Guriix US Journey

Guriix US Journey

07 October 2017 » Guriix US Journey

We crossed into the State of Montana while we were still in Yellowstone National Park. That shows you how big the park is. There were wildfires through the State and visibility was highly reduced in some places due to smoke. Montana is beautiful with high mountain passes and very scenic landscape. We loved it there and the 80mph speed limit was a plus too.  We briefly crossed into Idaho which had a French sounding city called Coeur d’Alene named after a native American tribe. Soon after we...

07 September 2017 » Guriix US Journey

We crossed the border back to the US and headed Southwest along Lake Erie. We went through Pennsylvania to Ohio then on to Indiana. I’d never been to Michigan so we stopped in Kalamazoo downtown and checked it out. We averaged about 300 miles a day so it wasn’t too crazy on most days. We stopped in Chicago, took a boat around downtown and took a tour of Willis Tower formerly known as Sears Tower. The views from the 103rd floor are stunning to say the least. The ledge experience was exhilarating...

24 July 2017 » Guriix US Journey

We are on the road headed to Alaska.. driving. Life is too short not too take advantage of such opportunities. The Air Force has given me 13 days to get to my new base. I added 2 weeks so with about 4 weeks, I’m touring around.  My stuff was shipped a couple of weeks ago,  it should get there after we arrive. They shipped some unaccompanied stuff which we’ll need as soon as we get there like uniforms and baby stuff. We drove wife’s car to Norfolk,  Virginia and it was shipped. Should get there...

22 April 2017 » Guriix US Journey

So I was at the local airport building my solo time for my private pilot license..clear sunny evening,  calm winds.. just what a student would love to perfect his landings in. I had done 2 landings in the pattern. Then as I was coming in for my third landing I heard on the radio and saw a Marine Corps V22 Osprey conning into the pattern to land. The V22 is a tiltrotor military aircraft with vertical landings and takeoff capabilities.. meaning it comes in to land like a fixed wing plane would...

19 February 2017 » Guriix US Journey

The new year began well. Wifey has been getting her bearings of the new town. It’s a small rural town with many military retirees. She’s figured it out with the help of Uber as I’m working most of the time.  We had a new addition to the family this month. We thank God for blessings. The bundle of joy is quite a handful. Many nights with only a couple of hours sleep is the order of the day. He’s loving it at our expense.  It was only two months before birth when wifey got here but the military...

30 October 2016 » Guriix US Journey

I’ve been in this beautiful country for slightly over 2 years now and I’ve noticed some things that weren’t very common back in Kenya. The first is how common buying new cars on credit is. I first noticed this trend when I was in technical school in the bunduz of Texas. Young airmen straight out of high school were buying $ 20,000 cars without a care in the world. That surprised me. Most didn’t have a lot of money or very good credit history but that didn’t stop them. They were getting into a...

16 October 2016 » Guriix US Journey

We got hit by the hurricane and lived to tell the story. I was without power for 5 days. The city got flooded and some people have lost their homes which are still submerged. Businesses are counting losses.  I survived on bread, milk and cereals until I got power back. It had been predicted that Florida, Georgia and South Carolina would get hit by the hurricane. Unfortunately North Carolina got the brunt of it all. 60 mph winds took out trees and with it power lines.  Interstate highways were...

26 August 2016 » Guriix US Journey

The wait is nearly over..key word ‘nearly’. The cogs are moving slowly to the beat of government red tape. A week at a time. The process to get the missus here is getting somewhere. We are waiting for an interview date at the U.S. embassy in Nairobi. It’s gone much faster than we’d been told. 4 weeks instead of 6. Not bad. The case is complete now. They’ve reviewed all the paperwork we sent them and they are satisfied to let us proceed to the next ‘hurry up and wait’ process. We are waiting for...

23 July 2016 » Guriix US Journey

That seems to be the motto adopted by the National Visa Center (NVC) whom I’m dealing with currently for wifey’s paperwork. The go-ahead came after the Affidavit of Support (AOS) and Immigrant Visa (IV) fee posted. The next step was filing out DS 260 which in long means Application for Immigrant Visa & Alien Registration.  To call it a long form is an understatement..it’s looooong and its online. You need a steady internet connection to finish filing it and a ton of information ready. For...

