Monday, December 28, 2009

Arise O'Compatriots!

The title of this post's the very first line in my homecountry's 'National Anthem'.Since the unsuccessful attempt of the suicide bomber last week,I really didn't think much of  it until today.
Hubby and I were at the Nigerian Consulate earlier in the day to collect our new e-passports('e' is the abbreviation for 'ECOWAS  which stands for 'Economic Community of West African States).The previous one is not even half-full and still has a couple of years more to expiration.But there's a deadline to its expiration for Nigerian Passport holders across the globe.Anyway,to cut a long story short,being there really made me feel somewhat nostalgic and I just felt this sense of  patriotism.The Channel on the DSTV was CNN...go figure!Fellow Nigerians present there joked about how US's going to halt any visa offering to Nigerians because of this shocking discovery.I had a few words to say too.I mean,applicants practically sleep at the US consulate in Lagos,so they may as well just close it up,if that's what they wish to do.
But coming back to the real issue here,I am personally affected not just as a Nigerian,but as a Muslim.I have eased things for myself by accepting that 'islamophobia' is here to stay.But that doesn't suffice to say that I won't get concerned whenever there's some news (which happens more often than not) about some Suicide bombers in Afghanistan,Karachi,Pakistan,Iraq or anywhere in the world for that matter.It is really mindbuggling and saddening that people take things to the extreme and do not value human lives.Since when did my country get 'international attention' for 'bombing'?I mean,it used to be '419' and the famous 'Computer Scam'...like those weren't enough for negative publicity.What really bothers me is the 'stereotyping' one gets,innocent or ignorant,guilty or not.The fact that once you mention your nationality as a Nigerian,you get a quizzical look and a very suspicious one too,surely doesn't want you to scream 'am proudly Nigerian' anywhere you find yourself;hostile territory or not!And here I am clamouring for 'peace','patriotism','giving back' and all that mantra'bout true nationalism....I must be kidding myself,I think!
I mean,where do I actually begin?The consequences of the 'label' we have been tagged as a nation not really affects the so-called leaders directly,but the ordinary citizens like myself.
I will never forget the Bank experience while in England,a few years back.We were refused practically because we were first of all 'Blacks' and to worsen an already bad situation,by being 'Nigerians'.Hubby told me some of the Banks wouldn't open an account for me but he wasn't going to accept that lying low...I trust him for that.After the 'diplomatic' refusal at two different Banks,we ended up at Barclay's and we got our way..not without some resilience of course!
The South African experience is far worse,but not  just because  am a Nigerian....for a regular South African,being a foreigner is all you need to be stigmatised!No pun intended,that's the effect of"post-apartheid.Hopefully,they'll get over it sometime in the future.But what came as a teeny,weeny,tiny relief was the fact that an average South African knows something about Nigerian soccer or 'Home videos,really gave me a sense of 'patriotism' and made made me 'a little proud'.I won't go as far as saying that I can 'walk with my head up high'.. that would be overstating the fact.
I won't beat myself up for something I wasn't 'directly responsible' for,but it just isn't easy (at least not for me) to discard the news or hold it with a pinch of salt either.I mean,we've got enough going on in our backyards as it is already.We certainly do not need some spoilt and confused brat adding salt to injury.One thing I can say for certain is the fact that,the young man had his 'hypnotic state' into this cult of suicide bombers abroad.I do not have the statistics,but I don't even need one to ascertain the fact that,'my people love life' and suicide isn't just our thing..we'd rather suffer in silence and top it with a smile!People do not want to die,not for anything whatsoever.And if we'll be rated on a scale of one to ten,we'll probably be in position two or three.I know my people well enough and I can assure you we are very rugged and have a positive attitude to life,no matter how bad the situation gets.....it's still "suffering and smiling" according to the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti's lyrics.
And so,need I say at this juncture that,if at any point in time,you have been misguided into thinking ' all Muslims are fanatics,fundamentalists and hence,terrorists-YOU ARE VERY MISTAKEN!
I will first and foremost ask if you know me well enough,and if so,then tell me if you ever for once think I'll take a human life,an innocent child's life,defenceless women's lives,young, valued and promising men's lives as well?If your answer is in the negative,then think of all the Muslims you've ever known,had the privilege of interacting with and ask yourself,if ever for once you felt threatened by them,if you ever felt insecure and unsafe in their presence,if you ever had any cause to stop interacting with them nor associating with them because you fear for your life?Need I say more?Draw your conclusions therein.
I speak for the true and God-fearing Muslims across the globe when I say that,"the God,Allah that we worship does not grant us the permission to kill innocent people,destroy people's homes,render babies fatherless,incure huge unwarranted expenses on the government by committing arson or tear families apart and leave them in anguish....No,no,no,no,no way!
The word "Islam" means "peace".And no matter what Osama bin Laden is known for,he does not represent the world population of Muslims.He may have followers but that does not mean "every single Muslim' you come across is out to get you.You do not need to live in fear or be afraid to associate with people of other faiths.....God bless Nigeria and God help us out of this mess...!
I rest my case!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

'been a lil'while!

I've had 'moments' and times to myself that  I could have spared to update my blog,but I didn't.Even though I had the free time,the thoughts were just not co-ordinated....
I haven't stepped outside this house in the last fourty-eight hours,but it didn't feel like a"cell" unlike the past.I have come to appreciate what not having much to do,mentally does to your brain and psyche.There were two concurrent days I didn't even put on the PC at all.It was deliberate.I mean,there are other things I could have been doing and preoccupy myself with,had I the privilege of  physical contacts.Since I got my sewing machine a couple of months back,I have developed a keeness for sewing,however amateurish the sewing turns out.But so far,I think I have done well.With no one to put me through and limited resources (the Internet's actually the only one available) and failed promises of assistance by my neighbour and our staff;I decided to keep exploring by myself.
It's a holiday but nothing in my neighbourhood gives one that feeling,with the exception of some ill-mannered few causing pandemonium,playing loud and intolerable music from their cars,and another insensible one speeding through the streets with a motorbike,oh!Lest I forget,a couple of houses had the ritual Christmas decorations...Otherwise,you'd have thought the community was evacuated..yes,that's how quiet it is!
Or should I say"boring" and "overly dry"?It's a beautiful day and it'd have been a good day for picnic if we had plan to go out.But that's not up to me,so it's better I don't fantasise too much...

