Monthly Archives: May 2020

WORRY: Sketches of lost moments.

It is 6.37pm,31st, and definitely the last day of May the year 2020.. Seated on the balcony am I, as I listen to this South African hit by the late Oliver Mtukudzi, famous it is and I would rarely miss the insistent sad lyrics even in the deep of my sleep as the stringed harp hums almost welcomingly into my ears.


The fame of this Todii song, supposed to be a dirge, yet has trailed the confines of both households and public occasions precedes even the late musician himself. As I busk in the setting of the beautiful golden sun softly hitting gold on the distant walls and hills, I am drawn into contemplation within myself.


Time has sure flown by so fast. Not that I even used most of it constructively to complain about the rush, no. In any case, I slept through almost half of it and then lazily woke up to my meditation. Laughable huh? Meditation after deep midday sleep that is. Well, the body called for it and who was I to deny it, you must indulge in unharmful vanities right?


So here I am thinking about the pace of time and how so often we are caught up in it. Deep within I feel content and almost calmingly at peace with myself. Not wanting to be controlled by the expectations of others but to derive full contentment from my position in this vast universe. Call it being selfish but in a way, it really defines my personality; not selfish per se but rather an act of self-love before pretending to love others yet I have no love within for even myself you see?


As the sun gives way to dusk in just over  11 mins from the moment I started typing this sketch, I thus realise how fast this illusion of time usually gets us caught up in its wake. We, just like the slaves of time that we have become, start rushing in such moments to get things done as we see the day draw away. Without notice or caution, we start worrying about all the unfinished business, which if asked in most cases we lack a clear definition of you know.


Without any prior bells, worry sets in and rids us of this so precious moment we had all along and down the panic drain heads our thoughts as fear, of what I know not, crawls into our racing hearts.


I, on the other hand, have grown weary of the rush against time and though half my day drained in sleep, I know they say we should not sleep while alive as we will have most of that when dead and gone. Hold up a sec, I mean, who has ever died and came back to report about how life is after death? Noticed the irony in life after death? I mean, you can only enjoy what you feel and have, not what you know not about, right? So I chose to ride through the comfort of my sleep as with all honesty not everyone even has the luxury of this so having it, why throw it to the dogs.


I know you are wondering what point itches my knuckles at this point but that is the point. I mean, does everything in life has to always make sense? Why can’t we choose to enjoy every moment that comes our way and be grateful for just that? Why must we constantly ache our brains with worries of the failures tomorrow holds not knowing whether we even will be there to see them?


You understand what I am headed towards now, right? Worry as it is, reminds us of our prior failures and fills our hearts and minds of anticipated breakdowns of a future we know not about and in essence rids us of our very present joys. It does this in a very calibrated move called society’s expectations.


How this works is that at the back of your mind is a tag of what society expects of you with no leverages to get you to those expectations. Along with these expectations lurks a heavy cloud of impending ridicule and a downward spiral of doom if by ”bad luck” we attain not to these expectations. Without hence realising it, we find ourselves bypassing the little joys and lessons every failure could thus bring to set us with a stronger foundation of future successes and get broken and lost in that unattained future itself.


Looking up from my keyboard, the sun is far set in its race towards morning and the once looming dusk has grown into an embracing darkness, only driven away by little lanterns and flickering fireflies into the night. A Westward breeze brushes across my face and hence nose as if to keep pace with the already lost sun. With it, however, is an embrace of calm and deep-seated joy within my heart. I Am supposed to have finished reading through 25pages of ”Never Split the difference” but have I? Nope, have I wasted my day? not at all. I am however content that though the day is passed by so fast, I got reign of a moment in it and through these sketches enjoyed it into the dusk.


As I sip down this last drop of my already cold tea, may I sign off and allow you to also grasp a moment in the space of your existence, give glory to your Maker, and live it with every flow that it so brings. Remember that there lies no wasted moment in time, just remember to seize every little one availed your way.




WHAT’S THE RUSH: Sketches of the wanderer.

What would you prefer given two options? An open blank page or a bag full of inspiration? Well, I am sitted here with these two options playing intricately within my mind as my heart plays analyst and weighs out both options in par.