29 June 2016 » Guriix US Journey

It’s about 4 months since I completed the citizenship process and immediately started the process of getting my wife here through a process of getting her a CR1 visa by filing a form called I-130 to the Chicago Lockbox. There are 3 filing centers to file based on where you live. I sent in the paperwork to USCIS aka Immigration. You pay a filing fee of USD 420. They acknowledged a few days later they’d received the paperwork. But I got a response from a filing center called Potomac. I didn’t...

09 June 2016 » Guriix US Journey

It’s been 10 months since I joined the US Air Force. The beginning was kinda stressful due to the stringent rules and proximity of living in the same space with 50 plus other souls. I got used to that life in no time. Little things the training instructors made us do didn’t make sense at the time. Like making hospital corners when making our beds every morning or rolling our t-shirts a certain way and getting yelled at if we didn’t do it right or cut corners. It only make sense later when it...

22 May 2016 » Guriix US Journey

I hadn’t planned to go to Kenya but decided a week before my exams I was going to surprise the missus in Nairobi. I looked up tickets, they were quite affordable but before I booked I wanted to check with the powers that be if it was permissible to transit through Europe with all that’s happened down there. That’s when the bombshell came. No restrictions on Europe but I needed to put in a request to visit Kenya..what? Yes, Kenya is currently classified as being in FPCON Charlie. It’s basically...

05 May 2016 » Guriix US Journey

I can finally relax for a minute and not worry about military books for now. They warned us in basic training. If you joined to escape studying, you made the wrong move. So far it’s been studying and studying, getting done with one phase and sooner or later another starts. I had five volumes to study in 6 months. I can proudly say I completed the whole set in a little over 3 months. This considering I got here over Christmas and couldn’t do much. This end of course had been hanging over my head...

21 April 2016 » Guriix US Journey

Who knew a simple..Ok, not so simple name change would cause me untold drama. I changed..actually I dropped one name during my naturalization process. I updated my military records easily and my colleagues have a much easier time pronouncing my name nowadays. I applied for a passport soon after my naturalization ceremony. They require all original documents be submitted with the application. In my case with the local post office. It cost me about $200 for the application. That went well. I got...

06 April 2016 » Guriix US Journey

I went skydiving last weekend and to say I was nervous before the jump would be an understatement. I wasn’t looking to skydive until our base outdoor recreation sent out a flyer. It was a done deal for a very subsidized price of $75. I love flying but jumping off a plane has always been on my bucket list. Well, it came to pass sooner than I’d thought. The jump was supposed to happen a week earlier. My colleague and I made the hour drive to the small airport on the Saturday ready for an...

20 March 2016 » Guriix US Journey

Owning guns is legal in my state. People live their guns too much to give away the right to own them. It’s not hard to own one. You need to go to the local court, apply for a license and within a week you get it, and with that and some safety training on how to handle one you can go ahead and purchase one. Not too long ago I was at the local thrift store and as I exited there was this guy with a pistol in tucked in its holster on his waist band. I tried not to stare. With an open carry license...

06 March 2016 » Guriix US Journey

It was another milestone in this amazing journey when I become a US Citizen through naturalization. I thank God for being there with me through it all. I made it for the ceremony at the USCIS field office nearest to my base. The first order of business was verifying that the 60 of us, going for the naturalization ceremony had filled our Form N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony properly. It’s basically a form confirming no changes to one’s marital status, foreign travel, criminal...

01 March 2016 » Guriix US Journey

I’ll be doing a name change when I do the Naturalization Oath ceremony later in the week. I didn’t have to pay any fees to do the name change. It’s free as long as you don’t try to use names such as Barack Obama, Brad Pitt, Airbus Jet or Kick U Down. Basically insults, violence or famous people/companies. In the N400 Application for Citizenship forms, there is a section that asks if you want to change names. It’s that easy. You give the names that you want to use and at the naturalization...

12 February 2016 » Guriix US Journey

I just completed my citizenship test. I put in my paperwork in December before I left Houston for my first base. The N-400 is a looong USCIS application booklet or form with 21 pages. In addition to that I attached  form N-426, Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service. Signed by my leadership in tech school. The Dallas USCIS military liaison was very helpful in providing the information I needed to submit. I was supposed to complete the process during Basic Military Training (BMT...

10 January 2016 » Guriix US Journey

Happy New year people. Last year was a great year for me. I got married and I joined the US Air Force. Great steps in the right direction. I’m forever thankful to the main guy upstairs for giving me the opportunity to emigrate to this great country. My wife is still not here so I spent the holidays all by myself. I miss her and hope she’ll be here soon. I got to my base and was put up in temporary lodging facility or simply the base hotel. It was comfortable and felt like home away from home....

