for the better.

  1. First and foremost, plan accordingly.📝. I am all about the spontaneous lifestyle but it’s just never worked out for me when it comes to hiking. Check the weather and get a good idea of the area or the mountain that you will be hiking.
  1. Dress accordingly. By checking the weather beforehand you will know what to wear and carry. Here in Cape Town, the weather is constantly changing no matter the season. They say sometimes you get a taste of all the seasons in one day. So having a warm sweater on deck always comes in handy. And if you go hiking on a good day, a pair of comfortable sneakers will do just fine. (No need to invest in hiking boots unless your one of those.)

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  1. Get a hiking buddy. I have had my share of hiking alone and I tend to mostly focus on the hike and getting to the peak, which I guess is a good work out mission but you sometimes forget to enjoy the nature and the hike. Personally, hiking with somebody always makes the experience fun and worth it. You never know, the bonding that you might share along the hike could create lifetime memories. Besides, who is going to take a dope Instagram pic of you?

 

  1. Make sure all your electronics are fully charged. If you’re like me and you like to document your hikes, having a portable charger becomes your best friend. Also how do you expect to entertain your social media fans? For safety purposes, you need your cell phone too just in case of any emergency.​

  1. Have a good breakfast. If you’re a foodie like me, this is the best day to have all favorite breakfast meals all in one. Your bacon, eggs, pancakes, cereal, toast and coffee. Trust me, you need all the energy you can get and you’re going to work it all out anyways. Also pack some snacks and bottles of water. Keeping hydrated is a must. For my choice of snacks, I prefer packing healthy. For example apples, fruit salad, a sandwich but also a bag of chips would not hurt anybody.

 

  1. Timing is everything when it comes to hiking.🕗 For me the best seasons to hike are either fall or spring. It’s not always too hot or too cold. You also don’t want to hike too early or too late in the day especially if the weather is not consistent. I like to hike at my own pace. With all the photo-shoot sessions and the rest stops that I love to take, you want to make sure you get back in good timing. We all know in order to get a good picture you want the perfect lighting. Also hiking in the dark is not an adventure you would want to partake.​

 

  1. Get yourself a good back pack. You definitely need a handy back pack where you’re going to bring all your stuff. Use a back pack that’s light and comfortable to carry. Furthermore, don’t forget your basic essentials. Sunscreen, sunglasses, painkillers and last but not least bug spray and hand sanitizer.

If you find this tips helpful, make sure to share and comment. We fat boys, Instagram and snap-chat addicts gotta stick together.

FEES MUST FALL!! 🌍📚📝🇿🇦#feesmustfall

The #FeesMustFall is a movement led by South African students to protest against the increasing tuition at universities all around the country. Initially, it began late last year at the University of Witwatersrand campus and now other universities like Stellenbosch, University of Cape Town and many others have joined in taking the stand.


When I found out that I was coming to South Africa, I was slightly aware of the protests but never really paid much attention to it. It was until in the last week I got to know first-hand what the movement was all about. There has been a lot of disruption on campus like classes being cancelled and the closing of the library due to the protest but it has all been non-violent.


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Granting the focus of the protests is mostly the rise in fees, other factors have added to the cause of the movement. Lack of funding of higher education from the government and the quality of education offered to minority students or those from poor backgrounds who are already struggling to attend university, has added to socio-economic and racial inequality issues.


In the beginning, I was very intrigued and very curious to see the protest for myself. Being that I was ignorant, it was more of an adrenaline rush of an experience that I was longing for, not knowing that it’s a serious issue that’s affecting people’s lives and their future. Growing up, my parents have instilled the importance of education and I’ve grown to believe that it’s a human right that should be accessible to everyone. Although, I never faced the struggle of not being able to go to school, this movement has absolutely been an eye opener of some of the privileges I already have.


Being able to see young folks like myself passionately fighting for what they believe in, has truly inspired me to also do the same. Not just in the society but also in my personal life.


In the words of William Faulkner, “Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.”

Food Lover’s 😋💞

I must say that this week has not been quite easy. While still grieving the sudden death of a class mate, we’ve had a lot going on here on campus with the fees must fall protests, which I will write about in my next post. But the preparation for the International Food Event really took my mind off of things.


With this week being international week at Stellenbosch University, different activities have been held each day to celebrate the diverse nationalities and ethnicities of students here on campus. Last night it was the International Food Evening, where different groups got to showcase food that represented their countries.

Being originally Kenyan🇰🇪, I was very eager and determined to represent Kenya and showcase some of their traditional food. Initially, I never saw any Kenyans during my stay here but when I signed up to participate in the international food event, I found out that there was a Kenyan society. We were able to link up and plan accordingly to win this year. Apparently in the past couple years, Kenya had always placed second, while Germany always won.


“Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul”. Dorothy Day.

My passion and love for food has tremendously grown, especially being here and being able to taste different types of cuisines.  To me this opportunity was the perfect challenge to test my cooking skills and proclaim my title as an International Chef. Mind you, the portion size was recommended to serve between 100-150 people. Yikes! Imagine the amount of pressure.

We decided as a team to cook at least 4 types of dishes that represented different tribes in Kenya. Chapatti, Githeri, lentil stew, and Bhajia. I offered to cook the Githeri, knowing the background of the dish and the fact that I eat at home all the time.




When it comes to Githeri, the main ingredients are maize/corn, potatoes and beans. It’s very similar to a chilli except that the Githeri can contain more vegetables but all in all it can also be grouped as a type of stew .The good thing about this dish, is you have room to play around with different flavours and ingredients making it your own. Furthermore, it’s easier serving to a large crowd.


The turnout was pretty amazing. I mean the place was heavily packed. Seeing everybody taking pride in their creations was very touching and humbling at the same time. To me it was more of a food lover’s event.


Some of the downfalls I faced was working in a small kitchen and not being able to get the specific ingredients that I always use to make my type of Githeri. But just like Beyoncé, I made lemonade out of the lemons I got.🍋

From all the feed back I got from those who were able to taste my food, I think I nailed it. 


We placed third in food presentation and for the first time won overall for the best dishes in spite of starting late. With this newly found victory, it really got me wondering whether this might be my calling. I do believe that a person can have more than one calling. Well if it is, I’m ready to take on this path and see what the future beholds for me.