Well, my mind finds its trail to the wanderer it has so become upon the phase of this beautiful mother planet earth. He thinks about his wanderings and in scope starts to analyse the open blank book… It is open and so seems like the journey he, PePa has been plunged upon to tread in a quest for his purpose.


He remembers the many times he has heard all the noises buzz through his head, right from his morning rise, most of all, he has missed the beautiful golden welcome of the morning horizon as his head is in most moments bowed down to his task or far drawn to the worries of the day.


Through the chores and bustles of his day, he has not for a moment stopped and wondered if all the noises he hears are true or just another of his troubled creations at hand. He rattles through his day and before he realizes it, time is all but spent and targets seem far from met. The sun is softly sauntering to the backs of the distant grey hills and before he lifts his head once again to behold the day, it is no longer his to have and dusk has fast taken over the glow of light and beauty that was.


He heads back home in a daze of traffic from his haze of a day. As it is, events went by so fast he did not realize all that passed him without even a single hint of his awareness to keep tabs. He lays down his aching neck on his soothing pillow and analyses his accomplishments for the day and feeling rather pleased by what he has achieved so far, he takes count of his stock of eggs to yet allow hatch come the morning next.


The alarm rings and light of day is not yet in. To his bewilderment, his mind seems filled with all the noise of distant traffic as the night owls still hoot and dogs bark in the wee of the morning. Some of these has he become so accustomed to it has become normal but his back still hurts though. His shoulder blade seems awfully sore and neck hurts more than the day previous. It isn’t stiff and that assures him that he didn’t awkwardly sleep on his side. 


Finding his way through the dark as his eyelids hold tight to ebbing sleep, he stumbles upon a cup… he had left lying on the carpet beside his bed and knocks down his laptop from his bedside table almost breaking it into half. Fortunately it doesn’t get jammed as he wakes fully and picks it up replacing it on the bedside table.


Almost cursing out loud,   he stops midway and whispers a prayer of thanksgiving. The noises haven’t yet stopped and so unlike his normal routine of bed, loo, shower and then off to work, he takes a  moment to contemplate and sitting back down on his carpet, he softly closes his eyes, not into sleep though this time, but just to draw himself into meditation…..


Closing his eyes, not from fatigue but on a trip of self-love, he almost without any effort shuts off all the noise from without and draws into himself. For a moment he wonders where all the hooting of owls and barks of dogs alongside rushing of cars has so easily dissipated to?


Everything seems calm… and the pain on both his neck and shoulder blade slowly eases off as he stretches his back straight against the cold wall. Mmmhhh, an almost healing feeling. His nerves awake as he breathes softly in and out allowing his blood to flow evenly and more rhythmically. He is more aware of himself at this point as all else seems null to his skull save for him alone. He can smell his breath and feel every ounce of fresh air racing down his ribcage. He can almost feel the wave of blood through his vessels in and out of the heart. The hoots of the distant owl have become a regular rhythmic flow of music to his relaxing mind alongside the once raging rush of cars.


As the morning songbirds rise to welcome morning insects into their belly with song, this not only lulls his mind but also makes him realise how much he has been missing in his rush to beat time. At this very moment he finds it so easy to distinguish between the hooting owl, the crow’s caws, the dove’s coos, and the humming bird’s soft chits and chirps. Not that the crickets from last night have relented their stridulations but the songs of the birds combined to create a melody of utmost beauty to his peaceful heart.


Note that; all the previous noise without means nothing anymore as he realises he had given it all unwarranted attention and missed the most important thing, him. Paying more intentional attention to himself and letting go of all the rush and clatter, he discovers something of more value than all else. He discovers him.


With a calm wave of self-discovery dawning on him alongside the peaking sunlight from the horizon, his heart opens up to the truth of being his best before giving the world his bitter self, because under pressure and strain, he realises that instead of being fruitful, he has been giving forth the short end of the stick and in turn not attaining to his ultimate desires and purpose.


He softly breathes back to the rising day and notices that he is just a wanderer who on this tread of life must learn to enjoy every moment it so brings. That however many dogs he meets barking along his journey, he may have to ignore them and not stop to throw stones if he is to catch all the scenic views along this trail.

 So for the start of this day, he opts to choose an open blank page as with it comes a wave of new possibilities over a bag full of inspiration as with this still comes more expectations of which on failure to achieve……. 







