Dear Diary: (Mid-)December 2015

MidDecPC: Kevin Tosh.

One of my favorite Sara Bareilles’s songs is Brave. But really, any song by Sara Bareilles is a favorite of mine. To steal my sister’s words: “Sara Bareilles is my spirit animal.” Right now, I’m obsessing over and listening to She Used to Be Mine as I write this. (Before I go on any further, I feel that it is necessary to send a shoutout to my friend J who’s been making fun of me and my relative musical illiteracy, yes, J, I do listen to and know a few songs here and there. :p )

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Dear Diary: November 2015

Clockwise from top left: 1.Thanksgiving in Nairobi OR #Friendsgiving OR “the night before the morning when leftovers accidentally ended up in the trash and we almost cried because of baked Turkey” , 2.Raining Pink Blossoms, 3. Praying for #Everywhere, 4.Sister Sister (Sister). 

Still in a quiet mood, so I’m going to do this with lots of photos and a short listicle instead of a free form paragraphs like the last one.

Reflecting on my own privilege after the photo exhibition this past weekend by Food for Education. Follow them on Instagram to see how you can support their work during the month of December.

Wishing that open borders were a thing. And kind of related to that– if you’ve seen her TED talk you’ll know what I mean– I am… Continue Reading

That Something Terrible That Happened Last Night.

IMG_1220Hello! A few days ago I was brainstorming on post ideas (since, yes, I’ve been quiet for a while) and as I was going through my pictures found a couple from the time I visited my mother and sister in Paris. I shared one of these on my Instagram as a #throwback, not knowing that a few days later social media would be full of pictures people had taken at the same place in solidarity with the families and friends of those affected in the wave of terrorist attacks in the city on Friday night. I really don’t think that words are enough, but they’re what I leaned on to make sense of everything that had happened this last week. The following piece is something that I wrote over the weekend while grappling with all of these thoughts.

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Dear Diary: October 2015

NAS_5712Photographs by Kevin Tosh.

It’s November, which means it’s almost December, which means it’s almost Christmas, which means it’s almost the end of 2015, which means I’m thinking a lot about the past year and about the future and what I want to do. When I was younger I used to imagine that by the time you got to this age, you’d have clearly figured out your destiny (whatever you take that to mean). But then as I’ve grown I’ve realized that you could be 16, 20, 40, 70 and still asking the same old questions. And while it’s a comfort to know that 60 year olds who seem to have it all figured out are also grappling with questions about their purpose on this earth and the future, it is also a little frightening to imagine that this uncertainty doesn’t end. Continue Reading

Reading List


AmXULAY7c4zhw9RnEkNgk27YevNCgECvD58q82DU7M8r“little events, ordinary things, smashed and reconstituted. Imbued with new meaning. Suddenly they became the bleached bones of a story.” Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

  1. Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things. It’s such a powerful, beautiful book. Pressing red roses in this one, too.

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Jacaranda Season

IMG_6305 (1)

Photos by Wangari.

Speaking of Bloom:

Remember this Rumi quote  I shared a while back?
“Flowers open every night
across the sky, a breathing piece,
and sudden flame catching.”

Right now it’s perfect for what’s going on in Nairobi with the current explosion of Jacarandas in bloom. I love it, and how it looks like there’s purple fire in the branches and purple rain on the ground. (EDIT: yes, I know that technically this poem refers to the opening up of flowers at night but it just feels so apt for Jacarandas in bloom, ya get me? Yes? No?)

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On Visibility and Vulnerability

VisibilityVulnerability“You’re not shy. You’re careful. Because there’s a fear that holds you back. Sometimes fear is a good thing because it’s what gets the adrenaline flowing. But too much of it and you don’t try because you’re avoiding mistakes.”

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On Reading Ta Nehisi Coates

TaNehisiI haven’t always been a very political person. But then I got to college and started to learn about the history and politics of gender and of race. I remember being horrified when I became fully aware of what slavery and racism meant. When you grow up in a majority black country, you think that racism is simply when people are mean to you because of your race. But it’s so much more than that. Racism is a culture and an institution.

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Women Who Read

WomenWhoReadA few days ago I came across this post by Bikozulu’s Facebook page where he was talking about his opinion on why it was important for women to read, and why he was making sure his daughter developed reading habits. I commented on it, disagreeing with what he said, and a few people responded to what I had to say. I’m trying to engage less in debates on social media because I don’t think it’s always productive (especially with a post shared among so many people) but then I had a conversation with a friend who suggested that I shouldn’t shy away from expressing a much lengthier opinion on this. So, here we go: 8 thoughts on Bikozulu’s “Women Who Read” post. As a disclaimer, I am writing this as a layperson and as a woman who has always loved to read, not as an academic authority.

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Do You Sanitize?

sanitizedTrigger Warning: This post contains mention of suicide.
The other day, I was at a dinner with a group of old schoolmates when the topic of “sanitizing” social media came up.
According to the online dictionary that pops up on Google, to Sanitize is “to make clean and hygienic.” or “(Derogatory) to alter something regarded as unacceptable in order to make it more palatable.”

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