I know the Islamic Vacation Course (IVC) is holding presently back in my homecountry.It's an avenue for the muslims to also have something doing and to improve their religious and spiritual well being at this time of the year.I was never a 'regular',but I most likely would have attended as a 'visitor',were I back home.
Am almost bored now being on the internet and sewing both,requires me sitting down.And I just get tired of sitting with the lower-back pain that wouldn't go away...I think I better resume my sewing now...after grabbing something to eat of course.Am famished!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Very inspiring story...copied &pasted from another site!

THE MAYONNAISE JAR
----------------------

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, When 24 hours in a day is not enough; remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and starts to fill it with golf balls.
He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.
He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded With an unanimous 'yes.'
The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
'Now,' said the professor, as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - God, family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, house, and car.
The sand is everything else -- The small stuff.
'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, You will never have room for the things that are important to you.
So..Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap.
'Take care of the golf balls first -- The things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. 

'I'm glad you asked'.

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.'

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The pictures I promised to post...




and the weekend get=away at the same venue..


A very lonely night here..


I read a lot.I read almost anything I can understand and benefit from.I read till my eyes are strained and then remind myself to pause.And in the past,I usually ended up having headaches.Today,I can't say the headache I've had all day was caused by"excessive reading".I think somewhere deep down in my subconscious,I'm disturbed about something,but I can't put my finger on it.The weekend was quite hectic,I was under pressure to'deliver' the goods and deliver the goods I did!The guest house staff received a call from my homecountry on Friday and the person had insisted on speaking with"the boss"!Eventually,I had to speak with this enquirer.She wanted transportation from the airport to somewhere  in Johannesburg and then back to the airport later in the day.It was a very tight fix because we hadn't been able to get the remaining seats for the Bus..oh!There's the bus by the way.But we 'made a plan' as the South Africans' would say.Well,since hubby's away,I was in charge and had to make decisions on my feet.the taxi man refused to show up and we were just fortunate to get another one impromptu.Also at a good bargain since we couldn't charge the guests extra after they've made part-payment.But I was at my best and made things work.It's just so strange that I do better when hubby's away.I think I underestimate my managerial skills and give little credit to myself.

I wasn't happy leaving my kids at home since the housekeeper doesn't come on weekends and the guest house staff can't really be with them the whole time.They almost burnt down the kitchen..thank God they didn't.It just confirmed my fear of not wanting to leave them alone in the house.I have said this before but people who don't know my kids think am just exaggerating or being paranoid....my kids need 'extra-attention.I am used to being cautious and protecting them both because they play really hard and rough than most kids and needs special attention.I know am not a paranoid or an over-protective mother.Sometimes,I may get blamed for not looking after them  properly.Just today,seeing my daughter cling on to the pole of the cloth-line,I starred and asked myself how I've been able to do it.How I've been able to prevent them from broken bones and scarred faces and even drowning in a non-covered five feet deep pool.But it's really not my making.God is really watching over them,even though I try my best always.Their dad has has told me I worry too much on different occasions.
My headache's subsided but I don't think I'll be able to go further this night.A couple of hours ago,I was feeling really sick and now am suddenly feeling lonely and a little homesick altogether.There are times I want to be on my own and meditate..I've had most part of the day to do that at the office.The kids're asleep now and am just on my own...this night,that "space' feels more like a vacuum that needs to be filled.
But hey,this is me..I'll get over it once I get up from this seat to do something else.I think I've inducted some of my friends into my 'appearing offline to everyone' status of  yahoo messenger,when am actually online.I told them so and now they're the 'pros' of that 'coded status'..!!!Talk of boomerang!
Signing out...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

...my fantasy world (concluding part)

So besides worrying about my next house neighbour's dog littering my compound with their faeces,turning my bin upside down and messing the entire place with rubbish,I had to deal with a househelp that "refuses" to do dishes with sponge but napkin instead (against my instruction of course),take my kids out barefooted while she had a pair of slippers on,and feed them with chips and bread,prefers sweeping the carpet with a mop inplace of a brush or a vacuum,packs coloured and white clothings together for laundry in the washing machine (she's discoloured a few clothes doing this and I now check before she presses the 'start button,but I wonder what would happen on days that am away)!Isn't that something?I've never seen worst combination of meal!Fries with bread???As I write this post,the same lady's been having breakfast for over one hour,seated on the couch.And after she's done,now she's standing behind me,holding a napkin,but standing still ,leaning against the wall and watching t.v.This is a routine and I've never complained.I ask what she wants to eat for breakfast and lunch,never imposed any meal on her.We sometimes eat at the same time in the lounge,she watches about three Soapies everyday and even took a nap yesterday afternoon when she finished her chores.She said she wanted her pair of jeans reduced and I did that for her using my sewing machine.I even asked her if she wanted the zig-zag design or the straight sewing.She relaxes after her meals to watch t.v without being interrupted and I do joke with her despite our communication deficiencies.......she must be really afraid of me indeed!Common,gimme a break!
I don't raise my voice when I speak to her...(I yell at my kids when they're driving me nuts like now) .And I have never made her feel  inferior in anyway.As a matter of fact,she even comes to work dressed more'elegant' than I do and that's no exaggeration.You'll only be able to differentiate the'ma'am from the employee when I give instructions.Material things have never been the centre of my life so that does not bother me one bit.On the contrary,my simplicity is synonymous to me for those who know me.I couldn't be more humble even if I wanted to.The way I've always related with all my husband's staff,they feel very relaxed around me.I joke with them,discuss and have conversations on real life issues.So much so that some of them confide in me.This lady's not as respectful or dutiful like the other staff in the guest house.She walks around the house pausing to watch t.v every second or minute.Yet,I've never complained-or should I?Am very sensitive even too sensitive that most of my friends who really know me say I worry too much.I'm always asking people if they're alright even if they're unwilling to admit it.I did ask her yesterday if she was okay or needed aspirin when she took a nap,thinking perhaps she wasn't feeling well.I was on the phone with a friend who heard me asking her this.And she couldn't help teasing me of being'too kind' !She asked why I was worried when the lady was taking a nap and of being what she refers to as "being too concerned and unnecessarily generous".She's always warned me not to be"too nice" and that these people don't deserve it, because they still end up being ungrateful.Some of them even steal from you or backbite and bad-mouth you behind  your back.

