Annie Grove shares her thoughts preparing to welcome our Kenyan guests for the
Kenyatta University/University of Cincinnati Exchange.

“Our true nationality is mankind.”
H.G. Wells

I remember the air when I landed in Italy, the thick summer air that hung to the earth like a warm cotton blanket. I thought to myself through my 3 hours of sleep, “How can the air feel so different here?” To quote Richard, “Everything is the same, and yet so vastly different.”

My language is English, and my native country is the United States. The world has always catered to me. The time that I spent living in Italy was the most terrifying, rewarding, isolating and incredible experience that I have ever had. I remember being an outsider, I remember trying to connect. I remember feeling alone. I remember choosing to be silent. I remember the strange glances and comments about my accent. I remember being frustrated. I remember everything being the same and not the same at all. I remember the comments that made me want to get on the next plane and fly directly back to everything that I was comfortable with.


I remember never wanting to leave. I remember the butterflies in my stomach. I remember the things that were universal no matter the country, the language, or the culture. I remember the smiles and laughing over the favorite words of our languages. I remember pushing past the fear that crept up when I first landed 5,000 miles away from home. I remember the faces of the people who I met. I remember their humanity, and their kindness. I remember walking down my street for the last time and imagining my footprints being burned into the stone. A part of me was there, and would never leave. I remember the air when I landed in Italy.


We are artists in this community, we are students, we are creators and we are all people. We are all the same and yet completely different down to the pores on our skin. But our spirits are all kindled from the same spark. And when we welcome our Kenyan friends into our halls, they will leave their footprints the same way that we leave ours when we experience a new place for the first time. We all ask the same questions, “Who will I be to them?” “How will we connect?” “Who will I become with their help?”

We all have felt the butterflies, the tension, the feeling in our bones when we step into the threshold.
But we are here. We are willing. We are one. We are the same.

And so, with our hands held high, our faces turned upward toward the sky, our spirits high and our hearts full.


With the new air in our lungs and our footsteps disposed, we leap. __________
                                                                Guest blogger: ANNIE GROVE
CCM Drama 2017
This entry was published on October 29, 2015 at 12:20 am. It’s filed under Culture, People, Random Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.


  1. Austim on said:


  2. Annie, far into your future this will be one of the “touch stones” for your life, it will affect you and yours forever…undeniably attached to your very being…treasure it!

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