She has become more Nairobian than the Nairobians themselves.
It’s been slightly more than a year since I made the big move. Someone just reminded me of how I looked like a bird ready to fly, before I moved. Looking back, it is still by far the best decision I made. For a long time before I eventually left home, I was nervous, anxious and at the same time hopeful.
Before I take risks, I usually calculate over and over again. Moving for me, was a huge risk. Before I did it, I thought, re-thought and thought some more. By the time I was making the decision, I had plan B, C and D in case all failed. My parents weren’t even sure if the strength of their youth was ready to face the world.
To this day, I think God was guiding me. I just didn’t know it.
And so I made the move. This 22 year old carrying almost all her clothes and hope, barely knowing Nairobi apart from where a few of my relatives lived. Other than that, I had no idea where my friends who were in the city, lived. The only two streets I knew in the CBD were Tom Mboya street and Moi Avenue, the streets dad had showed me when I was in Nairobi a while back for my internship. The buildings I knew were The National Archives, and the green tall building, Afya Centre. Google Maps became my friend (I salute its founder).
The thought of stopping a stranger to ask for directions just never sat well with me. I would literally rotate the CBD looking for the two buildings I knew. You can’t walk with your phone out and looking confused all at once. At least walking in circles looking confident would make more sense, right?
I used to be scared of being in the town at night because well, you hear all these stories and… You should have seen me walking in town after the daylight robbery became real.
The rise of Uber in the country is a lifesaver. How I got so comfortable taking an Uber home at night, baffles me. I was recently at a social event that ended quite late and in my mind I was not bothered by time like I would have been in the beginning. It got me thinking. Whenever I thought I would get lost when going to a new place, I would take an Uber there. Because, well, the Uber driver definitely has an idea of that place (See how bright I was?)
I missed home terribly. Our family is a close knit one and as much as everyone may be doing their own thing in their rooms, we get to gather at least every night and have a catchup session. I missed these moments. I missed mom’s food. The thought of spending money to buy something mom would so gladly make for me didn’t (still does not) make sense.
A year plus down the line, I have found new family, I have formed new relationships, I have revived old friendships, I have found a church and I have definitely grown.
The biggest lesson I have learned is, God is intentional.
When I kept pushing my move to the city, He caused certain things to happen in my life, to see that I needed to do it. I did not know how I would survive, or whether things would work out the way I hoped they would. I can gladly say that He who brought me truly has not left my side. He has continued to guide me every step of the way.