I’ve been here since July 2014 and it’s been a roller coaster of sorts. Having moved thousands of miles from Kenya it hasn’t been hard to move often. So far I’ve lived in Houston, Texas for a year before joining the military and after joining I was in San Antonio and Wichita Falls in Texas for training before being posted to Goldsboro, North Carolina. I was there for a year before my wife joined me. After 6 months we moved to Alaska where we have 3 more years left before we move again.
The one thing that I have maintained is some connection to Kenya. I still use my Kenyan Safaricom SIM card 4 years on. I use my M-Pesa when I need to send money home. It hasn’t been hard. I have a 2nd phone with the Kenyan line. I don’t use it for voice calls as it’s expensive. You are charged to receive calls too. In case you are wondering how I load airtime on my line, I use another app to transfer money to my line then..voila
There is a calling service called Reltel which gives you 86 minutes of mobile calls to Kenya for $10. You can also make calls to other countries for cheap. I use it to call the people who are not tech savvy enough to have whatsapp on their phones.
Whatsapp is the universal diaspora chatting and calling app 😊😊. Most of my my American colleagues have never heard of the app. I don’t think there is an immigrant from Africa out here who doesn’t use whatsapp.
The other important app I use is Wave. You can send money to East and their exchange rates are not too bad. I use it to send money to Safaricom M-Pesa.