Well, it is another week and life has been sweet the past one week. Our heating system is back. Yipeeee 💃🏽💃🏽I am truly enjoying my shower. I just spent almost half an hour in the shower before I sat down to write this blog post. So, this is a feel-good piece, written in a feel-good mood. In front of me is a cup of tea; Kenya’s Kericho Gold mixed with masala tea, excellent brew, excellent taste. Weuwee 😅😅 I recently discovered Cappuccino from Greggs; tastes better than any other Cappuccino I have drunk in the past. That works from me when I am in school. I am totally hooked. Whoa!
I have a few things I have to say following my last blog post. On behalf of my housemates, thank you for your overwhelming support. We are truly touched, we feel totally loved and cared for 🙏🏾🙏🏾
Cardiff University through the International Office immediately reached out to us to express their concern and shared options that could be helpful in the future. Alexa Jones from the International Students Office wrote: “Just to point out that several of the university buildings have showers, in the future, just go to the student “intranet” and search for showers.” “There are also showers and sleeping rooms at JOMEC; School of Journalism, Media and Culture.” Added Anna. See, now I know 🤓🤓
Our classmates in Cardiff. Thank you. I got to class and everyone laughed. “We are glad that you and your housemates are alive. It would have been such a dissapointment to lose you when we’ve barely known you. Though, I would have found a perfect reason to go to Kenya,” remarked one of my classmates. Cheeky, this one 🤣🤣
Chevening Secretariat in the UK also dropped us a message to find out how we were faring on. Matthew Kon, we appreciate you. Fellow Chevening Scholars from all over the UK, thank you for your endless love. Some of you even made phone calls to express your empathy. We are with you in this journey. Lets’ soldier on. You have shown the true spirit of Chevening Ambassadors ✊
“Think about the biggest headline globally, ‘Three Kenyans and a Ugandan die in Cardiff City after a night in the cold’” commented Martin. Really Martin! Hahhahahaah! I am not scared of death, but I hope I won’t have to die due to cold in a foreign land 😨
Some Kenyans don’t even understand why this was such a big deal. It’s ok, I feel you. Even my ancestors in Taita Taveta County won’t forgive me for raising this kind of ruckus. They too, wouldn’t understand 🤭🤦🏼♀️
“Weuh, a typical case of #WhitePeoplesProblems. I am struggling to understand your ordeal. I bet those who have lived out of Kenya would, but for me, I have never experienced winter, I am literally struggling to comprehend why you would die because of low temperatures. Now I look forward to being out of this country,” remarked Betty.
“This article is such an eye opener Patience; I am looking forward to going for my further studies in the UK. Thanks to you, I have to ensure that on my contract, the clause on the heating system is highlighted in bold,” commented Stella.
Then there are those who demanded to know what happened to me. “I am struggling to believe that you were aggrieved for a whole week and kept quiet. I haven’t known you to be this patient before. This is a total transformation Patience. I am used to Patience the human rights defender, speaking against any form of oppression.” remarked Halima. Then one of my closest friend Betsy Namisi said: “Patience was wronged in the UK and didn’t mention it for a whole week, wow. They are spoiling you.” Hahhahahaha! Blame it on my assignments 🙆🏻♀️🙆🏻♀️.
We’ve had fun with this. You see, I am alive and so are my roommates. I am looking at the bigger picture 😄😄 We have every reason to be grateful. I needed to watch how this experience would unfold but I recorded every bit of it in my head then on Saturday night after we got our boiler working, I sat to write about it. Writing is very therapeutic for me. By the time I was done writing, my anger had subsided. It’s like a pure case of meeting your death then you negotiate your way out and ask for another chance. Hilarious, right 😅😅😅
My roommates and I read your many comments and laughed. We felt nothing but love from each one of you, thank you 👊🏾👊🏾. Kenyan community in Cardiff, asante sana for your support. I also learnt a lot during last week’s incident including a suggestion to buy electrical duvets. Very practical 👌🏽👌🏽
Moral of the story; read your contracts to the end before signing on the dotted line ✍🏽Anyway, we learn everyday. I want to believe we read ours and accepted everything until this incident happened then we realized, oooops! Heating system can go off. Now we know better. We are yet to meet with our landlord, once we do, I will keep you posted.
