Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Seasons of Life...

Compare and the contrast the first two pictures. I took the first one with everything looking green and beautiful last month (August. )

Wow! The foliage is so thick and eye-catching. That was when summer was still around here in Norway.
I snapped the second photo a month later on 28 September. Wow! The leaves have fallen off and the trees look bare and forlorn.

That is so because it is now autumn and vegetation turns yellow, red, brown and the trees sure look desolate. I agree with assertions that our lives have seasons ..of plenty and of need; of happiness and of sorrow; of sowing and of reaping. (Sounds like Ecclesiastes 3, huh?)
The lesson from the trees is that we need to be wise with the way we spend our time, resources and more crucially the decisions we make. As somebody quipped our tomorrow is the result of the decisions we are making today. When youth, beauty and strength have gone will we be found wanting or we will have something to fall back on? What legacy are we leaving behind? Will we be satisfied with the decisions we made or will it be pure regret?

The trees in the photo will rejuvinate come spring next year (April-May) but for man, sadly, chances often come just once. When our 'leaves' have fallen off, there is no going back. Selah. Selah again!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I read a newspaper article yesterday about a function at Malawi's energy monopoly, Escom, which concerned long-serving members who were retiring from the entity. One person had actually served for 37 years. That's some loyalty! Part of the story went:
"As a token of appreciation Escom gave each retiring employee a mattress, a set of pots, a mountain bike and an Escom wall clock as a souvenir."

This made me think. Someone who had served for 37 years must be quite advanced in age and would a mountain bike really do in their retirement? Would they have the strength and zeal to go riding? I'm of the view that there could have been a better 'thank you' for the retired workers. How about letting them have free or subsidized electricity for the rest of their lives? How about monetary investment on the stock market (never mind the ongoing turmoil in this field elsewhere!) on their behalf?

I sometimes think we ought to ask people what gifts they want to have for their special occasions because often useless presents are given! To make it worse such ineffectual gifts are in some cases, expensive.

On another note, investment can be in other forms too...mentoring younger folks, teaching a skill to a friend, meeting various needs or just being there for a person. God has invested alot of talents in us and I believe everyday presents an opportunity to make an investment in another individual. How good and satisfying it is to hear that somehow God used you to inspire and motivate someone else who has reached their goal!

Monday, September 15, 2008


I have a friend who maintains that I have extra-ordinary curiosity and she dislikes the way I stop and gaze at something that has caught my fancy. I must admit sometimes I get carried away especially with planes and I once landed into a ditch because an aircraft that was passing quite low near my university in London, looked good to my eyes! I like jets and I'm already dreaming of travelling in the colossal Airbus A380!!
But sometimes my curiosity pays off because I notice things some folks do not, and also when I was younger I was the most reliable child to find any lost item at home!
On Saturday, however, I decided I should have perhaps less curiosity. Coming from city centre, I saw a person I thought was a female teacher I know at Tromsø university. I started looking keenly at the individual who was on a bike. The person waved and I waved happily back.
Then....It turned out that it was not the lecturer but a stranger and a man at that. This person then said something that stunned me. He started proposing to me!! I was 'serenaded' with: "You are BEAUTIFUL" and other words befitting a woman's ears, according to me! He blurted out that he was gay. I let him know about my stand on such matters...I like and love women. I bade him farewell as he continued to mutter: "But you are beautiful..."Such encounters may be common-place in Europe but coming from a small African country which is quite conservative in its world-view, I was rocked to the core. All naivity and innocence was gone. That is why I think I shouldn't be all eyes at everything! Less chidwi, chirwaha....

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Friday, September 05, 2008


I received this email from the University yesterday:

"You have registered for the following exams:
BIO-2515 Introduction to aquatic biology 5sp Term: 2008-Autumn Examsystem: W Language: English
BIO-3556 Fishery biology and harvest technology 10sp Term: 2008-Autumn Exam system: HSM Language:
SOK-2040 Basic economics 5sp Term: 2008-Autumn Examsystem: W Language: Norwegian
SOK-3554 Resource economics and project evaluation methods 10sp Term: 2008-Autumn Examsystem: S Language:
SVF-2505 Basic social science for fisheries management 5sp Term: 2008-Autumn Examsystem: S Language: Norwegian
SVF-3554 A social science perspective on fisheries management and development 10sp Term: 2008-Autumn Examsystem: S Language- If your exam registration is incorrect (e.g. exam semester, language preference, etcetera), you have to make the corrections yourself. The correction deadline is 6 days after the date of this letter."

Then today I got this one:
Dear students

"Due to a technical error you have received incorrect information in your email. Student number, pin code and registrations for exams are unfortunately incorrect. University of Tromsø will distribute new email or letter containing correct information during the next week.

We are sorry for the inconvenience.

With kind regards

Department of research and academic affairs

Well, well...It answered my query for I had said to myself: Since when did I venture into this fisheries thing?? Anyway zimachitika...(It happens)..technology is not infallible just like the humans who command the machines!!

Only One - Lionel Richie

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Length of A Tree...

One of my favourite proverbs is: "The true length of a tree is only known after it has fallen down". The adage is a bold reminder that we often appreciate people after they have gone out of our lives, or they have died.
It is a sad but true fact of life that we take each other for granted and perhaps even belittle the input in one another's life. We do not value the worth and gifts God has bestowed on those close to use, in many cases until it is too late. I overheard one daughter lamenting at her mother's funeral: "I wish I did not argue with mom so much during her life-time. I miss her"...Too late!!
I believe God put friends, relatives and even mere associates in our path and lives for a reason. It could be for sharpening each other, encouragement, comfort, meeting needs and a plethora of other reasons.
Alas, it is at funerals, farewell parties and other such not-so-happy events that we rue, cry and gnash teeth plus moan that while the people leaving us were around, we never showed any appreciation to them.
I encourage us to love, respect, honour and appreciate the folks the Lord has made it possible to interact with, while they are still in our midst. We are all special in a way and add value to each other in unique ways. We need one another and so let us live like a people that know at some point will need the help of others. I think God loves it when we treasure each other and show love, ...more love!!
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love". ( 1 Corinthians 13: 1 verse 13, NIV)