Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2009 Resolutions

It is around this time of the year that people start thinking about the things that need to be fixed in their lives. Some want to lose weight, get a promotion, change careers, find love, save more...

I always it was kind of naive to wait until the New Year to fix what's wrong. I only believe that you gotta love what you do until you do what you love ( Career wise) and If you don't feel them, forget about them ( Relationship wise). But this year, I am taking some resolutions too!

The reasons behind that are convincing enough:

  1. I had quite a though year. At once, I went away from everything and everyone I was accustomed to. I had to do it on my own and learn how to be patient.

  2. This year taught me a lot about life, its challenges and opportunities, and it mainly taught me a lot about me, How strong I can be, I am starting to see myself in a whole new perspective.

  3. As hard as this year was, what matters is that I went trough it and ended it successfully.

Now, I do not pretend to know what the coming has in store for me, but I wanna do my best to make the best of it and avoid the mistakes I have done this year and apply my new acquired knowledge. I am not going to list each single resolution I have set for myself for 2009, but I will just shortly narrow it around these areas:

  1. Family

  2. Career and Finances

  3. Health and well-being

  4. Fun, Fun and more fun

I really want to be satisfied with everyday that I live, feel the joy of having the people that most matter to me around me, and help others as much as I can.

Concerning work, I have given myself a year to get to where I wanna be, and I believe that it is easily feasible.

Other than that, I will keep taking care of my mister and have him take care of me, and together try to enjoy what God has given us and keep on going our way. I think that we have seen so much this year that nothing surprises us anymore. The only thing we are both glad to notice, is that we tend to stick together more in a crisis situation, and that can never be a bad thing. So whatever comes our way, we will face it. We may cry, feel the sadness and the pain, but we don't give up because we are sure that each one of us knows the other is so worth the trouble.

On this note, I would like to wish everyone a great New Year, with all the happiness and success they deserve.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Praise the Good!

I spoke in my previous post about the importance of free press for the Kenyan people, and I forgot to mention an influential player of the Kenyan newspaper industry, also employed as an editorial director by Nation Media Group, Mr. Wangethi Mwangi.

Wangethi Mwangi is a true believer of the free press and its mission. He understands that the manipulation of news will never benefit Kenya, because a great country cannot be build on lies. He believes that Kenyans have the right to accurate and sincere information, because he understands that until you know exactly what’s wrong, you cannot fix it.

What Wangethi Mwangi says about the role of Nation Media Group in providing true news, exemplifies his beliefs “The Nation Media Group has been one of the key players in the independence campaign for Kenya, and a champion of democracy in East Africa”. The simple fact that he is speaking about democracy shows that the path Kenyan leaders are pursuing is the path of freedom and self-improvement.

It is very important to me to point out people that are trying to make a significant change in the lives of others, or even in the state of nation, because we unfortunately always speak of the bad, but usually forget to praise the good!

If Only we Invest In Africa

Earlier this evening, I was watching a documentary about elephants in Kenya on CBS; which remind me of a discussion I had with my father, when he came to visit this summer, about the Kenyan Market and Economy. My dad is always looking for opportunities to invest less and get more. It has worked for him so far, he has a very good intuition about things and his expectations rarely come wrong. He likes to share his ideas with me and sometimes ask for my opinion. But I have to admit that at first, I was surprised about his interest in the Kenyan business, mainly because most of his investments are targeted toward Europe.

He is primarily interested in Nation Media Company, the largest media firm in East and Central Africa, run by Linus Gitahi, who also worked as an executive at the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. It goes without saying that my father’s interest in the company has been influenced by Linus Gitahi, considering the fact that Linus has an obvious success record leading companies in the direction of growth.

Nation Media Company holds a number of the national newspapers in east Africa; newspapers that strive to stick to the facts with no commercial, political or religious influence. The fair aim of the company is a result of Linus Gitahi’s leadership style and ethic, as well as a consequence of the urgent need Africans have for a trusted source of information. In actual fact, Africans have always been desperate for a transparent, independent and unambiguous voice to tell them things as they are, without beautification or manipulation.

Africa may be slowly moving, but what matters is that it is actually moving, thanks in majority to the efforts of its young educated population. Most Africans now go seek higher education elsewhere, they go to Europe, America and even Asia, and they see how things differ, but they refuse to give up the hope that matters will one day change in Africa. Instead, they go back and raise their voices, because they have learned that if you don’t ask, you won’t be given what you want.
I firmly encourage investments in Kenya, in Africa.

If Amos can...we all can!

Have you ever heard of Amos Tamam? If you haven’t, this is what you should know: Amos Tamam’s life is a real success story, a story that inspires me and most of the people who came to the US looking for a better condition, for a free will and mostly for an opportunity.

Amos Tamam left his engineering vocation in Tel-Aviv, and came to America longing for a different way of enjoying life, thinking life and living life. He started as a servicing agent to taxicabs in a fleet garage in New York City, and thirty years later, became the CEO of VeriFone Transportation Systems, Inc. (a company that allows taxi fleets to accept credit card payments).

I never thought that I would one day leave my country for good. My relocation here was mainly the result of circumstances, fate if you prefer, rather than a planned move and a long-thought about choice. However, the fact that I adapted to my new American life, embraced it and came to appreciate it was with no doubt a choice. A choice to give it a try and take advantage of the unlimited potential this country has to offer. Just as Amos Tamam came here believing that only his own will could stop him from heading where he wanted to get, I stayed here because I saw perspectives I couldn’t see in my country.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my country, and so does Amos Tamam, and a million others who left. But there is something in the US that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Something about freedom, something about opportunity, something about the impossible becoming possible. I cannot think of another way to describe it better than saying: “As much as you believe in you, America believes in you”.

