Stop judging by skin colour

As by the title am talking about judgement that many people go through but i am going to talk about my own experience. Most of my friends and even relatives can be witness that they had a different judgement about me or got confused of where was my originality as i look more different thanks to my colour and appearance.

I have never denied that i am from a mixed background an African Mother and a visiting dad (i mean a non Kenyan dad who is from the Far East) only that i was born, raised and living in Kenya. My English is strangled by my mother-tongue giving me an accent way different from my appearance as i look more Asian than the Kenyan behind the Asian face.

I was born in the Kenyan coast, later got to be raised in the depth of Nyandarua very lucky to have been brought up at the foot of a big mountain: The Nyandarua ranges famously known as Aberdares at a Village where electricity was a story we were told of, the only car we saw was a milk tractor that we saw every morning collecting milk throughout the year.

My grandmother was so lucky that she was always the compass for our village as directions would be given to all people who got lost as point of reference to get their bearings, it would always go like this “umepotea, lakini rudi nyuma ukifika pale kwa daraja ulizia ule cucu wa muchina halafu fuata hio njia ingine” ( you just got lost, however just go back to the bridge then ask for the homestead of the grandmother of a Chinese then follow the other road you left there)

Anyway, fast ahead to the future of the village Chinese boy who is now a grown but young man. Nowadays i am in the city though every month i go back to the village that raised me as it is said “.. East or West home is the best”. There are challenges that i still face thanks to my appearance which i believe many who are like me face in this city.

I have met a good number of people who are like me. Judged by the facial appearance or skin colour, one even once told me that as he boarded a matatu somewhere people begun to backbite him ” yani hata hawa wahindi hupanda gari?” (You mean even these asians board public vehicles?) This was all thanks to his Indian appearance yet he was born and raised here in Kenya making him a Kenyan and understands Kiswahili to other local languages.

I have also been harassed by authorities from policemen to even been asked for work permit by others. There is a day i almost got arrested because i never had my passport (they judged me to be a tourist or a foreign worker and needed to be with my passport or work permit) when i produced my national Identification card it was said to be forged!!! There is so much i have gone through thanks to the misjudgement by my appearance.

However, to some extent i have always had advantage from my looks. When i go to some places, i get served way better than my friends or others. The other day, together with my friends got to be given a chance to be served faster and better as they thought i was a tourist visiting the place.

But why am i writing about this if i also have advantages coming with my looks? The reason is because when we get people or facilities serving or offering things by skin or appearance it will lead to bias life may be even hatred among people. I hope we can all live, respect and never judge each other by tribe, originality or anything that creates a difference between people .

Lets live in harmony rather than division, lets see each other as friends than seeing each other by skin colour, tribe or originality. Thats why i love camping compared to anything else because in camping we call everyone in the campsite by a general name “Campers” we share a bonfire, we share stories of travel experience, we share meals at times.

As i conclude, lets develop a culture or respect for each other, live a life of no judgement by skin, originality or anything that may create hatred or discrimination above all lets travel more as we get to grow the culture of respect for everyone. My good grandmother always encourages me to travel more by her words that says, “atendete guthiî augaga nyina nowe ûwi kûruga” (he who doesn’t travel always says his mother is the best chef)

Travel more and share with friends

#ChinkuTravels #HiddenKenyansGems

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Special, Beautiful and now dusty

Originality of most towns in Kenya are very unique shaped by history or came into being as by direct result of our history or even the world’s history. Just like the world’s history was shaped by Industrial Revolution, Capitalism and also Imperialism all combined with a lot of factors.

Over the years as the calendars pages turned past history was not forgotten as everything was kept in records and the best of the past history was well preserved in monuments which is the topic of discussion

A monument is a type of structure created to commemorate a person or event, or which has become relevant to a social group as a part of their remembrance of historic times or cultural heritage, due to its artistic, historical, political, technical or architectural importance (Wikipedia)

Nairobi and Kenya at large has got a great share of monuments from our streets to Public Parks marking different pages of History and events that took place leading to shaping of our cities, towns or even what we know today as independent Nation we have today.

How ever, it looks like we are leaving out our monuments to enjoy a new pair of suit that nature is clothing them in, dust and less if nothing is done the death of our past shall have caught up with us.

