People Random Chronicles

How God took me through a gruelling test to teach me a lesson in patience

What a week!! Am I glad it is over? Pheux!!!

One week ago on a Friday like today, I was in Kilifi. It was a one night trip that saw me pick a bug or a virus – I still don’t know what it was, maybe a bacteria.

I was visiting KEMRI – the place where they research about viruses and all kinds of things. My trip involved visiting the labs and the local hospital. I had arrived the previous night and retired to bed with a massive headache.

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On my way to Kilifi, my phone went off, I forgot my password and I had to borrow my friend’s phone and make an SOS call Safaricom so I could get a new PUK. I do not even know where I have kept my sim details. I was surprised to learn that you can actually do a voice recording instead of having a PUK number. A story for another day.

So, the next day I wake up still nursing a mild headache and an irritant cough. Oh…. And my back was aching. The last place I wanted to collapse was in a research facility. I hate the Mombasa heat. And now my body was protesting. What is going on?

As we were going around learning about pneumonia, malaria, sickle cell anaemia etc, I kept wondering if maybe I had contracted one of the diseases. My head was in a spin. “What if I faint? Will they put me on quarantine?” Oh boy!

In the evening I was on my way back to Nairobi. It was a 5 hour commute from Kilifi to JKIA. By the time I arrived home, I was tired, cranky and my throat was on fire. I was terribly sick.

I started my week with a visit to the doctor. A blood test showed my immunity was low. Hmmm… I was put on antibiotics and a multi-vitamin.

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Day 1: I am feeling lethargic. During the day all I want to do is sleep. For the first time, I am sitting in a meeting and my eyelids are heavy. Fortunately, I sit through the meeting and leave for home. I am in bed by 8pm and out my phone on silent. For some strange reason, when I wake up in the middle of the night to drink water, I see three missed calls from my boss. Wololo!

By the time I arrived home, I was tired, cranky and my throat was on fire. I was terribly sick.

Day 2: Sleeping has done me some good. My head is no longer paining. I am still a little bit lethargic but not as bad as the previous day. I had contracted a fundi (John) to do some repair work around the house. The previous day, I had called him and his phone was off.

I leave the office early and manage a walk around the estate. The fresh air does wonders for me. I feel much better. At about 8:30 pm, the doorbell rings. Guess who? It is John!!

Habari madam?” he walks in looking all timid.

Mzuri! Karibu!” I respond. At this point I have nothing to say. I contracted John 2 weeks earlier, I even gave him a deposit and he went MIA.

Madam I am sorry. I had some goods I was sending to a client in Kisii. They got damaged on the way and I had to deal with that emergency. Pole sana. I will start your work tomorrow I promise.” I look at him and smile.

Will you complete the work by the weekend?” I ask.

He says an emphatic yes. I know he is lying.

Day 3: Fundi shows up bright and early. We meet before I leave for the office. I tell the House Manager to ensure she cooks for his lunch and serves him tea at 10 am and 4 pm.  I decide not to fuss about the fundi. We will go at his pace.

Meanwhile, I have an important document I have been waiting for since Monday. My deadline to submit it elsewhere is getting close. If I miss the deadline I will lose cash for a deposit I made. I keep checking the online portal to see if there is any progress. I can feel my stress levels are going up.

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Wait…. I forgot a friend has a birthday and I had not ordered the cake. Damn!! I call a baker I know and request for the cake to be delivered on Friday. She says she can make the deadline, she tells and I do not even negotiate.

Day 4: There is still no progress on the crucial document. There pressure from my other friends. They are also worried we may lose money. I tell them I am positive I will get the document by Friday. Deep inside I am praying and telling God to work a miracle.

Oops! Then I realise I left the house and forgot to take my medication.

Later in the day as I am checking the progress of the document, I get a number on the website and call. For me to speak to a customer care officer I have to pay!! Oh dear!! When I finally go through, she checks the system and says the document is ready. I have to wait because there is nothing she can do. Then she hangs up. My heart sinks. After two minutes I get the email I have been waiting for all my life. The document has been approved. Thank God!!

I get home and I am told the fundi left in the early afternoon to shop for screws. He did not return.

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Day 5: I call the fundi. He says he will try to finish the work. He has some paint work to do and he hasn’t told me to buy paint. At this rate, I know the work will go on for another week or two.

I decide to call the baker. She doesn’t answer my phone. I wait. I text her after an hour. I take it as a sign that the cake will delay. Grrrrr!! Another stressful situation. Oh dear! The baker calls but I am on another line. I call back and she says how she is cooking for another client and will try to deliver as per the time I requested. I am appalled! I have no words to say. Mind you I paid her a deposit.

People are never going to put you first. It is always about them even when it is clear that they have hurt you. Learn your lesson, forgive and move on.

Anyway, I decide not to get emotionally entangled and continue with my day. She organises a taxi and the cake arrives 2 hours late. I pay for it. The words on the cake are not as I requested. I am livid.

I am very disappointed,” I text her.

She responds giving reasons. I respond and tell her it is OK. “I will send the money tomorrow,” I text her. At this point I am on the verge of screaming and pulling my hair.

Three lessons I have learnt

Now you can see why I am happy the week has ended. I have been sitting through an exam on patience. As I look back at my week, I have learnt three important lessons:

  1. If you do not CONTROL your mind, it will control you and take over your life. Thoughts end up as worry and stress.
  2. Do not allow your heart to be entangled with the circumstances especially when things are not going as expected. When I thought logically about a situation I was much calmer. When I took it to heart, I got upset.
  3. People are never going to put you first. It is always about them even when it is clear that they have hurt you. Learn your lesson, forgive and move on.


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