Ngala-Najla

I Celebrate Myself…


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Wait, Wait… Mugabe is still here?

I am listening to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me on NPR, online, while writing this and it is hilarious. Right now they are talking about getting energy from bouncing breasts! lol

Okay, so now to more serious business: what the heck is going on in Zimbabwe?! Kristof of The New York Times wrote an interesting Op-Ed piece about Mugabe and the hypocrisy of other African nations in holding  him accountable for his actions. Zimbabwe, once the richest country in Africa, has succumbed to a being a country where hunger is rampant and Mugabe, butchers and terrorizes anyone who opposes him.

Kristof entitled the article, “If Only He were White,” and I think that this such a true statement. Black African leaders would be calling for the ousting of Mugabe from his post months ago, if he were white. However, Mbeki of South Africa is standing by him strong, and other African leaders are turning a blind eye, with the exception of Zambian President, Mwanawasa (yeah, ask me to pronounce that for ya!), and people are starving and being tortured. Will we ever get it right, as human beings?

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On Growth and Harmony

I am in this space of contemplation and reflection. It’s funny, in the havoc of a full house ( my parents’), I am finding solace. I am doing yoga almost everyday, detoxing (going vegan for two weeks), meditating and trying to surround myself with goodness–things that feed my soul.


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The Tie That Binds

I am in New York. I am home, and there are a lot things that I am thankful for, but tonight I am most thankful for my sister. Today, (or by the date that this post will show, yesterday) she took me out for my birthday. We went and watched the Sex and the City movie (she fell asleep a couple of times,but I digress) and then she wanted to take me to a restaurant, all for my birthday. Knowing that she might be late for work if we dined in, I told her that if she allowed me to peruse Strand, she wouldn’t have to buy me dinner. I was under the assumption that I would pay for any books that I placed in my hands, however she told me at the register that she would buy my books for me as a birthday present. So, my copies of Anna Karenina, My Name is Red and The Great Gatsby were accompanied by her copy of The Vixen Diaries by Karinne Steffens.

We ran through the rain, twice and made it home. My sister had to run back out (into the pouring rain) to her job, and only had time to change. I told her that this was a time when I wished I knew how to drive ( need to check my to do list) so that she wouldn’t have to go in the rain again . I asked her to let me know when she made it to her job. She sent me a text later saying that she made it, and that she had a great time hanging out with me,”xoxo”–now, how cute is that?!


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Half the Perfect World

Chapter 1

Listed at the bottom of the page was the announcement that made her heart pound, as if to break through her chest– they were married. It happened last Saturday. He appeared happy, she thought. She searched for any indication of unhappiness, but the picture was perfect, even the flower girls were behaving. Two years ago, she believed that she found the one, as she walked in Central Park with him, she smiled inside, excited at the thought of forever. Now, she feels stuck, stuck in what was, two years ago.

She placed the Sunday Times down on her coffee table and inhaled the aroma of the chamomile tea, hoping that it would soothe her. Any minute now she knew her mom would call to ask her about her feelings– she wasn’t in the mood. She wanted to place every means of communication on pause, her cell phone, her home phone, her email, her mind… the constant chatter in her mind was creating a headache.

So, she thought, it is done, now it is a good time to start over. “Here’s to new beginnings, Tosh,” she said aloud to her dog, named after Peter Tosh, the Jamaican singer. Tosh just looked at her and then began to scratch himself. Billie Holiday’s “All of Me” began to play on her radio, so fitting for the mood she was in.

She opened the curtains and looked outside, the morning was so beautiful that she almost forgot how sad she was and then she caught a glimpse of the paper. Wow, I wish him the best, she said aloud. Man, she cannot wait for the time when she really means it!

Her phone began to ring and she stood there listening to her mother, “Sasha. It’s your mother, give me a call, I… I know you saw the paper. I just want to know how ya doing?” Like any Jamaican, Bridgette had two names a “pet name” or nickname–Sasha and her real name, which was on the birth certificate:Bridgette. Only family and close friends knew her as Sasha and her mom only called her Bridgette when she was annoyed with her.

Not a second after the message, her cell phone rang– it was her mother– this one she knew she had to pick up because if she didn’t, the entire NYPD would be put on alert.

Hi, mommy

Sasha, did you see the paper?

Yes, mommy

How you doing dere?

I am okay. They look lovely.

Hmm.hmm, Sasha don’t pay dat any mind you ear

Yes, mommy. I know.

Well, you want to come over dinner?

Hmm, that sounds tempting, but can I tell you later or just drop by

Alright, you know you don’t even have to ask, girl

ok, mom, thanks

I love you Sasha

I love you, too. Bye

Now she knew her mom was worried. Her parents are not the type to vocally discuss love, unless they were concerned. This started when she was in undergrad and got very depressed after a breakup with her boyfriend of two years. He was her first love and with the load of having two majors, she became depressed. So, when her parents found out, they started telling her that they loved her after every conversation, as if to say, “don’t kill yourself, we are here.” So, now she knew that especially when her mother said I love you, she was in big trouble, emotionally.

Chapter 2

She needed a walk and so did Tosh. She wanted to go to the local farmers market anyway.


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I Celebrate Myself

Hmm, I love that line, the beginning of Walt Whitman’s poem Songs of Myself, one of the most introspective poems ever written. Well today, I celebrate myself and the people that are in my life, loving me–my friends and my family. I just did a quiet smile, the type that doesn’t show up on your face but comes straight from the heart. Although I am sleep deprived (marinating chicken late last night and then  my parents singing me happy birthday at 6:43 in the morning over the phone, followed by my sister at 7:30 and then a friend from Jamaica at 8:40!) I am thankful.

So, on my birthday today, I celebrate myself and all the light and love that is in my life at this moment. I celebrate the possiblities of the future, the lessons of the past and I celebrate the gift of this moment.


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Hmm, Hmm Good

So, I am having a birthday dinner celebration on Sunday and I am putting the menu together. I have made Chana Masala in the past and my friends have loved it. I’m planning on making it again, along with some stew chicken and basmati rice ( still haven’t figured out if it will be brown or white basmati rice, but I digress) as the main course. While browsing recipes on Youtube, I came across this guy and I gotta say he is becoming my favorite; he should have his own show on the Food Network: