At Crossroads: To Return to Kenya or Not?

Mon, 11/19/2012 @ 05:01pm 112 views 30 comments

Comment 30

I came to the US in 2006. I had just finished my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Nairobi and got accepted to NYU for a Master of Arts degree and thereafter stayed on to get the “Piled Higher and Deeper”. I did not take up a job in Kenya and so the workplace back home is somewhat alien to me. My ambition for a long time (right after I joined UoN) was to earn a doctoral degree, so when I was applying for graduate studies I knew that I would be staying in the US for a number of years to get into a doctoral program and complete it. Now the time is almost here, I am almost finishing my program and my biggest dilemma is “to go back or not to go back”? That is the big question. The reasons for my indecision are the following:

  1. I have been here for six years now and naturally, have become increasingly accustomed to the lifestyle here. As most of you know the system here is quite different from what we have at home, what I mean in a few words is that, things do work and things happen quickly (systems work). Going back home for holidays always reminds one that when you are used to things working, to speak colloquially, it can be extremely frustrating when you have to live with a broken system.
  2. What draws me back home are the increasing opportunities in the private sector, the expansion of the university system, changes in the political arena and other endless opportunities - read the world is looking to invest in Africa (well… as long as we achieve stability at some point).
  3. The other quandary is whether to pursue a romantic relationship here which means eventually settle here or return home and pursue a relationship in Kenya (although according to the Grapevine the prospects are minimal).
  4. There is family (especially aging parents) to consider too, my whole family is back in Kenya and every time I think about them I wonder when I will spend quality time with them as they age.

At any rate, I find myself caught in two worlds, to go back or not to go back? Your thoughts are welcome.

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By Habiba Chirchir

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