Two wrongs don’t make a right

Part 1

The year 2016 through to 2018 were the most challenging years.

Prior to having my eldest son in 2016, I had everything I needed to start a family–well, that’s what I thought so. A well-paying job, a partner who also had a well-paying job, a place of our own and a son. But after our son was born, we had to move out of the place we were renting because several conditions became unpleasant for our son. We then moved into my older brother’s place. Things were looking alright until I became the only breadwinner of our little family when my partner quit his job (which he had been working for a year) to venture into business, and just like every other start-up, he failed a few months into trialing and became jobless.

We moved out of my brother’s house at the end of 2016 and had to rent out a place. The most troublesome time came when I had to take out an emergency bank loan and then started feeling the pinch of repaying the loan while paying rent, stocking up on groceries and meeting additional financial expenses. To make matters worse, our son depended on drinking formula milk. One day his milk ran out, and I had no money at all. We tried giving him tea, but it was useless. He kept on crying and refusing to drink the tea, that we had to go out and borrow money just to buy his milk. Borrowing money, my worst nightmare became my best friend, who then became an additional expense every fortnight, leaving me more broke than before.

Our finances were an immense problem. I was skipping rent, then had to double on the next fortnight and it was a pain. I started losing weight, no we all started losing weight because most times, a 10kg rice bag, 10kg plain flour, cooking oil, sugar and tea was all I could afford. Fortunately, I didn’t have to worry about saving money for bus fare as my employer provided pickup and drop to and from work. Sometimes I slept without dinner because of stress and anxiety. People gossiped about us often, but little did they know that behind the weight loss was a young mother struggling to make ends meet for her little family amidst trialing times. We had some of my partner’s relatives living with us who did not even care a single cent to support us. They depended on us. They were there only to be fed and never bothered to help out with chores or putting food on the table.

I didn’t have to pay for a babysitter because my partner cared for our son while I went to work. This brought me more stigma as the norm in a traditional PNG society forbade men from changing their children’s diaper, cooking and cleaning or nursing them. Even my family scolded me multiple times whenever my partner took the liberty to attend to his son. I remember arguing several times with my mother just for having my partner share the responsibility of caring for our son. One can only imagine the trauma I was going through. Amidst all, I had the most supportive partner anyone could ask for. He hardly complained and supported me in caring for our son unconditionally. He was a blessing in disguise. But we were never happy.

Prioritize Happiness

Woke up today on the wrong side of bed?

Unhappy for no good reason?

Grumpy or just can’t seem to control yourself?

Go back to sleep, close your eyes

Take a deep breath, count up to five

Relax and remember

Someone out there is fighting for their life

On their sick bed full of regret

For the things that they did wrong, for the life that they did not live

For the people they hurt, for the grudges they held long

Life is not enough, it is short

Shake off negativity, take off any bad clothing that may cause disharmony

Today might be your last day, have a blast

Make others happy, put a smile on someone’s face

Tell yourself that your heart should be filled with happiness

And it should be your priority

Mindful Living on Twitter: "Be happy. Be yourself. If others don't like it.  Then let them be.… "

Give Thanks

Give thanks for all you have

the clear blue sky, the floppy white clouds, the sunshine, the birds chirping

a roof above your head, food on the table, clean drinking water, clothes on your body

shoes on your feet, money in your pocket, a job and a family

Someone out there yearns for what you have

children to cuddle, a spouse to love

abled hands and feet, eye sight and a voice to speak

friends who check on you often, light at night, warmth by the fireplace

imagine how terrible someone’s life might be out there

Give thanks for all you have

Give thanks for a little – Giving thanks Quotes - Inspirational Quotes  about Life, Love, hap… | Thanksgiving quotes christian, Thanksgiving  quotes, Gratitude quotes

Book Review of Nanu Sina: My Words. A book of poems

Emnaupng's Blog

nanu sinaNanu Sina or My Words in the Musa Language of the Oro Province is the title of this book of poems by Carolyn Evari – a Writer, Blogger, Author, Mother and Wife living in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.  The book is  published by local publisher, JDT Publishing.

The book contains Caroline’s refection of life and living, growing up and coming of age.  The book of poems has 82 pages, containing 60 original pieces that are categorized into 4 sections; Conflicts, Relationships, Hope and Family. 

