Hair tip 7: Hair washing … No one likes smelly hair.


It’s been a while since I posted, so I thought I would give you another hair tip. I was moving house and settling in has taken me longer than I expected and there just didn’t seem enough time in a day. I’ve also had internet issues, and that means that sometimes videos just won’t upload.

So how often do you wash your hair; are you washing too often or not often enough? What products should you use?

In order to determine whether or not you are washing your hair too often, I go by 2 main things. Is my scalp itchy from product buildup and sweat or dry and itchy due to overwashing? If the former is true, increase your washing, if the later is, reduce it. Generally my hair gets a wash every week but if I start to smell it, before anyone else can, I wash it.

What products? This is a personal decision. I would suggest trying cheaper shampoos and conditioners and based on the way your hair and scalp react, decide.

Happy watching. https://youtu.be/TAU_8RodGjc

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Easy breakfast in a glass


I got this inspiration from a lady at church who can cook a mean feast (Hi Kitty!) Last year she posted a photo of her breakfast in a bottle that you could make a few days in advance so you have something healthy to eat on your crazy mornings. I decided to make it on one of my days off.

I used

  • 1 mango
  • 1 yellow nectarine
  • 1 cup of grapes
  • 1 Orange
  • 4 table spoons of Yoghurt
  • Half a teaspoon of Honey
  • 2 table spoons Oats.

I put the oats in a pot and put it on the stove and while they roasted, I cut the fruits and put them into two cups before whipping the yoghurt and honey (I find whipping makes it easier to mix than using a spoon) and added that on top of the fruit. When the oats were done I placed them in the fridge to cool them before adding them on top of the yoghurt.

I have my whole life planned out


I like to think of myself as a master planner when it comes to my life but if you know me, and know me well, you know that I really am not that great at planning. I used to be one of those people who just went with the flow, but I now find that in order to maintain my sanity, I need to have some set plan; and by that, I mean one of those unchanging fixed step by step guides for my day.

Life however is not like that. My parents, I am sure always had plans for each of their kids, and I am sure me having a child at a really young age was not part of it. Still, when it happened they rose to the challenge and walked out the days ahead.

I hadn’t planned on my daughter being as attached as she is to my mother, and I definitely had my mind set on becoming a vet. I had never intended to fall for any man; that to me, was an unnecessary distraction.

Our plans are not to be seen as set in stone, fixed paths on a road, but more like sign posts on an unknown road. Think about it in this way, someone with a good, kind heart wakes you up and says, I want you to get to a place called Destination, but I want you to get there with only a few clues that I will keep giving you as you make the journey. You don’t know what deviations exist on this journey, but you start off. At different points you may find road closures for whatever reason with signs saying detour. Sometimes the earth quakes and leaves you shaken. Sometimes you get magged on the way to Destination and you are left wondering why this good person has led you to this place.

We plan, sort of as attempt to get to what we think the destination is, and then we realise we have not arrived and have to forge ahead towards another pitstop. There are times we allow winds and tides to take us along and sometimes even take us backward. Sometimes we fall and break and lose hope, but rather than feel like failures, we need to trust the One who set us on the journey and walk it out, with plans that we intend to fulfill; plans we are truly working to achieve, but all that in line with the view that Christ is above all, and ultimately, His will is above it all, and that our plans might be changed by the true master planner.

Tea Set


It’s a wonder how colonial rule survived so long in Africa—with the fight and strength of her people, it’s a wonder it started in the first place. I guess, it fell, in Zambia, right at the time God had allowed for it to happen. She comes out of the house, and when he looks at her, it’s clear she’s just woken up; bleary eyed, with a white trail, lining her cheek, from her midnight drool, she sits next to him in the doorway.

Mwauka tyani?’ he says with a smile, but no response comes from the blank face, and a chuckle escapes his lips. He doesn’t mind that she can’t speak his—and her father’s—language, Nsenga. He greets her in Bemba, her mother’s language, before continuing his shave. Nyakawe sits quietly for a while, but he can feel her eyes fixed on him.