HAPPY IDD: Sketches through my sky.

The sun rises evenly over the Eastern horizon, lining the morning shine with a golden glow. In its rise has it left the waxing crescent to wax along with it into a two-hour late rise. This is my morning welcome into the dawn that is a new day and start of the week.

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A beautiful Islamic holiday this must be. The close of the fast with a complete lunar cycle, and the start of another wait for a complete solar cycle. Should it really be a solar cycle or earth cycle? That is, since I thought it is the earth that cycles the sun and not the sun cycling the earth. But they also say the sun rises yet in actual sense it is the earth that rises over the horizon of the sun, right?


Did  I confuse you right there? Never mind as PePa most oft finds his ruminations wander into the great expanse: all in anticipation of a full-blown discovery. A discovery and thought that one day, someday I suppose, he would wake up and find himself teleported into a completely new world.


Whilst most of us say how life is a blast and precious, he wanders into the great unknown as he wonders why the Great I am took all his time,5000 years to be precise, to create the heavens and the earth. After all this exploit, why then would He only make the earth habitable?


I mean, don’t you too my dear treader ever take a moment to ponder? To ask yourself questions that have answers hidden deep within yet to the average eye seems like a craze of the mind to ask about? Questions that most would scoff at and tell you off, make you feel like they had better life troubles to worry about other than crazy impossible fetes?


But then my dear treader, what would be the purpose of life if we asked not the most outrageous of questions and got, in time that is, the deepest and most precise of answers? Not from those who deemed themselves wise however, but from the source of wisdom itself?


So wonder not if you find my awareness wander in fascination into the great depths and heights of space because the more it does, the more I get to realise that man, you see man? I get to understand that he was made for a far greater purpose than he allows himself to not only perform, but also set himself to task about.


Mind not if I lose you in my trails because truth be told, I lose myself most oft in these treads as well since I must thus sit down at some point and ask myself, “Was all of it was worth the meditation it brought to heart?” In most cases, which is always, none of these moments have I found wasted even for a split second as reason and logic both become bedmates in an attempt of wisdom.


So before all this play of words becomes a waste of well-intentioned resource, tread along with me if only for a moment. Ask yourself, “Were you made for only one corner of the universe ?”

Do you now wonder why NASA and other scientists have spent years and billions of resources to explore outer space?

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I know not why they do so but the more I think about it the more I feel the amazing extent of revelation in scripture. That though we may fault it in our foolish wisdom of little acquired knowledge herein, within it lies all the answers as to the true purpose of man upon the phase of this single planet earth, that is, before he inherits the extents beyond our sphere.


And that, if he is to truly inherit the ends of the earth which lies beyond the earth’s atmosphere, then he must have first accomplished his initial purpose and task which is to subdue and nurture this piece of property first, before he can then claim other pieces that lie beyond. I thought that was the rule of thumb though, huh?


Ever asked yourself what your purpose in life is other than getting more and more from the universe? Please do so right now if you haven’t yet……


So feeling like we are already on the same page dear treader, allow me to enjoy the rising glow of sunrise above the cloudy Eastern horizon as I wonder why the moon, ever so faithful trailed behind its rise. Still I may ponder as to why though smaller than the earth which does 24hours, it really has to drag along 27.33 days through its spin on its axis to complete a single rotation.


You see how everything falls into place?  I realise that alongside the gravitational pull between the earth’s epicenter and that of the moon, is this play to bring about amazing tidal waves. To some melancholics like myself, this does quite an attraction along the shoreline to not only the heart and eyes but also adds a  wave of calm and peace to the soul.

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Anyhow, as time seems to eat up into your mind with worry, take a moment through this season and enjoy the beauty that is nature right before you as it opens up your heart to the wonders of the Almighty. Meanwhile to those celebrating Idd, a blessed Idd Ul Fitr to you, may the tides be with you.



HAPPY BIRTHDAY:The sketches untold

There had been rumours all around. The tension was almost impregnable and you could feel its tautness even in our young bones, or should I say in my young bones since I was the toddler among my aunties and uncles?


