Jean Akinyi shares her thoughts preparing to leave Kenya for the first time for the Kenyatta University/University of Cincinnati Exchange.
I have always loved traveling. The idea of seeing new places is appealing. I travel a long distance to report to Kenyatta University every semester. From my home town, Kisumu to Nairobi is an eight hour drive. The roads are good so the ride is not bumpy at all…and I always manage to get the seat right behind the driver so I see where I’m going.
I am in Amsterdam as I write this after an eight hour flight from Nairobi. It was my first time on a plane so I was very excited. All the stories I had heard about first time flights came to me…the shaky take offs and bumpy rides in the air. Well people can exaggerate sometimes. The take off was smooth. I loved the turbulence and the landing…I don’t have a word for it yet.
Traveling in any public means of transport calls for a lot of tolerance. In the bus from Kisumu I would tolerate the noisy children, strong perfume scents, noisy passengers and I think that must have prepared me for this flight. I was in a seat between two men who sat like they were in their own living rooms. One wore a strong scent of perfume that I kept sneezing from time to time. The other leaned in to my side every time as he changed positions. The children were the best…they looked so grown up. The air hostesses were cool and made me feel comfortable in the discomfort.
Public transport is the best. You learn how to sit to strangers who may not be at their best behaviour hours on end. You learn to tolerate whatever manners that do not amuse you. The best part is that you look forward to getting to your destination. All through the flight the thought of seeing Cincinnati kept me going; the thought of seeing professor Hess again, put a permanent smile on my face the time when I felt uneasy. The thought that I am going to make new friends who will be pleasant and thoughtful made the two men beside me disappear.
Waiting for my flight to Minneapolis. And I won’t mind who I sit between because the thought that my destination gets closer…closer and closer is at the very top of my mind.
– Guest contributor: JEAN AKINYI, Kenyatta University, Class of 2016