A copy of this book and others that she has written can be found on Amazon.com. Carolyn has also contributed to the 2017 My Walk to Equality: a first all-women’s Anthology from Papua New Guinea. In her story she relates her story of survival as a young girl in Port Moresby. To me her story of overcoming life challenges…

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Caroline Evari tells: ‘Nanu Sina’ came from deepest emotions Nanu SinaLEIAO GEREGA | PNG Post-Courier

 

PORT MORESBY – Imagine reading through a collection of poems only find out that they were written throughout a decade by a young woman struggling through life.

The 85-page book of poems mostly came as an extraction from a young writer’s Grades 11 and 12 school journal and is titled ‘Nanu Sina’ (‘My Words’).

Looking back on her journey, Caroline Evari of Popondetta, who penned her poems as a way to express her emotions while a student in Port Moresby, does not feel that her journey was unique from any other young Papua New Guineans navigating through life.

Her book captures a decade journey and discusses the four main themes based on conflict, relationships, hope and family and raises questions on fear doubt, love, regret, persistence, motherhood and children.

“I wrote in the evenings during study times, early in the mornings and during quiet times,” says Caroline reflecting on the time it took to write her poems.

She also realised she wrote better when she felt stressed from worrying or having self-doubts. However, she says not all her poems are structured around the same topic.

“My poems are centered on my observations and general topics related to society,” she said.

Perhaps having those experiences written down during those emotional moments have led fans to describe her work as beautiful and perceptive to daily issues.

Popular writer and blogger of PNG Attitude, Keith Jackson described Caroline’s book as a collection of “sublime Melanesian verse from a poet of perception.”

Others enjoyed reading her poems while a few have used it for their purposes.

“My girls have not been able to put the book down,” said one fan. “They read it every night.”

While another one said: “Reading your poems brings me memories of the time you wrote a beautiful poem and I had it read at my brother’s funeral.”

To Caroline, having those experiences written down was an important way of managing the emotions that any teenager would have felt at that time.

To have actually published it into a book she wants her readers to know that it’s okay to have doubts, fears and uncertainty as a young person but not okay to have those emotions build up and have a negative impact in their life.

Caroline says finding someone to talk to is a good way to take off the pressure but if you’re anything like her, then write them down in a diary or notebook.

“Let all your frustrations, confusions or fears walk all over the pages of your journal,” said Caroline.

“One day,when you have matured in life and gained enough confidence, you can look back at your journal and be able to see your journey painted all over it.”

That’s what Caroline has been able to do. To look back and be amazed at the journey she took as a teen to an adolescent and finally as a mom with two kids.

Attracting to people to a craft is important to an artisan and similarly, as an author Caroline feels it is important to have her readers resonate with her poems.

Caroline grew up in a family of seven and her dad comes from Musa in the Oro province and Waema in Milne Bay, and is a retired mechanic. Her mother is from Musa and is a full-time mum.

In the late 1990’s Caroline grew up in Popondetta and missed out most of her early childhood education but made up for it by attending her elder sister’s Grade 5 classes.

In the mid-2000’s she was sent from Popondetta to attend the girls’ secondary school at Marianville in Port Moresby.

It was there that the young writer developed her love for poems and remembers spending quiet times writing in her school journal.

“Poetry to me is what I’d like to call a fancy way of expressing one’s feelings,” said Caroline, going on to say that the beauty about poems is that it does not necessarily follow a certain rule in literature.

“It is the best way of expressing yourself,” she said.

Caroline describes poems as a lyrical composition adding that if one can imagine the impact of a lyric then they would be able to understand how beautiful a poem can be.

The drive behind writing poems came about as a way of expressing her loneliness and missing out on parental love.

“I was the youngest in the family of seven and had to leave my parents in Popondetta and go and live with my older siblings to attend school.

“In a way, it made me miss that parental love and care and made me see poem as an outlet to pen all my frustration and experiences.”

During her university days, Caroline had about 65 collections of poems but was still uncertain about the direction in which her writing would take her. In 2015, she began planning the publication of the book but wasn’t able to get it through because of a lack of inspiration.

“The idea of getting my poems published came when I entered the Crocodile Prize competition. I compiled the poems electronically from 2014 to 2015, extracted them onto a template I downloaded from Amazon.com and sorted them in 2016.”

But the urge to publish would become strong after she joined the children’s writing project with the Library For All.

“Seeing the final product of my stories from Library for All really motivated me to get my long overdue collection of poems published. So, when I was inspired to get it published, I got JDT Publications who assisted me with editing, cover page and publications.”