Despite the rumours, this was home and whatever came would find us right here. I mean where else would we go to no matter what happened?  Let us for example imagine we could run away, the nearest semblance of a town was another 10 to 15 miles off. Walking all that distance was a nightmare when my aunties and uncles, uncles, no, I don’t recall them at this moment. My aunties were only budding teenagers for the eldest and the other two just a little say one or two years older than I was.


Granny was never home as she enjoyed her drinking sprees, thinking about it now, I think the little cham made her sane for a moment.and in her moments she was untouchable and no one could speak ill of her beautiful poor kids. They were her inheritance after all and you didn’t feed them either so what did you have to say about them, huh? And she had all reasons to be proud since her eldest daughter was on a bursary in secondary school. That my dear treader would be my mum.


She was far away in school and wasn’t here to witness what was about to transcend. Thinking about it now I actually can feel the qualms within her heart and pangs in her belly as she imagined her 4-year-old son out in the harsh world without her presence and her two helpless hands to help him. Must have been terrible as even the school authorities bundled them up in a dark room and told them the school grounds were safe for them and no harm would reach them. Were you in her shoes dear treader what would you have done?


Maybe you are thinking my aunties would have boarded a commuter matatu right? As we all understand by now, that was like this dream I always had of coming to Nairobi,the capital city for all my childhood. I mean, that was a reserve for the wealthy in society at those times. And this they did well as we would later hear narrations of a city made of tall escalating buildings with beautiful glasses, the same that inspired the gorofa(storey) dress designs for the little girls back in the villages. Little did we know that even those who got the same privilege we so yearned for of visiting the city didn’t live in much affluence as we so imagined, but they too strained in the slums of the same to make an image for when they came back to our little village cum town.

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Well, if not to lose you as I so often do dear treader, let us get back to my little aunties and I.If they found out I called them little in these sketches yet I was the toddler they would sure give me a spanking same as what mama threatened me with last evening when I sent her an honest Umoja slippers throwback meme.



She is still the loving yet disciplinarian mum I have always known since I stopped crawling and started being sent to the shops for mkate(bread) ya bob,blueband ya kadogo(Small-sized margarine) and tea leaves of three shillings plus change. you would think my little mind would remember as I ran singing the same recitations of Mkate ya 5 bob,blueband ya kadogo,majani ya 3 bob plus change.


Guess what? I was back to ask what she had sent me to get in 2minutes since I had forgotten, when she raised that sandal slipper from Umoja that was knotted at the toe end with a blue polythene strand,I remembered it all and went out running to the shops.


Well then, I am sure while in school and with us out here this night, her tummy was in pieces literally.


Having hung around waiting for the worst that could happen to befall us, my aunties found their feet stronger than they had prior imagined when the wails from atop the hills flowed downwards to our small town. Arrows had flown and in the distance  through the heavy dark it was easy to see flames of fire dance upwards in a mock sooty wail. It was here now and the truth was that mercy knew no remorse tonight. The clang of machetes was clear through the dark and pain of blood flow evident. It didn’t sound like an ordinary raid but more of an anger wrecked invasion.

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My aunties fled to the nearest police police post a mile away,the same place we would later go to enjoy a roadside film years later followed by a stream of raw eggs whirled into the air after the show,humans…….


As we rushed to seek refuge at the police post, the air was thick and stinky with fear as most others accompanied us to the same. We were to later huddle close together at the police post grounds like sheep. Covered in whatever blankets or tattered sheets they had carried along. None of that covering really mattered as long as we were further away from the havoc as possible. At this point it didn’t hit me where grandma could have been by then. I doubt anyone would bother with a stupored old lady who was nothing but abusive, right?


At some point I think those abuses were hurled as a defense from thugs or night wanderers and she was rarely even drunk, only she would ever be able to tell the truth of this but too bad she is long late and rested. But above all she was an amazing and loving granny that oldie.


Morning came and we waded our way back to the little shack we called home. We was glad to find it still nicely grass-thatched and untouched as the rage from the night previous passed over. This all looks right now like the Israelites in Egypt’s Passover night when the angel of death rained death upon the Egyptians.not to mention, the distant villages on the hilltops did not come out unscathed.


