So in 2007, I had a crush on this dude I used to work with and I decided to Derrick Society (GO!) him. I googled him and by some luck, chance or divine direction, I was led to this site. Which I discovered had a chat page and forums that seemed very interesting. The same dude had started referring to me by a certain nickname and so armed with that name as a username, I joined the members of the site in discussing life’s challenges, highs, happiness and joys. Little did I know that this simple act of interacting with unknown people would change my life completely.
It was so much fun being anonymous and speaking out my mind, holding conversations with young adults who shared my faith as a Christian. It was so refreshing. It was usually the first site I used to log onto when I woke up and many times I would fall asleep with that site being the last thing I read. One day in June 2007, someone decided that people had been chatting for too long, it was time to meet up and get to know each other for real. What! I decided that I was going to stay anonymous. There was no way I was going to let everyone see who the silly person that kept on throwing in the weirdest comments everywhere was. One dude who I had become really good friends with at that time really took time to convince me to attend the nyama choma plan. I didn’t budge. I told him that the only way I was going to meet up with the rest is if the two of us met 15 minutes before the rest and if I discovered that he was ‘normal’ I would stay on and meet the rest and go for the nyama choma plan. :BLUSH:
So I arrived in town 30 minutes before time and walked around Bata Hilton trying to suss out who these ‘crazy people’ were. I kept on calling this dude who was supposed to meet me 15 minutes earlier but he was in a very noisy matatu and couldn’t hear me. My internal paranoia antennae went up a notch higher and I decided that since it seemed that it looked like I would have to make a quick exit, I would need to park Hipilicious’ car very close to the meeting venue so that incase I needed to run, it would be a short run. So I went and got the car from Kenya Re parking and when I was hustling for parking space, this dude starts calling me and told me that guys were now waiting for me. WHAT. There was no one just 10 minutes before, how now? Panic mode, for real, these are psychos! After parking the car, I walked CAUTIOUSLY towards Bata Hilton and met a very interesting group of people.
Conversations that happened then and during subsequent meetings include:
Haiya! She is a He – Comment on someone who had never disclosed their gender
Gosh, you don’t sound so short in the chat room – Hehehehehe
Ati you are who? You don’t look like your avator! – Duh! It’s a random picture from the internet!!!!
So guys introduced themselves using their real names and their chat room names. It was too much work so we reverted to referring to each other by our chat room names (and we still refer to each other by our chat names!). That was the first meeting. We haven’t stopped meeting since. We meet up at least once a month (and some of us meet weekly) and have become such great friends. We hold a monthly Bible Study and try to keep each other accountable to the Word of God. It is so amazing when young people meet up just to discuss the Word and have fun with each other.
We especially enjoy it when people ask us how we met. We once went to visit one of our members dad who was admitted in hospital. Once we explained how we met he asked, ‘Sasa, muli ingia aje ndani ya hizo computer ndio mukutane?’ Loose transalation – How did you guys get into the computer so that you could meet?! We visited the same father (he is a pastor) at his church and he introduced us in the same way. These guys met inside a computer! During the graduation party of yet another member, when I introduced myself and said that I had met the graduate through an online Bible Study, dudes started whistling, like weuweeeeeeeee……
We have done all sorts of activities together. Camping, sleepovers (too many of these!), missions, etc. We have bailed each other out in more ways than I would like to count. We once had a sleepover where the main aim was to watch as many movies as possible. We ended up watching ONE movie. Did we sleep early? No, we actually started dozing at about 6:30am. How? We discussed nearly each line the actors in the movie spoke. Needless to say, I don’t think that I am allowed to select movies for our sleepovers anymore…..
Funny thing is that we have mature dudes and girls and guys have never hooked up within the group! I don’t know how we have managed to do that seeing as we are over 30 people in total. MwafPEEPS, kuna MUTU? 🙂 Which is our code for asking whether someone has gotten hooked up or not!
It is odd, I know. People I met on the internet? But truth be told, MwafPEEPS have come to be some of my closest friends. People I can cry with and laugh with. People who build me, encourage me and tell me as it is. I really appreciate the love that this group of random people that I met online have showered on me. What I love the most is that we tell each other the truth. Of late we noticed that we keep the sad times to ourselves and only rejoice with each other during the good times, but we are in the process of changing that. Are we similar? Not really. The only thing we have in common is our love for Jesus Christ. That’s it. We are in totally different professions, from totally different social backgrounds, different tribes, different churches, different education levels, different levels of maturity, different marital status – but we totally love each other. 🙂
MwafPEEPS, Exponential Potential!
For anyone I may have forgotten to include in the above list, please forgive me – this is an error of the fingers typing, not an error of the heart.