The southern Africans have their own peculiar "language" and way of addressing people.There's less courtesy and respect in comparison to most African countries especially the West Africa where am from.So my people're generally offended by the way South Africans address them and their lack of respect.We're both (West and Southern Africa) coming from different backgrounds and were raised differently.So one needs to exercise a lot of patience and tolerance especially because you're thousands of miles away from home and these aren't "your own people".The least of the annoying things I could complain about is her lack of intelligence in simple things as arranging plates according to their shapes (square plates and round dishes).Lumping everything together,covers and plastics without concern and just awaiting the pay-day.What can you do?I already told her to be less wasteful with food and water within this short space of time she's been with us...don't even get me started!All these are things I had to pour out here because I can't even take her through how to do things when she doesn't understand English and I don't speak her language!
Where I come from,you don't stand around watching t.v while your boss' around,with you in the same room,when you're on duty!Still,I've not complained'.......so is this lady really afraid of me???

I guess I should just remain in my fantasy world of wanting things done rightly and correctly (not necessarily my own way)!!!

My fantasy world....

......is my own imagination,where I"wish" for not every dream;but the"good and positive ones to come true"!I welcome you to my world of fantasies.

Okay,confession time!I may not be the snobbish girl on the block,but I can be a little irritable when I start asking things (almost everything,that is) to be 'perfect'....Yeah,I am like that.Let me tell you about what I call "my domestic dilemma'.The newly employed house help is actually supposed to'drive me to the walls',but I try not to let her.Especially since I've resolved to expend my energy on the most important things in life and let trivialities remain at bay.In all honesty,I am never one of those that undermine the power of communication (not because am studying "Communication Science though).And so it was that I either had to still "do it myself",or continue to complain until am tagged"the nagging boss (or boss'wife)"...Oh!she calls me"ma'am by the way...and don't giggle because I don't let it get into my head.Many people refer to me as ma'am or Hajia (title for a female Pilgrim in Islam).But I haven't performed the pilgrimage yet.I pray to do because I am supposed to as a Muslim or at least have the intention to do so in my lifetime.It is better to die with the will and desire to perform the pilgrimage, than to see it as a'non-obligatory' act.It is just a sign of respect or simple courtesy in my homecountry for Muslim females with head covers to be referred to as such,having performed the pilgrimage or not.
I also realised that this young woman...(BTW,she's within my age range..what money can do!) seem a little uncomfortable around me or is pretending to.And am disturbed by that.I had been a victim of intimidation,suffered some low self-esteem at some point in my adult life and do not wish that on anyone.I associated the lack of coherent communication to this.But I had to be sure and had a conversation on this with the other staff at the guest .The poor woman...and clever too (this one's far older than me&even hubby as I found out a couple of months ago) didn't mince words in saying perhaps,she's "afraid" of me!!!!What????Afraid???Since when did anyone get afraid around me?As a matter of fact,I am on the contrary been taken for granted and could be disrespected because of my petite nature.The Nigerian lad who used to work for us was even misconceived to be my brother because of the way I relate with him.even my neighbour asked me this.The bottom line is,it is not a misconception that, from our association and interaction with the Southern African indegenes,they are far more passive than my people are and that's a huge difference...you may call us 'rebels'!In reference to South Africa in particular,the post-apartheid syndrome cannot be eliminated.It is still very much there and evident.So when dealing with them,it's like threading on egg shells and you have to thread carefully.And they could also be resistant because they still feel cheated and denied of their rightful place.....trust me,South Africa has enough Labour unrests the entire year to go round the entire world protests,all put together (the facts are there)....

Anyway,what am driving at is that,within the last couple of weeks this lady's worked for us...(it was my decision that she only comes during weekdays so I could have my space at least and maybe some family time too ), she has taught me to be more tolerant.I used that adjective because,she just doesn't do things my way or correctly in respect to certain things.And it's been nerve wracking trying to explain things to her.Well,I told this older staff to tell her that she doesn't need to be 'afraid' of me (I know she's not).I admitted my fault of being sometimes.....(most times actually) annoyingly meticulous and am used to doing things'my way'.Don't blame me!I grew up doing chores and when I reached the stage of being my own person,I got used to being organised,wanting things done right,disliking habits like nail bitting,nose-blowing or or making noises of clearing the lungs,overall,any kind of habit that's not publicly acceptable.I admit,I can me an annoying perfectionist..(but am not really a perfectionist)!
One thing I can tell you for certain is this,am a naturally considerate person and I get along very well with people.I'm also adaptive.Like I had written in one of my previous postings,I'm not an addict of 'anything'.I'm neither an extrovert nor an introvert.As some psychologists put it,am "an adaptable-social".And that suits me just fine .So,I have decided to pick it one at a time by not saying that she's doing things wrongly everyday.
I will try to correct one wrong at a time and save the rest for the following day.What I cannot fake is to pretend she's doing things right when she's actually not.The reason she was hired in the first instance was to have someone relieve me of my unending domestic chores so I could have time to get involved in something more lucrative like giving hubby a helping hand at the office and here at home with the guest  house.Also someone to look after the kids when am at work...not to baby-sit an adult with an already formed opinion and incurable habits like making continuous sound from her teeth,like hissing in place of using a toothpick...(she's not picking anything..it's just an old habit that wouldn't die;which doesn't sit well with me).But I've never complained about this!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

rat race (part two)

