bridging the gap

Bridging the gap between the things you do, and those you only think about. Bridging the gap between the stuff you write, and the stuff you would like to write about more often.

„So what makes you special, why should I employ you and not someone else from Kenya? Why shouldn’t I employ a graduate from Kenyatta University with a Master degree, pay him around 4000,- EUR and maybe get the same results?“, the lady asked me on that job interview.

She had been to Kenya before, and knows the country to some extent. She’s in charge of a huge programme, and remains focused on the basic needs. A good, diligent worker who achieved a lot during her career. I respect her.

„Because I speak German“, I replied, „and because I don’t feel bad about the simpler work that has to be done sometimes. And because I’ll instantly fix your computer problems and get your team into operation….”

There’s no logical argument why I should be employed instead of a local person unless my marks are better. But they are not.

I also explained her that my German Abitur (A-Levels) back then was achieved under different circumstances, and that I really worked my ass off to get this stupid paper. Same as with these studies – I’ve seen so many people who really delivered good theoretical work, but didn’t know anything about practical stuff. Pls, don’t get me wrong – I don’t want blame anyone for my situation – but since those guys and gals set the standards, it also explains why we so often find assimilated workers in office jobs. People who just play by the rules and have learned to stick to their Terms of Reference only. People who never risk their job for what they believe in. Either because they are cowards, or because they need the job to pay for their families, etc.

Life, it seems, is about bridging the gap between such insanities and remaining focused on yourself.

And then, when I left the premises, I remembered my Kenyan friends telling me how much more Kenyan I am compared to them. Well, when it comes to work permits and payments, I am reduced to my passport and my marks. It is a fair system, which still ignores a lot of practical experiences. Should I have told her that I am “so Kenyan”? :-)

But then: many others depend on such a job, because they can’t do anything else. I don’t. I will make it to Kenya, with or without these companies. But going to Kenya isn’t my dream.

“a room with a view” a.k.a. the beautiful skyline @ Frankfurt am Main as of Feb 15th 2007….there is some love-hate-relationship i am having with this city. strange.

„There are four obstacles on your way to fulfill the dream of your life“, Paulo Coehlo wrote in the preface to „The Alchimist“. The first one is that still as a child, we’re told that our dreams will never become reality. The older we become, the more we try to hide it. We’ve accepted it being a dream, and remaining as such.
And then there is love. „We mistake the love“, he writes, „as an obstacle, but instead it is an additional motivation, and those who really love us, will come along“.
The third obstacle is the fear of the numerous defeats we may encounter on our way to happiness. Often, we seem to be afraid of those failures.
The fourth obstacle, he continues explaining, is about the fear of seeing our dream come true. After all those years of fighting and struggling to make the dream come true, people tend to relinquish, to give it up because they are afraid to also lose their motivation which made them go for that dream.

This small book was given to me by a dear friend, because she wanted to share this little source of wisdom with me. It’s a nice book, but then – I stopped reading it at the most exciting part because something bugged me. Something I couldn’t relate to.

The author talks about dreams and people who often miss their way to happiness and fulfilling their dreams. Only – I don’t have a dream.

I am happy with myself, I am strong and I know that I shouldn’t worry about my future because there will always be a way out of miserable situations. And as a consequence of this, there’s no dream I urgently want to fulfil. Small things maybe, small things here and there, some materialistic, some concerning my studies and some also concerning mapenzi-issues. But still, THE dream (the one and only) isn’t there.

It irritated me. Instead of a wise author trying to tell his readers a nice little story, I was waiting for that advice on how to make deciscions. I am having problems to decide. Particularly here in Europe where the choices are so many. For instance, shopping is a problem. In Kenya the range of available products is often limited (and I don’t need more), so the actual process of deciding upon certain things is much easier. I like that. Keeping it simple. But life isn’t about shopping items you may return if you don’t like them.

Life is about making decisions all the time. Decisions that indicate the difference between childhood and being an adult. But how do you know that your decision was the best?

You can’t know that in advance. So I just applied for another internship (with that above mentioned company!) which should pave my way back to Kenya. I think I will never know the truth if I remain being afraid of making the right decisions. After all, I should be glad about all those different chances I am having right now (good background, broad education, no flat/home/rent, no car, limited obligations – all those things that push most of the sad faces I see in the morning hours out of bed because they have to earn a living and keep on dreaming).

I am trying to bridge the gap between a student’s life, and setting up the framework for a secured future. Also, I am very curious to see where I am in, let’s say: 10 years time from now? Because right now, I am open to everything. And that’s my little precious treasure. Real freedom (uhuru).


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