Living away from my country of birth, Kenya has not been nearly as hard as I thought it would be. When I say ‘as i thought it would be’, I am referring to my 8-yr old self, wondering whether I’ll fit in and find new friends. Back then I was terrified; you know that nervous feeling you get when you have to move to a new neighbourhood, or maybe even a new town…now imagine moving to a new country.
Well things turned out fine. I made friends, I went to my new school and I liked it. I basically moved on with life. Its been what, 9 years now…It has generally been smooth sailing and I have no complaints. But there have been times when I thought back and I wondered what would have happened if I had stayed home. I miss Kenya horribly at times. These times are when I remember all my old friends, or when I look at the old family albums and seem my all relatives i.e cousins, nephews, nieces, uncles, aunties etc and think of how much I’ve missed out of their life.
On the other hand, as we have lived in Botswana my family and I have adhered to our Kenyan values. We have stuck to our traditions and morals. These include: possessing a stong sense of family and community; the demand for respect for elders, especially those who are significantly older than you; calling any grown up I know as Aunty or Uncle; and I speaking my mother tongue, Kimeru and Swahili. In my opinion, I am Kenyan in every right.
Yet sometimes, I feel like there’s so much I’ve missed out on. Things like: going to boarding school, which is an automatic thing for any pupil or student in Kenya as a large majority of the schools are boarding school; having relatives visit almost every weekend because they just needed to see us (who by the way always seem to want something else other than just seeing us); or making weekly trips to the local market to buy an assortment of fruits and vegetables. All these things are part of the daily Kenyan life that I would have had if we had stayed home.
So, I guess now my nostalgic state of mind has passed, I’ll leave you to it 😀 Till next time!
Say it loud!