Jean Akinyi shares her thoughts preparing to leave Kenya for the first time for the Kenyatta University/University of Cincinnati Exchange.
About six months ago, on a day like this one (I prefer my days undefined; like Monday, Tuesday et all, unless I have to), I received an email inviting me to America. Not just any America but the United States of America. I was thrilled and couldn’t wait.
Today, it is a totally different story. I quite can’t place it. I am jittery. I have ‘butterflies’ in my stomach! Am I scared? Damn right I am! Would I stay behind if asked to…not a chance.
Traveling has always been something I enjoyed…but in the confines of my great country: Kenya. I can go the longest distances on a bus and never tire of it. In fact, I always dreamed of flying from one town to the other; IN KENYA. It seems like my first flight will be intercontinental. That scares me.
My country, I can almost tell what may happen one way or another; come on, they are Kenyans like me! No surprise there. I don’t know what to expect out yonder. I’m not sure how I should behave (I’d hate being anything but myself). I am beside myself with thoughts. What will they think? Will they just be polite and treat me like a visitor or will they throw the truth to my face? Will they listen with intent to my words or will they misinterpret them. Will I be of value or will I be just another person who they cross paths with? I am yet to decide how I want it to be. It is a big decision to make, but I still got five days to go. That scares me the most…just five days! I’ve got to decide quickly.
– Guest contributor: JEAN AKINYI