JDT Publications is run by Jordan Dean, a well-known Papua New Guinean writer who has a Facebook page where he has helped so many aspiring writers. Apart from publishing, JDT also offers editorial services, branding and social media marketing and customised illustrations.

There are about 85 poems in Caroline’s book and by deciding to give a local name to it, Nanu Sina from the Yareba language in Musa in Oro Province, the book places more value on her origin and her local dialect.

Her journey has come with a lot of support and help through kind comments, friends reaching out to ask her for advice on publishing and more people asking her to buy her books.

“As an author, it gives me satisfaction knowing that the book is a significant achievement to me.”

But having a role model to look up to is something the young writer says, has really helped her grow as a writer. Caroline has since been receiving mentoring from popular PNG writer Rashmii Amoah Bell on how to write and promote her own books.

Rashmii Amoah Bell’s contribution to PNG literature has challenged many female writers and helped bring out discussions on issues affecting their lives.

“Rashmi Amoah Bell as we know is a Papua New Guinean woman who edited the ‘My Walk to Equality’ book which is the first book that contains a collection of writing from Papua New Guinean women…. how good is that,” said Caroline.

Apart from publishing, Rashmii solely promoted and marketed ‘My Walk to Equality’ where it had its copies purchased and distributed successfully.

Overwhelmed with joy that she’d managed to finally put her words into the beloved, hard-copy form of reading which we call books, Caroline hopes Papua New Guineans would see how important it is to publish stories into books than contributing to social media platforms.

“Because a book is your unique product and you as a writer own the copyright to it,” she said.

“It is a rare thing in PNG for people to become ambitious about publishing book but the moment you publish a book and hold the hard copy for the first time, it gives an amazing feeling of achievement and gives you a whole new perspective.

“Imagine if Facebook, Twitter or Instagram ceased one day, you would lose everything. But when your work is compiled in a book, it stays on forever.”

As a new publisher who’s taken the risk, Caroline wants to see Papua New Guinean writer’s emerging. “Papua New Guineans are great story tellers,” she said.

“If we do not capture all our stories right now, they will one day disappear from our minds and lips.”

For Caroline writing is an art and is something anybody can do where it needs a strong motivation to face challenges in a country like PNG.

To aspiring writers who have tones of manuscripts locked away Caroline advises that commitment to writing gets the job done and unless you’re not committed than you lose focus and end up procrastinating your book.

She has also advised on being prepared to pay the price in order to produce quality work and to also make the right connections to the right people to help support their passion for writing and publishing books.

Caroline recently received her first twenty copies of the book while her first copies have been sold out so far.

Over the coming months, she will be conducting a series of school talks to NCD schools and would like to ask language and literature teachers to reach out to her on email caroline.evari@gmail.com should they want her to visit their schools.

Excitingly, Caroline is looking at giving the first 10 copies of her book to the first 10 schools that invite her to speak to their students on her writing and publishing journey.

Apart from her own book, she will also be giving away several books such as Crocodile Prize Anthologies and books authored by other Papua New Guinean writers.

Caroline has already been invited by three schools in National Capital District and is now busy with several book projects including children’s books, another poem book, a collection of myths and legends, and a book about her career journey.

When Caroline is not working, she spends her free time writing and has already authored several children’s story books for the Library for All, contributed to ‘My Walk to Equality’, the Crocodile Prize competition and to spillwords.com

Caroline who works as a team Assistant with the World Bank Group says she receives a lot of help from her supportive husband and loves spending time with her two beautiful kids, Zechariah who is 3 and Nehemiah who is one.

Looking through her book of poems Caroline sees a young woman who has finally found her passion, found love and is unafraid to face challenges in life.

“It’s is all about taking the risk and finding your passion,” she said.

https://asopa.typepad.com/…/caroline-evari-tells-nanu-sina-…

Book Interview with gorgeous Betty Wakia

Caroline Evari: ‘Choose to rise above every circumstance….’

Betty Wakia (2)

Betty Wakia

BETTY WAKIA

BETTY WAKIA: Why did you decide to call your recently published collection of poems, ‘Nanu Sina’?

CAROLINE EVARI: ‘Nanu Sina’ simply means ‘my words’. I chose this title because, as you read through the book, you will notice most of the poems are basically my own thoughts related to my personal experiences and observations.