Shikulu?’ she calls quietly.

He turns at the familiar address, still in awe of the fact that he was an askulu, a shikulu, a grandfather. True to form, a question followed her address.

‘Why do you do that?’ she was looking at him, inquisitively, cheek resting on the pedestal that was her hand.

“Do what?”

‘That …’ she pointed at his ice cream covered face, and smiled shyly when laughter erupted around them. She watched as his slender fingers, with neatly cut nails moved the blade, in strokes, removing the shaving cream. There was something amusing about it, and she longed to try it.

Askulu remembered a time 30 years ago when the face of Zambia was so different. Tears flooded his eyes as he watched his other grandchildren playing in the dust. They were free, in a land their own. That had seemed an impossible dream 30 years ago.

Nyakawe got up and ran to join the others and he found himself making his way out of shaft 5 of the Nkana Copper mines again. The sun was drooping behind the trees in the distance, his back hurt from the long day of shifting rock, underground, for meagre pay. He longed to feel the warmth of the water, his alluring Ainala, always had waiting when he got home. Ainala; graceful and kind, she made life bearable, added joy to the hard life created by an unjust system.

Howard walked out of the mine with the other men, laughter and conversation filling the air around him, making the route home seem shorter. He was almost home when he saw little Jack, waiting by the fence, as he did every evening and in no time, the little boy was running towards his father. True to form, Howard picked the little man up and span him around.

‘How are you, my son?’ he asked, teeth showing as he broke out in fluent Nsenga, asking his son about his day. Ainala stood at the small gate as her boys came home. Jack transferred hands as his mother greeted her husband, her eyes speaking softly what her mouth didn’t say. Mining was hard, and men died trying to provide for their families. She thanked God he was home and smiled, ‘There’s water waiting.’ She said, adjusting the four year old on her hip. A thought crossed Howard’s mind, but he thought it wishful thinking and walked into the small yard. He stopped for a second look and was met by a blank look from Ainala. Shaking his head, he went in for his shower.

Food was waiting when he emerged from the house dressed in old bronze dress pants and an old stripped t-shirt that had a few holes, probably made by the crickets that sang at night. Jack was soon sitting on his father’s lap, sharing in the meal of Nsima with fresh pumpkin leaves; his mother on the reed mat close to his father’s stool. Conversation between husband and wife came easy; Ainala reciting the happenings of the day to her husband, who mainly listened, occasionally asking questions. He watched when she pushed herself up to help him wash his hands before clearing the plates. He smiled, to himself before getting up, ‘I need to go and check up on a Banda.’ he said referring to a friend of his who had recently fallen ill.

‘You can take Amake Banda the bag next to the mat,’ Ainala said, without missing a beat as she washed dishes.

‘I won’t be long.’

She nodded and Howard was off, Jack in tow.

They followed the dirt road that ran outside their house and turned onto a back road, making their way onto the street that was at the back of theirs. Taking a left, they followed the road for another ten minutes before turning onto Mr Banda’s street. The sun had gone down by now but he could still see where he was going. Almost from nowhere, headlights came on from behind, and a car sped towards them. Howard grabbed his son, pinning him between himself and the wire fence that was too close to the road, and left little room for anyone to walk on the side of the road. He felt metal graze his backside as the car went past. Laughter reverberated from the car as one of the passengers shouted, ‘kaffir!’

Letting go of the fence, Howard checked, Jack over, making sure he was okay. The boy looked shaken, but had no broken skin. Putting Jack down, Howard held his waist and sighed before erupting in laughter. He laughed at the food, that Ainala had packed for Amake Banda, now discarded on the ground. Jack watched him, not quite sure what was happening, but the fear he had felt a minute ago slowly receded.

