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Updated: 2015-09-16T22:50:21.773-07:00


World Forests Day and Bamboo industries in Kenya


I read this entry and really thought it was an informative entry especially for those interested in forest conservation and bamboo industries.

'Short' Development of Bamboo in Kenya
By Bernard Kigomo, KEFRI

The regional development of bamboo started in Kenya but more vehemently in 1985. Kenya has had a long relationship with INBAR since its establishment in India and
now in China where it has moved recently. KEFRI for a while now has made
world collections of bamboo species and established these as trials in the
country. There are published records of what can grow and where of about 12
of the over 20 tried species. Data on growth of the various successful
bamboo species has been collected, documented, published and shared. Growing
and management of bamboo was the early occupation of bamboo development in
Kenya. Kenyan expertise has been able to assist Sudan and Ethiopia to
develop its capacity in the growing and management of bamboo.

Recently the development of bamboo has moved to the concern of processing
and use of bamboo in several front areas. A project has therefore been going
on since 5 years ago mainly between Kenya, Ethiopia and UNIDO to improve
capacity of local people in the use of bamboo in Ethiopia and Kenya. Groups
in Kinale, Olenguruone and Kakamega have been focal points of these hands on
training through this project. The first phase of this project has ended.
This project has attempted to create awareness on bamboo development at
policy levels by arranging tours in Asia/China and Ethiopia for the
management of KFS (selected Board members and 10 senior managers), KEFRI
(Senior staff and selected Board members) and Ministry (Two PSs, Minister of
MF&W)and several 5 NGO executives who were partners to this project. This
project has produced several guidelines on production, management and
processing of bamboo that it has shared with a number of outlets. Joint
training of trainers has enabled to have capacity for regional training in
bamboo growing and furniture, handicraft and basketry making. We have had
several training sessions for CBOs locally, three training sessions in Rwanda
and presently two KEFRI experts are holding a two week course in Uganda for
Sakin, and NGO, with the support of UNIDO.

Another effort through the government support has been training groups
coming from Coast, Central and western Kenya, lo0caly and at the KEFRI
workshop at Karura. Three groups in southern Nyanza have been trained in
use of bamboo in furniture making and weaving by KEFRI through the IDRC
support to Maseno University. The Southern Nyanza bamboo project of Maseno
University has aimed at introducing bamboo as alternative to tobacco and the
utilization of the planted bamboo.

The results of these efforts have started showing with several individuals
and youth groups organizing themselves to focus on products development from
bamboo. Several architectural students in the local universities are already
working on the use of bamboo in housing. The potential is great but has
been least tapped realizing the use made of bamboo in Asian countries,
especially China and India, among other oriental countries.

The government through KFS and KEFRI is already coming up with a country
bamboo strategy and the two have been agonizing on the issue of lifting the
ban on bamboo harvesting to provide means of sustainable harvesting before
the eventual flowering of the bamboo culms/stems. Bamboo is a grass and
flowers and die.



Responsible leadership. Mature leadership. That is what is lacking in Kenya.You can be strategic in your engagements but miss the point in being responsible as a leader.When a person in leadership engages in anything other than noble talk in a public space,he reduces himself to the street urchin who sometimes has no idea what he engaged in the previous day.
Kenya has been through enough turmoil.A responsible leader is the one who takes the high road of not trading words in public.What would happen if one of these leaders takes the high road and publicly declares,'l have chosen a high road.l will not engage in cheap propaganda that cheapens me even further.'So for a second, pause...what would happen if our leaders took the high road?



Leadership...A lot has been said about this subject and will continue to be said. Today in Kenya at 1pm, people from all walks of life will take time out to sing the national anthem as a sign of patriotism. This is a strong statement that is being sent to our leadership,specifically the political leadership. Like the rest of the countries that are running revolutions, this has been a mostly Facebook campaign that has materialized into action.

The leadership of this country needs to wake up and ask themselves, why would a simple campaign motivate hundreds of thousands of Kenyans to desire to sing their national anthem? What is it the political class is doing that is driving Kenyans to this? I know patriotism is one of them but it is mostly the fact that the leadership is not living up to its bargain three years after signing the national accord.If they did, Kenyans would not feel the urge to congregate to sing their anthem.