BETTY: Can you tell us what sort of poems are in this book?

CAROLINE: The book is divided into four parts – Conflicts, Relationships, Hope and Family. In each, you will find poems that resonate with the theme. For example, under Conflict, you find poems that talk about war, doubt and fear and under Relationships there are poems about love and friendship.

BETTY: How did your environment and upbringing colour you’re writing?

CAROLINE: Both have had a huge impact on my writing. Growing up, I never openly shared my challenges with the people around me. Because most of the poems have been extracted from my Grades 11 and 12 school journals, they are basically my way of expressing my fear, disappointments, hopes and dreams for an envisioned future. My journal was a place for me to confide in, so I wrote and wrote without stopping because I found writing a way of relieving stress.

BETTY: Give us an interesting fun fact about the book.

CAROLINE: Most of the poems are a misrepresentation of who I am today. You will find me writing a lot of uplifting poems in contrast with what’s found in the book.

BETTY: How many drafts did your book go through before publication?

CAROLINE: This book went through five drafts.

BETTY: And how long did it take to write?

Caroline: Most of my poems were written in 2008-09 when I was in secondary school. I started compiling them electronically from 2014–15. So, it took me approximately 11 years.

BETTY: What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

CAROLINE: I don’t have a schedule for writing poetry. I write whenever a phrase or a sentence pops into my mind. I note it on a piece of paper or in a book. I might even open a separate word document and jot down thoughts throughout the day. I guess that’s the beauty of poetry, you don’t have to necessarily schedule a time to write.

BETTY: How did the book get published?

CAROLINE: I contacted Jordan Dean at JDT Publications and he helped me publish the book.

BETTY: Where do you get your information and ideas?

CAROLINE: The beauty about poetry is that you don’t really need to think hard about writing, you just need to use your emotions – it’s about using your full five senses. My inspiration comes from my surrounding and through observation. I write better when I can feel emotion and the book is made up of these expressions.

BETTY: How many books have you written? Which is your favorite and why?

Zuki

CAROLINE: So far, I have written four books, this poetry collection and and three children’s books. The story books have been published by Library for All and, as an author, I contribute by writing stories which they pay for, develop into picture books and publish for distribution in the remote areas of Papua New Guinea. I am still waiting to hear if my other stories have been developed into picture books. My favorite book is ‘Zuki the Crocodile’ because that was my first children’s story that got accepted by Library for All and has been developed into a picture book. It’s also available on Amazon.

BETTY: Did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

CAROLINE: It gave me a whole new perspective on writing. I try to brainstorm around new topics or projects to work on and think about how I could develop myself at a more professional level.

BETTY: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

CAROLINE: One surprising thing is the support I receive from friends and family members and the impact my writing has created. This is a driving force for me to do better.

BETTY: Do you hear from readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

CAROLINE: One reader was able to relate to the poems which also brought back to her a memory of a poem I had completely forgotten which I wrote and read at her brother’s funeral. A colleague of mine pointed out that most of the poems depict sorrow and grief and saw that was me expressing myself. He was very impressed with the book. Another colleague said her daughters seem to enjoy the poems and every night, before going to bed, they read at least two. She says they are now beginning to gain interest in poetry.

BETTY: Are there any current projects you’re undertaking?

CAROLINE: I have a good number of children’s stories I wrote for Library for All which they turned down after their reviewing process, so one of my major aim is try and work with an illustrator to develop them into picture books. Secondly, I have an incomplete pile of positive quotes, thoughts and poems which I am hoping to complete and publish. I do not have a timeline for this.

BETTY: How do you market and promote your books?

CAROLINE: My current platforms are Instagram, Facebook and WordPress. I am also in the process of developing a media release to run on PNG Attitude. I am using Rashmii’s mentorship in this project and it has been good so far.

BETTY: Can you share with us the best way to reach you and where to learn more about your books?

CAROLINE: ‘Nanu Sina’ is available on Amazon for anyone who can buy online. For those within PNG, you can reach me on Facebook or by email caroline.evari@gmail.com

BETTY: What other authors are you friends with and how do they help you become a better writer?

CAROLINE: Rashmii Amoah Bell since I connected with her through the My Walk to Equality Project until to date. Jordan Dean – since the day I followed him on Facebook. Baka Bina – whose kind words towards my work really motivated me to publish a book. I am also a member of writer groups on Facebook, this is where I learn and try to collaborate with other writers. I also follow other writers’ blogs and Instagram, this is how I learn.

