Trout Tree Restaurant

You haven’t really lived if you have never done the following:

1. Dined in a restaurant on top of a tree

2. Caught your own dinner/lunch

3. Asked for a drink and then watch the waiter use a rope to pull up the drink from a river

4. Visited Narumoro/ Nanyuki. Okay this last one me once again giving a shutout to my hometown.I am really not exaggerating when i say that Nanyuki is one of the most beautiful town in the country. No seriously, that town is quite picturesque.

You can do all these things at the Trout Tree Restaurant in Nanyuki.

This restaurant is just about 5 minutes off the Nanyuki-Kiganjo road just near the airstrip (yes we do have an airstrip in Nanyuki). It is located along the Burguret River. Unlike your regular restaurants, this one is built on top of an old Mugumo (sacred fig) tree. Needless to say, the view from the restaurant is simply breathtaking.




The ambiance at Trout Tree invokes the feeling of relaxation. Once you are seated there, the cool views and scenic surrounding puts your mind at ease. The seating arrangement is good even for big groups as they have couches all over the place. In addition, you will be surrounded by tall trees and waters all around. I also saw Columbus monkeys which are quite cheeky and hard to photograph.


Trout Tree Restaurant offers another unique experience. They have trout ponds surrounding the restaurant. You can see the fish jumping in the ponds especially during feeding time. When you order any dishes with fish, you get to watch as they get fresh trout right from the pond. If you are a bit adventurous, they will even let you catch your own fish. It really doesn’t get any better than that.


I think that this is quite impressive seriously though, I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t get impressed by watching the journey that the fish takes from the waters to the kitchen then lastly to your plate. Anyway, if still not impressed, you should order drinks at the restaurant and watch what happens. The drinks are kept cool by being stored in crates which are then kept in the rivers so as to stay cool. So when you order your drinks, you get to watch as the crate is hauled up with a rope.

There is also play ground.


IMG_20150404_162214Adults can play too
Only thing that I found a bit odd about the restaurant is that they close at 4:30pm even on weekends and in this case, during a holiday like Easter. We arrived there at 4:00pm and could only get a chance to look around since they were closing despite the fact that they had so many patrons. The official opening hours are 10am to 4:00pm.


I kept trying to get close enough to get a pic of the monkeys but it came a hide and seek game. They were taunting me, giggling mercilessly as i ran around trying to catch them until i gave up. I didn’t take this pic ;-)
I look forward to going back to Trout Tree  and maybe this time I’ll get there early enough to fully enjoy the restaurant.

If you want more details about Trout Tree restaurant, visit:

Home workouts with Shaun T (T25) and Jillian Michaels (30 Days Shred)

If you ask many people why they do not work out, some of the common excuses given are:
1. No time
2. Can’t afford to pay for gym membership
3. Workouts are monotonous
4. Too fat or unfit to exercise

This year I discovered home workouts that beat all those excuses.
1. Time
One of my favorite workouts is the T25 by Shaun T. This is basically a workout designed for only 25 minutes. However, do not be deceived into thinking that T25 will be so easy. It will definitely push you, challenge you, get you sweating and at the end of it all, it will give you the results that you want.

focus 25 minutes
Another home work out that I am using alongside T25 is 30 days shred by Jillian Michaels. This workout takes about 20 minutes during which, Jillian makes you work hard.

30 day shred
You do not need to spend hours in the gym, you only need to spare less than half an hour a day and get your workout done. I wake up at 6am, do my T25 workout and get ready for work, have breakfast and leave the house by 7:00am. In the evenings, I get home and do my 30 day shred before anything else.
2. Affordability
With home workouts, you only need to invest in the DVDs which are a onetime investment. I also bought hand weights at Kshs.1600 from Tuskys. If you don’t want to buy the weights though, get creative. There people who use water bottles filled with sand to substitute the weights. Look around your home and find something that can take place of the weights.

Shaun T Gym

Shaun T is simply amazing, he will push you to ensure that you get the results that you want
In addition, there is no dress code when you workout at home. You don’t even need to buy workout gear, just find out what you are comfortable in. Nobody is watching so really it doesn’t matter whether or not your workout outfit is cute or not.

crazy workout outfitsYou can wear whatever you want when working out at home
3. Monotony
Home workouts are far from monotony. You may assume that you have to use the DVD day in and day out to the point of exhaustion by boredom.