I wasn't really tired last night,I was so darn sleepy I went to bed earlier than usual..I couldn't even stay up to see'Heroes'!!!Am actually having this slight headache that's been there all day.But I won't give-in just yet..I've got to do this.I've been on the sewing machine for most part of the afternoon and just had to squeeze out the strength to update my blog.
So we took the little lad to the Physician before we headed for the mall.Since they were not included in the plans before,we had to drop the kids off at home before heading to the Consulate.We were running late but still made it..they didn't get started without us!!!We had lunch, pleasantries and well wishes for our beloved country...then group pictures.....
We checked into Birchwood  on Saturday and returned home on Sunday afternoon.
My thoughts have been interrupted..I had to chat with my very dear cousin,more like a sister to me actually.

Todays' my father's birthday,I don't have any recollection of spending any of his birthdays with him.At least my kids're more fortunate.I didn't get to live this long with either of my folks.I pray God spares his life and grant him a sound health so that I can still get the opportunity to spend some time with him and for my kids to know him as their maternal granddad!
Here're some of the pictures from our recent get-away:





Sunday, December 6, 2009

rat race...

It's indeed a rat race,the way I want to catch up and update everything?I think am way over my head.Alright,this past week was jam-packed with the"Conference on MDG" but it was  a little disappointing.I sensed this would happen but couldn't do anything to change it.Hubby made a point and I agreed with him-he had to do it irrespective of the low attendance.If he plans on hosting it next year,then he had to make it happen and so he did.Without mincing words,my hubby's one of the unrelenting and most persistent personality I've ever come across.Okay,let me briefly summarise how it all went.The first day was on Monday the 30th and the Nigerian delegate had arrived  on Saturday as scheduled (she happens to be a family-friend as well).So we were honoured to host her in our guest house,which was way too low for her portfolio.So,the luncheon was held at Emperor's Palace,Kempton Park but,the Namibian and Kenyan ambassadors refused to attend.Hubby having a thick skin didn't let it get to him.In the end,we had the lunch in their absence.And Monday ended.
Tuesday we were at a different venue-Birchwood Conference and Convention centres.A very beautiful scenic with ambience.I love the place because of the way nature was blended with the modern structures.Don't salivate,I shall God willing post the pictures very soon (after uploading that is).You should trust me,even if I had to use my mobile phone.There was no way I was going to narrate everything especially since am still working on my'adjectives',without supporting it with pictures...COMING SOON!
The guest speaker was from UNDP and as usual,you'd be enthralled and captivated by his intellectual deliverance.He knows his stuff,there's no doubt about it.He delivered his speech (we finally got our very own Projector after much delay) and we went for lunch.I was the first to arrive and had to receive him and take him to the conference room.We awaited others not for too long.While waiting,we chatted about politics (afterall,that was why we were there in the first instance).It turned out to be a fruitful day.I had explained our situation with the unattending delegates to him and he was superbly understanding.
Wednesday was supposed to see the representatives from NEPAD,we had only one delegate out of the two that were supposed to attend~~~~~~as my people would say"nothing spoil" (i.e 'It's all good)!The topic was on ICT and we had contributions...the speaker was a Malawian lady from the NEPAD office here in Johannesburg.Again,we had lunch after the question and answer session we headed to the office to drop off the staffs and then off to my appointment with the OBG....don't ask me what for.But am not preggo just in case you're guessing or imagining things!!!We headed home afterwards and looked forward to the following day.Oh!the conference's ended by this time and what was left was touring Johannesburg.The full package wasn't going to happen since the attendance was unproductive.
On Thursday,we , moved around and paid a Courtesy visit to the Nigerian Consulate-very amiable and down to earth man.Hubby had spoken highly  of him and had praised his   good nature.We were welcomed to his office and were given a warm reception.Are you wondering if I pinched myself ?Don't because I didn't...I just basked in the moment and was just 'myself'!It went well and the CG organised lunch for us for the following day and apologised that he wouldn't be around..he had to be at the Draws for the World Cup held in Cape Town.He had to be there to receive the Nigeria diplomats.
And then comes Friday....on Thursday evening after we got back,one of the staffs at home informed me my son had rashes and she suspects it's measles.Him and his sister had been vaccinated,so I was a little concerned.We agreed we had to take him to the physician just to be on the safe side.I don't take chances with health matters.So we first headed to the Doctor's....
I want to sign out now..will continue tomorrow God-willing!!!I want to rest my eyes for the day(it's past midnight BTW)..but I want to see this Gandhi movie till the end.And my backs hurts from hours of sitting on this chair....


        

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

'been busy

I always remember this day,I mean the 1st of December celebrated globally as World Aids Day.Fourteen years back while in Secondary school we acted a drama on the topic.It remains one of the most memorable moments of my life.I had been down memory lane since morning and had the privilege of sharing it with two of my old friends,who partook in the drama back then-one via a text message,the other via an Instant chat.And the highlight of the day has been attending the'supposed' conference at Boksburg along with hubby on the MDG.It's been an exhilarating experience-me again with top officials.
But am a little tired and cannot type out my written thoughts meant for today's post.I had to while away time before the conference started.it's very unlike me to go out without any book to read while waiting (even  while on the queue at Banks).But I knew it wouldn't be appropriate to take any magazine with me since I'd be busy with the conference.I think it's about time I resume to bed for the night.Am quite sleepy and can't or maybe "won't" fight it.I really need that sleep as I've got another hectic day ahead of me tomorrow,God-willing.
Eid's alreeady gone and we hosted some guests and hubby's friends on Sunday.
I have suceeded in sewing one Kaftan as my first practising sewig lessons.It turned out good and I've already launched it.I wore it to my son's 'graduation' from Creche to Grade1 on Saturday.I think I'd have to donwl;oad some pixtures here to display my practice.that'd be nice..
gatta go now..am very sleepy and am already commiting blunders..nighty-night!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thoughts from the past..Part Two

I feel light-headed(de-saturated my brain) today than I have felt in the last couple of weeks.I had been spending time doing'deep thoughts'.'Nostalgic,confussion,indecision,tiredness and everything all wrapped together got me doing too much thiniking.Thoughts which I must admit did me some good.I admit they say am'weird' in the family because of certain unusual things I do.But I think it suits me just fine.

