If you are reading this then you know that the great Rotaract Club of Nairobi Central (RCNC) held the last meeting of the year 2020. Yes! We deserve those felicitations so keep them coming! Previously, 1830 hrs (EAT) would find our members and guests streaming into the Laico Hotel armed with gifts ready to play the adrenaline-infused “Secret Santa” game; a homegrown tradition at RCNC where during the last meeting of the year, members present exchange anonymous gifts. If you have been a good person all year and if you tithe religiously, you would be lucky to land on a well-thought-out gift. The scales of justice at RCNC are never wrong. If you had been ‘eating fare” all year or such unwelcomed deeds, then you would land funny gifts like baby soap, earbuds – anything! After all, Santa brings anything!
In line with the COVID regulations, our last meeting of the unprecedented year 2020 was different. If there were a Guinness book for years in the 21st century, 2020 would go down as the most unique year of the century, and I’m crossing my fingers that 2021 doesn’t try to outdo it. Members had to log in to Zoom as we tried to spread some Christmas spirit despite the gloomy pandemic. As a club, we strive to spread sunshine even in the darkest of times. A glimmer of hope and fun, just like a midnight sun.
At exactly 1930hrs the meeting was called to order by our very own Vice President Steve Maina. In a virtual meeting, you would think asking people to talk about the mystery that 2020 has been would be difficult or you would anticipate many cricket moments (moments when everyone goes silent. This was not the case or rather, we had an excellent moderator who kept everyone talking.
2020 provided a plethora of opportunities and working from home was among the many; an arrangement many people would term as a scam owing to productivity concerns when working from home. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations within the country and beyond switched to this new norm. The meeting began with stories on member’s experiences in the new ‘working from home’ arrangement.
Granted. 2020 saw the birth and rise of some phrases as the world shifted into virtual meetings. To be honest, I’m sure we are guilty of using them more than often. Phrases like “I have a problem with my mic”, “My camera is not working” oh and the one that works magic “My internet is acting up.” Phrases we never thought we would utter.
Working from home also meant Rotary and Rotaract meetings were conducted virtually and this too had its fair share of surprises. We all remember that one meeting where a female participant did her hair during a meeting; an excellent use of time if you ask me but not when you intended to do it without the whole world watching. She gave us a good laugh though. I’m not sure whether it was the same meeting where a couple was speaking in their vernacular language in full oblivion that their mics were on.
For all consolation, 2020 has equipped us with virtual etiquette skills which we would never have otherwise acquired.
How can I forget that in 2020, one of our virtual meetings was hacked by anonymous individuals who kept changing their usernames and unleashed one of the scariest incidents, in full glare of our members and the guest speaker of the day! Ironically, that same meeting was about Online Safety and the hack rubberstamped the need to equip our members with prudent measures to mitigate such incidents.
COVID weddings! Lord! This was perhaps one of the silver linings through the pandemic! I loved seeing small weddings on social media. A small wedding means a reduced budget so yes, 2020 couples have saved insanely! I enjoyed seeing the intimacy that 2020 brides and grooms had during their ceremonies though. Well, our very own Prisca Wangui was a 2020 bride and as she expressed, the most challenging part was managing family and friends because everyone wanted to attend her wedding in August but COVID restrictions couldn’t allow. As grave as this would sound, she was laughing all the way to the bank since a huge number of financial resources that would have been consumed by the wedding were channeled elsewhere in her new family. It was the first wedding at RCNC where we were all glued to our phones following the proceedings live. Someone said this was a wasted food opportunity but the new bride promised the club some Cake and Tea at a convenient date.
At RCNC, food is importanter therefore, as we pass our Congratulations to Mrs. Prisca Mwenda on your holy matrimony, we remind you of that cake and tea sometime in the New Year. Well, they say rain is a blessing. If this is true, the Rotaract Club of Nairobi Central members and guests who attended the Karura Forest Hangout ought to share some of the blessings because as on the 5th of September 2020, they were rained on a good one, you can read the article here (Dancing In The Rain)
Another landmark event in 2020 was held by The Rotary Foundation committee as it steered the club to a ‘Race to Zero’ Campaign. This was an amazing event that attracted Rotarians, Rotaractors and guests from all over Africa and beyond. According to The Rotary Foundation Director this was a simple idea that morphed into an amazing and utterly informative event. Of course, in between this meeting was loads of laughter. Missed it? Don’t worry.
Our last meeting in the year 2020 was arranged by the Club Service committee and excellently moderated by our President-Nominee 2022-2023, Steve Maina.
We are excited to see you in the New Year! And yes, we have a date with you-12th January 2020 as we make more memories and have fun in service!
Stand by and Happy Holidays!
Article by; Susan. K. Maina (Rtr) | Assistant Secretary, RCNC