24 December 2015 » Guriix US Journey

http://wp.me/p4C6J2-hxFiled under: Uncategorized

24 December 2015 » Guriix US Journey

I’m now based in the East Coast. I transitioned into my new base just as the year was coming to a close. It took a while for my orders to come through at tech school and that delayed my move by a bit. However I’m now here and everybody is off on vacation. There isn’t much to do and the base is quite empty. I’d have loved to be in Nairobi right about to be with my wife now but it didn’t make a lot of sense. I’d have gotten about 10 days of leave. I’d have been in airports and in transit for 2...

11 December 2015 » Guriix US Journey

Yesterday I had my second popo aka police incident since I moved to this country. I was driving from my training base going home. I had a car rental and was cruising well within the dipped limit. Well, the speed limit had just changed from 75mph to 70 mph. I had seen that late, baked and changed lanes just as I went over the brow of a hill..and who was on the blind side of the hill. 3 state troopers hidden from view. I went past them, did the 3 second count as I cruised by and guess what. One...

30 November 2015 » Guriix US Journey

The long weekend us coming to a close and let’s just say it was 4 miserable days spent indoors. It’s rained day and night and the temperatures dipped to near freezing. Add that to the heating system in our dorms not working and it’s good to say the long weekend was slow and painful. Thanksgiving lunch was great. The force support squadron outdid themselves and prepared a great meal for all those who remained on base over the long weekend. There were officers welcoming us in the Dining Facility...

28 November 2015 » Guriix US Journey

Originally posted on Adventure With Mash: It was after an evening Hasher’s run around the Parklands area of Nairobi that I heard about the Naivasha Relay. Plumber who is one of the seasoned Nairobi Hashers couldn’t stop on how much of an experience the relay is. As I downed my beer, my adventurous streak started pushing the idea of what an adventure this one would be. I thought of running down the Rift Valley escarpment to Naivasha, the rough terrain, the danger of running into a herd of...

22 November 2015 » Guriix US Journey

I’m still in training in th the middle of nowhere. I’m nearly getting done with this phase and then I’ll be on to my first posting. That should be interesting. This place hasn’t been too bad. The town near the base is not too small. It has the necessities. I got to go off base last weekend and checked out the mall. Got cold gear while I was at it. Let’s just say winter is fast approaching and in this flat bare space around us, the winds are painfully cold. The cold gear on the other hand is...

11 November 2015 » Guriix US Journey

It’s Veteran’s day today. It’s a free day with no classes. We did a parade on Friday to honor those who’ve served before us. The base I’m in right now is mainly a training base. There are thousands of trainees doing different courses here. We are all divided into squadrons which is the Airforce lowest grouping. It’s a holiday and there is not much to do around here as it’s in the middle of nowhere and I don’t play computer games. X-box, PS3,4..that kinda stuff. It’s so big around bases I’ve...

07 November 2015 » Guriix US Journey

I haven’t posted in a while now. I joined the US Airforce and was out for a couple of months. A different kind of disciplined living the military way. I made it in one piece. It wasn’t too bad. Not what I expected apart from all the screaming MTIs or Military Training Instructors. We didn’t have phones for the duration of the training and only got 2 fifteen minute calls. They were timed and we all called at the same time. Imagine 50 guys all talking at the same time with a MTI reminding you of...

11 August 2015 » Guriix US Journey

I’ve been away in Kenya for the last couple of weeks. I had a great time but the time felt too short. I have a wife now, I had a great wedding while I was home, I got to see my parents and family. It’d been a year since I’d last seen them. I had a good time and before I knew it, it was time to fly back. I had lots of planning to finish up before the wedding and time just flew by so fast. I had to go for dowry negotiations known as Koitoo. This means you go and meet your in-laws. You go with...

09 July 2015 » Guriix US Journey

Where do I even start..Canada was awesome, scenic, beautiful. I loved it there. So different from the US. Let me start with the Immigration side of things. With a green card I didn’t need a visa with my Kenyan passport. I went through immigration in Houston without incident. As you might know, CBP (Customs and Border Patrol) don’t stamp your passport as you exit the US. On arrival in Canada, I showed my green card and passport, answered a few questions including “Have you been to West Africa...

