The Christmas spirit is in the air and many people are rushing to prepare for the festivities.
A random check with a couple of local tour and travel agencies reveals that most of the popular holiday destinations, especially at the Coast region, are fully booked.
That strikes out most of the ideal holiday destinations. So, with Christmas just a few days away, is it still possible to have a special and memorable holiday?
Here is how:
1. Holiday home
You must have heard about Airbnb, especially if you have an adventurous streak that compels you to travel a lot. It is an online community service that enables homeowners (hosts) to rent their homes to travellers who seek accommodation for a specified period.
The hosts list the spaces they wish to rent out on the Airbnb website, complete with photos and cost, which makes it easy for interested guests to easily book these spaces online.
Unlike hotel suites, the Airbnb rentals have a homely feel that allows guests to enjoy the full experience of the destination in its natural setting. Most of them are self-catering, which means you can enjoy all your favourite home-made Christmas recipes at a holiday home of your choice.
The homes are located in serene environments and are a welcome break from the everyday urban scenery. Plenty of outdoor space gives room for the children to run around, ride bikes and take part in other outdoor fun activities.
The homes include farm cottages, bungalows, bus houses, boat houses, tree houses and huts, all modernised and fitted with amenities such as electricity, Internet connection and plumbing.
Some cottages even have farm animals to further enrich the experience. Some bungalows, especially those located in Nanyuki, date back to the colonial era, giving the guests a feel of Kenya’s history. Log on to https://www.airbnb.com/s/Kenya to find out what’s on offer.
2. Home exchange
An alternative to renting space is home exchange, which enables you to change your scenery for free. You start by registering in any of the available home exchange websites online such as ‘Guest To Guest’ or ‘Love Home Swap’. This will include creating a profile that bears a short description of your home, along with pictures.
Next, you search for the kind of home you would wish to swap with, and once the match is made, the swap takes place at absolutely no charge. It is almost similar to how dating sites work, if you have ever been on one.
The best thing about home exchange is that it allows you to experience a wide range of home experiences at no cost, and as long as the match has been made, you can vacation in a mansion, a cottage, a farm house or even a simple studio apartment.
If a new experience is what you are looking to share with your family this Christmas, this would be an idea worth a try as you also gift someone else the experience of your space.
The sites have taken precautionary measures that ensure those that do the exchange are legit homeowners, although they can only do so online. It is important therefore to take your own security measures, such as locking up your valuables in a safe.
Remember, once you open your home to a stranger, there really is no telling what they will do in your house. A good rapport can help foster trust, and you may also agree to have surveillance cameras if that will enhance peace of mind for both parties.
3. Visit the elderly
Another way to make this a memorable Christmas is by making a visit to a nursing home for the elderly, such as Thogoto Home for the Aged in Kiambu County, Harrison House Retirement Home in Nairobi and Mzeecare Retirement Home in Ridgeways, Nairobi.
Most of them have lost touch with their families and would greatly appreciate having visitors come over for Christmas.
Those whose memory is still sharp relish telling stories from their heyday, most of which are not only entertaining, but also laden with life lessons, which would be good for your children.
In addition, they love to hear the sounds of children laughing — it lifts their spirits and warms their hearts. It explains why intergenerational programming is now being embraced by nursing homes for the aged to help treat diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
If you decide to visit these homes, carry with you some candy and pastries because old people have a sweet tooth too, but since their staple diet does not include these, the sweets will definitely be a treat.
You may also want to carry toiletries; top on that list is unscented petroleum jelly as their skin tends to dry out really fast.
Thick woollen socks or scarves would be highly appreciated as well, but the best present would be your company.
Bring with you some great music CDs and you will be amazed to discover that some of them still have some smooth moves from back in the day.
Singer speaks after attacking lover at WCB signee Zuchu’s star-studded concert
56 minutes ago
On 18 July, there was fanfare at the Mlimani City Hall in Dar es Salaam as WCB signee Zuchu held a thanksgiving concert months after her debut EP, I Am Zuchu. The event dubbed ‘Ahsante Nashukuru’ mainly featured performances by artistes from the WCB stable and attracted the whos-who in the Tanzanian entertainment and political scenes.