A Polish Poet of the World War II era once said ” …..the living owe it to those who no longer can speak to tell their story to them…..” It is up to us the living to keep alive our past histories as it is from them that we can shape our history.

I shed tears when the statue of Queen Victoria in the Jeevanjee Garden put up in 1904 fallen and its head crushed later on only its base still stand with the statue no where to be seen to tell its history

This goes on with almost all monuments from Nyayo monument at the Central park that had beautiful fountains and was a great outdoor photo studio that many loved. The Statue that we ought to even care more is that of our freedom fighter Field Marshall Dedan Kimathi and that of Tom Mboya whose display have become more like dustbin making me wonder if we truly appreciate what was sacrificed by such a hero!!!!

I hope that one day we can decide to care and respect our past history shared or displayed by all statues set up on our streets and towns.

Why do you think most statues are in bad status or so untidy? What can be done for us to maintain and care for our statues to Public Parks? Lets share in the comment sections on what can be done or should be done to ensure we care for our statues and monuments.

How often do you Travel?

Vasco DA Gama set off from Lisbon, Portugal and in 1497 he landed in Malindi, Kenya. To his amusement he found a beautiful land and laid a monument in honour of the beauty he saw.

On the western side of the globe, a heir inherited the barony of Dalamere at 17yrs and years later at 21 he traveled to Somali land but adventure spirit pushed him southern only to be amazed of a beauty when he saw the Laikipia plateau and Aberdares ranges that caught his attention. He left to get married to his wife and only saw it great to bring his wife to this beautiful country that he fell in love as second love. He never left and so his defendants.

Many people have come to this country and never have they failed to return. Some now call it home, others visit every time they think of a destination to visit for holiday or even get away destination.

Why be left behind to see the beauty that drew people across the world to visit and come see this country?

Kenya, make it your destination and you will appreciate nature magic plus true meaning of beauty.

There is a good number of People who have crossed the oceans and mountains but when they did set foot in this beautiful country they had their hearts stolen making it their home while others save all year round just for them to have a holiday here.

Last weekend a group of tour operators joined hands and organised a game drive at the only park close to a city, Nairobi National Park, at first i was not sure of the result but during our game drive i was all amused and surprised as by comments and reactions from people who joined in the adventure in the park.

“………i live just near the park but today its my first time to get inside it….”

“………..all my life i have been wishing to visit the park i am glad today i made it..”

These were among the reactions from people who joined in the adventure to the Nairobi National Park.

How often do you travel? How expensive do you think it is to travel? Travel can be so pocket friendly and so affordable to travel all it takes is simple layout of your planned trip of destination. I believe we should travel more often if not may be once in a month.

I believe we can pick up the passion of travel and discover how beautiful Kenya is or appreciate why all these people travel across oceans and mountains just to visit this beautiful country.

Go travel even your neighborhood and share your experience with pictures or even telling it all in a story. May if you are in Nairobi why not got for a boat ride at uhuru Park, go walk at the Safariwalk, or go have the view of the city at the KICC Helipad in short just go and explore this beautiful country.

Lets travel

#HiddenKenyanGems #ChinkuTravels

Blessings Of The Rain

“Rain is a sign of blessings…” is a very old saying that I have grown with from childhood.

Photo Credits #TravelWithEliud

So far this year, 2018 has had rain over a number of months especially here in Kenya. A weekend ago my brother and an adventure brother of mine called Eliud Ndungu who tells his Travel stories through #TravelWithEliud

together with me we decided to go out to Karura forest for a nature walk at least to get away from the busy city.

We were so amazed by the beauty that the forest has received from the continuing rainfall that has made Karura forest so full of love and beauty.

From the Lilly lake where there is more beauty graced by the ever beautiful Lilly flowers, to the water life ranging from Egyptian Geese with their chicks not forgetting the Jacana that would be busy looking for what to feed on all over the lake.

The waterfall is back to life from almost its point of drying up sometimes back and on this day it was roaring from deep within the forest may be calling upon everyone to come and be amazed by its might or beauty as it is full of water.

However of all the places in Karura forest, our best place which is the picnic near the Kiambu gate marked by the towering watch tower that we were saddened to learn how some irresponsible visitors had turn it into a notice board for cheap celebrity moments with “…………….. was here” Seriously how do you write such a notice on a watch tower or on trees? its so hurting.

