Immigration Stories – Kenya and Minnesota – Being Away From Home – by Jane Kariuki. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports
Without question, it is everyone’s desire to live happily or freely in a society that provides equal opportunity and a secured future either for themselves or their families. Likewise, for the better future of our family was my parent’s main reason for relocating from Kenya to Minnesota. My parents were privileged enough to apply and win the Green Card lottery. They saw this as an opportunity to advance themselves and the future of their children. After receiving the confirmation news they began the process of acquiring the rights documents that will approve them to move to the States. Both my parents describe the process as exhausting. Claiming it took years to collects all the necessary documents. Some of the difficult documents to retrieve were marriage and birth certificate. Being born and raised at small towns neither of them received a birth certificate, for such acts were uncommon. Additionally, a traditional marriage does not require a marriage certificate and they never bothered to obtain it. Therefore gaining these certificates and other documents often made them weary about the progress of migrating.
Even though the process was burdensome they both admit it was worth it. Being at a place where they can both find jobs and send their children to school was a dream come true. After their arrival, they took time to start looking for a job and after some time they both got a job with a decent pay. Nevertheless, migrating has come with its challenges; especially the lack of fresh cultural food. The main challenge for my parents was adapting to the practice of eating refrigerated food. Coming from a background that believes in growing, harvesting and cooking their own food, they had to adjust to the commonality of purchasing food from a grocery store. My mom declares that the flavor is simply not the same, for instance, fresh greens is better than frozen. Nevertheless, they have been looking for ways to get fresh food and in the recent years they started a small garden on our backyard, planting tomatoes, and various greens.
From Professor Liang’s Fall 2018 Global Human Rights class. Jane Kariuki Peace and Justice Studies and Global Cultural and Language Studies Class of 2020.
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Professor Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports. Ellie Swanson and Marin Ekstrom, Assistant Managing Editors, The North Star Reports.
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