“Hey Anne, I saw this program by Africa’s Tomorrow that you can apply to and study in the United States,” said Caitlin, my teacher. I was lost of words, and as an African Kid who respects the elderly, I smiled back and agreed.
I never understood what she really meant, neither was I really serious about it. I could not just fathom what it meant to study in the United States. Indeed, this is one of those opportunities that comes once in a lifetime. Coming to America was the turning point in my life. I am thankful to be Africa’s Tomorrow Fellow. The organization is unique in its own way, if I have to compare it with other organizations in terms of student recruitment. I am from Kenya, Gem County and I am the eldest in a family of five. I am currently a sophomore majoring in Economics and Computer Science at Berea College. My stay in Berea has been a rewarding experience, I have made a lot acquaintances and I love the person I have become.
Saying goodbye to the people I love and taking the last bite of the food that I have grown up eating was an incredible step. On the other hand, while I took a quick glimpse on what the future holds, made me pour out tears of joy while saying goodbye to my family. I wondered, how am I going to survive without Ugali (the African cake, like corn bread) for more than a month? No rice no githeri (Mixture of maize and beans, so good!) Thanks goodness, rice is a global food. I was thrilled and relieved after seeing the plenty rice in America. At first, it was hard to get used to the food, especially cheese which I am actually a fan now. The principle of not sticking to my comfort zone has given me that ability to try new stuff, new food and new things. There are great American dishes that I love now.
It has been a journey of personal growth. I have been able to meet students from different places: Africa, Asia, South America, and many other places. I have been able to learn about the world in short period of time and I want to travel places. United States is a place full of diversity in all aspects of life, be it religion, politics, culture and many others. In the midst of all these diversity, sticking to my principles and knowing who I am as believer in Christ has made this journey an awesome experience.