by baldilocks

Ever since I’ve returned to the USA from Kenya, I’ve had people ask me how I feel. The answer is “better,”baldilocks but I’ve struggled to find the words to describe what “better” means in this context. And, as you’ve probably guessed by now, struggling to find the words to describe something is unusual for me.

Meeting my Kenyan family certainly wasn’t a First Contact situation, as I’ve mentioned before, but it was like this: I’m normally uncomfortable around people whom I’ve just met face-to-face, but I felt none of that at all. My Kenyan family is composed of sweet and wonderful people and I think we all felt instantly connected.

As for my father, I suppose that some people in my place would be angry about the 50 years of separation and the sparse contact, but I felt none of that—only fascination at finally being able to see the face of the man who is responsible for my existence…and, oddly enough, a bit protective of him.

Here’s something that only the children of divorce/death of a father can gra
sp: growing up being the only person in my family with my last name and, not only that, the only person I knew close by with this name, I’ve always felt isolated. Oh, my American family never made me feel that way, but It was what it was.  With the Kenyans, there is–at last–more than just one Ochieng. (Actually, ‘Ochieng’ is the ‘Smith’ of Kenya.)

I accept and revel in my oddball-ness now, but it took childhood and a good part of my adulthood to get to that point. But, I think that it’s point at which we all arrive, if we’re blessed enough and driven enough to keep moving: that God put each one of us on this Earth for a purpose.

I did feel a little worried about how my American dad felt about all this attention being focused on the guy who missed out on all the hard work. But it was the guy with a different last name than mine who summed up how I feel since one of my lifelong dreams became true. I feel whole.

(Thanks to Asher Abrams)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

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There is an old saying that the Definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result.

On Friday Night that Yankees with two bases open in the bottom of the 8th of a tied game choose to pitch to David Ortiz

Yes you read that right

David Ortiz takes as much joy in punishing the New York Yankees today as he did 10 years ago.

Ortiz has played such an integral role in the rivalry with the Yankees in his 14 seasons with the Boston Red Sox, and he added another memorable moment Friday night with an eighth-inning two-run home run as the Red Sox beat the Yankees 4-2 in their first of 19 meetings this year.

Now I’m a Red Sox fan and I rejoice in a Big Papi game winning HR as much as the next New Englander, but as a baseball fan my only reaction to pitching to Ortiz in this situation is: ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Did they forget David Ortiz’s walk off 12th inning HR in game four in 2004?

Did they forget David Ortiz’s game winning hit in the 14th in game 5 of the same series?

Did they forget Mr. Ortiz hitting a bases loaded two out grand slam in the ACLS vs the Tigers that tied the game two (despite a heroic effort by Tory Hunter) in 2013?

Did they forget the opinion of St. Louis Cardinal fans just before game six of the World Series in 2013?

Given that the decision to pitch to David Ortiz with First base open [game five double to give sox the early lead] was one of the most controversial decisions of the series to this point, I repeatedly asked those in line: If they were managing St. Louis would pitch to Ortiz with a base open. While a few of the people said “yes” the general consensus was; walk David Ortiz even if first base wasn’t open.

Ironically after I left this line I ran into a large group of Cardinal fans who declined to go on camera. I asked them my David Ortiz question. The Cardinal fans answered bluntly. They didn’t care if the bases are loaded and the game tied, They’d all give Ortiz a free pass each time up rather than risk pitching to him.

Cripes last year against the Cubs with the bases empty on a 3-0 count you actually had the sight of Ortiz walking to first base before the next pitch arrived because he KNEW they weren’t going to pitch to him.

The guy hit 37 HR and drove in over 100 runs last year. This isn’t 1968 with Mickey Mantle on his last legs getting gift HR’s from Denny McLain on his farewell tour, Ortiz is going out on top.

And even if you ignore all that history, Did the manager of the Yankees forget that yesterday when he came to the plate in the 8th inning with the go ahead run on base he was the current league leader in doubles)?

And you’re going to pitch to him in the bottom of the 8th of a tie game with a man on first in Fenway Park!?

I’ll give the last word to the Knight from Indiana Jones and the last Crusade:

Three years ago Gallup talked about median income both household and per-capita worldwide:

The median annual household income worldwide is $9,733, and the median per-capita household income is $2,920, according to new Gallup metrics. Vast differences between more economically developed countries and those with developing or transitional economies illustrate how dramatically spending power varies worldwide. Median per-capita incomes in the top 10 wealthiest populations are more than 50 times those in the 10 poorest populations, all of which are in sub-Saharan Africa.

It included this chart on median household and per capita incomes of the richest countries

income stats

Now remember these figures represent what individuals and families earn in the course of an entire year.

Now lets consider those numbers compared to US college students.

Stacy McCain loves to quote tuition at elite colleges, on Thursday he talked about

Scripps College is an elite private women’s school in California with an enrollment of fewer than 1,000 students who pay annual tuition of $49,152.

Now in fairness this is an elite college with as Stacy says less than 1000 students, lets consider a public college like UMass Amherst home of a certain oppressed female named Cora that has now gotten international attention.

According to the UMASS site the estimated cost for next year for a student including room and board is, #26,445 for a Massachusetts resident, $36,331 (including illegal aliens) for a New England Resident (RI,CT,VT,NH or ME) and $43,268 for a person who lives outside of New England

Or Missouri University which has gotten some attention lately by students who consider themselves oppressed. If you are a resident of Missouri you are paying $25,514 in tuition and fees while if you are an out-of-state resident your cost to be oppressed is $40,126 and this price doesn’t include a course fee that varies from $30 to $90 PER HOUR.

Now look at this chart again and consider: If you are a student a UMASS or MIZZOU student paying the lowest possible tuition/fees you are rich enough to purchase or have purchased for you something more expensive than the median per capita income of the richest nations in the world.

Meanwhile if you are going to Scripps college you or your parents are buying something for you that cost more than the median household income of all but three nations in the world.

So that leads to an obvious question for these special snowflakes that Stacy McCain asked this week:

Exactly how much “oppression” can any girl suffer at an elite college like Scripps? Isn’t the very fact that she is enrolled at such a ritzy school testimony to her privileged status?

One of the reasons why I absolutely love RS. McCain is he cuts to the chase so well, but I submit and suggest that question is not restricted to students at Scripps, it is also properly asked of students attending MIZZOU or UMASS who are crying oppression.

How can you credibly claim to be oppressed when you can afford a product that costs more than the median household income of iberia, Burundi, Mali, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Benin, Toga and Zambia COMBINED?

I think that’s an excellent question, don’t you?


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