Ngong Hills, Nairobi

I have always wished that Nairobi would have nice clean parks with paved pathways where people can go for a run or have a picnic not unlike the beautiful parks in places such as the UK or U.S.A. However, one weekend, I was reminded of the natural beauty that lies in Nairobi. The city may not have recreational parks (still a work in progress), but it does have some beautiful wild terrain. On the outskirts of Nairobi are some beautiful hills and hiking through them is nothing short of an adventure.

Ngong Hills is a serene environment and a wonderful escape from city life.  The name ‘Ngong’ comes from the Masaai word meaning ‘knuckles’. This is because the 7 hills are shaped like the knuckles of a close fist (at least this is the information obtained from the guide hehee). From the hills, a view of Nairobi city can be seen in the horizon on one side. On the other side there is a breathtaking view of another set of hills and never-ending plains of Kajiado County.

One can hike across all the 7 Ngong Hills to get the full adventurous experience. It is also possible to hike only halfway across the hills.  However, the security situation is not very good therefore it is recommended to do the hike with some escorts from the Kenya Forestry Service. The escorts are not just for protection from any thugs lurking about, but they also offer protection from wild animals. The hills are also home to a variety of wildlife including Buffalo. For all the excitement and beauty, it costs only KShs 200 to get in and the cost of the guide can be reasonably negotiated. This will definitely not break the bank.

At the top of one of the hills is a Wind Farm. I know Wind Mills may be considered an eye sore but I really love the look of them and the powerful yet gentle sound of the wind from the spinning blades. The one thing I am not a fan of (no pun intended), is the shadows they cast as they spin. Apparently, some folks in England are also worried about them giving epileptic seizures to cows. But I digress….

I would recommend a hike in Ngong hills for Nairobians and anyone who is in town. It is also great as a team building and bonding exercise. At the top of the hills, one may also find some herders taking their Goats out to graze. When I was last there peacefully looking over the hills, a group of friendly goats came by for a meal and an inspection of their guest J…. Pics please J

Hmm..not sure about this road construction...hope they keep developments minimum

Hmm..not sure about this road construction…hope they keep developments minimum

Powerful Windmills..

Powerful Windmills..


and then there was the beauty...

and then there was the beauty…

Endless Kajiado Plains..

Endless Kajiado Plains..

Nairobi in the Horizon...

Nairobi in the Horizon…

The leaning tree of Ngong Hills

The leaning tree of Ngong Hills

Where the Buffalos are..

Where the Buffalos are..

Mr. Billy Goat and friends

Mr. Billy Goat and friends

Nairobi's answer to a 'recreational park' hehe

Retreat from City Life…

The way back..

The way back..


Kite Runner! Amazing Story


After endless procrastinating, I decided to get down to reading the Kite Runner. I was reading a lot of junk rom coms and decided to enlighten myself with a more serious book. I have no idea what took me so long! I should have read this book years ago. Then again, I find that books come at the times in my life when I can best understand and experience them. I suppose if I had read the book when I was younger I probably wouldn’t understand much of what was taking place. The book begins in Afghanistan in the 1970s. Honestly speaking, I didn’t know much about Afghanistan’s history but this book got me researching and looking at what Afghanistan used to be.

The story in the book is about friendship, it’s about character, it’s about betrayal and it’s about forgiveness. Hassan and Amir share a friendship that is deep and they are pretty much brothers from another mother even before they know the truth. Hassan is servant to Amir and Amir’s father and his integrity and character are unforgettable in the book. He is both humble and noble despite his low social status in life. Hassan is full of love and loyalty to his friend and even when he is better that Amir at some activities, he gives Amir much of the credit. If Hassan was a real person and I would really love to believe that people like him exist in the world, I would be blessed to have him as a friend.

Sadly, his world is shattered in more ways than one. Perhaps the pain that he suffered most is the betrayal of his friend. However, even when he was betrayed, he still stood by his friend, he still reached out to him. Even later when Amir was unkind to him and pushed him away, he still wanted to be friends. In the end, he had to leave because it all became too much and his honour was questioned.