This campaign should not be taken lightly. It is the genesis of other campaigns. While this one is led entirely by very patriotic Kenyans who really want their country governed properly, the next campaign by others may take a different turn if the political class doesn't catch on this message.

The Facebook avenue is getting quite popular.What with more than 50 per cent of Kenyans with phones, it should tell you something. One can also surf the internet on most of these phones. So really, this is a ready platform that comprises of eager Kenyans willing to show where they stand on issues pertaining to this country. The best indicator for future behavior is best told by past actions.A brilliant leader should know better than take this campaign lightly.



Hmmm!!! what to do when a project goes horribly crazy? Pick yourself up baby and move on. Salvage what you can and keep moving.I am reminded that failures stay as failures and winners are those that stood up, amended their strategies and moved on.So today in spite of all the negativity l feel, l will pick myself up and move.I will make it good.I will be vindicated.I am willing to put in the work and the effort.Yes, even though the holidays are here, l will salvage what l can and move on because that is only when l can hold my head high in the midst of all the screaming negativity.I will make it with God's help.I will be vindicated.Majaliwa.

Living my dreams one day at a time


Hmmm!!! my dreams.Thank heavens. Doing social campaigning is so rewarding. Causes that mean something to people and making them visible to the right people. Oh how rewarding...:-)



Hmmm!!!! that is the expression l find myself having these days.Not a bad Hmmm!! just an interesting and curious one.I am learning that for you to get to where you want to go, guts are needed. Guts that don't back out when you finally go into what you want to do.So here l am in this journey that could take me anywhere l want.I hope that when l look back 5 years from now l will be saying...good l took that journey.

C'est la vie


I have truly come to respect those that wade through life with determination and finally achieve their dreams.I think it is hard work coupled with loads of tears and sweat. Some praying won't hurt...



So, good morning world or is it life...LOL!! my second working week has began on a high note this year.I hear that if you have goals set out for a a week at a time you begin your weeks on a high note.
Hmmm!!! Really!!! I believe because l am so glad l have goals that l am working towards. It helps in controlling disruptions.I tell you with all the social media around us, it is wiser to plan the timings of when you want to work and do a little FB or Twitter. All in all, lets begin with goals...tight goals.



(image) Oh my goodness!!!Its 2010. I was thinking the other day by the time vision 2030 is here l will be...years old!!! LOL!!If you are living in Kenya you must know what l am talking about. Yes, l am beginning to realize that life is what happens to us when we are waiting for real life to begin.You can actually be in your 50s and still waiting for life to begin.So this year promise me something, that you will go out and do something you have been wishing to do for a long time.Get out of your comfort zone and run towards your dreams.Start no matter how small because for ain't a rehearsal.That said.... l hope you had a good rest because to achieve highly your body, mind and spirit must be at a place of rest. You have only one body with no replacement for it.

Here's to you .....have a good one y'all




I am in love with you and l can't explain it
I just know thinking about it brings tears to my eyes
Thoughts about you bring warmth to my heart
They bring a profound feeling of beautiful satisfaction
I am in love with you but l can't explain it
I just know

I sit in Your presence and hear Your children sing
I hear them worship and beautifully praise You
With the Knowledge that your children accompany
The Cherubims, Seraphims and the 24 elders who stand before you day and night
I am so mesmerized in Your presence
I feel broken yet whole because l know You
I am in love with You but l can't explain it
Because truth is....l can't

You overwhelm me with the essence of You
Who are You?What are You? I have this love affair with You
Yet l can never totally grasp You
I can never understand You because You are God
Who am I for You to love like You do? So intensely, so genuinely, so jealously
Who am l that You have commanded angels to be at my service?
You overwhelm me with the essence of You
I am deeply in love with You
Even though l can only love You with my earthly understanding limited way
I am in love with You but l can't explain it
Because truth is ....I can't

I want this love affair to go for eternity
aaaaahhh I want those that watch on the side to say
Indeed that is a love affair
I am in love with You
It is not what You do, though that is part of it
But the essence of You, the beauty of You
The knowing that l am loved and cherished Just as l am
I am so in love with You, You the creator of the universe
I am in love with You but l can't explain it
Because truth is....I can't

I am in love with You and that thought
That thought brings warm tears to my eyes
You...I am in Love with You



I am reading my last entry and l am all smiles. Cynical about God?!Really??? Hmmm!!! I thank God that that phase was part of my life.Now l know how gratefulness starts.I am really grateful to Him that when things really got rough l stayed in the presence of God.God has our solutions.He brings solutions.He grants us brilliance to maneuver out of life's messes and then some.