As I later came to learn, these were the 1992 clashes I had survived, and on this eve of my birthday the memories flood at the strike of midnight. My sleep eludes me as I want to call mama and ask her if any of this was true. Getting off my bed to pen it all down the memories run fresh and am sure mama would have said non of it happened. Sometimes I wonder why they are always so overprotective, mothers, I guess that is their blessing but not tonight.


Tonight I relieve the 28 years gone since my rescue from the night rage as I realize I am blessed. Not only with life but the beauty of these sketches that come flooding back through a dreamy glimpse into my past.


It is dawn already and time has rushed to afternoon as I am seated on this balcony staring at the heavy clouds that always visit my view. Am humbled to be sitting on this balcony within the same city I so yearned to once visit but only did so in tales and narrations of others. As tears itch the edges of my eyes, my heart is filled with nothing but gratefulness. It is the 12th of May and with it my birthday has dawned and am not any better than anyone else reading these sketches but equally as blessed: equally blessed since all of us are filled with sketches that could fill an ocean with flows of gratitude.


At this very moment am reminded that it does not really matter what we have been through in this life, however difficult or impossible it seemed or even seems, all that matters is that despite all we have been through, are going through and are yet to come across in the future, we have one who is ever-present and will be with us through all storms and turmoil. He has our sketches in place and at one point we will rejoice about His goodness with tears of gratitude just as I am right now.


Your past really doesn’t define you but lays the bare foundations for the present.


Happy birthday PePa.



MID MAY:Sketches along my tread.

They said to get a wife but I always laughed it off.The thought crossed my mind this cool Sunday afternoon as boredom sure came to roost within my labouring knuckles.Get a wife huh?That in my opinion took not only grace but also real balls.I mean not the ones between your legs but more…..Your heart,patience and resilience I guess…That bed wasn’t made of roses alone I suppose and yet if it did,even the roses I tend for my living room always have thorns to be broken off so….


Here I was bored to almost breaking point and loneliness was not anywhere in my horizon.I imagined if I had someone around  then how bad would it have been on the both of us?You know what they say about the power of energies and their transfer for that matter?What I had today was pure broken and negative energy and this in my opinion,not the kind to transfer to another amazing human being you know?


The afternoon hence slowly ebbed off as the heavy riding clouds played a mount upon each other in an attempt to see which one would cover the sun’s face the longest.In moments like this as I have come to realise,only nature ever comes to my urgent rescue without much effort to it.Looking over my balcony through my curtain-less wall end windows hence helped seethe a little calm within.


The television set before me as most times before remained switched off as the cup of tea in my grasp drained slowly to its bottom.Not that there was any hurry at all but with my current drain of moods I felt the outside calling for me.The emptiness had so deepened that an extra moment in this room would have actually made me sick.


With sweatpants on and my hat to match,I put on comfortable canvas kicks and went for that long desired walk.Beautiful rain-soaked earth emitted that so desired aroma that hit every sense of animal instinct within my nostrils as the air of freshness filled my lungs,or at least some of it did as most was blocked off with my heavy mask.The same masks that have become our very essential piece of clothing.At least they replace the mobile phone which you would never leave the house without and in case you forgot you had to go back for.


Along my tread is much sort after relief as I encounter stray dogs,cats and even other people seeking a reprieve of freshness and calm ambience just as I am.Not that it is all perfect as we have to live with the noise of both public and private transportation together with the pollution that comes with it.Sometimes I wish the authorities would set out specific days when there was a complete ban or no use of cars within and outside the city.When only bicycles and carts would be allowed outside,oooh how blissful that would be.


Anyway forgive PePa’s insane ruminations as am sure such a motion would be shut down in our parliaments immediately its reading was completed by the proponent.We have better motions to move or even ponder about apart from environmental degradation and the likes.I mean,we have to deliberate on how we are going to spend doner funds on purchase of tea and snacks for late night nurses,right?Why would we waste such precious energy instead on banning cars from the city when we ourselves need a convoy of cars to get mheshimawa(Honourables) to a breakfast meeting across the city?


So yes,forgive PePa for not thinking right, okay?Along my tread I walk with earphones plugged into my ears;been long since I listened to music and such a stroll can afford me this amazing luxury.Beside the road I come across a number of traders all hurdled up together selling Miraa(khat) with masks half way under their chins,I mean,it is Covid season but we must first find the paper,right?And even that call on social distancing I doubt would really apply at this point,right?Health can wait while we first get some cash to eat.Hilarious bit is they are always chewing khat themselves so question that puzzles me is that how much khat will they vend versus what they’ve already chewed away….khat for cud for sure this is,huh?