The book for me, is really about how to love unconditionally. It’s about how to have inner integrity and confidence even though society considers you of little or no value. Sadly, it’s also about how mistakes in the past can haunt you for years if not for a lifetime. Taking responsibility and seeking forgiveness from others and from yourself is very difficult but not impossible. In the end, there’s always redemption.

Reading the book, I had to keep reminding myself that it was not a true story. However, it is heartbreaking to be reminded that millions of little boy and girls around the world are having their innocence stripped away from them and they have to live with the experience their whole lives. They are doomed with such a heavy burden at such a young age. I wish there was a way to erase the pain from the little kids who go through these horrible experiences or a way to shield them from the negatives effects that they endure in future. The book did show that these instances are life-shattering but with a lot of support, a lot of love and a lot of reassurance, the little kids can grow up to lead a normal life. With the pain felt, maybe they can help others who would be facing similar problems.

One other thing I got from the book, was how someone who you can look up to and who you think the world of can greatly let you down. Amir’s dad let him down by not telling him the truth. The truth which he always said was the most important thing human beings have. It reminded me how in life, we need to remember that we are all human and even the most ‘invincible’ person can make mistakes. This outlook is really essential when forgiving people who disappoint and let you down. There’s so much to this book and all in all, it was an immensely thought-provoking book and I would urge anyone who hasn’t read it to do so. (i haven’t really spoiled the story that much :-p ).  I’m gonna look out for the movie. I hope it does justice to the book although I highly doubt it.

You can bet that never gotta sweat that!!

Viewsss!!Viewsss!! 🙂 , no comments but views :-),  no really, it’s a good feeling and this blogging thing is actually enjoyable..Soo…..i’m going to veer off the literature for a bit and go into the music. I recently heard an amazing song and I cannot get over it. I just keep hitting the replay button! I’ll probably keep doing that until I’m sick of it. So i figured I might as well blog about it before the magic wears off….

The song is Sure Thing by Miguel! (link at the bottom of the page..)

It’s a really sweet song about this guy telling this girl how they’re made for each other.How they’ll last even when things get hard…at least that’s what I get from it.,really sweet. What I really like about it is the richness of the song. You never get songs with so much heart in  them anymore. Songs where you can tell the writer/writers actually sat down for a significant amount of time, and really thought about the lyrics. The lyrics are spectacular. He uses metaphors or is it analogies, to describe how he and his girl complement each other. It’s a very original way of writing.It’s really cool that the writers were able to think of all those analogies and make them a song! Mad props to the writers..Here’s a sample of the lyrics..

You be the match
Imma be your fuse
Painter baby you
Could be the muse
I’m the reporter baby
You could be the news
Cause your the cigarette
And I’m the smoker
We raise a bet…
Cause you’re tha joker

It’s not just the lyrics, it’s the melody and rhythm and the way he says it. His voice is really great for the song. He makes his voice go up and down and round and back up again :-). There’s an acoustic version of the song too. I usually prefer acoustic versions but the plugged version of this song is amazing! The fact that he looks mixed in race and heritage kinda added to the richness of the whole thing.loll i’m just saying..

It’s very bluesy and makes me think of being in a jazz club in New Orleans when jazz was the ish back then..(My perception of a jazz club in New Orleans is purely based on the movies i’ve watched btw :-p). Anyhu the song sounds like something you could listen to in a jazz club with a cocktail/glass of wine/glass of cranberry juice. (my idea of classy drinks)…

The crazy thing is that the song was leaked in 2009 and this is the first time I’m hearing it! However, he did officially release it this year. It’s a great song and definitely a welcome break from the shallow purely commercial songs that are on today.

If you get a chance..have a listen you will not be disappointed!! If you’ve listened to it and love it, I hope the magic doesn’t wear off anytime soon 🙂

I was really tired writing this but hope I’ve made some sense :-p