30 June 2015 » Guriix US Journey

It’s that time of the year..1st time I packing for an international flight. I put away all the suitcases and passports until now. It’s an exciting time. I’m looking forward. I’m doing a trip to Canada and guess what, American flights charge for nearly everything. Drinks, Checked-in luggage, blanket, exit row seats, front seats, early boarding..you name it they got a price for it. Which brings another challenge. What do I pack in the carry-on luggage that I’ll be able to go through security with...

23 June 2015 » Guriix US Journey

It’s already 11 months since I made the big move into H town. It’ll be a year next month since I moved here. I only have good things to say about the move and how far the Big guy upstairs has brought me. Giving thanks for everything as always and looking at the positives. My current job is about to come to an end but I believe greater things are to come in future. I’m traveling to Canada next week to see my good friend and former colleague. I’ve always wanted to visit Canada but the hassle of...

16 June 2015 » Guriix US Journey

It’s that time of the year again, nearly a year since I landed in Houston. It’s coming up to Summer. The official Summer date is June 21 2015. It has been very warm since April.  Of late it’s been high 80s and low 90s…that’s 25C to 32C for my British background mind. The humidity is the worst part about this season. They don’t call it the ‘Air Conditioning Capital of America’ for nothing. It’s been raining quite a bit too during Spring and Houston even flooded a couple of weeks ago. Houston is...

08 June 2015 » Guriix US Journey

The area around Salt Lake City heading towards Las Vegas is quite scenic with snow capped mountains during this time of the year. It soon turns to dry and rocky terrain. We took I-15 South and then hit back roads around Provo, Utah. We soon hit I-70 West for a bit before branching off South towards the Grand Canyon National Park. Lets just say it’s faaaar to get to the Northern rim. The views were great and we hadn’t even hit the Grand Canyon. We got to the road accessing the rim and guess what...

02 June 2015 » Guriix US Journey

Bend, Oregon felt very rural, the road out of the city and for hours on end was a two way road. There was nothing much to see for miles on end. The scenery though was breathtaking. I wish I could have made it to Portland the capital to have a better idea of the state. We drove for hours with no towns on sight, just the occasional gas stations and funny town names like Burns, Brothers, Vale. I love to drive so I didn’t mind it at all. I was glad I came up this far north, but it was time to head...

29 May 2015 » Guriix US Journey

America is a very interesting place. When I got here I was looking for a credit card to start building my credit score. No bank wanted to touch me. I was a high risk. No borrowing history and they all wanted a co-guarantor. One bank took a risk with me and I’m still with them today. Recently banks have been sending me open credit cards with very high limits. All they want is for me to sign some papers and voila I can start getting into debt. Luckily I never used credit cards all my life so no...

27 May 2015 » Guriix US Journey

After indulging in all that San Francisco had to offer, it was time to head up North East towards Sacramento. I was going to see a Kenyan pal who lives just outside of Sacramento. But before getting there I detoured into Davis where one of the University of California Campuses is (UCDavis) and also home to one of my good friends I worked with in Nairobi. It’s a small community with a great cycling lanes all over town. It’s one of the bike friendly towns in America. The drive from San Francisco...

21 May 2015 » Guriix US Journey

The drive out of Santa Monica where Interstate 10 ends and Pacific Coast Highway starts was so scenic and beautiful. The famous Malibu beach was right there. It was unbelievable although there wasn’t much to see around Malibu. It’s real uptown, only for the wealthy peeps. California driving never disappoints and they are at it all through flying through the curves at 80 and 90 mph..Crazy people I tell you. We followed the Pacific Ocean until Santa Barbara then went inland through the Los Padres...

12 May 2015 » Guriix US Journey

LA has mad traffic and even crazier drivers. It’s not for the faint hearted I tell you. It was great fun though. We went to the Santa Monica Pier. The pacific coast is very scenic. It’s all that. The Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) starts around there. Our host in LA was great, she took us round the main places within the short time we were there. Thanks INK. We headed to Rodeo Drive next. It’s a shopping district not too far the the Hollywood Boulevard. There is this one store there called Bijan...

07 May 2015 » Guriix US Journey

This is a random post. I’ve been running in the park the last couple of weeks getting ready for boot camp. There are all types of stuff going on..walking, running, cycling, baseball, dog chilling zone, football or what they call soccer here and wait for it..flying disc or frisbee throwing (It’s a disc shaped gliding toy :) ). I’d seen it back in Nairobi or the trips I took with my expatriate colleagues but I didn’t know it’s that BIG here. They have these chain baskets all over the park and...