The much needed reprieve grasps my hand along this walk as the clouds build up swiftly above the setting sun into a burden of rain.The same is much welcome as its drizzles upon my once downcast face sends a cool to my spine.Sends me into a happy dance along to my music plugged ears.I must have looked insane dancing to ”no” music as per an onlooker’s view,right?To cup it all up is this beauty of a classic car I see clean washed at this local car shiners.She is naked in my opinion,literally.Old shiny rims,ripped off rooftop in the name of a ride along convertible and an almost visible chasis.Dave for the nakedness,every other working mechanism was in place.


This set me thinking:as some of us aim to acquire much more happiness in glam and opulence,the owner of this classic chose to find real,deep and sincere joy in the maintenance of this old beauty.Meaning ,as we all aim for the stars and the sky seeking happiness,we always oft end up losing our feet below as what we encounter is much sorrow and depression.So lesson learnt is that happiness is an illusion not worth chasing whilst joy is a delight much acquired in in little bouts and leaps.


The rain drizzles away as the once heavy clouds disperse in a surrender to the sinking sun’s heat as I head back home 5miles later.In my walk I discover something interesting though.


I come to the conslusion that nature is a healer and worth taking care of and true happiness exists not but only joy should be sort from deep within.


A hot shower can then wash away the sweat of a beautiful mid May afternoon walk as the ruminations subside to a peaceful calm.


Find your peace within!






Halo there dear treader,join me as we discuss the sketches in society.These are the pieces overlooked and left to break us apart yet if we take note of them for what they really are,they would instead build us into our desired and required selves.


In my sketches,it is not only about me but also every other one with or without a voice.You see,society is complex and not only entails your immediate environment but hails down from and not limited to your moment and place of birth but as the wanderer would put it,to the wild wide world.You hence aren’t born for a specific corner of the world but for the entire sphere.


Your sketches and ours in general hence span from birth right to the universe.In process of this hence,everyone gets caught up in this rat race we have so created,neglecting the full essence of life itself.Here in the sketches of PePa we hence capture these very neglected pieces which I so call sketches.


Speaking of origin of sketches for example,PePa who is pen and paper becomes my companion illustrating how little me was brought up not from affluence but rather from a position of lack,with a seventeen year old form two mum juggling between a bursaried  education,sale of firewood and child support.We get to find out that all that glitters is not actually gold and that our initial pitfalls do not determine our outcomes but rather are placed in our paths by the Almighty as our stepping stones and actual glory to His name through our successes.


Speaking of the wide wild world for example,here we can get to the African society perception of the west,pitting them as gods in turn making us slaves to their mercy.In retrospect forgetting that the same west comes to Africa for relaxation and reprieve.This goes on to enumerate that our skin colour difference wasn’t from onset of creation meant to separate us but rather to create an actual breed of deep seated diversity,meant to unite and grow rather than divide us.


Along the sketches we also tackle depression and suicidal tendencies in its raw form.We get to understand that depression is not for the weak at heart but rather the neglected and that you don’t preach to a suicidal person with hellfire threats but rather listen to their story..After listening to them and they decided to go on with suicide,they then would have done it in total peace I suppose for what is death without peace?Here we hence will encounter make a pact with a stranger as a complete outsider gives a total stranger a listening ear.


We could also get to listen to stories of travel,food,true friendships rather than mere acquaintances and more of our daily occurrences.Could be environmental issues,leadership,degradation of resources plus defects of poor governance and decision making.


Speaking of governance for example,we can encounter a walking or working nation involving the ban of commuter matatus from the CBD.This we see could have been avoided were there prior proper city planning mechanisms and their actual implementations.So this would directly have hailed from a misappropriation of government funds which in turns comes to bite us in the behind,right?


Share your views and opinions,hit me up for a one on one as I listen to you too and get to share your stories,thoughts and opinions in a build of sketches.


Welcome to PePa and let me know if you would like to hear grandma’s fireside stories for a start or what do you suggest?


Share your views in the comment section and let us tread together with PePa.