On the news lately we are bombarded with images of terrorism and war all over the world. From boko haram to al-qaed to al shabab to Isis to Israel and Palestine, it just feels like the world is collapsing.
This weekend, one particular image has been haunting me, it was the image of people who are originally from Israel but are American citizens escaping the crisis in Israel and coming back to the states. They were all in tears crying, they were escaping yes, and they knew they would be safe. But what about those they are leaving behind, what about their home, what will happen to it? I don’t even know how you make that decision, to leave, what do you tell those people that you are leaving behind?
To me I can relate so much because of everything that is going on in my home country Kenya. Never before did I think we would have acts of terrorism in Kenya, never did I think I would ever dread seeing news about Kenya. But that is us today, we have a lot of unnecessary killings, people are constantly being warned about avoiding certain areas, and we constantly have travel advisories warning people against visiting.
I remember when the shooting in west gate mall happened, one of my workmates said to me;
‘’am sure you are glad you are not there,’’ to which I responded
‘’when such things happen, I feel like I need to visit even more urgently. What if something happens to someone in my family and I never get a chance to see them again, or to say good bye’’
I have wanted to visit home ever since my baby was 6months, she’s now almost 2 and a half years. In my mind the way I pictured my trip keeps changing with every act of violence and terrorism.
Initially I would fanaticize going home, and getting to do all the things we are not capable of doing here since we have no help with the baby. My visit was going to be filled with activities, I was planning on going for movies, going to the club, having spa dates and traveling out of town.
Two years later and after numerous attacks by al shabab and other attacks that appear to be political, all I look forward to doing when I go home is spending time with my family, sitting in silence with them, breathing the same air, laughing, touching and embracing them
Because in this world we are living in today it’s so easy to move from being a migrant to becoming a refugee.