Today marks 3 months since I made the move from Nairobi, Kenya to Houston, Texas. It has not been easy. It’s a ongoing journey to adjust to a new way of doing things. I’m still learning. It’s the only choice in this new environment I chose to be in.
The weather has been very good. I can’t tell the difference from what I was used to in Africa. It’s Fall already but I haven’t felt much change although the temperatures in the evenings are dropping now. I was out cycling yesterday and felt the chill as I rode my bike around the neighborhood. It’s getting dark earlier than when I first got here. I look forward to experiencing my first winter in Texas. It should be interesting.
Someone asked me to write what it was like leaving my job in Kenya and moving here. I was in the Humanitarian field. Traveling to refugee camps around Sub Saharan Africa to process and assist refugees approved by the USCIS for the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP)
Why did I decide to move here? I wanted change of scenery and the opportunity presented itself. More like a bucket list kind of a thing. I always wanted to live in another country. My main goal in my previous job was to tour Central and West Africa. I did get to travel and see Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Cameroon, Mali, Guinea, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire. I had accomplished my mission and was ready to move on. 10 years was long enough for me. When the DV opportunity came along I was more than ready.
I made so many friends at work and around the continent, I got paid to go to places that I would never have visited and most importantly I got to change another human beings’ life while at it. The pay was Ok, allowances or per diem as we called it were a bonus. I’ll always treasure the experiences I had at my former workplace.
The opportunities that this country brings was also a factor in deciding to immigrate. I’ve always wanted to fly planes. I did an assessment at a flying school in Kenya and it was fun. Flying is so expensive in Kenya so I pushed it to the back burner. I’ll pursue it as far as I can while I’m here.
I’d visited the US for vacation and work and I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. It will not be easy but I hope it will be worth the move in the long long run. When you are on vacation it’s fun and you shop and shop and visit places, shop some more and soon you are on your way back home. This is very different, scary even to imagine you’ll be here for a while before you see the loved ones you left behind. I don’t have a family so that has really helped. I’m only dealing with my adjustment. I didn’t have high expectations when I arrived here so I haven’t been disappointed by what I’ve found.
My experience and education is not really taken into consideration here so I’ll have to start at the bottom and go up the scale. I’m not being choosy at all. Most people are ashamed of what they do when they get here. I’m not one of them. I just have to do what I have to do to get where I want to go. I’ll tell it as is. Entry level positions are a must to build experience. I have to go back to school and get more credentials, get experience working here. It’s a long journey ahead but I’m positive and ready for it.
Being focused is the name of the game.
I have a job offer pending a 7 year background check. Will see how that goes.