Monthly Archives: October 2011

African Voices on Climate Change #AVCC

As a little boy I would on holidays go visit my grandma and pa in the countryside, being a hilly place the mornings always had mist gracing them the grass never lacked dew, the fresh crisp and minty air always refreshing. I would go down the valley and skid on the rocks which had water running on them till they become slippery, slimy maybe but heck we loved it! The springs always had water gushing out, clear, clean water you could drink it directly without risking any sickness. There was a small place where grandma had planted some nduma (arrow roots) and sweet potatoes which made the countryside breakfast a wholesome experience from what I was used to…

From far you see green, but much of the ground surface remains dry!

Well, over the time people started logging the indigenous trees for the more profitable and quick maturing eucalyptus, patches of land now had these many seedlings of “investment” eucalyptus and as with every venture that brings some cash, the trend was copied quickly. First to go was the early morning mist, I sure miss it, I remember how we pretended we could disappear by just running through it. The rocks started drying up, no more skidding kids! The springs are also now drying one after the other, when I go there breakfast doesn’t have much of nduma and sweet potatoes like it did then ­:-(.

A butterfly resting on the dry ground.

Slowly and slowly I see bits and pieces of this hilly paradise I once knew falling off one by one… If you ever pass through Mbooni Hills you could see this for yourself! How has climate change affected your community? I would love to hear about it and you could go to connect4climate and AVCC for more voices about climate change in Africa.

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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Climate, Just Random


One hour ten minutes!

5.00 am: First alarm goes off, snooze it, is what I do!

5.10 am: The second one goes off, snooze it again without opening an eye, yeah I know, I have got used to turning off the alarm like a zombie and wonder what happened when I get to wake…

5.30 am: I summon all the will inside and decide to wake my lazy bones, being a Sunday there is that calm silence outside, just the random car on the road and that’s it. A cold shower does the trick and my senses become alert, I remember seeing a guy on tv saying on this day we take breakfast an hour earlier, I have had my fair share of stitches due to taking a dash on a full stomach…

6.30 am: I am just relaxing hooked up to capital waiting for 7.00 am I go meet with Sam the only member of #teamcrawlers who could make it, let me not lose you here, team crawlers was formed at the beginning of the year I even mentioned it in Older = wiser? We had different reasons why we trained, for health issues, keeping fit, losing weight, who knows maybe even ego issues 😀. My goal for the Saturday morning jog was to break this one pack into six, but it seems far fetched as it keeps on growing instead of firming up 😦 !!! Back to where we were! I still am listening to Capital’s early morning show (can’t remember the name of the show, never been up that early on a Sunday morning!) and call mom and a few friends to let them know where I will be just in case…

6.45 am: Sam texts saying he is already at the assembly point, I leave for Nyayo and I am thankful the heavens are calm there are even rays of sun peeping through the scanty clouds.

7.00 am: I reach Nyayo stadium and start looking for Sam.

7.02 am: I locate him and head where he is standing. There are guys with a boat which we can’t understand how it relates to running 10km on tarmac! Shortly afterwards we are joined by Shem, we can’t believe seeing kids of about six years old in the race!! 10km and not the 4km fun run whoa then we must have registered for the wrong category we all agree, but it was more of denial than agreement 😀.

7.30 am: The 42 km guys reach the 10 km point in 30 minutes and that’s when Sam declares 45 minutes as the time to beat Shem 59 minutes I shut up since knowing well enough I do 6km in 40 then I thought If I did ten km in under two hours am all good 🙂 59 leave alone 45 minutes was too much to ask from a brother… 😀

7.58 am: The 21km guys have done their 10 km in just 28 minutes, damn I am thinking to myself how that is possible…

8.00 am: the gun goes off and the boat is carried head high by the guys who came with it, that was one crazy stunt I can only wish to know for what purpose it was for.

8.03 am: With the huge crowd on the road we decide pavement is the best bet of getting past all that mass of people.

8.15 am: I am at the watering point at Uhuru Park, I don’t want to get any stitches and give it a pass. I see a guy fall out and get into the xcloosive portable loos, I am thinking, “This shit must be really hard” *no pun intended*.

8.30 am: This kid zooms past my panting self like it was just a game he was playing for him “I’ll be damned if I let him finish before me” I tell myself, but to no avail, I suspect he might have been on steroids! Some guys decide cheating is the best option to finishing this thing early and cross the tape separating Uhuru highway, shame shame shame on you we saw you!!!

