It is Sunday. I am in Douala. The heat is sweltering. The walk from the hotel I am staying at and the venue of the conference I am here to attend nearly melts me. By the time I get there, the conference venue, my Africa’s Talking t-shirt is stuck to my sweaty back. I stand by an air conditioner, my back to it, to cool off.
Friday afternoon, Bob is at work. Not at his full-time place of work, no. It is a public holiday so he did not have to go in today. Today he wears the hat of part-time parking attendant at a church in Kileleshwa. His sister-in-law, Makena, hooked him up with the gig. She is a tailor and normally has her sewing machine set up outside the church. She heard of the parking attendant position from the watchman. The watchman works at the church full-time. When things are slow, Monday to Friday, he spends his days leaning on the fence next to Makena’s sewing machine. They chat on and on about their lives, spouses, children. About the family across the road that seems to have a different car for every day of the week, about the catechist who, like clockwork, comes and goes at the same time each day, about the new chaplain who wakes up at dawn to go for a run.
It is a nerve-racking experience to be finishing school, especially uni. It is the beginning of the rest of your life. Sure, every day is the beginning of the rest of your life but some more defining than others. Finishing uni and venturing into the world has to be one of those more defining beginnings.
From the 25th of October to the 1st of November, 2017, I attended “Les Universités d’Afrique et de la Diaspora (UAD)”, which in English translates to Universities of Africa and the Diaspora. The UAD is an international forum that gives professionals from diverse horizons the opportunity to meet and discuss current issues. This forum also offers a training space on advanced methods and technologies. After the 3rd edition held in Paris in 2016, UAD 2017 was held in Douala, Cameroon.
Hello, World in 2018!!!
It is that time of the year again when it is just beginning, when legends are born (birthday week!), when everyone is optimistic about life and love and generally believe themselves capable of conquering the world.
* drum roll please for my favourite month of the year *
It is January!
In 2017, I ran and ran and ran. You could hardly guess that my running had started off by chance. Running in general is something I have done on and off for a very long time, since finishing high school. I played basketball in high school, which kept me physically active, and when I finished school I needed a suitable replacement. Somewhere along the way that became running. Ever since high school though, courtesy of basketball, I’ve had a bad knee that had always prevented me from taking my running past a certain point. I’d start running a bit more frequently, or running long distances, and then my knee would start complaining and I would stop out of fear of doing any more damage. My knee was always in my way.
As December and 2017 come to a close, it’s time to start rounding a few things up and take stock of the year that has been. I am actually a little excited about this post because I set and shared a couple of goals that I was going to work on, track and see how far I could get by the end of the year.
Several months back, via the meetup.com page for the Nairobi Women in Machine Learning and Data Science community, we received the following message;
I stumbled upon an article in the New York Times on ‘How to Build a Skincare Routine’ a couple of months ago. It made me think, hey, I’m an adult now. Maybe a skin care routine is exactly what I need to introduce into my life. I’m always enviously admiring my friends, colleagues and acquaintances who have flawless skin and wondering what about my genetic make-up predisposed me to constantly have an attack of unsightly pimples and subsequent perpetual scarring on my face. This article made me wonder if perhaps my going to sleep night after night with all the dirt, dust, oil and whatever greasy coat their combination forms on my face to wholly block my pores might be more to blame than my genetic make-up, so I ventured to try out having a skin care routine.