BEER PRESSURE

obama-alcohol

When I was 19 my neighbor asked me to attend his wedding night celebration in a certain club… When I say celebration I do not mean accompanying him and the wife to a room in a hotel… It was to the wedding night party..

So when we arrived and had settled down… [I can not remember if I had any money on me..] A guy of Asian origin approached me and asked.. “What would you like to take..” [No no no no no, let me rewind…. let me say exactly how he said it.] “Wee takunywa nini?“..

I answered, “sprite…”

You should see the look he gave me.. You see that look that someone gives you when you tell them…

“I have not been feeling well since Monday.. I have been having a headache.. Feeling dizzy.. Hot… Vomiting.. Severe stomach ache.. Red teary eyes..”

Then the person asks you.. “Have you seen the doctor…?” You answer, “No. I have been eating apples. I’ll be okay” You see the way the person looks at you?

That is the look the Asian gave me and left.. I think he had vodka or whiskey in his hand.. I could not differentiate them at that time…

So I sat alone on the sofa listening to music… Knowing that I could not go home because it was already 10 pm… And that was not a place matatus traveled.. Only Taxi…

After a while a friend noticed that I was not taking anything.. She bought me sprite..

At another club, many years later… Two men approached us and offered to buy my friend and I a drink… My friend took beer and I krest.. The man I was with told me.. “You are a complicated woman. I wish I took your friend.. It is women like you who wait for men to get drunk and steal from them later..” I laughed… After two sodas morning came…

When I reached the road and broke off from him to take a taxi he shouted.. “You stupid woman, you think I am foolish?” I did not look back… That is how it is when you do not take alcohol… I have always noticed when I am in a group of people, it is very easy for them… to buy alcohol for 5 thousand shillings than buy that one soda that costs 50.. I must carry my own money for drinks when I go out, because if I do not… I will die of thirst….

Woe unto you if you are invited to a party that is in a bush, where shops are far, far away.. And then you see the car that went to town to get drinks coming back with crates of beer only… And you want sugar… Soda sugar…

I have taken Redds many times… Not in clubs though… At home and at private parties… it is my favorite alcoholic drink… But I stopped… I stopped because I discovered that coffee, juice and chips taste better than alcohol… These days you ask me, “what do you take? ” I’ll ask, “Do they sell chips here?”

I kept thinking, ‘men find me boring because I do not drink. That is why I do not have a boyfriend…’ And I tried very much not to tell any person I was dating…… to stop drinking… Because I was afraid he would leave me… The smell of alcohol is not very pleasant…

But God works in mysterious ways… I learnt that you do not have to drink to get a man… Or keep a man… There are so many men who do not drink.. I also learnt it is not wrong to not drink… Alcohol will cause people to make the wrong decisions..

I mix with a lot of people who drink… Because I do not hate them.. But I will take soda or juice only… In every party… Because I know… I do not have to mess my life to fit in a group…

Unconditional Compassion

compassion

God said, before you pray [I’ll put it in simple English] clean your heart. To me, I think God says, be kind.

I led a very quiet, peaceful life. That is why I found life difficult when I started living in a house full of noisy kids. They irritated me but…

I learnt to see God through the eyes of these kids. Every time they made a lot of noise I would keep calm and think, ‘I have to train myself to be patient and if it is too much I’ll ask them politely to keep it down. There is no shortcut therefore if I want my prayers answered I have to be human.’ Loving everyone is difficult, but I must….let me rewind and come again… must be kind and caring to everybody.

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They say that children sense evil spirits and negative energy, that is why they keep away from bad people. My nephew opened the door and said a loud hallo to me today. He has called my name more than six times. I have also noticed my four year old niece likes to ask me questions and tell me stories. It melts my heart to know that I have improved in handling the kids in the house.

What I have written above does not make me think I have been horrible at all. In fact, when I used to have a place of my own, it is outside my house that all the children of the estate came to play. My ‘estatemates‘ told them to keep it down or go away but I did not because I decided not to.

Now where was I? I was in answered prayers, Love and kindness. What happened to us.To me especially? There was a time I’d alight from a matatu and give my seat to someone who is very old, pregnant or is carrying a baby. These days I get my seat and watch these burdened people enter the matatu┬ámiss a seat and walk out then I think, ‘Another matatu will come, they will get in.’ I will continue to sit comfortably.

Why do I pass by the beggars in the street? Is it because they are not genuine anymore? Why do I think that a twenty shilling coin will destroy my future dream? I know very well that not all beggars are fake but I do not take time to look deep into that child’s eyes and read what they say. So what if the beggars collect more money than I have in my purse? Why do I not remember that it is the thought that counts? God says “Give, no matter how little it is. There is more.” Why is my faith so little? Why am I afraid to give? Why do I fear that more will not come? Why do I even pray?”.

So I dropped everything that I thought was preventing my prayers from being answered. Remember when God said that whatever comes out of your mouth is what will save you or finish you? I have tried very much not to make people feel bad. I am trying to surprise people by doing good things for them now and then. Even to the ones I do not like. Remember… God said, “Clean your heart before you come to me”.

I can not approach a woman older than me and offer to help her carry her luggage.. she will refuse because we all look like thieves to her.. Even when we know the person might accept your offer for help we do not ask. How many times does someone ask you for directions? If very few have you ever wondered why? My neighbor asked me a long time ago, “Berina, why are you always annoyed? Why do you walk as if you are going to beat someone? Why don’t you smile?” I thought, ‘Why should I smile, men will think I want them, they will think I am easy.’ I was very young with many responsibilities living with working parents. As I grew older and joined college I started to smile and I realized my hardened heart was softer.

If you do not have anything to give get up and give a hand. Make someone’s work easier by doing it with them or for them. Make God smile. People get tired of asking, learn to do things without being asked. It becomes a habit and becomes easier with time.

I was talking to a friend some time back and complaining about how we live without caring to ask if someone is okay or not, and she replied, “You know, you must always remember the many times people have helped you so if they do not help you now the help they gave you in the past counts.” My stomach churned. I was nauseated and thought. ‘So if someone is starving now you can not give them food because you gave them food some years ago?’ Kindness has no limit. Kindness does not wait for a reward. Give…give…give. I preach all the time that is why you are alive.. and do not give for fame or popularity.

Learn to keep promises because God will never give you what you ask for if you do not keep them. Be kind, let go, give that which you value so much and give wisely. God will give you better. God will give you a thousand fold. The bible speaks the truth because I have watched things unfold and I am still watching.

Be kind. If you think of giving, give, do not change your mind, let people see hope in you. Show people that God lives.

God is real, and He answers prayers that come from a kind heart.