Talk of "self-discovery" at thirty.Well,it's even better am doing that now and not later...."Better late than never,goes the saying"!I discovered I could'read all day' without a migraine . .That was what saw me through the'very deep Biology' I got as my welcome package in Psychology....
Subhannallah!I almost screamed'what did I get myself into"?So far,I can't say it's got to the fun part yet.But having gone through the Course Modules,there are more interesting things to Psychology than the Synapses,neurotransmitters,somatic and the 'not-so' somatic expandable tree structures,flow chart ( and I thought that ended with High School Mathematics..How mistaken!Rescue me Ya Allah!
Ok,it's not so bad afterall.I mean,I did my assignments ALL BY MYSELF!Isn't that something!To be candid,I never thought I would get around it because the whole study materials as they are called didn't make any'sense' to me.I had to read it over and over again.And it's still not over yet.The easy part is the next Assignment.It's just about"Evaluation of personality'.I so love those quizes/questions.I can't recall how many of those I had taken on the Internet.I love taking those self-examination tests.
I have taken the IQ Test before and what I recall amongst all others is that-I was graded to be good in Abstract Reasoning.Abstract???Little wonder they call me a weirdo!.
English Langage Test,Friendship Tests...too many of them.
It was the measure I explored in my 'self-discovery' quest and the regain of my 'self-esteeem'.I had too many questions on my mind and needed honest answers,particularly from someone who doesn't know me as a family member.
So,it really helped and I always write out my 'Results'.I even took some in the Magazines I buy.

I have never stopped wishing I could get Islamic Literatures the way Iget the Magazines.I mean,they are sold in grocery stores and I can just buy everything together without hubby crying 'over-budget' and 'priorities'.I mean,I wouldn't even have to ask for money to get them.Oh!I so miss my Islamic Literatures.I have realised it was another hindrance to my writing.I can't do all my research on the Internet.Let's just summarise that by saying that am 'conservative' and still prefer to read"books" anytime,anywhere.I am not just the type that would stay glued to the Screen (TV inclusive all) day.It would tire mye eyes!I still have passion for books and  I d not think even technology can change that!!!!Yeah,I know.Am from the old school hence,old fashioned!!!


Ok,since hubby wanted a shortcut to this 'eye test thing',I think I better wait till he is capable of taking me for one.Too bad Government hospitals don't offer the service.I don't just want to wear some 'reading glasses'.These eyes need to be tested!!!

Ya rabbi!It's almost half past one&it feels like the kids have only been gone for a couple of hours.How time flies when you're having fun....I have done the task that would require my 'uninterupted attention-Tranferring my assignment to the Computer Sheet.
It took me back in time studying for Entrance Examinations.Good those days are gone....

I doubt I'd be able to keep this Journal to my satisfaction now that am getting close to being   nervous.The lil' troubles're coming home.I'd have to go fetch them in about 45mins time or thereabout.Glad I did my washing yesterday.How relieved that makes me feel!

Ok,so as Allah would have it,we finally got a reliable(so far) hardworking young man from our own native country to work in the Guest House.He replaced the lazy butt Zim' guy-no pun intended here!I can see my husband is happy.I felt for him (and angry at him too) while he was spending all those long hours at office and still come home to a sleepless night of attending to guests.Subhannallah!Those weekends were just beyond me...one of the reasons I was really mad.I couldn't care less if we needed the money.I needed my sleep and sanity too.The fact that am almost a sufferer of insomnia didn't help as I'd lay awake for almost the entire night after my sleep had been interupted with the seemingly undending phone calls of enquiries.
The lad's from our tribe and that makes things easier because we can communicate in other language besides English.And in my own way (I do this with those who have worked here before too),I have adopted the'motivation booster' of giving him a meal at least everyday (so far).In all honesty,he needs no reminding because he happens to know what to do without being told.He's very hardworking.But I still have to ensure they (the young girl&cleaner) do their jobs well.It's not like the money comes in regularly,but they still get paid at the end of the week.But it pays for our conveniency.Even some of the guests said I needed a break!At least,someone knows am trying!

