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Kenya through a New Set of “Old Eyes?

In February this year, I decided to apply to a study abroad program that is known as “Minnesota Studies in International Development? at the University of Minnesota. How serious was I? Hmmm…I never actually imagined I would be accepted into the program within a couple of days after submitting my application.

It has been approximately 5 months since I begun my countdown, and I still have 1 week till we are airborne on August 19th. I have never anticipated attending school with as much passion as this study abroad experience, and I can only compare it to January 1st of the year 2000, naturally, when we all had weird expectations for the millennium bug.

Well, my name is Lisa (officially or legally Elizabeth). I was born in the United States in 1981 while my parents attended graduate school at the University of Minnesota .We moved back to Kenya in 1984 and 15 years later, I returned to Minnesota for further studies in April, 1999. I’m a non-traditional student at the U; however, to be precise, I’m a mother to a beautiful 3 year old girl, and some may say that I am considerably older than the average undergraduate student. I love politics, learning new languages, travelling, but seriously, I love fiction!

Due to the fact that we live in a world that has become so small, many people consider themselves to be citizens of the world, such as myself. Soooo, I am a Kenyan by heritage, an American by birth, a native of Kenya due to parentage, a foreigner in America due to how I articulate and conduct myself, a non-voter in Kenya, a voting member in America, a fan of rock music, a devotee to old school African songs (zilizopendwa)…..I could go on and on and on…but the point is, I’m a citizen of the world. As I pass time, waiting to be en route back to Kenya, sometimes I wonder if it’s actually my journey “to? Kenya. Ten years has been a long time, in fact too long, and I am ready to experience an ultimately distinctive life with another citizen of the world, my daughter Imani, who is American, Kenya, and Tanzanian.

To everyone who visits this portal, welcome to my world. This journal is for everyone who strives to fulfill their ultimate goal in life; for parents such as myself who juggle jobs, diapers, daycare and school; for Kenyans who have been out of the country for a long time and feel that they may have lost touch with the motherland; for Americans who anticipate a life that is completely different from ‘our’ own, and for anyone who just wants to know if I am capable of implementing a year long diary expressing my joys and hardships. I am absolutely ready for the “culture shock? that my daughter and I will inevitably experience along this journey but, I foresee a year of great productivity!

Welcome/ Karibu/ Bienvenue / Välkommen (my languages)!