Then his father kicked the dust in a fit of anger and the uneasy feeling started in his stomach again. What did Kaffir mean? His father picked him up and walked back the way they had come. Ainala had made a fire for them to sit around when they arrived. Depositing Jack in his mother’s lap, Howard walked back out, with only a promise to be back soon, leaving the child wondering if he had done something wrong. Anger flooded Howard’s veins, with an intensity he hadn’t felt before. There was injustice, gross injustice, but he had always assumed he could protect his family from the evils of colonial rule. But tonight, his inadequacy was clear.

He made his way to the clearing at the end of the road, where you could see the city of Kitwe; lights glistened where the white man declared his land. But this was Africa, his Africa, his home. Surely Jehovah did not intend for man to live in near bondage like this. He could see the mines, where he toiled, so those over the threshold could live like kings! Whatever the white men, were, they were not protectors as they claimed. What did the African need protecting from, if not them? He saw his grandchildren in Jack; there was no hope for them unless he declared them, equals with the “protectors”.

When Howard came home, he felt like a fool for having left without a word of explanation to Ainala. Shifting sheepishly from one foot to the other, he wondered how he would explain what had happened. Shame filled him, he knew Ainala would never see failure in him, and yet doubt lingered.

‘Are you sleeping outside tonight?’ her voice startled him and he walked towards her

‘Nothing good comes from dark treaders,’ he replied sheepishly

‘I’m glad you know it,’ he could hear the smile in her voice, and watched as the silhouetted figure got up and lifted her stool, ‘coming in?’

Howard followed his wife into their small, candle lit, one-bedroomed house. Jack slept on the living room floor, looking like nothing had happened— tranquil. Ainala watched as her husband watched him.

‘You left the candle on?’ he asked

‘I was only out a few minutes before you came.’

‘Fires have been started in less time.’

Ainala didn’t respond for a minute, crooking her head, ‘with a lot less, no doubt,’ she said taking his hand and leading him to the next room.

Lying next to his wife, Howard put an arm around her,

‘Will you tell me what you are thinking?’ she asked placing a hand over his.

‘They almost killed our son today,’ the words came out slow and without emotion, then he sighed, and she was sure he shuddered. Turning to face him, Ainala stroked his cheek.

‘I couldn’t protect him, Anyina Jack.’

‘But you did, and he’s fine.’ Ainala held his face between her palms, ‘You are a good father, A tata … a good husband!’ she spoke in his native Nsenga, her voice soothing.

He pulled her against himself as the tears he had refused to cry flowed. ‘I was scared I would lose him.’

‘But you didn’t …’ she stroked his back, waited a while and added, ‘and our numbers will be increased soon.’

‘I thought so.’ his voice smiled at her, there was no hiding the joy he felt. And in that moment, he thanked Jehovah, promising to do whatever he was called upon to do, to ensure his grandchildren would never face the injustice they experienced.

The following day—Sunday—meant the family got dressed and went to the kingdom hall. Their meeting was done by 11:40 and Howard saw this as an opportunity to go into town with his wife. They didn’t do it often, but today would be one of those days when they did a bit of shopping. Taking a bus into town, they made their way to a general dealer store.

‘Is there anything you like?’ he asked turning to Ainala

She looked around and smiled, ‘Those shoes would look nice on Jack,’ she said, biting her bottom lip, wondering if they could afford it. She knew how Howard wished he could give them more than he was currently. If only he knew just how much he had given her. Howard proceeded to ask for a price and was visibly relieved when it fit his price range.

‘Is there anything YOU like, Ainala?’ he asked again, turning to his wife again. He hadn’t gotten her anything, except necessities, in a long while; longer than he could remember and he hoped she would jump at the rare occasion. She had brought him great joy; the wife of his youth, he longed for no other. His heart sank when after a quick look around, she shook her head, ‘I don’t see anything …’

‘You haven’t really looked.’

