Dear Toni

My dearest Toni,

You have been there for me

when nobody else was…

at a time when so much was happening

to me, around me, against me…

you stayed smiling with me.

Friends like you are so rare,

sweet, kind, loving and non-judgmental.

Austin is so lucky to have you in his life,

as am I.

I sat down on this Valentine’s Eve and

decided that I ought to tell you, my sister,

how much I love, respect and admire you.

You have a strength and beauty that most

would die for, but you hold these traits with

such breathtaking humility.

Even when you feel that you are weak,

you are far stronger than you think.

That strength has uplifted me plenty of times before.

Sitting with you at sushi, at an ice hockey game

or just during our binge-watching marathons.

 

You have saved lives at work, while flipping that fabulous hair…

you have walked outside the lines of the box that life was trying to force you to

stay in…and you have thrived.

We have shed tears together (whether it was at a movie or a showing of Wicked is completely irrelevant…tears were shed)

We have LIVED life together.

You took care of me. You took care of my Austin.

For that I shall forever be grateful. You are a valentine. Our valentine.

By force, if need be 🙂

Happy Valentine’s,  my sister!

 

xoxoxo,

M & A

Imani

I knew you hadn’t.

Forgotten me, that is.

 

 

I feel I am always in

and within your sights.

Your grace waiting close by

to catch me when I stumble.

I knew you hadn’t.

Because you never have.

Your hand wraps around my heart,

injecting me with warmth

amidst a cold pushed in by life

and those jokes it likes to play. Continue reading

Masaibu

You try your best not to contribute to the corruption within the system, telling yourself that change starts with you. Then your life comes to a standstill because you have refused to part with $40 in order to gain a bigger return. The bureaucracy in Kenya is mind blowing. Police stop you for speeding, ask for $20 – $40, and you weigh your options – pay that small amount now OR go to court and get charged $400. You meekly hand over your $20. I have been waiting for my Identification Card to get processed for well over a month. My life is on hold – I cannot get paid, I cannot register for my tax deductions, pension etc because my ID has not been released. I had to jump through hoops upon application, because they had to ‘verify’ that I was Kenyan. I have been Kenyan since before I was born. But I had to stand there and explain why I was Kenyan. Why I have never had an ID but I have travelled extensively under my Kenyan passport. They nodded. Checked my BCG scar. Seemed satisfied. Stamped my papers. I got fingerprinted and photographed. Then my registration stayed on someone’s desk for 3 weeks. Continue reading

Milestones…

Austin has been busy growing up.

He currently is boasting 2.5 teeth. Right at the 5 month mark, his bottom teeth started to show – the left one popped first. Yeah, breastfeeding became an extreme sport… Continue reading

2016…Part 1

So the new year started. And I had not written a thing. Yet so many things have happened in my life and all around me. First, Baby ASW is now eating. Pureed food BUT it is still NOT breastmilk. Second, I am in Kenya.

 

Here is how the last few months since I last laid pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) have gone:

A. After a hellish experience trying to obtain a passport for my little one, with Baba Austin having to visit the American Embassy TWICE to sign off on permission slips for Aus to get his PP then I had to deal with sending every document in my arsenal with my full African names to prove that I was who I said I was…we received his passport and I booked tickets to Kenya.

B. We survived the trek from Los Angeles, sleep-over in Dubai, to Nairobi. With 8 suitcases in tow, and a car seat and travel frame AND Continue reading