Now l am at a place where l trust Him completely.I don't get smart with Him.I just trust. Trust me,life has never been this better. I guess l needed to go through that cynicism stage for me to get here.I want to stay here. A place dreams are realized because He is in control. A place of comfort, trust, beauty and grace.



I have not been here before. I have become cynical towards life, God, love among other things.I don't know when l got here.I just know l am.I need to get out of here though.I need to get to a place where l have a better outlook on life.I don't know if it is because l have been trusting God for a number of things and have waited for so long.I need to get out of this moment that is so stressful.I hear people say that someone became an overnight sensation.What crap!!! By the time those dreams come to pass, you have died a thousand deaths,lost hope and gotten back.Plus life loses its meaning.So you go back to where you started and hope that your dreams will come to pass.

I need to get back to where l dreamt big dreams and knew it would actually come to pass.How do people go through this stage and live to tell about it in a victorious session? I guess that is where my journey will start.

You still have the thunder girl!!!


(image) Wassup!!! Today l spoke to someone who was referred to me by a friend.Oh!! my friend went on about something until this person said...ok lets call her up.

Anyways, what really got me was that this person,who l have never met, reminded me how it used to be when l was psyched up doing fundraising and communications.

Lately,that is up to like 2 hours ago, l have been having those moments that are called discouraging.Hmmm!!! l never had a lot of those.But the gist of this share is that l am now feeling alive.Is it because they just believed l could do this insurmountable task or what?I can't quite put my little finger on it.All l know is that l have gotten challenged to stop laxing,to stop giving excuses and stop acting like the rest of the crowd.

This is when l know God surely loves me. That at your end He sends someone to remind you that you still have the thunder in your spirit.That you can still achieve your dreams no matter how idealistic they seem to be.And for that...l am grateful...truly grateful.

Ruthless, lack of loyalty..Obama?


Have you read last and this week's Newsweeks? There is an article in last week's Newsweek which is an exclusive interview with President Obama. This week there is one title Getting to Know Obama. The following were my comments to Newsweek.

Mr Jacob Weisberg's piece ..Getting to Know Obama...throws in a catch 22 spanner into the whole Obama personality and leadership style. Jacob's piece is what l need to temper the Obama on Obama article. Yet in my heart of hearts l don't want to hear that He is ruthless, arrogant and that he has a lack of loyalty(hey read the article.Not my words). So this is the part l agree wholeheartedly that everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

As a Kenyan, l want to read Jon Meacham's interview with Obama and leave it at that. That interview clearly tells me that there is a responsible president on board and a world leader to reckon with.

And so my dear editor, this is the part where l feel compelled to quote John Adair from his book Inspiring Leadership where he says..."Thought precedes decision;decision leads to action.Depending on the circumstances, and especially upon the degree of crisis, as a leader you need to know when to cut off the debate and to initiate the action phase." Some paragraphs in Jacob's article actually agree with the above statement. Obama is a man who likes to make decisions and stick to them. Plus he is surrounded by competent advisers.

I don't like the tempering bit but it helps me stay sober about this man whose personality easily overwhelms. This is a man with a lot of common sense. And believe me, common sense is not so common.

I wonder ..four years from now what....


There is something funny that happens when you read your entries of them days.You could have two reactions.It would either be shock at your naivity or brilliance.You would also be wondering what happened that you had either reaction.

Today is such a day.It is kinda going to 8.30pmish here in a cold Nairobi and l am reading some of my old entries.I laugh aloud at my struggles and victories of gone years.Hmmm!!!!! I keep wondering...what will l be saying about this part of my life when l look back 4 years from now?

All l know is that life is in God's hands.I can't wait to see what l will say.I only pray it will be of no regrets.

Hmmm!!! So how are your goals doing?


Hmmmm!!! June is least around the corner.Can you believe that...June 2009.So checklist of your goals that were set at the beginning of the year.I know.Been there, done that bought a tshirt and baby won't you didn't fit.