It’s already getting colder in the UK and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can be traumatic, therefore, preparation is key. Here are my survival tips because I am not ready for depression. The temptation to stay indoors is real. The urge to go home after class always seems like the best thing to do. But that won’t be my story. I am ready for all the coffee dates with anyone who feels like they want to take me out just to spice up my cold evenings. Avail yourself, I will tell you stories about Kenya🤗! I am here to make new friends and make memories beyond my studies. After I year, I must look forward to coming back to Cardiff.
The City is already looking so beautiful 🎉 at night. The festive mood is quickly setting in and I’m truly fascinated at how the city is getting excited every day. I took a few photos at night and shared them with my friends back at home. One of them remarked: “Isn’t it funny that UK is three hours behind us in Kenya and they are already in the Christmas mood? Kiherehere ni ya nini? (why are they in a hurry). 🤭Do they know we will get to Christmas before them and here we are, just polite. Tell them to slow down, man.” Ok. Let me tell them, “UK, just so you know, Kenya will experience Christmas and New Year three hours before you do, so please go slow on this Christmas mood. It’s still November, and Christmas is a month away.” Hey Suleiman, I have delivered your message.
Here we go. These are some of my creative tips on how to bloom through the winter season.
- Stay positive. Engage with people who uplift your spirit. This is not the time for negative vibes. Emotions are high all the time. If it does not inspire or uplift you, let it go 🙅🏻♀️
- Go out by all means. An evening walk will do just fine. Dress up and do rounds in town. There is no bad weather, only bad dressing. Dress appropriately. Cardiff Winter Wonderland (CWWL) is truly a place to be. CWWL has unveiled its brand-new Alpine Ice Trail for the first time. The Trail will be an open-air ice-skating experience running 250m long, making it amongst one of the longest Ice Trails in Europe and guaranteed to be the only one found in the UK this winter.
- Spend your time at the malls- There’s life at the malls, always 🤩🤩Hahahaha. Beat miscellaneous spending by leaving your cards or cash at home. Just walk in with no cash. Agenda- just winter window shopping. I am yet to try this and when I do, I will tell you 😕😟
- Get creative with your curtains and other stuff in the house. A slight change in decorations will do magic. Plus, they don’t have to be expensive. Just go to the charity shops and find something interesting to buy. If you so wish, you can also google Creative Christmas Ideas DIY.
- Buy a Christmas tree and decorate it – it’s fun, so much fun. Listen to Christmas Carols while at it. Here is a link with over 50 Christmas songs. My favourite has always been; Driving Home for Christmas by Chris Rea. Makes me nostalgic about Kenya.
I am going to buy Christmas tree then invite my friends for a decoration party. Here is the deal- You will bring your own decorations, whatever pleases you. I can’t wait to see what we end up with. I promise to make Kenyan dishes- pilau and chapati. Those in Cardiff and wish to come, please alert me.
Buy Christmas 🎄 cards, gifts and enjoy wrapping them. I love it. I have made a few friends, so I have a reason to do this. I love unwrapping gifts, so this is a perfect opportunity to exchange gifts 🎁 with me.
Candle 🕯 lovers, this is the time. I know it is already getting dark by 5pm. Worry not, you do not have to switch on the lights then. Why not invest in good, scented candles and enjoy the ambiance?
Decide with your heart, soul and mind that you shall bloom through the winter season. Do we anticipate snow ❄️ in Cardiff? If yes, I need someone to invite me for skiing. Anyone interested in snowboarding? I kid you not, I have some basic skills in the same from my previous winter experiences.
Finally, with a positive mind, the hurdle is halfway solved. Remember there will be better days ahead. I live for seasons in my life, I am already looking forward to Spring and Summer.
Do you have any other survival tips you can share with me, please feel free to do so.
Next on my blog……Some Kenyans have asked me to write on demystifying myths about the UK. What is it that we like or don’t like so far? What is it that hasn’t met our expectations as compared to what we thought prior to boarding the flight to the UK? My next blog post is therefore, an invitation to anyone who feels they have something to share. Please get in touch by responding to this blog post and I will give you further details on the same.
See you then 😍😍
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