Readability

Kenya Trip: Post Feelies

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.

Please con­tribute to Juliette’s JOB: Her new novel, her blog, her Inter­net to keep the lat­ter going and COF­FEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Inde­pen­dent Journalism — -»»

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.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>