There isn’t an age at which you are forced to quit school, not a rule which states that the son of the rich should get richer, the son of the poor must stay poor…and one example that comes to my mind that strongly illustrates this American opportunity is the November election. So in one sentence: Yes we can.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Jared List!

I recently read about a certain Jared Metz. What’s interesting about him is that he is an active player in the funding Industry, which I thought could be helpful to know since we are going trough some really bad times.

In those times of economic restrain, many businesses are faced with multiple barriers when it comes to getting loans or any other form of financing and this is where knowing about Jared Metz can come to the rescue. NYC business owners turn to him for secure funding options; too bad we don’t live there so that my man (a hard working restaurant owner) can benefit from it.

Any way, what I was reading about Jared Metz was about his fine dinning list. A list that includes many French restaurants and bistros (My favorites!). I am actually looking for a good restaurant to dine at this coming New Year’s Eve before it is too late to book a table. His list also includes some exotic cuisine places that I am very interested in trying. Jared Metz has had his share of traveling and thus his list reflects his journeys.

The Blog on which Jared hosts his list is still new but I cannot wait to see what he lists next!

Friday, December 19, 2008

About Me!

It has been a long time since I last checked in to tell you a bit about where I am headed and how things have been with me. Well, you know what they say: No news, good News. And it had been really good lately! I didn’t get a job but two!!! Both of which aren’t stressful nor very far from home ( I seriously was hoping I wouldn’t have to commute for so long, Youpi !!).
Both my bosses are very kind and considerate, the truth is that at work it feels more like family than professional interaction. Thus so far so good! I am getting a free training on SQL and I couldn’t be happier. I am very busy and very tired when I get home at night, but you know what, I am not going to complain about that, because after being jobless for so long, I am just glad I was able to get active again. Retirement can wait, I have had enough vacation!
Family wise, I think that my new active life has made things better with my wonderful mister. I do not mean that things were bad, but It has contributed in making us missing each other and thus appreciate the time we have together. I also think that the boost it had on my self-confidence make me more poised, more sure of my contribution to the couple, and thus stop thinking about all the stupid things I used to think about when I had so much free time on my hands.
I also got a Christmas tree, and with the help of my wonderful mister, I am able to keep my house organized and looking good all week!! That’s all I have to share for now! I might be starting a new blog also, but will see….!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Africa Loves Polo!

Yesterday after I got home from work, I went to surf on the web a bit to get an idea of what’s going on in the world ( I am totally addicted to reading the news online!), when I came across an interview with Mohammed Babangida posted on a Blog that I follow closely. I really enjoyed reading it as it spoke about Mohammed’s passion for polo, which is one of my favorite activities.

In case you never heard of Mohammed Babangida, let me as a proud African introduce him to you (I think that as a proud African I should probably write a number of posts about African People that make a difference). Mohammed Babangida is the son of ex-military President of Nigeria. He led his team, ‘El Amin’ to a number of victories, the most famous being at the Lagos Polo Tournament.

Mohammed, as the oldest son of an ex-president that is described as one of the best Nigerian presidents, takes matters to heart in following his father’s success road throughout his involvement in different businesses and in particular, trough pursuing his passion for polo, a popular game in Nigeria. He also contributes in maintaining good relationships with foreign countries’ leaders, and as a matter of fact, he is one of my country’s King good friends.

The truth is that I have been to many African countries, including Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, and Algeria… but I couldn't make it to Nigeria. I would however love to go there, be it only to try its food (I heard it was really good!). But I would love the most is go to Nigeria and be lucky enough to see a polo game with Mohammed Babangandia.

Dreams, Dreams…But you never know, they do come true sometimes!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Celebration!

I finished my Christmas shopping list not long ago, but now that I have two new jobs, I really didn’t know where to find the time to do my Christmas Decoration shopping. The truth is that when you have worked all day, and exhausted all your energy, the last thing you want to do is to go stand on endless lines at stores, not to mention that weekend shopping is the worst, the stores are usually jammed, and it becomes like a chore on your day off. Luckily for me, I have access to my computer almost anywhere and at all times, and as I am becoming an adept of online shopping I figured I will give it try with my Christmas shopping.
Seriously, I think that web-shopping is revolutionary! I went from my regular three days of Christmas Decoration shopping to TWENTY Minutes! Yes! In twenty minutes I had purchased all that my house and family needs for the holidays, from cute Christmas decors to cool Christmas party games, to even quite surprising little ornaments and accessories, all in no time and way less than I had budgeted.
So yesterday, I did my best to finish work earlier, this way I could sit in front of my PC and get done with my
Christmas Decoration shopping as it was becoming a growing pain. I surfed over few websites that offer holiday items, and then I found it, the one and only miracle website: Celebration.com. If you thought web shopping is genius wait until you try this website. They even had those items you would never think you could find online, like those Christmas Party Games, a must that guarantees you a fun time this Christmas.
Celebration.com not only offers items for Christmas, but for every other occasion, so it goes without saying that I will be using it whenever I am looking to save time or to get things that no other store has. Check it out quick; I am sure there are many things you are going to like!