Anyway...l have decided to be kind to myself and to always remember God is in control.God knows it all and God will not let me go through what l can't handle.I love Him completely even though sometimes not so perfectly.I still am in love with Him for who and what He is to me.

Now that right a goal l want to keep having.Loving God completely even though l know He knows it is not so perfectly.



Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees...tumeshinda OWADA!!!! Thank You Jesus. Oh my goodness. This man came close. Yes he deserves..not that Mccain doesn't eeeeh coz truth be told they really fought it out fair and square. Just that Obama has worked so hard for this.

The message of hope is what we all need. People are experiencing foreclosures left right and center. The inflation is not helping. Plus every time you put on your telly, its like bad news is having a field day.

So when someone comes along with a message of hope and encouragement, he or she will be embraced.We need hope that we can become better, love more and do more for our country. The one who gives you a message of hope propels you to a platform of greatness starting with the mind.It helps you visualize and see how better a world this can be. It helps you see that you can actually do it.You can actually make it happen.Plus this guy came from a background that is so mixed grill that your everyday Joe identifies.

Dear God remind us that You can pick us from wherever we are to greatness.That our background doesn't matter if we avail ourselves to You.It is beautiful to know You God.



You can forgive my enthusiasm. I am Kenyan. But on this historic eve,l want to say that Obama gives me hope. He represents what we yearned for when we were kids. When you would be asked what you want to be when you grow up and without flinching you would astrounaut, doctor, lawyer or whatever it is you wanted to be.

I want to go back there.Because to go back there is to achieve what you want written on your tomb stone.To go back there and start all over again is to acknowledge that there is hope for the human race.To go back there is to say God still does miracles.

So today as the world prepares to watch the outcome of the election..l want to be the one who says thank you Senator Obama for reminding me that l can make it and that l shall make it.For matching word for action.For not relenting even when you had all odds against you. Sir you have made believers of us. Your winning will not only be for the United will be for all the underdogs in the world. It will be for the African nations.It will be for all those that seek encouragement.



Thank God for all His mercies. Yes sweets...l got me a its more like..God got me a job and (image)
that is humbling. There's nothing l did to deserve this. Good salo and benefits. No nothing l did to deserve this. I keep hearing people saying that l prayed and fasted and twisted and what not. Trust me...this l know for sure..God decided it was time for me to have this job. I thank Him for this opportunity. I tell you l have never been this grateful for something.
I have never wanted something this bad and then felt so helpless when it delayed. I have never learned my patience lesson..that is up till now. So l cannot take any credit for this. Believe me when l say..l didn't do anything to deserve it. I guess it was God's timing that totally humbles me.
I whined, cried, begged, shouted, threw 3000 tantrums and then calmed down. When l was already very calm and l mean like still waters only then did l see something that appeared to be a mirage of what l desired. This time it was a mirage that became the true oasis.
My sister said was worth the wait. Yes it was.
Have you ever waited for something that was promised and no one was telling you no...just wait? Have you ever waited and wanted to pull the hairs out of your head or even went ahead and knocked your head on the wall? Now have you ever waited until all you could do is busy yourself until you got so tired then you slumped and slept and waited some? Baby call me when you do coz l have been there..done that, bought a didn't fit. Call me when that happens coz you will sure have a story to tell.
Patience is crazy for some of us. The only way God can teach some of us is through these experiences.Now when l say to you in a tough moment that this too shall pass...l know that this too shall indeed pass....

Just about to exhale


haaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh that is the feeling have right now. Finally something l wanted has started. They call it teething issues. But slowly l am learning that to make anything happen, patience is of the main essence. I hope in the middle of all of this l will find my footing...sooner than later.

Here's to a dream l have ...


I have been writing this entry in my head for the last one week or so. Life is funny. Just when you think things aren't working out life hands you a surprise. Glad that there are beautiful surprises mostly wrapped up in people who have decided to be kind human beings.

When someone decides to make sure that your dreams become a reality, then you know that selflessness is not for those in other planets. I am so trying to make one of my dreams come true-financial stability. To tell you the takes work and loads of it. You get drained by the major and minor decisions you have to make. Dreams come true but the part they didn't say was that it was going to be tough but doable. l am there right now ...wishing that soon l will be grateful for these moments of crossing my fingers hoping that everything will soon be in sync.