T25 has three levels; Alpha, Beta and Gamma. I am currently on Alpha which takes five weeks. Each day of the week has different workouts i.e Cardio, Speed 1.0, Lower Focus, Total Body Circuit, and Abs Interval. As you can tell, each day, you will be working on a different workout complete with its own designed cool down stretch. On the six days, there is a 25 minutes stretch to help you get some rest and prepare your muscles for the next week of workouts.

When there's no place like home for working out
30 days shred has three levels divided into workouts for 10 days each. This gives you variety and you don’t have to worry about having to do the same workout for 30 whole days.
4. Too fat or too unfit
The great thing about T25 and 30 days shred is that each workout has a modifier to help beginners keep up with the exercises that seem too tough. In T25, there is Tania the modifier. As Shaun T say, if you feel like the workout is too much or that you are too tired, don’t quit, instead stick with Tania.
If you are self-conscious about joining an aerobics, zumba or salsa class with people who move faster, look better while at it and don’t seem to struggle at all, then try out home workouts. You can grunt, huff, puff, make scary war faces and nobody will be there to judge you.
5. Convenience
Home workouts are so convenient especially because there is no commute. I have worked out in gyms for a while now and one thing that failed me was inconsistency. There were too many excuses for missing workouts. Sometimes, it was the rain. Since I don’t drive, I couldn’t get to the gym when it was raining. There is also fatigue on those days that I would get home too tired to even consider walking for 15 minutes to get to the gym. Another concern was walking back home at night. Gym sessions mostly run from 6:00pm and end between 7:00pm and 8:00pm, walking back home alone was always a concern for me. Well with home workouts, that is no longer an issue.

I have only used T25 and 30 days shred as examples because that is what I currently have. However, there are numerous other home workouts that you can use so don’t feel limited. See below list for other workouts:
You need to work out because of your health. There are a number of health conditions that you can beat with working out including; high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, Your mental health will also improve as exercising helps in boosting memory, relaxation, reducing stress and anxiety and even lowering the risk of dementia.

Working out is also fun and if you are like me, watching your body transform each day as you get leaner and stronger is awesome.
Stop giving excuses and get that workout done.
You can get more information on T25 from:
30 day shred info:

Through My African Eyes

by Jeff Koinange

Through My African Eyes

Through My African Eyes by Jeff Koinange is an autobiography published by Footprints Press. The preface for the book is done by Thabo Mbeki while the forward is by Ngung’i Wa Thiong’o. This in itself is quite impressive and was one of the things that got me more interested in reading the book.

I loved how the autobiography starts with the birth of Jamal, Jeff’s only son.This is in Chapter 1, titled Fatherhood Finally. I felt that this shows that fatherhood is the most important part of Jeff’s life or perhaps the part that brings him the most joy/pride. The book is also dedicated to his son again perhaps explaining the role of Jamal in his life.The title of the Chapter also communicates volumes.

Jeff then writes about his childhood, being raised by a single mother and his time in school at St. Mary’s. He shares his joys and disappointments in these chapters. One thing that stood out for me is his disappointment at not being appointed as the head boy while in high school but again how things worked out when he wrote the script for a play that won at the national drama festivals. His journey towards becoming the man that he is today started back from his high school days. You get to learn the inspiration behind his career choice.

He then goes into his career starting with working as a flight attendant for Pan Am Airlines. This is also the time when he met Shaila, his current wife and Sonya his first wife. Even in his earlier careers, Jeff is clearly seen as a go-getter who is quite focused. After his stint with the Airline, he changed his profession and decided to go back into school and get into journalism.

I enjoyed reading about his time as a journalist. In Chapter 8, Perils of Chasing a Story, he describes his career as a journalist in war torn countries in Africa. I was deeply moved by his bravery to venture into dangerous zones so as to tell a story. For instance when he goes into Sierra Leone and the war gets so bad that some other journalists are killed but he stays on to tell the story. I also found it quite interesting and courageous when he explained how as journalists, it gets to a time when one has to realize that it’s time to get out and let someone else tell story. This is especially when covering war zones. He also details the child soldiers, their recklessness and how they are used in wars that clearly they don’t even understand. He delves into other news stories like the floods in Liberia. I didn’t even know about this. Not only does he explain how he covered the news aspect but also illustrates the sheer tenancy of humanity like the story about the baby born on a tree. I was also moved by his detailing of the Democratic Republic of Congo rape cases. I had watched a documentary about this before but Jeff went into details about the anguish that the women faced and also the humanity of people who were trying to make a difference even in the times of war.

