Narudi Nyumbani: Homeward Bound to Kenya

It’s that time of year again: I’m going home today! Home is Nairobi, Kenya – at least that’s the address I use to fill out the “permanent address” section.

Homeward bound

Homeward bound

The narudi nyumbani (“I’m coming or returning home” in Swahili) from the title is taken from the song “Coming Home” by Nameless, a Kenyan hip hop artist. “I’m coming home, home where I belong” – except I’m not sure I belong at home anymore. I’m excited to see my family and friends and bask in the glorious Kenyan sun, but it’s a bit strange to think of going home to Kenya. I haven’t lived in Nairobi in 6 years, since 2007, though I have been to visit every year for the Christmas holidays. I’ll always love Kenya, and it will always be the wonderful place I called home for (give or take) 16 years. But I really grew up (well, still growing up) in Boston, London, and Seoul, and honestly feel more comfortable in those places than I do in Nairobi. I suppose it’s because I’ve found myself a community in each of these places that I can really call my own because I’ve chosen to be a part of them.

Then again, I think of my momma’s home cooking, the sun and warmth, and the incomparable Kenyan beaches, and all this angsty musings of home and place that twenty-somethings seem so prone to start to become irrelevant. Narudi nyumbani!

Hello, sun!

Sun, a good book, and a pool to lounge next to is all I need.

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