Every Friday and Sunday still bring back the memories of the good old days.I am not giving up on this Islamic gathering idea.I have to find a way to get through hubby to find out where these programmes are held.Well,at least,I hope women are allowed this time around!!!
The last one year has been the most redundant I can recall in my entire existence.I mean,as a child,I was hawking nuts, potassium (instead of being in school).And when I eventually commenced Primary School,it made a difference.In Junior High,I was attending Arabic classes by night.In Senior High,I was attending so many Islamic programmes,serving my 'colonial master' of an uncle during the weekends.After High School,I got myself a job( i needed that for sustenance)&learnt Computing.The knowledge I still use till date as the job afforded me that opportunity being a Computer training&Tutorial School (little did I know I was going to be a Teacher back then).So,after four years,I finally went to College,trained as an Islamic&Political Science Teacher.Another (good & ugly old days).The ugly part was in the poor accomodation that wasn't provided for Students.No Hostels.Well,I survived,as always and I thank God for that!
Those were the days!I am still very happy I got that opportunity and would never regret I went to College.I made some of the best friends I've got there and my Islam was at its peak.How could you not be positively and spiritually influenced?There were programmes to attend throughout the week and it was just left to you to choose which to attend.It was  well worth it.I enjoyed and loved that they made me part of the Editorial Board member of Committee on several events and so on.It helped me write more Poems as I had to submit them every week.
I leanrt more about Islam and felt so  important and  loved .After High School,that was the Second place I felt that good!I got an Award from the Political Science Department as an"Outstanding Student".It was a honour because I was the only one'sister from my Department who got that recognition.I guess it was because I made my presence felt.Let's just say,they saw a different side of Muslimahs they don't often get to see.They thought we were all about the Ijab especially as Islamic Studies Students.Even my grades were better in Political Science than they were in Islamic Studies and was fortunate not to have repeated my Courses.
At this stage in my life,Politics is about the last thing on my mind.I think it was just the environment that got me in that deep.
I now wish and pray that Allah grants me the resilience and wisdom to do justice to Psychology like I did in College.I did some sort of Introduction to Educational Psychology once in College (can't recall much of it now,won't lie).And I remember topping my class with 35 marks out of  40 for my Continuous Assessment.It was our First Year and my mates wondered how I got to perform that good.I don't know either....I studied and was favoured by Allah.
Ok,gatta go now.I knew I wouldn't be able to conclude the post.It's time to go get the kids from School.If I still feel like writing when I get back (more like talking to myself),I might just come back here.

Originally written on 27th March 2008....I changed my course from Psychology to study Communication Science,and that's what am studying currently!

Thoughts from the past...copied with a few alterations!

Lessons of Life!!!

Authubillah Minnashaytoni Rajeem


(meaning:I seek refuge from the accursed devil..I begin in the name of Allah the Beneficent,the Merciful)



The things we take for granted

I read something and it really got me thinking.Of course these are thoughts that have always crossed my mind and all I do is just toss it round my head with no answers.
I can be referred to as being sensitive&hence might be easily offended.But I put my sensitiveness to use by minding my utterances,watching what I say&do.Being mindful of others&try not to cross their path.But of course we're only humans and that is why 'forgiveness' is one of the attributes of Allah.Still,the best would be to avoid doing the wrong things all the time,human or not.
I am not really comfortable with 'impulsive people' because they don't think,they just act.I know they can be a life saver sometimes rescuing someone from danger by acting so fast and quick.But they are more of a  disaster than helper.Sorry to say!!!These kind of people make mistakes a lot,say regretful things,act insensitively and step on toes.Such people make unfulfilled promises because they always run faster than their legs can take them,bite more than they can chew and do not cut their clothes according to their cloth.I have seen these attitudes over time in some people.

The things we take for granted could range from material possessions to kinship ties or lifestyle.I had a friend in High School who decided to bear grudges with me because I was mingling with some'lower students' according to her because she was from a privileged home and was my very dear friend too at the time.I was someone who was taught of as a'no-one' too at a point in my life.And to do that to anyone,irrespective of their academic prowess or lack of it,would be rather hypocritical.I mean,why must we always think of'taking' and not giving?Afterall,Rasulullah (s.a.w) said the upper hand is better than the lower hand.So,I believe the brilliant should also help the struggling students to get along.And not restrict their interaction to the elites, upper class,bookworms alone.I think that is rather selfish.
I just blended between the rich and the one from my calibre.I maintained a balance between the 'knowledgeables' and the 'ignorants'.I do not look down on anybody,yet try to keep my head up high.I have been on that road before and know exactly what it feels like.
Am so sensitive I try not to brag about my own blessings in the presence of someone craving for such.Apparently,it doesn't really appear to some people that,when you want to talk about the favours God has bestowed on you,you should be modest about it.I wasn't really good at blowing my trumpet until I had issues with self-esteem and was instructed to use that method in reshapening my self image.
I have been privileged to mix,live,interact,mingle&associate with some people who do not take cognizance of something as intricate as'pride'.Didn't we read that "Pride" is the Cloak of Allah?
Some people just get carried away&go on&on about how blessed they are,forgetting that what the person next to them needs is not the talk about how good their life is,but that,they too have seen worse times&that things will get better with time.A reassurance sort of.
I've not really been the type that could fully financially assist people but I do try to give admonitions based on my life experiences&that and others around me.It is for the same reason that I always tell my unmarried friends (Muslims&non-Muslims) that,there's more than meets the eye.And that they should be careful what they wish for.That is somewhat proverbial because I do not go into details about my marital affairs with every single person.However,I do share my birth stories and childhood experiences with anyone who cares to listen and feel they could learn one or two lessons.
I have listened to sisters go on about how wonderful their husbands are,how lucky they are to have have them right in the presence of a sister who is still seeking a partner or worst still,one with a marital crisis.The least one could do is probably say" insha Allahu(if God wills) my dear sister,you will also smile again because the road was rocky for me too".Rasulullah (Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) has taught us the etiquettes of giving advise.taught us modesty and the way to behave as Muslims.Some people even use sarcasm when they can't be confrontational about their thoughts.Some go as far as confronting someone and lecture them about their mode of dressing.There are ways of correcting people without making them feel insulted.We were not born with all these things,but it sure helps to learn.And that is what the holy Prophet taught us.That we seek knowledge from cradle to grave.That the acquisition of knowledge is incumbent,obligatory,compulsory on every Muslim,male and female.
I am always very conscious anytime am in the car with my husband and always have even since he got his first car.I happen to come from a country where the most devoted,most dedicated and most religious live in penury compared to the rich and mighty,negligent and nominal muslims.They just hold on to the rope of Allah.They are the ones that prefer to sacrifice their comfort on earth for Yaomul Qiyamah (the day of Accountability).They fear the world will sway,stray,distract and backslide them from the worship of Allah which is paramount in the life of a muslim.Or rather,should be paramount.Truly,we seek for Allah's Barakah (blessings) when we say 'Rabanna Ateenah Fidunniyah, HassanatanWafil khakheeratih hassanattan wakeena wazaba nar' (Oh!Allah,grant us the best of this life and the Hereafter).But we mustn't fail to always seek the Hereafter ahead of Duniyyah (this world).