The way that Jeff shares his experiences gives readers mixed emotions. On one end, you may get angry at Africa. You get to see how human beings destroy lives of others and it will your heart. You will lose hope in humanity when he explains his experiences in countries where roads were covered with bodies and limbs on which vultures fed. It will shock you to take a look at how ugly human beings can be. One the other hand, Jeff brings a balance by sharing the other side of humanity. The human beings who even in the war torn countries still strives to make a difference. One hand you have the killers, on the other hand you have the healers and then you have journalists like Jeff who risk their lives to tell the two stories.

Jeff briefly explains the Niger Delta story which was one of the most controversial points in his career with CNN. He even shares photos of the rebels and how they had attacked the journalists. It was rumored that the story was stage-managed. However, by looking at the photos and reading Jeff’s account of events, it’s hard to imagine how the story could have been fabricated.

Through My African Eyes changed my view of Jeff Koinange. Unlike most people who have followed his career through the years, I can barely recall his time at Ktn because I was too young. I also don’t really recall his time at Reuters or CNN. I only got to learn about him when he started working with K24 and then the rumors started. There were all these stories about his exit from CNN. By the way, do not look for this story in his book because he barely addresses those rumors. In Kenya, we all know him for his voice and big personality. When I think of Jeff, I think about his signature pose on the bench and the unique animated expressions that he uses. However, this book allowed me to see the other side of the man, Jeff.

I was impressed by his wide travels and the number of people he has met. He is on first name basis with presidents and history makers like the late Nelson Mandela who he has been photographed with numerous times. He has met Oprah Winfrey and a number of other celebrities who most of us only see on TV. He tells of a hilarious story of being featured on Larry King Live and how Larry referred to him as John Coinage. Jeff Koinange has led quite an interesting life.

Jeff has led a very interesting life and there many interesting stories that he shares in his book that I cannot completely cover in this review. This biography is written in using flashbacks and flash forwards which gives it a good pace. Minimum dialogue is used but this does not water down the narration. It actually makes the reader feel like they are ‘on the bench’ with Jeff Koinange and he is the one answering the questions and narrating about his experiences.

As I had mentioned on the Niger Delta Story, Jeff has used photographs for every chapter. It’s interesting to follow the story also from his childhood to his adulthood. One of my favorite photos was the one of Jamal on Nelson Mandela’s lap. There are also other photos that will send a chill down your spine especially those taken with the rebels or the child soldiers. I kept wondering how he managed to maintain his composure will surrounded by guns in such hostile environments. Using photographs was definitely a great addition that enriched the book.

some of the photographs used in the chilling Niger Delta story

Through My Africa Eyes is easy to read and follow, it is captivating, funny, heartbreaking and shocking. It is a hard book to put down once you get started. It’s definitely an interesting read, one that I highly recommend.

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Salty Prayers…..


This is how i fell victim to a con woman in Nairobi

Originally posted on The voices in my head:

It was on a Saturday morning, I had just received my salary. Thoughts of how I would spend the money got me so excited that sleep became elusive. By 7:00am in the morning, I was in a Matatu heading to town.

My first stop was ‘back street’. By then hawkers use to sell their wares in the back street of Nairobi away from the city councils’ view. Being a Saturday, most of the hawkers had already set up. In a few minutes, I had managed to get a few blouses and skirts for work at very fair prices. The next stop was the supermarket  for some shopping to last my family a month.I couldn’t wait to get home and give the shopping to my mother; I could already imagine her smile of gratitude.

While heading towards the railway station to get a Matatu, I came across a seemingly…

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The Drug Dealer and the Burning House

Fire! Fire! Fire!

Everyone in the building was on the move. There were people screaming and running around. It was a five storey building and everyone was trying to get out so it chaos. The fire had started from the basement and was quickly spreading to the other side of the building blocking all entrances.