‘There’s nothing I really like.’ She smiled,

‘Okay then,’ they headed towards the door, and then he saw it on her face! She had seen it, near the door—a tea set; white with little pink flowers and a gold ream at the top. There was a price on it and it he could afford it!

‘Could I please have that?’ he asked the shop keeper

‘Unfortunately, that one is not for sale.’ Mr Smith said with a coy smile.

‘But it has a price.’ Howard understood—there was an unofficial colour bar. Some shops only sold things to white people, but this store, allowed “his kind” to shop in them, while still reserving some things for white folk only.

‘It’s in the reserved section.’ Mr Smith stated, ‘I can sell you something similar.’

Anger came hot and fast; his heart trembled, and he felt like he was losing control. ‘I want that one, nothing else.’

‘I’m sorry …’

‘I’m not leaving without that tea set.’ He looked the man in the eyes, his voice controlled.

Ainala touched his hand in an attempt to dissuade him but he raised his hand for her to stop, his gaze fixed on the man. ‘I will not leave.’

Mr Smith motioned to one man and Howard was sure he would get beaten up, but he held the shopkeeper’s gaze.

‘K10,’ Mr Smith said.

‘Huh?’ Howard looked at him as if he had gone mad. He hadn’t actually expected the man to back down.

‘Not enough money?’

‘No, it’s not that.’ Howard handed him the money and watched as the tall black man handed his wife a box. Saying ‘thank you!’ he smiled and walked out of the store after his wife.

‘You could have gotten yourself killed.’ She said worriedly

‘Mr Smith is a reasonable man,’ Howard said thoughtfully, ‘I was in no danger.’

‘He is a white man.’

‘Not all of them are bad.’

‘Please don’t put yourself in danger like that.’

He didn’t answer her; couldn’t make a promise he couldn’t keep. All the same, he had just challenged the colour bar that officially didn’t exist. He had shown, in that small act, that he was equal to those who had set themselves as rulers over them.

Askulu,’ it was little Howard, his grandson, ‘tell us a story?’

Old Howard smiled, feeling a sense of pride at the fact that they had achieved independence. It saddened him that Kaunda’s dictatorship had replaced it, but maybe there was hope for their country in the hearts on these; his grandchildren. They asked for a story, so a story, he told them.

Hair tip 6: Invest in a pair of scissors


So I have been doing videos on what I do to grow my hair. If you would like to see the orginal 5, check out my youtube channel “blessings on a hill”. So, hair tip 6 is pretty much invest in a pair of hair trimming scissors and trim every few months to a year depending on your needs. I personally like to trim my hair every 6 months but others trim once a year and others more frequently than that. Keep in mind that if you are aiming to grow your hair, not trimming or trimming too often will limit length retention and you won’t see any growth.

Use a dedicated scissors as blunt scissors will damage your ends and cause split ends. Damaged ends means more breakage, and again will mean a loss of length.

In Perth, you should be able to find trimming scissors in some salons and sometimes in wooworths, the reject shops and some pharmacies.

https://youtu.be/XVNDnqbCwyA

Destination Zambia… wedding Review


Weddings are soooo soooo stressful, I don’t know why anyone would want to plan a wedding again. SO, I have decided to do a wedding review and look at the things that went well and those that didn’t.

So my husband and I got engaged in December 2015 and because we were both not from the capital Lusaka, we started looking at venues while we were there. Part of the problem for us was finding a nice venue that could fit my large family. Looking back though, we should have just picked a venue even if it was a 50 people place. Family always understands in the end. Some of the places people were suggesting were too far out of the price point that we didn’t even bother looking at them. Being outside Zambia, we had to factor in flights and all so we were trying to keep the budget in check.

We had wanted to do the decor the night before but that decision died and you will understand why later, however, I purchased most of our decor stuff before hand on facebook pages and also from ikea and my husband organised wooden slices in Zambia. We did our invites with the help of le familia (God bless you all.)

