29th March 2020:Dear Amakove,Today the Triple Zs turn 10 years old. I can’t believe how fast the years have flown! The girls have woken up in high spirits despite the ongoing social distancing directive that meant their birthday party celebrations had to be confined to just you and the kids and nanny. I celebrate them with you. But the purpose of this letter is not for them but for you.You see, I have watched you silently struggle to raise the troop. Especially the past 5 years where you have brought them up single handedly after your separation and subsequent divorce. You have been through the valley of the shadow of death literally but determined to live for them, you got yourself out of the pit. You have gone without luxuries of life so you can put food on the table, cloth on their backs and education for their future. You have shared your bed with them when they come knocking complaining of minor symptoms when you know very well that all they needed then was your reassurance of your love and protection. You have strived to expose them to the world through travel and reading widely in the hope that their minds are challenged to be analytical thinkers. To embrace diversity and strive to rise above mediocrity. You have shown the Triples Zs and their brother that you can succeed if you put your mind to it and work hard on it. That failure is part of life and one should embrace lessons therein.You have been gracious in co-parenting even when your own family wonders why you bother given the circumstances. You know that a relationship with their father is separate from your own differences with him. You have tried your hand at dating and failed miserably so because your children’s needs of your own time come first and that usually doesn’t go well with most of your dates. You have shielded your kids from your love life or lack of it because you know how vulnerable children are.And so today marks the beginning of a new phase. With all the kids in their pre-teens now, perhaps it is time to focus on you. Give yourself permission to love again. To indulge in a few luxuries. To severe the umbilical cords. After all, they are now reluctant to do everything as a group. I see you having board meetings to discuss decisions as a family. I see how disappointed you sometimes become when they choose something that is not your choice. But that is the beauty of raising children. You believe in opportunities and informed choices. Time to practise that in your family. You have laid a strong foundation. Trust them to make the right choices. Trust them to make mistakes and learn from them. Above all, let them always know they have a friend in you.So today as you go about the festivities of their 10th birthday, I want you to know that you have done incredibly well so far given the cards that life dealt you. The next 10 years will be challenging but knowing you, you are built for challenges! Just don’t forget to affirm yourself along the way.Happy 10th celebration as a mom to the Triple Zs. See you in 2030!Yours truly,Amakove.#DoubleTheDigitsTripleTheEnergy
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Today’s Review: Shamba Restaurant, Loresho
Today’s Review: Shamba Restaurant, LoreshoOur visit was great despite the fear of previous poor reviews by others when I asked about the place a couple of weeks back.The scenic route from Westlands side through Loresho was enough to whip up an appetite. Google map directions were very accurate. We arrived at around 2pm when the place was quite packed. The last kilometer or so of the road is full of potholes but manageable. Parking inside was full but the field opposite is available for the overflow.The place is bourgeois going by the clientele it serves but we did not feel discriminated against which happens in many of these upmarket restaurants. We had no reservations so had to deal with the rail seating area. The garden is strictly for serving drinks. Food is only served within the restaurant and a couple of the patios on the garden which were fully booked.A deep red mini supermarket heralds the entry to the place. Just before it is a garden of organic vegetables with a couple of sunflowers that stood majestically as if in a guard of honour. The garden serves the busy kitchen which is located in the shop. The shop has an assortment of organic produce, snacks and African trinkets.Between the shop and the main restaurant is an open space with more seating area and the pizza oven. Overlooking the two buildings is the grounds that is well manicured and covered with trees. At one corner is a small kiddie slide and the opposite end is a sand pit. Sadly that is all that is available for kids entertainment. Good thing is we carried a football and so the kids kept themselves entertained. The restaurant also allows dogs on a leash.The food was moderately priced with a soda going for Ksh 150 to give you an idea. I ordered a Hawaiian pizza that was delivered in record time. The kids order from their kiddie menu took a bit of time so they devoured my pizza while waiting. They enjoyed their meals and it was amusing explaining to them how the potato wedges (they don’t serve them as fries) had skin on.I couldn’t take photos of the interior of the restaurant since there were people enjoying their meals but the decor is more like a barn with lots of painting and a rustic feel.The toilets were clean and there is an added unisex baby-changing area.They serve alcohol but I opted for the strawberry kamboocha that I had sampled while coming in. It was delicious and I had a second serving of blueberry kamboocha.All in all, the service was okay. Remember to make a reservation! The food was fresh and tasty. The kiddie activities could be improved unless their target clientele is adults. They also had a portable screen and a raised seating area to watch movies or sports I guess, in the garden which was pretty cool. It gets chilly but they have portable gas heaters, a couple of fireplaces inside the main restaurant and a campfire pit. I would love to visit for an evening meal to see the place lit up.They do have a farmer’s market where they sell organic vegetables.Overall, it’s a great place. My fears were unfounded. I guess they made improvements after the heavy criticism.Amakove rating 7/10. They would have scored higher if they had more activities for older kids. But again, their target maybe is the adult.