It’s interesting just how much humans fear death. You could see it in their faces twisted in anguish and desperation. The screams were enough to move even the heartless.The air was thick with despair.

The scene in front of me reminded me of my junkies. It always amuses me to watch them carefully select their syringes, ensuring that they are new and unused. They shoot drugs into their bodies, lacing their blood with chemicals but still, they were very careful not to use an injection that has been compromised.

I stood at a distance rooted to the ground watching the huge orange fireball. It took a minute for me to realize that I was barefooted and in my white nightgown. I could feel my skin tightening on my face due to the heat. I was burning up and wasn’t even in the building. I could only imagine the effect of the inferno on the people in the building.

I thought about all that was getting lost in the fire. I could see the whole building from the distance engulfed in smoke and knew that very little would be salvaged. It was only a matter of time before the entire building was completely consumed by the orange fiery ball.

My apartment stood right next to this building. I saw my neighbors standing on their balconies watching the inferno. Some were already down stairs helping with the efforts to put out the fire. I know that secretly; we were all happy and relieved that our building was not the one that was going up in flames.

Then I saw the first jumper. She was standing on her balcony before deciding to leap from the burning building. I couldn’t understand her rationale. What was better, jumping from the 4th floor of a building or dying from smoke inhalation? which death was more tolerable, painless? She was a young woman; who I had never seen before. However, she reminded me of another young woman who was found in her apartment dead with the syringe still in her arm. They ruled it as drug overdose. She was a good client of mine and I miss her business. However, I didn’t waste time mourning her since we were not related, it was just business. She was just another dead junkie.

I stood there watching death hover over the burning building. My daughter was home, safe and I once again sighed in relief that the fire had not caught up with our building.

People were jostling past me me to get out of the way as they ran with their buckets of water. It’s fruitless; really, their little pails were no match for the in formidable force that was the orange fireball consuming the building. I could imagine the grim reaper floating above the building, pointing a finger on the souls that he intended to reap.

I felt an immediate dislike for these people. They reminded me of the anti-drug crusaders who came in all forms. Some were Bible-thumpers; others were ‘reformed druggies’ former clients and the confused people who were looking for their purpose in life. They were all bad for business but despite their noises, like the fire, they were no match for drug addicts. There is something about my kind of merchandise that guarantees customer loyalty.

Two more people decided to jump and by now the police were on the scene. Guess what they brought, guns and buckets for fetching more water. Again, I stood rooted to the ground unable to stop watching the mayhem. Would more people jump? How many casualties would there be? For me, it was more like a movie so i stood and watched from a distance.

I could hear the sirens from a distance as the huge fire trucks snaked their way to the building. A few more minutes and they ran out of water and joined the masses with the water buckets.

“Why are you just standing there?”

“I’m just minding my business.” I thought to myself.

I don’t know why but at that exact moment the muscles on my face betrayed me and broke into a smile. I tried to straighten my face but the smile wouldn’t go away.

It was chaos all around me, people crying, and children wailing for their parents, blood, and devastation. I had seen this before. The day when my client, the young lady had overdosed, I hanged around her building listening to what the neighbors were saying.I saw her elderly mother overcome with grief. I was worried that my name would come up. The police must have been wondering where the drugs had come from. However, I had always been careful and discreet and it paid off since I wasn’t linked to the case.

I was still watching the fire when suddenly; the unimaginable happened. One minute I was watching a neighboring building burn, the next minute, the fire had spread to my own building. My neighbors were now the ones screaming and scampering for safety. I stood dumbfounded for a second before sprinting into action, my daughter was now stuck in a burning building.

I looked up to my balcony and saw her.Jane, my beautiful teenage girl. She was standing on our living room balcony. I could hear her screams and chocking even from the distance. My house had now clearly on fire, my lovely green curtains were now a glowing orange and black as smoke and flames competed on reaching her. I watch her gingerly climb on the rails. My throat tightened and for the first time I panicked. She kept looking back at the house and then down the five floors that she planned to climb down face first.

My adrenaline had kicked in as i started pushing my way through the crowd. I didn’t know what to do and so I reached for a bucket of water. I tried to push past the police who were now barricading the building but they wouldn’t bulge.

It was simply too late.

