A LETTER HOME

St Conleth's Community College Newbridge

Lydiah Kagwi

Nairobi,

Kenya

17/5/19

Dear Mam,

How are you? I hope you’re doing well and taking care of yourself. I miss you dearly. I really wish you were here. Hopefully next summer we can come together! The flight was great, I arrived safe and sound – thank God. Uncle Simon picked me up at the airport to take me back to Auntie Leah’s house. It’s been beyond amazing to get to see and catch up with everyone. They can’t stop asking about you, especially Gran. I tell them as much as I can but it’s still not enough. I don’t think anything I can say replaces you not being here. It’s almost funny how much has changed but yet everything still feels the same. It still feels like Kenya and I feel at peace here. Does that make any sense? It took a few days for my younger cousins to feel comfortable around me and get used to me being here – like it always does but I understand. They could barely even remember me when they first saw me. Time seems to have that effect. I’m glad to say it’s all normal now. The other night, Jason (currently three years old) came crying, running into my arms for a hug after falling outside and my heart literally leapt out of my chest. This is what I mean when I say how much I miss our family here. I miss these kinds of moments. Yes, I am forever grateful that you moved us to Ireland for my sake so I could have a brighter future but I can’t help wonder sometimes what it would have been like if we stayed here? Right now I feel so surrounded and immersed by love. I truly don’t think I’ve ever been this happy before. I’m constantly smiling so much that my face hurts. Our family means so much to me. I think one of my favourite days so far has to be when all of us cousins went over to Eddie’s and just chilled, listened (and sang along) to some great music, cooked dinner together and ate together, all while continuously talking, sharing stories and laughing. I know how simple that must sound but you know me at this stage – it really is the little things that end up meaning the world to me. I see every day how little some of our family and the majority of Kenyans here have. How is it that they can own so little but remain so grateful and cheerful? We could all learn something there. I think we tend to complicate life way too much. Don’t get me wrong – I love Ireland. I’ve always considered it home and that will never change but I realise more and more every time I come here just how much this is my home too. How can it be that I can feel so connected and rooted in two places at once?  I might be coming back next week but I don’t think my heart will.

Everyone is sending their love to you (especially me)

See you soon,

Much love,

Lydiah