8.40 am: This other kid zooms past me, then I just wondering what the heck was I doing for a whole year running my behind every Saturday if I’ll get to be this humiliated 😀

8.52 am: I get to Haile Selassie road all my energy is drained, the soles of my feet are screaming and there seems not to be enough air for my lungs!! “What have you got yourself into Mackel” I just wonder. As much as I am panting like a pig there is no way am letting that kid finish before me still…

8.59 am: 1km to go the flyer on Kenol turnoff from Haile Selasie says. I start taking that climb with these short heavy steps then I see the kid, that gives me more psyche as I just find some more energy and past him I go, the downhill slope gives me the chance to let myself go without use of much energy, it was more of a free fall though!

9.09 am: I enter Aerodrome road, ooh the finish line! I can see it clearly now

9.10 am: Finish!!! 🙂

Will I do it again? Maybe 😉


Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Breaking Loose!, Comfort zone.


Of fatherhood and babies

A year and three days ago I got that call,



“Am I speaking to Mackel?”


“Well, I am doctor Cyrus…”


“I wanted to let you know that the baby is due..”


“And the head seems to be too big”


“So we had to take her to the surgery but we need  you to sign the consent forms”


“Please make it here as quickly as possible as it is critical”

“I will be right there…”

I call my good friend Henry and borrow his bike to the hospital, I throttle my way never minding the gush of wind hitting my face or the hot sun shining on my back I had to be there before it was too late… I never mind turning the engine off when I pull up the parking lot, I rush in and take three steps at a go up the flight of stairs  adrenaline gushing through my veins. I find the nurse waiting with consent forms,I sign the damn papers with shaky fingers and wait outside the surgery room with my head resting on my hands. After exactly 3 hours and 9 minutes the doctor comes out and tells me

“Well, congratulations Mackel, you are now a father”

“Thank you doctor”

“Have you thought of any names for it?”

“Yes doctor I have, but that is just between me and the mother at the moment”

“Ok, then Mackel I got to attend other patients, see you around”

“Thank you doc, will do.”

The baby was beautiful, beautiful smile, beautiful nose (big as mine, no doubt), cute little hands and fingers… He had the appetite to grow and when he could crawl he was allover messing up things but I had learnt never to mind that. I never liked changing the diapers but that is what never wearing a condom does to you…

Well that is the story of how mackel9’s blog came about, what’s your story?


Risk ~ Bob Proctor

I got this email and thought I should really share, there might be noise in it but it has some valid points, I have just copied it as is and I know am being lazy, not posting my own stuff but don’t hang me yet this is better than the cobwebs and crickets creeping in here…. 😉

Hi Friend,

Yesterday I was talking with one of my good friends about risk…

My dictionary tells me that to risk is “to expose oneself to the chance of loss.” I suppose that is true. Another piece of literature I was once given (author unknown) suggests that:

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.

To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.

To reach out for another is to risk involvement.

To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.

To place your ideas, your dreams, before a crowd is to risk their loss.

To love is to risk not being loved in return.

To live is to risk dying.

To hope is to risk despair.

To try is to risk failure.

You may avoid suffering and sorrow if you don’t risk, but you simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live. The greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing, does nothing and has nothing. Only a person who risks is free.

What causes individuals to shy away from taking a risk, even if it is a low risk and will give them something they really want? Well, certainly high on most people’s list would be fear of loss, failure and perceived humiliation if the loss were to occur. Why would we automatically think that we would fail at something? Why wouldn’t we first try and see, and then if we did fail, learn from that experience and move on? What causes us to have these thoughts of inferiority?

Well, I believe it dates back to our little life. And, since risk-taking, to my knowledge, is not a subject that is taught in school, it would lead me to believe that a person’s fear of taking risks might stem back from before they can even remember. When you were a child taking your very first steps, it wasn’t uncommon to hear one of your parents or guardians say, “Be careful, you might fall.” Or, “Don’t do that, you’ll ….” Though some of this is rhetoric and you don’t really pay much attention to it, for some, it begins the pattern of playing it safe.

Think of how much better equipped we would be to face life’s challenges and succeed, if we had repetitively heard, “Take a chance and don’t worry about falling, because you’re going to fall…probably quite often. Falling is an important part of learning.” Many of the greatest lessons you’ll receive in life are going to come from falling … from your failures.

