• I used to be opposed to the idea of moving abroad and starting over
• With the current situation at home, broader opportunities aren't so bad
In case you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks, green card applications to the United States are open.
Well, maybe by the time you read this article, the applications will have been closed.
Anyway, even I did not know there were applications ongoing.
I usually never know when these things are happening because I rarely imagine myself living a life abroad.
I have thought about being a tourist abroad, but then I would come back home and continue with my life.
It’s not that I am so patriotic.
It just seemed to be more convenient than packing up my entire existence and shipping it and me to a whole other country.
My routine-loving self would lose my mind at such a great change in my life.
That was what I always thought until recently, when a friend of mine talked to me about their journey to get a Visa to go abroad.
He managed to convince me to get on board with the idea so much that I found myself planning to make the applications.
I just thought, “Hey, let me just try this and see what happens.”
Anyway, in original Kenyan fashion, I waited till the very last days to the deadline to throw in my application just this last weekend.
I was literally running errands around my area when I saw a photo studio and popped in to get my passport pictures taken.
When I got into the studio, the guy in charge immediately asked me if I was applying for a green card and if I needed my passport taken.
I told him yes, and how did he know?
“That’s all the business we’ve been getting today. I’ve had like 10 people come in the past two hours to get their pictures taken,” he told me.
Apparently, all of us Kenyans think alike.
So this guy has decided to go beyond just taking passports with the correct specifications for applications to making the applications for people as well.
He’s really been milking this whole thing.
I asked him collectively, how many people could have come to him to make the applications and get their pictures taken and he said he lost count after the second week.
Estimates that they could be 150 people.
What he’s sure of is that they are all between the ages of 18 and 40.
“The 18-year-olds, I’ve noticed that they are just out of high school and they’ve just gotten their national IDs and they’re looking for better opportunities,” he said.
Some people have applied more than 10 times without success and they are still trying their luck.
I never really knew what the fuss with getting Visas and green cards was all about until now.
People, especially young people, are looking for other ways out of the hard times they are currently experiencing here at home.
They feel like they should at least try their luck at finding opportunities abroad, and I suppose there are plenty of them now that such applications to go there are open.
I don’t think it’s abandoning one’s country and people because they end up sending money back home.
It’s about expanding one’s horizons and in these hard times, you’ll take what you can get.