By Mary Kariuki Muthoni

The first time I left Kenya for an extremely foreign country. I have visited Uganda and Tanzania and that is like home, right? It was a big deal for me. I was going to attend my graduation for my distance course in the United Kingdom. I was a bit scared and excited because I had never been on a big plane before.  I had so many questions, would I feel the plane moving, what the hell was jet lag? What about racism? Would they allow me to enter their country? So I packed and waited for this big day. I cancelled all my plans for two weeks prior to my adventure because I did not want any accidents ruining it for me. And also because after my yellow fever shot, I developed a very nasty cold that left me nearly bed ridden since I was so tired and my head felt light, I had nausea and I was absolutely sick. So the day I arrived and I insisted on arriving at the airport vert early.

‘Oh I get it, you are going to assist them to clean up the plane, good for you?’

My dad made fun of me.

No! I did not want to miss my plane.


So there I was on my first international adventure. There was so much I did not know, like how to recline my seat. I was lucky I sat next to a Kenyan Indian girl who showed me how to recline my seat. She also showed how to operate the TV screen in-front of my seat and assured me it was okay to carry some of the leftovers to my destination. I was not going to leave it you know. That is Un-African.

When I had to change planes I did ask her if I should go for my luggage.

‘No worries! Your luggage will find you there in London.’

When I went to the toilet I could have sworn the plane was moving and I was so scared I would not be able to aim properly. I managed just fine. The plane going down on the plane was quite rough.

The rest of the ride was quite exciting and the food was in plenty. I did not want to fall asleep a lot because I did not want miss out when the food was being passed around.

I rushed towards the United Kingdom immigration. The room looked white. There were very few black people (not a term I am used to) but there I was black in a very white world. There were people from Asian and other countries but they all look white to me (us). It was a scary moment. It was a whole new adventure for me.

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