The American pipe dream
By ROBERT MWANGI
Posted Saturday, January 9 2010 at 20:59
Summary: Former Kenyan student in the US reveals the trials foreigners have to go through to live and work in the land of great promisehttp://www.nation.co.ke/magazines/lifestyle/-/1214/838802/-/item/0/-/dxkgy4/-/index.html
Do you want to go to America? I was asked this question six years ago while sipping a cold Coke at a restaurant on the first floor of the Kenya Cinema building in Nairobi. I remember the hurried “yes” that I blurted out unconsciously.
And, now, as I walk down the streets of New York, I realise the complexity and intricacy of the question had eluded me at that point.
Would my answer be any different now? Probably not, but if I had known what I know now about America, I would have made a similar but educated response.
I look into the distance and see the statue of liberty. It represents a woman wearing a crown and carrying a torch in her raised hand. It’s a gift from the people of France after the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence, representing friendship between the two countries.
Most important, it welcomes visitors and immigrants, international students like me, Green Card lottery winners, parents attending their children’s graduation, and couples on their honey moon to America.
I walk through Central Park and feed the birds with rice grain as my mind pensively wonders. Maybe there are a few things Kenyans need to be refreshed on before making that bold move to America; jobs, college, immigration......