I looked up at Jane; devastated, embarrassed at my helplessness. She stood on the rails with her white nightgown flailing in the wind. Behind her the flames roared and cast their tongues out to touch her. She spread arms as if about to fly. For the first time, she looked down and our eyes locked. I looked into her eyes illuminated by the orange flame then I silently watched her let go of the rails.

It was too late for her.

I thought about all the people whose lives I had destroyed by selling them drugs. I remembered the parents of the young people who were left mourning the destroyed lives of their children. Just like when I was watching my neighbors’ house burn, I never used to care. However, when tragedy hit home; I felt the pain of all those people who had been hurt by my business.

Nothing cuts deeper that having your on child die from drugs that you supply. It was never supposed to end this way.

Fire pic

The Other Tenants

I loved the new apartment from the first time that I saw it. It was on the 7th floor of a high-rise building that had 10 floors. I was so eager to move in that I couldn’t wait for the building to be officially opened in on the 1st of September. On 29th of August, the House Manager allowed me to move in after-all everything was already set.

My apartment was really beautiful and spacious with lovely finishing. It also had two large balconies that could be accessed from the bedroom and the kitchen. Needless to say, the view from the balcony was breathtaking. From the bedroom, I could see tall trees and a river with this little wooden bridge. From the kitchen, all I could see were miles and miles covered by trees. There were no other houses within a ten kilometer radius of the house. This was exactly what I needed; peace and quiet.

As the first tenant, the building felt eerily quiet and the only other people there was the Caretaker and a Security guard on the ground floor. I decided to enjoy the solitude and silence before the other tenants started moving in.

It was 8pm when I happily looked around the apartment. I had done a great job of unpacking and settling in and the place now looked like home. I put up my last painting as I stood book smiling at the transformation. The plain white walls were now looking beautiful covered with my art, just how I liked it. I decided to go downstairs to the garbage deposit point and get rid of all the packing papers and boxes that looked messy. I then planned on settling down for the night with a good dinner and a book.

“Is everything okay?”

The security guard asked soon as I got to the ground floor. There was something off about him, he looked quite shifty and kept looking around even as he spoke to me. He never maintained eye contact even once.

“Is she okay?” I heard the caretaker ask as he came out of his ground floor. He was addressing the guard despite the fact that I was standing right there within earshot.

“Thanks for the concern guys, I really love this place.”I said as I gently brushed them off.

I could feel their eyes piercing my back as I walked to the elevator.

“Don’t use that, the lift is still being tested.”The caretaker said nervously.

I wasn’t too keen of walking up the seven flights but I was getting a weird feeling from being around the two men that I couldn’t get away fast enough.

I was on the 5th floor when suddenly; I felt the hairs at the back of my neck stand on end. The air around me started feeling thinner and I had to take big breathes. In addition, my heartfelt heavier as if it was pressing down on my chest. I tried to move forward but my feet wouldn’t lift off the ground.

I slowly turned around looking down the narrow hallway lined up by doors on each side. At the end of the corridor, I could see a figure moving at a very slow pace towards me. From the outline, it seemed like a very old woman. Suddenly, my feet gave way as I sunk to down on my knees. As she moved closer, my breathing became labored and it felt as if someone had a grip around my neck and was cutting off my air supply.

“I could see her clearly now, she was an elderly woman walking with a slight limp. Her dressing was a bit odd; she wore a long frock, a dressing style that I had only seen in old movies.

Her face was contorted in anger as she yelled, “Get out”.

She moved closer to me and brought her face down to my level. The smell, I will never forget that pungent smell. She smelt of rotting garbage but ten times magnified.

“This is not your home, get out.” She shouted and then just like that, she started walking away.

At end of the corridor, once gain she was swallowed by the shadows and disappeared from my sight. Everything went back normal after she was gone, my breathing was okay again and I got back on my feet feeling confused. I doubted my sanity; could I have imagined the whole incident?

I ran down the stairs taking two steps at a time, screaming.

“There is someone-else in the building!”

I was met by the guard and the caretaker once again on the second floor. We went down to the security office where they sat me down and offered me a cup of tea. I tried to explain to them what had happened all the while trembling and crying.

“I think you are just tired.”

“We would know if there was someone else in the building.”

“It’s your imagination; sometimes the mind plays tricks on us.”