Failing will never make you a failure unless you quit. Unfortunately, very few people heard that when they were small. The vast majority of our population have been mentally programmed to play it safe.

In my seminars I have often said that a little baby is a natural born risk taker. The baby never considers the consequences of falling when it is learning to walk. Falling is acknowledged as a natural consequence to learning to walk. I guess you could call it a calculated gamble; it’s a prerequisite to mastering a myriad of motor skills required to get you on your feet and moving. It’s a natural progression in movement. Why then, wouldn’t we stop to consider that any movement into unchartered territory should be viewed with the same consideration? What happens to us?

Why is it that we do not see the process of reaching our goals as having steps similar to the ones the baby must take in order to learn to walk? There will be some stumbling and falling in the learning process, but success can only be reached when we are prepared to take those steps, all of them, even the ones where we may fall down. The real win is the confidence and experience we acquire which translates into new opportunities for growth, enjoyment and expansion in all areas of our life.

When I was a youngster in school, I participated in track and field. Pole-vaulting was my specialty; it was the one event I seemed to excel at. I clearly remember knocking that bar flying more often than I cleared it. I also remember I was not very enthusiastic when that happened. Knocking the bar off left me with a feeling that because I had failed, I was a failure. I had failed and as I remember, no one advised me of anything different. In retrospect, it would have been an excellent opportunity for one of my teachers to help me understand one of life’s greatest lessons. But, it never happened and it would be many years before I learned the truth, the hard way.

While we’re still on the topic of children, I’ll throw up another caution flag. There’s a four letter word that most parents use around their children so frequently, that the children pick it up and before too long it is buried in the treasury of their subconscious mind. That four letter word is CAN’T. This word has done more damage than a lot of other frowned-upon four letter words put together. I know of some forward-thinking parents who have literally banned that word from their children’s vocabulary!

Can’t is a word that paralyzes any constructive progress. It switches your mind into a negative frequency. It is a four letter word that will open your mind to a never ending flow of logical, practical reasons which will enable you to justify why you are not able to do something you sincerely want to accomplish.

The only alternative to that four-letter word is its polar opposite – I CAN. I can is far more important than IQ. You don’t necessarily have to be very smart to win … but you must be willing. Reaching the goal is not success; success is moving toward the goal. When I was knocking down the cross bar, I was attempting to reach the goal. I was stretching, giving it everything I had. That could hardly be considered failing. Every time I tried to clear the bar, I was risking being ridiculed by the other kids. I risked having them laugh at me when I missed … and they did laugh.

However, every time I ran down the field and lowered the pole into the box, attempting to vault myself over the bar, I was challenging myself. Taking risks is essential when you want to reach a goal and the purpose of goals is growth. When you challenge yourself, you bring more of yourself to the surface. If you knock the bar flying today, at least you will know you are challenging yourself; you’re a success!

If you dream of living your life in a really big way, you must accept risk-taking as a very real part of the apprenticeship you must serve. Make a decision right now to change. Decide this very moment there will be no more playing it safe … no more “saving it for a rainy day” type thinking in your life. When people get caught up in the habit of saving for a rainy day, that is generally what they get … a rainy day.

I clearly remember the first time I heard Earl Nightingale. Earl was telling a story about a farmer who was out walking in a field. He looked down and saw a tiny pumpkin growing on a vine. Nearby, he spotted a small glass jar. The farmer reached down and placed the tiny pumpkin inside the small jar. The pumpkin continued to grow until it filled the inside of the jar. Beyond which it could not grow.

There are a number of people like that tiny pumpkin. They limit themselves and refuse to take a risk. They never truly test the strength of their abilities. You will never get to second base if you keep one foot on first. Too many people go through their entire lives playing their cards close to their chest. They never step out and bet on the surest thing in the world … themselves. If you hope to accumulate great wealth or achieve high goals, history records that the first few steps have a high degree of risk. You must turn your back on safety and security. To make it big, you must take big risks. You will very likely have to put yourself in a highly vulnerable position. It is also worth remembering you cannot almost take a risk.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.” Follow her advice and liberate yourself from the crippling emotional state of fear and enter into a world of freedom.

To your success,

Bob Proctor

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Posted by on October 1, 2011 in Just Random