Birthday Celebration + Highlights 2017

Hey peeps and happy birthday to me! Someone’s growing old. As the year draws to a close I decided to do a recap of the last 12 months. It has been quite a year hasn’t it? Full of surprises like the U.S President’s tweets. And closer home, Embu County employing workers to manually kill Fall Armyworms. Yes, you read that right! Anyway, if you missed last year’s summary post, catch up here –> (Highlights 2016) Maybe I could make this a thing, reviewing every year. What do you think?

Please click the links in each month to read the stories in depth. πŸ™‚ Let’s delve into it, shall we?

This year began with us moving house. It wasn’t easy saying bye to a place I’ve lived in for almost 2 decades! Took a lot of effort to adjust but I made it. Shortly thereafter I took part in the annual Waterfowl Census with Nature Kenya. From the Ruai waste water treatment plant to Lakes Bogoria and Nakuru, my first time experience was so much fun. The latter was like a mini vacation/ camping that kicked off my travel chronicles for 2017.

Lake Bogoria shore, Kenya.
Waterfowl census at Lake Bogoria.

Some of the most magnificent landscapes you will ever see are in the Ngong Hills area, and I got a taste during our photographers’ day out at Kisames Giraffe Camp. You’ve got to see for yourself because no words can really do it justice. If I lived there I doubt if I would be stressed…waking up to such serene views. As you know by now, I keep saying Kenya is beautiful and it’s no joke!

View of plateaus from Ngong Hills, Kenya.
Great expanse of undulating plateaus.

Nature Kenya organises several trips per year and this time Ol Doinyo Orok Mountain inΒ NamangaΒ (Kenya-Tanzania border) was the destination. The hike was challenging, fun and educational. And of course breathtaking landscapes crowned it all. There’s so much to see and learn about in this country than you think. I keep discovering new things every day!

Author at the summit of Ol Doinyo Orok Mountain, Namanga.
Taking in the amazing views in Namanga (Photo by Lina)

Apart from travel, I got to meet one of my favourite natural hair role models: Tabitha Tongoi aka Craving Yellow! She is the first person whose hair journey I followed. I was so stoked to find someone with really long, healthy hair whose type matched mine. She hosted her followers to a meet-and-greet and I have to say she’s one of the most humble and unpretentious influencers of our time.

Tabitha and I at the meet and greet.
Mellow yellow!

Google Local Guides held a meetup in this month and invited interested people to participate. The aim was to document Nairobi in pictures and later do some mapping on Google. I signed up purely for the street photography but aside from dope shots I also ended up making new friends. πŸ™‚

The famous Koja Mosque, Nairobi.
The famous Koja Mosque. Never been inside all these years!

May & June
This was one of the toughest seasons of my life so far. I got a job at what I thought was a reputable magazine. Well…that turned out to be the complete opposite! Wueeeh! Also a guy with a knife attacked me and stole my phone on the first day of work- quite the scary experience. The job situation was so stressful that it affected my health. But as James 1:3 says, the testing of our faith produces patience. God taught me a lot and grew my faith during that time. On a lighter note, my blog turned 1 in May! I can’t believe I’ve been sharing content with you for 1.5 years.

Author on Table Mountain.
Celebrate good times!

After quitting the stressful job, the opportunity to travel again was a welcome and healing relief. My former photography school organised a weekend trip to Lake Elementaita and I gladly joined in. It was an amazing time with fellow photographers, surrounded by nature. I also got to take part in the Nature Kenya Waterfowl census at Manguo Swamp, Limuru.

Landscape at Lake Elementaita, Kenya.
Sights that welcomed us to Elementaita.

The fact that so many people have been itching to shoot in Nairobi streets was evident during Worldwide Instameet 16. Guys came armed with softboxes, props and models! The event began at 4pm, yet by the time I was leaving at 8pm guys were still at it. The county government should seriously make it easier for photographers to shoot in the streets without harassment.

Nairobi skyline.
While the world sleeps…

Later in the month I joined some friends in visiting Nairobi National Park at dawn. We arrived at 6am to increase our chances of seeing lions. Indeed we spotted them, along with so many other animals including Wildebeest. Did you know that in 1967 there were 30,000 Wildebeest in the Park and Athi-Kaputi plains? Today the number stands at a miserable 250.

Black Rhino at Nairobi National Park.
Nothing like a good early morning breakfast.

You already know I’m a natural hair enthusiast and this month I attended my first natural hair event- Hairitage Chronicles 3. The naturalista community in Kenya is really growing. Not only in the number of ladies embracing the lifestyle, but also local brands dedicated to natural hair care products and services. One of the best surprises of the year was receiving the Afrikinky 2017 nomination for Kenya’s Most Influential Natural Hair Blogger. A great honour to be selected alongside far more influential ladies…glory to God.

Afrikinky 2017 Natural Hair Bloggers nominees.
Can’t believe I was on this list! (mitch_4c)

Confession time: demotivation was a constant partner for most of the month. And not just with shooting, but almost everything. So many things I’ve been hoping for haven’t taken off. On top of that I was flat broke- not having money really sucks. Thinking about all the things you can’t do just because of cash drains one’s energy. You may think I have my life together but far from it! Some good news though: I was one of 5 photographers awarded a scholarship by Wylde International for a 3-day training.Β  Refreshing, insightful and unique compared to other entrepreneurship classes. I’m grateful for it.

That ‘I’m so tired of being broke’ face.

I made it to the end of the year in one piece. I’ve achieved some things that hadn’t crossed my mind before. Others have not been fulfilled though, like travelling more compared to 2016. But I’ve learnt and grown more, so that sounds like a fair exchange. And my hair has really grown! πŸ™‚ All thanks to God for a good year. Looking forward to even more awesome stuff in 2018. Happy birthday to me!

Hair growth comparison photo- 4c hair.
This far, the Lord.

4 thoughts on “Birthday Celebration + Highlights 2017

  1. What an eventful year! I can’t pick something to talk on easily. So much to say. I have a question though. Do guys do natural hair? Ok, I know that’s a vague question but wacha ni ulize tu. Alafu does ur advice and regiment apply to us? I’m also assuming they do but wacha ni ulize tu. Advice yangu, endelea ivo ivo.


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