Some people throw their knowledge in the face of a striving muslim and make them feel they lack even the basic knowledge of Islam.They just can't help themselves and go on saying well,"I know this","I know that".Isn't 'Allah the one that grants knowledge?He is the Knowledgeable and we need to always remind ourselves of that.My people say this adage that "the one who is alive doesn't know what's going to be the cause of his death yet.Summarily,the one with two legs today,could be a cripple tomorrow.So let him not make jest of the one-legged.Accidents do happen within a twinkle of an eye.The one with riches today could be a pauper tomorrow.He could be robbed,suffer a disaster or worst.The beautiful ones should be cautious because that pretty face can be scarred for life!Some women take pride in all the good things (material) women are expected to have like say jewelleries,bags,shoes,clothes even Ijabs (head cover for Muslim women).I have seen people who wanted to use the Ijab but couldn't afford to buy one.How ironical that some are begged to even use from the lots they have in their wardrobes!
I know&believe that the best things in life aren't 'things'.So,I wonder what some of these people think when they go on and on about how fortunate they are to have lovely children when you're talking with a childless sister in Islam.

Some things we take for granted???How about seeing a fellow sister in distress as too 'whinney'?Perhaps,what should come to your mind is the tasbih (thanking God).Say Alliamdulillah within you,give a listening ear and offer a spiritual and moral support if you can.But do not condemn her because she did not ask to be where she found herself.
Allah forbids that we lose our beloved!A mother of four could become childless just like that.Yes,it has happened before,road accidents,fire outbreaks,wars,natural disasters,just name it.And someone thinks they can rebuke others because Allah has blessed them?Thinkagain!!!

Apart from being a natural-sensitive person ,I have learnt a great deal about Islam&try to put it into actions as possible as I can.When I say sorry,it's usually not because of some hurtful thing I have said or done.I do think very deeply about the consequence(s) of my actions,utterances.I avoid ambiguities and when I err like every human does,I make rectifications.I do try to steer clear contradictions or ambiguities-it lands one in trouble.!
Agreed we'r not perfect,but that is no excuse to be selfish,self-centred,self-absorbed and insensitive.Some people use expressions that weighs more than they meant.Reason why it is good to think before acting.
I think we'd be better-off not saying sorry all the time.Rather,we should come to appreciate Allah's blessings in our lives and when we realise that somebody might be hurt as a result of our actions,then we should make amends&clear the air.
Some people are so insensitive they crack expensive jokes.And even while laughing,they could try to see the other person's reaction and hence,caution themselves.But no, they just go on laughing about an issue which apparently means more to that other person than them.Where is the sisterhood or brotherhood in hurting your fellow Muslims?That is more like"sisterwound" or "brotherwound"?!!!

Something I read a few minutes ago just brought these thoughts to my mind this late evening.My kids&husband  are asleep.It's 1.30.a.m.& I should be sleeping as well.But I had to lift this weight off my chest before going to bed because it was something I read that steered the topic.....

Originally written on 5th April,2008!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fatigued...

I am yet to uncover the reason behind my fatigue and tiredness...and I hope I won't feel this way longer than necessary.If only I had my own gym or some safe place to do my own thing...I'd work out,perhaps,that would help.
I had so mnay thoughts going throuh my mind during the day but just couldn't get around to blogging them out.I need time to get used to the new situation  of not being "alone"anymore.At least not from Monday till Friday.
I honestly don't know if that's my own way of being "territorial".But I like my privacy and always want some time to myself.We've got a domestic help now and I know it's going to feel really awkward until I resume at the office for good.It'd be better than being at home and been conscious that am not'alone'.I have enjoyed my space for so long I never really anticipated this scenario.I guess I should have seen it coming....But then again,'change' is inevitable and I've just got to accept it.
Whoever says Language's a powerful tool couldn't be more right.I'm appreciating the fact that I didn't have the problem of language barrieri n my home country.Being abroad's an eye opener and a form of education too.The truth's just that I've always had a reservation for living in a country with a language barrier.Agreed,English is not my first language,but it's my second best means of verbal communication.I just can't imagine myself being lost or stranded because of communication breakdown .I'd rather take a beginner's book on that language and learn a few words or phrases..I enjoy doing that on my own,by choice-not by coercion or compulsion!I have always had this fantasy of being a 'multi-linguist'.I play around with words from French,Arabic and even Spanish or Italian sometimes.But that doesn't mean am ready to learn any new language at the moment.I even went as far as writing a poem saying a word in different tongues...(4my eyes only)!I also subscribed to About.com's french language in my inbox everyday..(I don't read it...)..
It's the beginning of another day and I've got to rest my eyes for the night....I'm getting froggy in the mornings now.I used to wake up feeling revitalised and refreshed...something must have gone wrong somewhere....!!!
Good morning!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

And so it came to an end today...

It's the end of my first level and am really grateful to God for His mercies.It's been a very long day I almost forgot I just completed my exams today and not before.




I have registered for a traffic license or something like that.I need this to commence my driving lessons and it means another studying.But It's better I do it now and get it over with.I can't postpone it anylonger.I don't want to be swamped next year with school work and driving lessons.Now that I've finally got my sewing machine,I've developed a new hobby and a passion to'design' or'sew' my own dresses.That's a tall dream but I'll get there someday.Thanks to hubby he took me (after I appealled to him) to the fabric store yesterday and I bought a few threads and some other things I'll be needing to commence my practice.Am so excited and almost impatient to sew what I'll come up with.I really want to sew my daughter a dress and a pair of skirt...maybe even more.That should be easier before I move on to trying my hands on caftan (for myself)!



