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Different Faces of immigrants

Different Faces of immigrants


Ohhhh am an alien, am a legal alien, am a Kenyan in Americaaa…oohhh

Is the soundtrack to my life, I never thought this 90’s hit song would one day be so relevant to me

But now it plays over and over in my mind….

As I sit hear listening to people talk about THE KING IS GOING BACK HOME,

Who is this King they speak of, only to find out its Lebron James; I simply just don’t get it,

What is the big deal?? This is just a glimpse into the many things ‘I just don’t get’ on a daily basis.


I wake up every morning expecting to hear noise from matatus and children playing outside,

It rained all of last night, oh how I love the smell of rain…

But I get up to the rude awakening of none of those things, no disorganized sounds, no disorganized sights; it feels like everything is right where it’s supposed to be, in its place, so clean, so perfect, so FAKE…

Why doesn’t it smell like rain here, I used to always wonder? Now I don’t notice it anymore, it’s just another day, another morning…

I practice my pronunciations over and over in my head before I open my mouth and say anything, ‘Good MoRning’ remember to enunciate the R I tell myself.

Only to get a polite smile and giggle from someone who doesn’t understand my ‘accent’

I know this giggle and smile very well; it’s something I have hidden behind many time

The smell of home, the sweet sweet smell of rain hitting the ground

The smell of home, the smell of nyama choma as I drive by a nyama choma joint…

The smell of home, the smell of dust blowing by me as I am about to get into a matatu

The smell of home, the smell of sweaty construction workers walking home from industrial area

The smell of home, the smell of fish being deep fried by the road side as I am walking home

The smell of home, the smell of dirty water filled with plastic bags stuck in a drainage that hasn’t worked in years

All this are the smells I never thought it possible to miss, but I crave them so much it hurts…

For now I will keep going, blocking the memories and thoughts of home, because that’s the only way I can keep going, not thinking about my loved ones, not thinking about my home, not thinking about not belonging here as I keep the tune going on and on in my head…

Ohhh am an alien, am a legal alien, am a Kenyan in Americaaa…oooohh