- We discussed a lot about what to expect during the two months before we left.
- We all hoped that we would find a place we liked and call it home.
Every Kenyan wanted to carry a piece of ‘Kenyanness’ with them to the United Kingdom.
Have you ever left a place you called home and started life afresh? I guess you have. We all do at some point in our lives. We pack and leave loved ones, we grow up and leave our parents’ home, we leave or take a break from relationships, we move cities and then we gain the courage to move countries and finally continents.
Every time we leave our comfort zones, move places, sooner rather than later we realise we have carried ourselves with us. So, it can either be a terrifying moment or an adventure of a lifetime.
We spend time wondering about what kind of people we’ll we meet on the other side or if we will make new friends. We worry about winter, the possibility of racism and home-sickness. We bombard our lives with a thousand questions.
JOURNEY FULL OF ANXIETY
In my last article, I mentioned that my fellow Chevening Scholars and I found ourselves in a chat group almost immediately after the results were announced. It’s through this group where we connected with other scholars heading to the same school.
We discussed a lot about what to expect during the two months before we left. We discussed about our visa application, the delays and what could have led to the same.
While most of us were happy to have made it to the prestigious list, it was evident that this was also a journey full of anxiety.
We all hoped that we would find a place we liked and call it home. While we hoped, another discussion was starting.
What should we pack? How many suitcases should we carry? What’s the limit per suitcase? Will xyz stuff be acceptable?
The packing conversation was truly hilarious. When we were ready to leave, every Kenyan wanted to carry a piece of ‘Kenyanness’ with them to the
United Kingdom. Interestingly, we all had ‘things that were so dear to us and leaving them behind was such a hard decision to make.
I will explain. In Kenya, specifically in Nairobi, we love parties and we are glad to find reasons to celebrate. My family, friends, mentees, colleagues organised a number of parties before I left.
I attended seven of them, all of them dubbed ‘Farewell Party’. Every time I attended these parties, I went home with lots of gifts, most of them personalised. Books are one of my favourites. I received 11 books two weeks before I left Kenya.