I listened to them once again wondering if I had imagined the whole experience. Like a zombie, I quietly allowed the security guard to walk me back to my apartment. On the fifth floor, he walked up and down the corridor to prove to me that there was nobody there. However, I started having my suspicions again. The guard kept looking over his shoulder and laughing nervously, his demeanor far from comforting.

Inside my apartment, the feeling of calmness was now long gone. The silence was tomb-like and I wished there were other people in the building apart from me. I went to the bedroom balcony which only hours before charmed me with the scenic views. However, being at night, I couldn’t see anything beyond the security lights, a heavy blanket-like darkness had fallen on the building.

From the corner of my eyes, I noticed a movement. Someone had moved across my bedroom. I stood rooted to the ground once again scared out of my wits. The movement was too fast to have been the old woman. I wanted to turn my head but instead I found myself staring into the darkness in front of me unable to move.

I have always been scared of heights so I really can’t explain what made me get up on the ledge holding onto the rails for support. However, one minute my feet were on the ground and the next minute, I was on the ledge. I then let go of the rails and had one foot up on the rail while the other was still on the ledge.

“It’s okay, just let go and jump.”

I childlike voice behind me started chanting over and over again. It sounded like a little girl. I couldn’t turn around and look at her, instead, I found myself staring at the darkness below me. I had the strongest urge to go over the balcony and into the darkness. The wind was now blowing hard; I could hear the trees swaying against the wind making a whistle-like sound.

Then Sadness came down on me, a heaviness that reminded me of everything that wasn’t working in my life. The death of my baby, the end of my marriage, everything in me told me that I had nothing to live for. I now had both feet on the rails with one of my hands holding the rails as I tried to stand and let go. I wanted to see the world before I jumped although there was nothing in front of me apart from darkness.
Suddenly, the door bell rang.

I looked down horrified, what was I doing on the rail? My heart was beating as fast as I gingerly balanced on the rails before managing to get down on the ledge and then the floor. My heart was racing and I doubled over retching out my guts. I felt so weak that I could hardly move. The doorbell kept ringing for a while until I gathered my strength and walked to the door.

It was the security guard. I grabbed onto him and wouldn’t let go even as he guided me all the way down the 7 steps.

“How did you know?” I kept asking him.” That doorbell saved my life.”

He kept looking at me not saying a word.

“I don’t know…I can’t explain why I came to your door; I don’t even remember what coming up the stairs…”
Nothing was making sense at this point. However, one thing I was sure about is that I wasn’t going back to that apartment even if it meant losing my deposit and first month rent.

It took sometime before the guard finally opened up to me. He told me of other sightings in the buildings, in his case, there was an old man who he always saw at the parking lot. However, unlike me, he had never been harmed by the old man. He told me that the construction workers had complained of seeing people walking around the building, hearing voices, singing, missing working equipment and some reported to having been hit by random things such as tennis balls who nobody could explain where they had come from. One painter and a plumber had committed suicide.

The next story that the guard told me sent shivers down my spine. The foreman came one day for a normal shift. However, by the end of his shift, four of his crew members were dead before the foreman took a machete to his own head. The construction was stopped for over a year before it resumed.

I asked him why all that was happening and he kept quiet before answering, “This used to be a burial ground.” Rumors have it that there was man who lived on the property where the building stood and who used to kill people and then burry them within the property. It took years before he got caught and even much longer before the police discovered the burial grounds.

“There are claims that not all the bodies were recovered.”

We sat in silence in the security office until dawn. I have never been so been so glad to see the first rays on sunlight. It took me a short while to pack my belongings since I just hurriedly threw everything into the moving truck. I didn’t even have a destination in mind but I knew that I wasn’t spending another night in that building. Just as my moving truck was about to leave, I saw another truck coming in. I watched it as it pulled in and a young woman got out. She looked as excited as I was when moving in.

“Are you moving in also?”

“No…I’m on my way out.”

“Anything I should know about the house?”

“You will love it, it’s amazing!”

I got into my truck and waved at the new tenant as she got into the compound no doubt excited about the new place. It was only after we had left the property that I was able to speak normally again. Whatever had taken control of my speech and made me lie to the new tenant was gone. I looked back trying to see the building for the last time but all I could see was a heavy mist over the trees that surrounded the building.

in the woods