I was actually exhausted and didn't think I'd here this night blogging.but I relaxed for a while this evening to garner all the energy needed in updating my blog and catching up on my mails.



The days slip by so fast that I fear of not getting things done.I actually stopped making lists of things needed to be done "word for word" a couple of years back.External factors have made some of the plans unachievable and it feels like a waste of time.But realising that I kept certain things on hold deliberately in order to focus on my studies.And now that the session's over for this year,I think it's about time I made that list.I will begin with the 'spring cleanining' of the kitchen.I will take care of the homefront first before I take on the community crusade concept.The weather's been really unprecidtable and unstable.So it makes going out for someone already laid back like me a task.But am going to get up and go out if it isn't raining.I would try to get a simple fabric for the skirt I want to sew and maybe something for moi!Great tings starts from small beginnings..I've got to start from somewhere and not let fear get in my way.I have longed so much for a sewing machine and have no excuse now.



There're a few other commitments I need to take care of and I don't want to lose sight of the fact that Eid's around the corner..even if am going nowhere.I better wrap up now....

Monday, November 16, 2009

"Never say "NEVER"!

I got back from my exam centre a little over two hour ago and I had a good laugh at myself.Alright,I've never said that” I can NEVER be a victim of what happened to me today, but knowing my nature and how annoyingly meticulous I can be, I may have said so! Whatever lesson am supposed to learn from today's experience, I have learnt very well indeed. I have learnt to be more thorough (I'm actually too thorough already) as far as studying with a distant learning institution is concerned. I usually take note of little things and always go by the saying of” anything worth doing at all is worth doing well”. I am one of those nerdy students who go extra mile and take studies very seriously. I guess I should have realised that I get distracted some times and I strain my brain. I do that a lot. I’ve read some where that tasking the brain is good and I think over-stimulation's my own problem presently.


Where do I begin? Is it from the fact that, I had been at the centre today two hours ahead of time or that I only discovered that I was prepared for the wrong exam? Or is it the fact that I had not even revised the reviewed assignment that was supposed to serve as a guide and the examination focus? Or should I begin by saying that I didn't realise this mistake until less than an hour before the exam was to commence?

I went into the hall to use the ladies room and decided to just check my seat number.Alas! The course code was a different one from what I was reading and the notebooks I brought to the centre with. I was perplexed and confused. Where would I begin from? I hadn't read the nine-page drama summary for the exam. I already know it's a compulsory question, but I take my modules one at a time. I had completely forgotten exam format and what to really expect as I only browsed through it once. I had to think on my feet and I did without any further hesitation. The clock was ticking and time wasn't my friend! I rushed out and asked if there was anyone sitting for the same module but couldn't find any student. I then resolved to call my hubby.I started by telling him how "stupid" I've been, reading for a different exam paper. To my bewilderment, he didn't add salt to my injury by affirming my assertion. He just asked if he should come fetch me to take me home in order to get the printed drama I had to read. I also didn't recall I had the key to the house with me.Well, to cut a long story short, he came to get me. I was very time conscious and decided to do some trekking and meet him on the way.Afterall, I would be sitting down getting more apprehensive if I didn’t get something else doing. It reduced the timing and the tension. I spent an extra five minutes outside the hall before I went in to write the exam. Something I have learnt in my adolescence is not to panic. I have inculcated the habit of remaining calm in situations that could be escalated by panic. It’s not easy to do that but I have learnt it and it's working for me. So I just relaxed and read the summary, more like flip through it actually. I just browsed through the main characters'names, their roles and the setting of the Drama. Well it was a good thing I didn't waste too much time reading the nine pages as that question was going to earn me only fifteen marks....I was working towards not losing fifty-five marks over sheer carelessness. If I hadn’t known what to write at all, it would mean I'd fail the mdoule, re-register for it, go through the very rough and hard time I had this year, have an extra workload next year, unable to do my major modules in communication and the last choices would be to either register for another module to replace it or push it forward for an extra year at unisa...............no ways!!!

So, at the end of the day I wrote the exam and it wasn't as bad as I had feared Of course I was still going to suffer a few setbacks as I couldn't recall the author of my narrative play, and another character in the given narrative.Overall, I did alright and like I've said before, if I do not pass exceedingly well since am aiming to graduate with a first class, I would not flunk this module either. I have done my best and left the rest to God. He was actually looking out for me because; discovering that I wasn’t prepared for the listed exam would have been more destabilizing and disorientating if I hadn't gone to check for my seat number. As it turned out, I was about the only one who showed up for the exam. From the list, we should have been three. That’s the lowest I've seen since writing exams at the centre last semester.

Once again, I’ve just been reminded why I had to make other choices and let Literature die a natural death.Afterall; it’s not like anyone's going to ask me to produce my certificate in Theory of Literature if I decide to write a book in the future. Enough brain tasking for a year!!!

Am just happy that I had the cause to laugh over this incident because I would have been really disappointed with myself. I had worked really hard this semester and had scored 96% in the assignment. I also had the help of a very special young lady. Thanks to her inputs when I was completely lost on where to begin the module. How I wish that score would count more for my overall pass mark! I just cannot imagine failing after all the handwork and the pressure the entire semester. Scoring a 100% in the assignment of the other module doesn't count much either. There’s a whole lot of work to be done in the exams. This would be simpler and easier in the sense that, it’s going to be a replica of the assignments (or so I've read).But it's a lot to remember. I have done my revision well and God willing shouldn't have any problem attempting the questions.

Case closed on this matter. Am starving seriously.....It's some minutes to 4 p.m and I've not had a single meal today. Some people can't write exams on an empty stomach, not me. I just didn't feel like grubbing this morning and that's not unusual with me. I have recently decided to be more consistent with my meals and make sure I eat breakfast everyday. Old habits they say die hard, but I'll get there....