BETTY: Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer?

CAROLINE: I believe the best way to become better is to be determined to be better. And by being determined, you will begin to do things to improve yourself, such as doing research, approaching the right people, facing your fears and taking risks. Being determined also enables you to not stop until you have reached your goal.

BETTY: As a Papua New Guinean female writer and author what do you want to see and achieve in the next five to 10 years?

Caroline: Write more than 10 books and explore other genres. I see myself publishing more children’s story books. I would also like to see a ripple effect being created by this achievement and have a solid platform in place for forthcoming Papua New Guinean writers.

BETTY: What is your advice for women who want to publish their own book?

CAROLINE: Nothing must ever stop you from achieving your dream. The only way to be heard or be recognised is when you choose to rise above every circumstance and fight fiercely until you reach the frontline. It may never be easy for a woman, but what makes you think it’s easy for a man? Self-determination and discipline is the only difference

Book Review Part 2 by Rashmii Amoa Bel

Nanu Sina: My Words

I had the good fortune to mentor Papua New Guinean writer Caroline Evari who has just published a new collection of poetry, ‘Nanu Sina: My Words’.

It is an exciting time as Caroline celebrates this success, and in the interview with Betty Wakia that follows, she reflects on how she maximised the sparse moments between the manic juggling of career, life demands and motherhood.

In these moments, Caroline created, drafted redrafted and refined her manuscript before submitting it to Port Moresby-based publisher, JDT Publications, run by Jordan Dean.

It is also a joyous time as family, friends, colleagues and fellow writers have been forthcoming in praising and admiring the book’s publication.

Amongst all this, Caroline continues to diligently attend to the significant task required of published authors – promoting and marketing her work to engage with a wide audience and, of course, sell books.

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are accessible, low-cost and wide-reaching social-media platforms available for effective online marketing. And PNG Attitude was quick off the mark with a first review of the book which Keith Jackson described as “a collection of sublime Melanesian verse from a poet of perception.”

And, at Caroline’s invitation, I offer a few comments about ‘Nanu Sina’, focusing my thoughts on her poetry contained within section III of the collection and themed ‘Hope’.

Perhaps reflective of my own motivation for advocacy writing, I was interested to learn how Caroline would define ‘hope’ and how she would visualise it within herself, in front of and around her, and how she would convey this through poetic prose.

The section begins with a clarion call for ‘Success’; believing in oneself, taking ownership and leaving nothing to chance. Such are the daily motivations one might need.

But it is Caroline’s insistence that there are “so many dreams waiting to be realised” in which hope is crystallised as the universal notion it ought to be.

Hope is something for everyone, to be envisioned at any time and in any place. It is especially significant for the Papua New Guinean reader.

The gift of parenthood and its blessings are narrated through ‘Words of Life’, which offers an insight to Caroline’s experience as a mother-of-two. I feel only appreciation and admiration for her willingness to share her personal life-changing moments that succeeded in renewing what had been a fast-fading hope.

‘Acceptance’ is Caroline’s prescription for active gratitude, an assertion of resoluteness and determination, a marching onwards as the crux of a positive outlook in life. Whilst ‘A Man’s Struggle for Survival’ is every writers anthem (if not hourly mantra) for doing what they do and to keep returning to do it the day after, and all the next days beyond –

“I write on full speed
I write with great heed
My work is a need
To bring good deed.”

It is the words of ‘Act’ in which Caroline provokes the reader to contemplate the potential of both cultivating, but enacting hope.

“The earth will not rotate unless you speak / The rain will not fall unless you fight,” she insists.

These words seem indicative of Caroline’s definition of how we need to take a stand against those who would rob us of feeling of hope, the type of people I distance myself from, in a life driven and navigated through by hope.

They are words through which Caroline inspires hope within me.

In support of this wonderful book, I invited fellow Papua New Guinean writer and staunch women’s rights advocate, Betty Wakia, to interview Caroline. The interview follows below.

Book Review Part I : Nanu Sina: My Words

****So very grateful for having this review done***
A collection of sublime Melanesian verse from a poet of perception Caroline Evari – Nanu Sina

By KEITH JACKSON

Book Review

Nanu Sina: My Words, A Collection of Poems by Caroline Evari, paperback, 84 pages. JDT Publications, 2019, $3.75. ISBN-10: 1096713942. Available from Amazon here

Most of the poetry in this collection by Caroline Evari is pocket-sized, most of it has a big impact and all of it continues the wonderful tradition of demonstrating that much of the best writing from Papua New Guinea comes from its poets.