I wish we had done the song lists and finished the seating plan long before travelling and again it would have been easier if I had let my dad do it like he had offered. Be prepared though for resistance if you are a Zambian planning on using a seating plan. We Zambians hate seating plans. Here’s why they are good, though–you know your guests or the majority of them better than anyone else who has a stake in the invitation process and only you know how central to the proceedings certain people need to be.

Because our seating plan got thrown out, I could see, one particular guest seating at a table with the oldies and not really seeming to enjoy the day. There were also some guests who have been such a huge blessing and have practically helped raise me seating so far back and not in the spot we would have loved.

I wish I had gone home more than 3 weeks before the wedding. There were so many things to do and it all just got too stressful and things like my songlist were being done the night before. Church service also needed to be sorted and that was a process on it’s own. If you are planning a wedding in an African church, understand that it will require a lot to get you to the alter … But the bulk of it is for your good anyway.

Organising things from so far away is hard and even harder if you want to save money so advice would be start early and find someone you can depend on. I had plenty of people I could depend on but was struggling to convey my needs. It was a very stressful time and I found myself sooo anxious all the time, which wasn’t a norm for me and was not communicating very well. If I had said from the beginning to my mummy B, I need help with abc, things would have gone so much smoother. All in all, the family was on the ball, having meetings and my brother running around with my husband … So I guess I wish I had just communicated better.

I also learnt that there are always people’s opinions on how things should run. Decide what exactly you want before taking it to the “people”. Zambian weddings are not just for the bride and groom but belong to the family. If you don’t have a plan, it will be made for you.

The greatest thing was seeing people’s capacity for support. Seeing my father’s sisters, ba mayo senge, there to walk with me, seeing people I don’t remember ever seeing, seeing those I would have never expected, walk with me, some giving in unexpected ways. If my wedding taught me anything, it’s the strength of my circle,the strength of my clan, the dedication of parents and the ability and strength of God to tear walls down, build and restore as well as provide. Ultimately of all the things He provided was a starter pack. I found in my husband, an adventure and safety in a man I can trust and I hope that that rings true for Him too.

Not just my shell


If I could but one Admire

It would be you beyond the mire

Please mould this my desire

That clings so strong to his Beauty

That sings, far gone beyond duty

Let love burn not empty

I would jump the seas if I Could

I would brace the cold if to mould

My life to yours, for our good

Watch my eyes wrinkle, my Dimple

Set in my cheek; see me simple

Held to your chest, no ripple

In sight. Let this our love Excel

One man to whom no lies to tell

Have me, not just my shell

Protecting children from sexual abuse 


Statistics show that most sexual abuse cases are perpetrated by someone known to the child. So how do you protect your children in such an environment? Do you watch every person they come into contact with? Run background checks or just limit the contact they have with people? Surely you can’t cage your children in, and children need the love of their community to flourish. I believe the best way to protect children from sexual abuse is to teach them to self protect. So how do you do that? Here are some ideas. I am not an expert, however, I have drawn from lessons from my own life.

1. From an early age, talk to them about what appropriate touch is and what it is not. Do this in an age appropriate way, but do it.

2. Teach children never to be behind closed doors with people. How do you do this? Modelling. If your children come into your room, always ask that they leave the door open. If you need to talk to your children in their room, leave their door open and ask that they do the same when other people enter their room.

3. Teach your children to be polite but don’t force them to give people hugs and kisses if they don’t want to. For instance, you might say to children “we always say hi to people.”  and insist they are polite and offer greetings, but don’t insist on hugs and kisses. My nephew sometimes gives hugs and kisses but there are times, for whatever reason, that he says no. In those cases, I just say, “that’s okay.” You don’t want them feeling that they don’t have a right to say no.