However on the better side is that the picnic garden found on one section of the swamp it was so amazing that we ended up spending our whole day trying to admire the beauty brought by the rains that we are still amazed on how much the rains have been a blessing to Karura Forest.

When free, you can pay a visit to Karura forest alone ( yes alone because it is all fenced so security is assured) or take with you some friends and enjoy the beauty of the blessings from the rain or just appreciate the hard work of the late Prof. Wangari Mathai as she fought hard for the protection of Karura forest that is now among the largest Urban Forest in the world.

Go at least even have great time with your loved one enjoying a picnic in the forest but don’t take plastic bottles along with you however it would be great if you did the simplest thing to the forest whenever you visit it, just “LEAVE IT BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT.”

How can you do that? It is simple, but picking up some litter and placing them in the many bins around the nature trails, or be cautious not to forget to carry your litter or dropping it in the bins.

Happy weekend and go travel or explore somewhere new or just the same place you have been to before and “LEAVE IT BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT.”

All Photos were there great and amazing work of #TravelWithEliud

Have an adventure packed weekend.

#ChinkuTravels

#HiddenKenyanGems

A Picnic Day At National Museum

Marcel Proust a renown French intellectual, author well known for his seven-volume fiction ‘In search of Lost Time’ published between 1913 and 1927 once said that “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” A very simple statement but so powerful to me on my all travel and adventures.

It is by the influence of his statement that keeps me going back to places I have been more than once because of the need of learning more. One of these places is the National Museum of Kenya in Nairobi a place where most of my passion for travel and history traces itself. I have been a visitor to this museum from my young age to today where I ended up being a member of the educative Nature Kenya.

A few weeks back, I invited some friends to join me for a whole day at the museum and as usual it got many doubting of how possible it could be for us to spend a whole day at the museum.

As a result not many of my friends joined me as others came up with the doubting defensive excuses like “….why should I visit the museum yet am not a child nor am I a student, there is nothing there for an adult like me…”

It is a common excuse that many use even when I request them to join me for a boat ride at Uhuru Park or a walk around Central Park visiting the different monuments that are put up there.

When the day came, which I had chosen as a Sunday it being mostly a free day to many, only two of my friends showed up. One is my great friend called Laura Ogana

and the other was Kimani Paul

a friend with great passion for Travel. On arrival at the museum they paid up their entrance fees with me having an exception due to my membership with Nature Kenya.

(Let me share information to you lovers of museums and history: when you become a member of Nature Kenya you also become a member of the East Africa Natural History Society (EANHS) directly which means your membership gives you free access to:

1. Unlimited free entry to Kenya’s National Museums and museum sites
2. Enjoy free weekly guided nature walks
3. Free Kenya Birding magazine and monthly NatureNet newsletter packed with the latest news

click here for more details Nature Kenya Membership

on gaining entrance to the museum we explored different galleries that range from wildlife, archeology, Kenyan history and many other collections. My dear friend Laura Ogana at one point got so excited when she saw the Coat given to Jivanjee as a gift by His Highness Aghan Khan as a gift and it there on display making her say ” I love this, they talk about the gift he received back then in history and here it is physically just as it looks in that black and white photo in the frame” The day turned out to amazement and excitement as we begun experience sort of time travel from one gallery to the other.

Later on we went on down to the snake park that is just adjacent to the museum with it there are snakes and reptiles in display.. From the Egyptian Cobra to African pythons that are alive but kept in Glass cages ( don’t fear of them you are safe). On one corner there is a collection of fish in small aquariums making you feel like you are in the water with the different fish on display as they swim so peaceful.

On this day I was full of anxiety as weeks before our visit I had read of a new collection at the Snake park and I was exited to be there on this day. This is the Omieri that shot into the lime light in 1987 and was believed to bring blessings and luck to the community around where it was discovered with it getting care and much more unfortunately it died later on when it was caught up in a bushfire getting Internal injuries caused by 3rd degree burns from the fire and now almost 30 years later here was the legend so peaceful in a glass display. Omieri has been in the National Museums of Kenya labs since her death, and her exhibition is legendary since its death.

Done with the legend, it was already lunch time which we decided to go for a nature walk looking for the best place to enjoy our picnic. We went to the Nairobi Botanical Garden that stretches from the gates of the Museum running along the river bank to the boarder of Michuki Memorial park and Kipande road as I early wrote about in my blog titled Garden of memories and peace

During our picnic we took time to share our experience and what we had learnt on our great day at the Museum. I was shocked to learn both of my friends had only been to the museum back in the days when they were students only for them to see the new museum that has undergone great renovation and addition of more collections compared to when they last visited.