Phil Fitzpatrick and I have often remarked about the music that seems to occupy the soul of Melanesian writers and the openness of character that enables emotions to be on display rather than suppressed.

Both attributes lead to fine writing and are seen in ‘Nanu Sina’ ( ‘My Words’ in the Oro language) and they resonate through the poems in this overdue collection of the author’s thoughts, opinions, reactions and observations towards life, love, relationships, family, nature and events.

Caroline Evari, 30, was born in Vanimo but is of Musa (Oro) and Waema (Milne Bay) extraction. She is married with two children and studied computer science and mathematics at the University of Papua New Guinea.

Motivated to share her poetry through the Crocodile Prize national literary contest, Caroline says she is grateful that these awards, established in 2011, “gave an ordinary poet like me a voice and a platform”.

Caroline adds, “I like consider myself a student still growing wings under the literary prize”.

As this volume shows, those wings have learned to fly and the poems, organised into four categories – Conflicts, Relationships, Hope and Family, show great maturity as they wrestle with some of the complex issues that challenge Papua New Guineans today.

Caroline has written elsewhere (‘My Walk to Equality’, Pukpuk Publications, 2017) that “as women, we ask for permission to do a lot of things, but the first thing we need to do is to give ourselves the permission to be great…. Your mind is your greatest enemy, not the people around you.”

Her poetry is eminently accessible, as this extract from Corruption illustrates….

The change in humanity
The filth in bureaucracy
Stolen beauty
And captive wealth
Floats in the cloud of corruption

While, amidst the scorn of those who make life immensely difficult for the people of PNG, there is also apprehension as I Wonder shows….

I wonder why everything looks so perfect
Yet we get ourselves involved in fatal things
I wonder if people do learn from their mistakes
Every day we are climbing rugged hills
I wonder what will eventually happen
To me in the end
And sometimes I am afraid my heart will stop beating
Or I could end up walking down the wrong road

Anyone who has lived in Papua New Guinea, or even visited for more than a few days, will understand the importance of relationships and the emotional investment that is made in them, as is well articulated in Be Near Me Always….

When night falls and the place is quiet
Make me believe I am not alone
Creep up beside me in the darkness
That I may feel you’re right here
Crawl into my thoughts
In the silence of my sleep

And in A Mother’s Words To Her Child….

Come lie in my hands dear child
Let me rock you in the palm of my hands
Let me embrace you with the warmth of my chest
I will comfort you from all storms
I will protect you from all danger.

Caroline Evari has selected some wonderful poetry for her first collection. And she has found a conscientious publisher in Jordan Dean, one of two Papua New Guineans who offer this most worthwhile service to PNG authors (the other is Francis Nii).

We compliment Caroline on her achievement and look forward to more from her inner Thalia, the Greek muse of idyllic poetry.

 

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Nanu Sina: My Words

 

 

60229950_2165136740271646_63494142214275072_nNanu Sina is made up poems. Most of the poems were written down in my grade 11 – 12 school journal way back in 2008-2009 while I was a student at Marianville Secondary School, an all girls school in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

Although I loved writing, I never had any idea about keeping a journal until our Language and Literature teacher Mrs. Abbady introduced it.

She’d give a theme to work on every week which was specifically for creative writing and we were expected to write the other entries ourselves based on our own topics. I found poetry very suiting so I’d would write at least on poetry entry, one creative piece and a short essay. This was her way of preparing us for the  Written Expression National Exam. She was a tough woman, the journals were supposed to be handed over at 8am on Mondays and if you are late, your journals are rejected. She rejected my journal one time and it devastated me – because getting my work critiqued and writing itself was a big deal to me. I went to the ladies toilet, hid in there and cried my heart out. I felt so depressed. I could not stand the fact the my journal was not going to be reviewed so I went over to my grade 9-10 English Teacher Mrs. Asi who without hesitant agreed to review my work. Her review was amazing! She had smiley faces on every page with so many encouraging and positive words. That was he day, I told myself to not miss that journal due date.

And today, I have an even greater achievement.

Nanu Sina simply means “my words” in my Musa language.

Nanu means my or mine and Sina means words.