Some day l hope to just have worked hard enough to not have debts. I am working towards a debt free life.Dear God help. I have made it my immediate goal.That day should be six or slightly less or more months from now. I just pray l will have the stamina to work round the clock to make sure that this materializes.

A debt free life...what a life.aaaaaahhhh don't tell me about good debt and bad debt.No difference. I just want out of debt. If there is a God ...and l know He is there...please hear my prayer. That some day sooner than l think, other than waking up to a debt free life, l will have serious investments. Talk about a Change that l need.



Today, l wished l came home to something very simple… a hug, listening ear and some tenderness. Ever had one of those moments? It happens whether you are married or single. The singles usually feel it most. Like today that was what l needed. So when you get someone who actually listens, you feel honored and appreciated. Yes this very independent woman has a soft bone in her. And yes, she is marshy on the inside. Its only the exterior that is intimidating.

I guess this feeling came on because l watched as one of the gentlemen on Apprentice Africa gave a lady a hug who was really crying her eyes out in what sounded like a hearty cry. Man, was she having a bad time. But just in time was a warm hug and the encouragement for her to let it all out. Yes, am a sucker for beautiful human relationships.

I am beginning to accept that human beings are selfish and self centered. We like to be taken care of, be the center of attention when things are not going our way. Yet when someone tells you that they are not having a great day, we don’t have time to ask…hey spill and let’s sort it out. Honey

l want to be that friend. I pray to God that l will be that person who when someone is having a dark spot in their lives, they can call me at night and just cry without saying anything. That l will be that friend who won’t want anything back in return. But that God and this universe will bring goodness and tenderness to my doorstep in return. Baby, l don’t wanna save the world coz l know l can’t. I just want to be part of the shoulder someone desperate will be leaning on. And in turn, l pray God gives me that…sweetness, tenderness and love.




Zimbabwe, l cry for you
I cry with you, daughter of Africa
How long will you endure this torture?
How long will you perservere?

I hear you
When will this end? ask
Where are the rest of the voices?
Am l alone?
What went wrong?
What have l done to deserve this?
How do l end this? wearily ask

Mothers wail, children cry
Fathers are hungry and dying
Others have altogether left, emotionally and physically
The land no longer smiles
The money worthless
Helplessness, hopelessness, overwhelming fear grips even the boldest
Your beauty fading away
How do l end this? wearily ask

Africa, wail for your child
Stand up for her
She bleeds, she's been violated
She has tipped over and no longer on the brink
Africa wipe away the tear of that frightened girl
Protect the mothers, encourage the fathers
Give hope to the youth
Mother Africa, where is your wise voice? where is your protective hand?
Zimbabwe, l cry for you
I cry with you, daughter of Africa

By Maria Wanza...a dedication to the people of Zimbabwe. Hold on...We cry with you daughter of Africa



I am watching very impressed at the Nelson Mandela concert in London. Good work to the organizers. But even more congrats go to Nelson Mandela.

I am sitting here and wondering how many trials this man had to go through to be what he is today. Those very lonely years in prison. Those very terrifying moments when he got tortured or when he watched his fellow men meet their untimely death. Oh the pain of seeing a dream come to pass. So today l will be happy that a man together with his colleagues fought for a better tomorrow for Africans. Even though l face some tough times because of a dream. I will stand and know that some day this too shall pass. Some day l will remember this moment. We romanticize living our dreams. There is nothing romantic about it. It is tough and scary and especially when you are broke. May God hear me and those like me who are following their dreams. May we get Angel investors and donors who believe in what we believe in.

So l tip my hat to this great man..Nelson Mandela.

Lord do you ever hear this?


I have done interviews and told to wait. Now l sit here and l have been waiting. No, Lord l know it won't be long but this waiting is killing me in the process. I need a regular income. The regular income is going to be abit slow but it is coming. Lord what do l do till then? I am so in a mess. I thought l wouldn't be here again. But here l am. Sad and alone. This must be the end as l know it.
That is how l feel. Yes l have color on me but not enough. I needed to make some in the stock market. But my portfolio manager actually said...hold up. Put in only that which can last longer than two weeks. He's right. He doesn't wnat so much pressure that he can't help me out. So now l am stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I need You Lord. Do you ever hear desperado prayers and come through like the knight you are?