05 May 2015 » Guriix US Journey

We left Palm Springs and used the back routes up the mountains and over the other end. It was very scenic and I envy those who live in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains. We hit I-15 in no time headed to San Diego. We didn’t use the highway for long as we used back roads and found our way to I-5. All we had to do was ignore google maps and it’s forced to get a newer longer route. No problem as it was a road trip and we were only in a hurry to hit Los Angeles later. I-5 is very scenic...

27 April 2015 » Guriix US Journey

Tuscon is a desert town. We got in late at night after the longest drive of the trip. I was in for a shock when we woke up the next morning to see the city is basically in a desert. The Audi had been acting up on speeds between 70 and 80mph. It would be fine above 80mph. It would shake until I got to 80mph. I talked to my mechanic in Houston and he recommended I do a wheel balancing. I did that and it helped for the duration of the trip. We checked out a church on the outskirts of Tuscon called...

20 April 2015 » Guriix US Journey

We checked out Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church before we headed North West to Austin for the first night of the trip. Austin has a very hippy feel to it. It’s a college town. University of Texas has a big campus here and it’s also the state capital of Texas. It’s beautiful and hilly unlike flat Houston. They have bike lanes everywhere and there are cyclists everywhere you look. I’d love cycling here. We checked out the state capital building in downtown Austin. It’s an old building with a lot of...

17 April 2015 » Guriix US Journey

The road trip started in earnest here in Houston, my girlfriend and I went to THE Space Center or NASA is it’s commonly known as. It was such a interesting visit as the same day an astronaut Scott Kelly was blasting off to space from Kazakhstan and it was beamed live from the space center. His mission is interesting as he has a twin a brother Mark Kelly. Mark is also an astronaut. He is going to be testing Einstein’s theory of relativity. They’ll be testing to see if he’ll age less than his...

13 April 2015 » Guriix US Journey

I’m back in Houston and still on recovery mode. My girlfriend and I covered 5600 miles (8960 Kilometers), 8 states, over a dozen big towns and priceless memories. I would do it again in a jiffy. The car performed as expected. No problems at all save for leaking steering fluid. We even got snow up in Oregon. On the way back I got to encounter my first traffic stop by a Sheriff in Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona. It went well. He gave me a written warning and that was it. It doesn’t go into...

08 April 2015 » Guriix US Journey

I’m still on the road traveling heading back ‘home’..It’s been a great trip so far. The Audi has done 4000 miles so far and counting. I’m in Flagstaff, Arizona getting ready for another long day behind the wheel. I’ll write more about the trip when am back in Houston. Filed under: Uncategorized

25 March 2015 » Guriix US Journey

I’m preparing to head out to California later this week. I’m excited and really looking forward to spending time with a special person in my life. I can’t wait. I love road trips and so does she. It’ll be a great outing. I’ve been working for a while but I’m taking a break to travel. I decided early on that travel is important to me and I won’t let the hustle and bustle of life in America stop me from exploring this great country. I’m taking my trusted Audi so been working on it making sure she...

17 March 2015 » Guriix US Journey

The next process involved going to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) for a physical. There is a chance that most people won’t make it through the vigorous tests set in place to eliminate those with conditions that disqualify one from joining the military. The process is long and starts very early. Due to this the military pays for one to spend the previous night in a hotel. The hotel was very decent. Crowne Plaza. I was supposed to report to the assigned hotel before 7.30pm on the...

09 March 2015 » Guriix US Journey

My ASVAB results were in, my knee surgery waiver was approved. What next? Certification of my Kenyan school certificates. If your high school diploma and college certificates are not from the US, Certification is required to see how they compare with the US education standards. The recruiter referred me to the agency that is certified in Houston for certification purposes. I scanned and sent in my school certificates. It would take 2 weeks for the results to come back. It cost about $280 for...

03 March 2015 » Guriix US Journey

So I’ve thought about this for a while and even consulted my recruiter. He said it’s fine. I can blog about it. I started the process of joining the military about 7 months ago. It’s been a long process but so far so good. I haven’t lost my desire to fly but I want to do it in a systematic manner that doesn’t leave me in a tonne of debt and restrict my free movement whenever I want to be. I was interested in a few branches of the military but they all didn’t have openings for non-citizens,...

24 February 2015 » Guriix US Journey

I’m going for an interview later today, will see how that goes. There are so many jobs available online but you fill out tens and maybe just maybe get a couple of replies. That’s just the way it is. It’s expected when you are looking for a job. I decided a couple of weeks ago to look for a home church. I’d neglected my spiritual needs for a minute and needed to get back on track. Working the night shift didn’t help much on that end. I got back from work tired and all I wanted to see was my bed...

