From Kenya to Kansas

Calvin Kipng’etich Lang’at is a student that has transferred from Nairobi, Kenya to Shawnee Mission West. I asked him a few questions to better understand his transition.

Ramona Mansour: When did you move to Kansas?

Calvin Kipng’etich Lang’at: I moved to Kansas around the beginning of last summer on June 4th.

Mansour: Why did you move to Kansas?

Kipng’etich Lang’at: I moved here to reunite with my parents who I had lived away from [for] a number of years

Mansour: Do you have siblings?

Kipng’etich Lang’at: Yes, I have two. one brother who is nineteen and a younger sister who is six.

Mansour: Did your family move to Kansas with you?

Kipng’etich Lang’at: My parents were already here since the year [of] 2003. I moved here with my brother , my sister was born here and I left the rest of my family back in Kenya. I also have some relatives here with my uncle in Texas and my aunt in North Carolina.

Mansour: When did you start learning English?

Kipng’etich Lang’at: I have been learning English since I was small. English is one of our two national languages so, around half of Kenyans know English. So, I knew English a few months after learning to speak [Swahili].

Mansour: Do you speak any other languages?

Kipng’etich Lang’at: Yes, I do. I speak Swahili which I have also been learning my whole life. I also took some some French classes in Kenya but I don’t know it that well.

Mansour: How long will you stay in Kansas?

Kipng’etich Lang’at: I moved here permanently so I’ll be around U.S.A. for fifty years. I’m likely to stay in Kansas rather than move to other states. I may move back to Kenya when I get old.

Mansour: What in Kansas has been hard to adjust to?

Kipng’etich Lang’at: It may Take me some time to know around the place and also understanding some people who talk fast. Other than that, all is fine.

Mansour: How do you like west?

Kipng’etich Lang’at: I really like West. It has good teachers, the students are friendly and I like the school spirit. And it is way better than my school back in Kenya.

Mansour: What was your school in Kenya like?

Kipng’etich Lang’at: It is completely different from the school here. First, it was a boarding school for three months before a one month break. We had to wear uniforms, no electronics were allowed in school, and discipline was a number one priority. My school also had fewer students, only three hundred.

Mansour: What are the differences between students in Kansas and Kenya?

Kipng’etich Lang’at: There is not a big difference. It’s just that the students there are used to a harder life and I also think that the students here are more expressive and do not really hide what they feel.

Mansour: What do you want America to know about your country?

Kipng’etich Lang’at: I want Americans to know that even though we have a number of problems, Kenya is a happy country. I also want people to know that we kind of look up to Americans and we try to do some things like you.

Mansour: Would you rather go back to Kenya or stay in Kansas? Why?

Kipng’etich Lang’at: I would rather stay here in Kansas. This is because I love it here a lot.