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Nderitu Wa Gikumba

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Seroconversion; A Memoir.
By Nderitu Wa Gikumba
Thursday, August 23, 2012

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‘Seroconversion: A Memoir’ is my story. Written in an everyday tone and language, the story captures my moments from the day I get diagnosed towards the realization of a new hidden talent; writing and a new love; reading! It’s a journey of fear; despair, confusion, denial, struggle, shame, withdrawal, renewal, acceptance and hope. An inspiration at the darkest hour; a story of resilience!!

The Day I Got Diagonized (Part One).

I wake up in the morning. I am alone…. (you know my wife have travelled to visit some relatives and solicit some money to fund my forthcoming trip abroad). I am taking a shower; I look at the rushes in my skin and am like……damn it....this allergy!!!

There is no cooking gas in the house and I have a problem lighting a charcoal stove…It takes forever to light. That means no breakfast for me despite the hunger pang and the slight headache associated with the hangovers of the previous weekend…I have not eaten well since…was it Friday? (damn, we partied like it was our last party (or was it?)…..Friday through Saturday to Sunday Morning in some borne fire beer party in the middle of a forest….(It was fun….apart from the cold and my ex being there).Anyway, forget about the partying thing, was just a by the way.

So, I leave the house towards our usual idlers’ corner….a shoe cobblers’ base. (If I had not informed you earlier, I have been out of full time work since January 2011 and I survive on consultancy assignments which are very irregular in this part of the world. I therefore have more hours in a day than I need…..wish I could trade them for a coin or two.)

Today is a great day for me (or is it?), I am going to book my flight for Hong Kong for a life transforming opportunity. I have been selected as a youth fellow to represent my Country. I don’t have a coin in my pocket yet, but I have solid promises from a few guys that they will send me some money today, including my wife’s grandpa to fund my air ticket. So, despite the few uncertainties going on in my little head, I am as optimistic as Hitler was starting the 2nd world war.

I am just seating there passing time; puffing a cigarette, (I stopped smoking though), throwing a joke there but googling constantly for flight details on my phone. One of my usual guys runs a taxi. Today, his taxi is down. (Damn….He broke the drivers screen and the side mirror during the bush beer party). So, he is providing me with the so much needed company.....then, an SMS! Could it be the money I am waiting for? (I hope you understand this thing of sending money via your mobile phone…they call it mobile money transfer. It’s very popular here)….and sure it is. The first bunch of the money has entered……or is it come in?

I am now thinking fast. I need to grab something fast or ill surely collapse, but my appetite is still down; thanks to the hangover. I decide to have a physician look at these rushes before I grab a bite. I walk into a clinic. I am the only client so I go straight to the consultation room. The Doctor looks at the rushes. “You need two injections and some pills”, he tells me. I ask what would be the cause. He tells me I am not feeding well...... be continued........

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