Lake Bogoria, Baringo County
Published 4th Jan 2019
Lake Bogoria National Reserve:
So I made the decision to bravely venture into the above national reserve with information that there may be little to see and the 18km stretch of road into the reserve would be bumpy. They didn’t lie.
Due to whatever natural reason, the tectonic plates shifted and all the lakes in the Rift Valley have had their water levels increase. Lake Bogoria is one of them. Unfortunately, this means the lake increased from around 32km square feet to 40km square feet, thus engulfing the original tarmac road that would go along the lake as well as submerge all the beautiful geysers that would splash hot water majestically into the air. The Baringo County government has had to create a murram road higher up (actually the second attempt since the first one was also submerged) and this is through some very rocky areas that could easily damage vehicles with a low clearance. This being January too, most of the flamingos have migrated to Lake Natron to breed and will only be back around July. I am told that then the whole lake is a beautiful pink!
Nevertheless, we got to learn a lot from the ever-resourceful tour guide who came along with us. We experienced the pungent smell of rotting algae (food for the birds), saw a few dik diks, baboons, monkeys, squirrels, a tortoise that had stopped to sip fresh water from an underground stream and plenty of birds. Lake Bogoria is a very long and thin lake. Alkaline in nature having no outlet and thus does not sustain much in terms of animal life. the birds that flock the lake feed on shrimps and algae. The pink colour of the flamingos is from the food they eat. Flamingos are white in colour when young.
We did manage to get to the hot springs that are 18km along the tough road. We’ve experienced hot springs before in other counties. I found these ones quite fast in boiling the eggs. The temperature of the water is around 103 degrees Celsius.
Lake Bogoria, being a top revenue earner for Baringo County, is indeed a must visit but with the knowledge that the geysers are now history and do visit when the flamingos are back! Oh, and please go in a 4X4 vehicle though I saw a grader clearing the road.
Kirandich Dam, Baringo County
Published 2nd January 2019
Kirandich Dam: A visit to this dam is both breathtaking and educational. As we were taken around and explained to the process of damming and purifying water. We learnt a lot. The dam serves Kabarnet area but Phase 2 plans are underway to supply the greater Baringo County.
Homabay Tourist Hotel, Homabay County
Published 2nd January 2017
The pier is beautiful but polluted compared to Mbita the lake is far much more polluted 😦
We discovered a very scenic hotel though. Homabay tourist hotel. Will be back!
Ruma National Park, Homabay County
Published 2nd January 2017
The beach and Ruma National Park. Such wonderful scenery.
Torok Falls, Elgeyo Marakwet County
We wrap up the visit to EMC with a 6 hour hike to Torok Falls. Good people, this couch potato suffered! The troop were a gem. We walked and walked and walked some more! 14km in total. We were on all fours at some point. We went through the murram road, up the rocky hills and waded through thickets of rainforest. We almost gave up several times but our guides were very supportive. They refused to tell me how far the falls were and instead insisted that they would go at our pace. 3 hours later, we made it to the majestic falls! Then Dude said, “Mom, we walked all this way just to come and take photos!”
Anywho, a reknown village guide was surprised to learn that the troop made it to the top and said how they must be the youngest ever to do so!
I’ll have you know that as I am nursing my aching muscles, the troop spent two more hours swimming in river Endo (River Kerio on Baringo County Side)!
Nothing though beats the feeling of the cold shower from the bottom of the falls!
Mbita Ferry (2) Homabay County
Published 31 December 2017
Crossing the lake to Mbita from Luanda K’Otieno pier.
Got to climb up to the captain’s cabin. A great experience. Didn’t know one has to reverse into the ferry unlike the Likoni one.
Mbita Ferry, Siaya County
Published 31 December 2017
Waiting for the ferry to Mbita at Luanda K’Otieno pier.
Rimoi National Reserve, Elgeyo Marakwet County
Lovely small national reserve. Terrible 15km road stretch to the reserve. Reminds me of the Narok- Masai Mara road. Has very great camping site (wish I had known earlier). We missed the elephants! Sigh!