Thursday, 22 November 2007


Its about time I made my maiden post.
Contrary to popular belief, I am neither a man, nor the 'iron lady' that some have loved to see. I would describe myself as a down-to-earth kind of person. More down than to-earth at this moment in time.Let me explain;

I came to the U.S. slightly more than two years ago.Not to chase the American dream (I would be thrilled to catch it, nevertheless) but in the belief that I would be better armed to fight Kenya's and/or part of Africa's battle against poverty. I had been admitted to a Business School that was ranked among the top 50 in the U.S. at the time I was doing my research. Two years, three months, several internships and an MBA down the line, I still haven't found my dream position in international development consulting. I am made to understand that it is a difficult area to break into especially in the city I'm living in, with all the great schools producing experts in international development. Its unbelievable how educated people are around here
The biggest complication is that I am not a U.S. citizen, so I need H1B (work)visa sponsorship so as to be able to work here legally past some time in '08. As it turns out, I would have to possess exceptional skills that are rare to find in people who have no visa issues in order to get past an entry level position. For an entry level position in the organizations I have my eyes on, there are more than enough candidates with the kind of skills and experience that are needed to get in. I want to tell anyone who cares that I have close to thirty years of first hand experience in poverty in 'Africa', and now I have the necessary skills to fight it. I am waiting for the first offer to go back to Kenya/Africa and work for your organization on a local salary and on your own terms. Any takers?

In the mean time, I am doing non-professional work to get the $$. It actually has potential to lead to something big(ger), only not in my career of choice, and not for a few more months. One of the things I love about this country is that due to the great health of the economy- even with the housing market cooling off, its still the best economy in the world-you can almost be guaranteed to make a living. I have been evaluating my options:

#1: Obviously I can pack up any time and go back to Kenya when my OPT visa expires. But what are the chances that I will get my dream professional job? How will I get by while 'tarmacking'?

Option no.2: My friends, some of them 'undocumented' are advising is me to sort everything out by falling in love. I'm too proud to hand my freedom (and $$) to someone just like that. To which they answer: wewe kaa tu hapo na hiyo pride yako.

Option 3: Just stay bila makaratasi. But men, don't I hate the attitude illegals generate around here.I don't even want to imagine being one of 'them'. To which they ask: Unataka kukaa hapa na job bila makaratasi, au kwenda nyumbani ukakae bila job?

Option 4: Join the military. I'm actually told that U.S. citizenship is no longer a requirement they will sort it out for me.

Option 5: Nursing. I would be assured of a job as a nurse's aide even before I start going to school. After school my papers would be sorted out and I would be legally employed especially to take care of the baby boomers. Swali ni; yaani nimekuja mbali hivyo just to fulfil some gender-based stereotypical job of a caretaker? The pride, stupid!
Sub-Option no 5: I can get a bachelors or masters degree in nursing and combine it with my MBA, get practical experience here bila wasi wasi and return home to manage some health-care facility. I think I just had my light-bulb moment.