However, singer Gigy Money who also performed made the headlines for the wrong reasons after getting into a scuffle with her lover during the much-publicised concert.
READ ALSO: I was bewitched by a friend – Gigy Money
Peaceful arrival, later chaos
Moments earlier, Gigy and her Nigerian man were seen arriving arm in arm at the event whose highlight featured Zuchu receiving a brand new car from WCB head honcho Diamond Platnumz. Donning matching outfits, the couple was spotted on the red carpet as the paparazzi scrambled to capture the moment. However, all hell breaks loose later and viral videos depict the visibly angered Nigerian arguing with a bouncer at the entrance. After a tense confrontation, Gigy’s man is seen being led by the screaming bouncer towards the exit. Shortly after, a similarly irritated Gigy emerges and follows the pair.
“Gigy! Wewe Gigy wewe!” a woman in the background is heard dissuading the singer from pursuing them but the singer pays no heed and heads for the pair.
“You want to beat me?” the boyfriend is heard asking an approaching Gigy as the bouncer acts as a barrier between them. The bouncer manages to steer the incensed man towards the exit as Gigy follows behind, hurling obscenities.
At some point, a barefoot Gigy turns into a sprint before throwing one of her shoes which hits the man who then responds with an insult. Another bouncer finally intervenes and the two are separated. Gigy then asks for her vehicle so she can head home before warning the press against sharing videos of the incident.
Though the cause of their tiff is still unknown Gigy later made reference to the shocking incident in a social media post, hinting that alcohol had a part to play in the fracas. In another post, Gigy shared a photo alongside her estranged lover writing: “My mad man looked handsome before his demons arose and mine arose too.”
‘Running over Ali Kiba’
Gigy is not new controversy and recently said she’d run over her ex, singer Ali Kiba for breaking her heart.
“I will knock all of them down, I mean I will kill them. In fact, I will flatten them like chapatis. The first person I will knock down and kill is Ali Kiba. Actually, I don’t need a weak car, I need a Fuso so that when I knock him down I will be sure he doesn’t survive,” Gigy told Ayo TV.
Dating Kiba brothers
Gigy had in the past admitted to dating both Ali Kiba and his younger brother, Abdu Kiba. She solely laid the blame on Chekecha singer for pursuing her despite knowing that she’d been with his younger brother. Abdu expressed being heartbroken after learning the two had a fling, prompting him to marry.
“I was very hurt on hearing that Ali was dating Gigy Money because I dated her first before she became famous. But it’s alleged that Ali didn’t know. It hurt me for a while till when I married,” said Abdu.
Defunct Nairobi County Council Nurses Go On Strike, Citing Discrimination By The Government
Why Jahmby Kokai is happy her TV anchor dream never came true
37 minutes ago
Popular media personality Jahmby Koikai narrated how her first attempt at auditioning as a TV host backfired and she was sent home on the first day of the audition. Reliving her prime days, Jahmby narrated how she was determined to follow her dream of becoming a news anchor after completing her degree.
“There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro FM. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it.
“Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu?” she posed.
According to the endometriosis survivor, she went ahead to audition for the position despite the warning and was the first contestant to be sent packing.
“So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said some of us have to go home.
“My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news,” she narrated.
Later, Jahmby auditioned for another TV opportunity only to miss out as well.
“Then came another opportunity over 10 years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. I didn’t get the job.”
However, due to endometriosis, Jahmby was forced to put her dreams on hold and concentrate on getting better. According to her, it is as though God had better plans for her and is grateful to not have gotten the jobs.
“I battled severe endometriosis in silence for over 19 years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilized all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant.”
There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro Fm. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it. Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu? Nikasema zi. So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said, some of us have to go home. My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news. Then came another opportunity over 10years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. As you see in this pic, I got my hair done at Ralph’s Hair Salon, new suit etc. I didn’t get the job. After KBC, I never got to anchor the news again. I’m grateful I did not get the job even though I felt dejected at the time. I battled severe Endometriosis in silence for over 19years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilised all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant. There are many people like me who are bound by chronic illness and cannot do the things they love. I share your pain. But there’s hope. I’m grateful to God for His reminder that He will restore to you all the years that the locusts have eaten. Also Jer 29:11