From their surprise I was made to wonder how many of us visit such places or go back to places we have been before either as children or during our travel adventures? I believe it is time we stopped the excuses and start visit such places most especially here in Kenya.

Ask yourself and answer these questions: when was the last time you went boat riding at uhuru park? When did you last visit the Bomas of Kenya? When did you last get close to a giraffe like you did at The Giraffe Centre?

I hope we can begin to visit such places and only then can we truly appreciate the beauty and History of our country, it is such places that brings us great memories of the joy we had before.

Happy new month

#ChinkuTravels

#HiddenKenyaGems

Waterhole At the Greens Of Sigona

2018 Barclays Kenya Open Golf Championships concluded on 25th March at the beautiful Muthaiga golf club with the winner being Lorenzo Gagli from Italy with a top price of 10 million Kenyan shillings.

Having been a fan of golf the days that the name Tiger Woods was a name not missing in the Sport news as he won his championships or tournaments when I got an invite to visit a golf club from my friend called Gikunda Gathure.

who has been showcasing Hotels and camps through her growing YouTube channel I could not say “No” to the invitation to visit a golf club.

The golf club was Sigona golf club located along the Nairobi-Naivasha highway in Kikuyu. It was constructed in 1938 and still boasts of an eighteen-hole, country-style golf course with the most beautiful fairways in Kenya as by what Mr. Lawrence Kangethe the sales and marketing manager told us (and I agreed with his words as we took a stroll touring the golf club).

After I did my little research for more history of Sigona Golf club I discovered that the design and construction was thanks to Mr. Berkley-Mathews whose work made it so beautiful by carving it out of a wattle tree plantation and Mr. Simpson of Liphook, Hampshire was the architect who, after making only a few alterations to the initial construction, declared it a championship golf course.

Few days ago, I was so curious of the Logo that has a head of an elephant only to find out that the first nine-holes were constructed around an elephant’ watering hole, hence the elephant head logo. I was accompanied by my adventure brother #TravelWithEliud

and we kept wondering what is there beside the golf course and the game of gentlemen at large. We only got to be surprised when the doors of history we opened and we got to be invited to explore the modern offering that Sigona Golf club has got to offer which was the greatest surprise that we are yet to believe.

If you don’t play Golf that’s not a problem, you can be at this beautiful yet full of history golf club as a guest however not swinging your club as you try your hands on the 9th hole where the elephant waterhole was but you can be a guest at this golf club to rest and may be relax over the weekend as they now have The Sigona Golf Suites (a main reason to our visit to Sigona Golf club)

You can now pride yourself by spending a night or even a weekend in a golf club and at this point its the Sigona Golf Club. The Sigona Golf Suites has 28 guest rooms consisting of 24 deluxe rooms and 4 studio unions all ensuites with a great touch of architecture and interior designs that gives you the true feeling of being home with a panoramic view of the beautiful golf course.

There are modern amenities like 32″ satellite Tv, High speed WiFi that will let you finish up your pending work or check your emails as you enjoy your stay.

When you are a resident at the Suites you will be able to use the Club house which is an updated and enlarged version of the original structure belonging to Berkley-Mathews

and dating back to the beginning of the golf course so you will be sure to enjoy finest local delicacy and more as you experience Sigona Golf Club where there is also a stocked bar for those with a taste of wine, special blended cocktails, soft drinks and both alcoholic to non alcoholic beverages as you truly experience a “Clear definition of luxury” with a touch of history.

I was amazed that all my years I grew up knowing that steping to a golf course would be something that I could not come to experience but now with Sigona Golf Suites I believe those who are like me have the opportunity to not just experience a golf course but to spend a night in onebook a night that’s pocket friend at Single Bed and breakfast is about Ksh. 6,500 and a double on bed and breakfast at Ksh. 8,500 you can get intouch with them as by below details:

Lawrence Kangethe,

Sales and marketing manager

email: Lawrence@sigonagolfclub.com

tel: +254 721 923 859

Happy easter to you all as we all pack and go to explore more of what I call #HiddenKenyanGems

#ChinkuTravels

Tembea