4. Make it clear to children that sometimes people do bad things and that if something someone does, makes them uncomfortable, they should tell you. It might be something small, but if you create this sort of environment, your children are less likely to keep things from you. Remind them that sometimes people threaten other people and that if someone threatens them that something bad will happen, they should still come to you. Make it explicit that even if it is you who touches them inappropriately, they should tell someone. If mum and dad are not exempt from the rules, it creates an environment where no one else is. 

5. Tell your children to tell the person making them uncomfortable that if they don’t stop what they are doing, they will tell their mum and dad.

6. Limit sleepovers to only the houses of people you trust but talk to your children before and after they come back. You can’t cage your children in to protect them, but if a child is confident and knows what people can and can’t do, and is confident that you will protect them, they are less likely to get hurt.

7. Pray for your children; where you can’t go with them, God always goes.

8. Keep loving your children, and in the event that all you do fails and abuse happens, love them and make it clear that it wasn’t their fault. And make sure that justice is served within the law. The thing most abuse victims struggle with is a lack of justice. Keeping secrets puts other children at risk. If someone is bold enough to sexually abuse one child, they can do it to other children.

Cholera


So most of you probably think you know what I am going to talk about. Zambia has been hit by a Cholera outbreak that has seen 2000 cases since September, with 51 people dead. When you consider the percentage of cholera sufferers who show symptoms, you realise that the number is higher. 

This last week or so, we have seen the government launch a clean up of Lusaka that has not been done by any government and the response from some people is a view that they should have done this earlier. But wait, I think we need to develop an eye for good, before a critical one. 

This is the first time that any government has attempted a clean up of Lusaka and yet we want to find fault and say they should have done it earlier.  Zambia, and, on a larger scale, Lusaka has experienced Cholera outbreaks every single year, and yet we have been idle. Opposition and ruling party members, Lusaka city council plus us Zambians all need to take responsibility for what we have bread. Don’t criticise the government when it is the people who throw garbage in the drains; a habit that totally drives me insane.

Rather than being critical,  let’s give thanks that Lusaka is being cleaned up and also take the time to think of those suffering. What we shouldn’t do is shift blame or forget what is important, change has started. This is not something to be used for political gain

Last day of 2017


So today 2017 comes to an end. Many people are celebrating that they made it to the end of the year. That, in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, but it’s time to take stock of what’s happening around us and within us. For me, 2016 and 17 saw the worst anxiety I have ever experienced. It was as if I was not in control of my mind anymore. I had gone from the lady who would sing before exams and just not care about the result she couldn’t change after, to a woman who worried about everything. I stripped my blog, and stopped writing. This year, I saw myself going back to my baseline of anxious (or not) and back to a level of trust in God that has seen me being more content with where I am. 

2017 saw me eat my words 🙂 He married me. This man that I love married me and in the words “I do.” God’s innumerable blessings were fulfilled. In my getting married, and being so happy with my husband,  God has set a table before me in the face of my enemies, and the greatest enemy of all Satan. What he intended for God, God went far and beyond in blessing. This year, I saw people I didn’t even expect to bless me, bless me.

My baby grew  a bit more, and I can honestly say, she’s a more resposible young woman, working, and the amount of help she put into planning her mother’s wedding. 2 more years to finishing high school  :). 

I finished my graduate diploma this year and proved to myself that I was capable and while completing that, my family lost  one of its pillars. Ba Shikulu ba Uncle Shaft … lol … don’t  worry about the name, he’s actually my grandfather. He was a gentle bear of a man and I will miss him dearly. His death still doesn’t make any sense, but then, maybe death isn’t meant to … still feels like a nightmare that will one day end. 

This year, close to my wedding, a niece and nephew were born and my sister had twins. One of my baby sisters started her medicine internship and there were SEVERAL weddings. 

My husband graduated, and even though I was not able to attend the graduation,  I am proud of him.  Life happened this year, I achieved a lot, but again not without my family. The words, God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all you could ask or think,” rung true and as I go into 2018, it’s all for his glory. 

Forgive my mistakes, I am not going to read through this post 🙂