Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Resolutions update, June 2006.

After mentioning my wife in the last post, I think It's about time for this update (knowing very well that at this time of the year, few people can spell the word "resolutions" correctly, leave alone remembering what they had resolved).

Resolution 1. NO DRINKING.
Drinking here means serious consumption of alcohol. I proud to say that I have managed to remain totally alcohol free up to now. I have not tasted any this year despite the improvement of my financial condition. My wife thinks its a miracle while my parents don't believe it.

Resolution 2. NO SMOKING.
I broke this resolution a long time ago. However, I've not gone beyond 2 sticks a day, on average. Sometimes I can go for up to a week without a drag. I am not scared of the new law banning smoking in public in Kenya because I never smoke in public anyway. May be I will quit once and for all next year, huh?

Resolution 3. NO PHILANDERING.
I am still clean, thank God. There's a problem though... My wife thinks I sleep around. Yes, I admit that I'm a little bit too social (especially with girls) for her liking but who said that a man sleeps with every woman he flirts with? I'm just an ordinary guy, the kind you wouldn't notice in a crowd, and I don't understand why girls (and quite a number of older women) seem so attracted to me. Sex has been offered openly and for free (in case you were thinking otherwise). There are times it got close... down to caressing an exposed "honey pot" once, but I always managed to keep on dry land. Hey, a guy can get tempted, you know! I secretly blame her for some of these cases even if there's no evidence because some of her close friends know that I'm big where it matters and that I can last forever... how could they have known? Problem is, they want a piece of the action! I,ve tried to convince my wife of my innocence but she doesn't believe (or so she says because we always end up getting jiggy with it). I will NOT break this resolution.

PS. My wife does not know of this blog. It is a deep personal secret and since none of you knows me, I'm safe. Did you say that this is not fair? You are right, but that's just the way it is...

Insurance against death?

Two days ago, I was involved in a minor road accident. I was in a bus on my way to Nyahururu from a place called Wanjohi, high up the aberdare ranges, when the front tyre burst and the driver lost control. The bus veered off the road, landing in a ditch. No one was injured. 30 minutes later, we were back on the road and my thoughts were racing... What if it had been more serious and I died? The faces of my wife and two kids flashed in my mind and I couldn't help wondering how their life would be without me. This is a thought that has crossed my mind so many times and I decided to do something about it while I have the chance since death is inevitable. The first thing that came to my mind was life insurance. I have a personal insurance cover that guarantees my family around KShs. 400,000 ($5,715) in case of my death through an accident (expires in July this year!), but no life insurance. The other thing that came to my mind was organizing my business so that it would survive after my demise.

The first thing I did was to visit several insurance offices to see what they are offering. Out of the five insurance companies, only two looked serious, and of these two (AMACO and CIC), only CIC offers life insurance. The guy at AMACO, who identified himself as "Githaiga, unit manager" was smooth and almost convinced me to take another personal accident on top of the one I have but I told him that I was looking for life insurance, period. He directed me to CIC insurance. I was introduced to a much older unit manager calling himself Kiarie, or something like that. They have good plans (as if anybody is planning to die), but do not have the unit linked products that my financial adviser is always talking about. (Maybe you need to know that my financial adviser doesn't even know me because he is only a name in a newspaper column!). I will shelve the decision on what "plan" to buy after looking at what other companies in Nyeri town are offering, probably next week when I go to visit my maternal grandmother -if I will still be alive then, anyway. Now, I could make up my mind to buy life insurance without the prompting of of a salesman, then why do people say that selling insurance is difficult? May be its a line that I ought to look up... What do you think?

The other thing I did was to about business with my wife who is currently jobless. Until a month ago, she was working for a Nyahururu lawyer and was earning KShs.3,000 ($42) per month, after putting in 9 hours Monday to Friday and 5 hours on Saturdays (and lawyers wonder why they are hated and distrusted!). We thought this was exploitation and she quit to join me in my business, "on the road". She however spends most of the time looking after our kids, which is OK. Anyway, after our discussions, we decided to open a shop in Nyahururu town wit the savings I have made. She will then operate the shop while I continue with my "on the road" business. This morning, we visited several real estate agents looking for a suitable shop to rent. The only good shops with the "TO LET" sign are too expensive for us but we finally settled for a small room on the first floor of a fairly clean building. At this point, we have no idea what we shall be selling but hope to have decided soon. I will keep you updated, of course. The saddest part of this part is that I might have to sell my new TV after the worldcup in a bid to raise more capital for the shop. But as they say, the struggle continues!

Friday, June 23, 2006

ON BBC.

When I said, in my last post, that the gods were smiling on me, little did I know how big the smile was! I have just learned that this blog was featured on the BBC. This calls fo a little celebration. Meanwhile, please check it out at... <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/5084966.stm>

Thank you for your comments and keep them coming.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Step by step...

Despite everything you read here, Nyahururu is a nice place -very cool and relaxing. Life is very easy and if you have enough cash, very comfy. Problem comes when the cash is scarce, like in my case. However, the gods have been smiling at me because things are looking up lately -business is picking up well. After the prolonged draught, the rains are finally here and money is also flowing around. I've made good profits in the last several weeks and very greatfull to God for that. I even managed to buy a small colour TV in time for the world cup! If that is not "maendeleo"(development), tell me what is. I even transfered my kids from a public school to a private one, being very optimistic that I wont be going back to the bad times gone by... However, nobody should think that it was easy. I made it through sheer back breaking hard work and Im proud of it. I have many great ideas that I hope to implement. However, for now, its one step at a time.