24 February 2015 » Guriix US Journey

I was checking my blog stats the other day and this search term caught my attention. “Certificate to show am single in Kenya”..hmm. I wonder if there there is such a certificate anywhere in the world let alone Kenya. Filed under: Uncategorized

18 February 2015 » Guriix US Journey

I’m on furlough again. There isn’t much work where I work and so we’ve been told to return in 2 months. 2 months..It’s a long time. I’m looking for something else to do until then. It’s an adjustment of sorts. I’ve gotten used to working at nights and now here I am having all the time in the world. My sleeping pattern is messed up. I’m used to sleeping in the afternoon and waking up just before 9. A few days and I should adjust. Bills bills bills..I have enough to take me through the furlough....

11 February 2015 » Guriix US Journey

I took pictures on the way to and from Atlanta. Unfortunately I didn’t take any while I was in ATL. Why? I guess I was having too much fun and forgot all about the camera. Here are some of the photos on the road. I didn’t have much time to stop and take pictures all over the place. Took them most on the go. I tried to stop and take some of the state welcome signs though. Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Alabama, Atlanta, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South...

04 February 2015 » Guriix US Journey

I got back to Houston on Sunday night in time for superbowl’s last 2 crazy minutes where Seahawks lead was overturned and things went south fast for them. The last time I wrote I was in Jacksonville, Florida. Spent a night there and early the next morning I hit the road headed north. I passed through Savannah, Georgia then entered South Carolina. It wasn’t far 3 hours. I headed west for a while towards Columbia then north. I was aiming for North Carolina. South Carolina was the first hilly...

30 January 2015 » Guriix US Journey

I’ll be testing my head tonight in Jacksonville, Florida. It’s been a very long day of driving. I did 650 miles or slightly over a thousand kilometers. I was up at 5:30 and out of the hotel by 6. I drove for 12 hours straight. I refueled thrice. My Audi is something 27 miles to a gallon. Not too bad for an old car. My first stop was Baton Rouge, I then headed down to New Orleans. It’s next to the ocean and the roads are suspended over swamps, very cool engineering to see. The sunrise was...

29 January 2015 » Guriix US Journey

I’m chilling in a hotel in Lafayette, Louisiana. I got here an hour ago. How did I get here? I’m on a road trip headed to Atlanta. There was a furlough at work. Meaning there isn’t enough work for us to come in. We were given 5 days off. Unpaid of course. So I planned an out of town trip. My Congolese colleague had planned to go to the Belgian Consulate in Atlanta for an interview and we were to hire and a car and drive down. That fell through but I couldn’t sit around for 5 days. I haven’t...

28 January 2015 » Guriix US Journey

One thing I’ve noticed about America is that every little thing or convenience requires money. I recently changed my address. To start with the US Postal Service or Posta as we know it required an online change. My friend could not do it for me as we don’t share the same family name. Their website states..So I got online and changed it. They require you to pay for that. It’s $1 to change. So they’ll forward all the mail from the old address to the new one. I thought I was done. Next was the...

20 January 2015 » Guriix US Journey

So the Insurance company had written a couple of times and I kinda ignored the contents. They had requested me to furnish them with details about the state where my driving license was issued and my previous insurer. Let me go back a couple of months back. I applied for my insurance online and got a quote of $47 for liability cover or 3rd party cover as we call it back in Kenya. They asked if I had previous driving experience and of course I had…but..but it was experience abroad. You basically...

12 January 2015 » Guriix US Journey

It’s officially winter in H town. Temperatures have been hovering just above 0 degree celsius. It hasn’t snowed yet and it might not at all but it has gone below zero a couple of times.-4C is the coldest it’s been. Add wind chill and some times they have this ‘feels like’ thing and it becomes -10C or more. Neighboring cities like Austin and San Antonio had ice warnings this last weekend. Texas gets cold, don’t be fooled. Woe unto you if your car doesn’t have heating. You are in for tough times...

08 January 2015 » Guriix US Journey

I’ve been operation on T-Mobile since I got here under my friend’s account. Family plan they call it. My HTC 510 arrived from Amazon ($160) after a few false starts with the same Amazon. I got a phone that I didn’t like and promptly shipped it back and they refunded me my money. Only in America I tell you. HTC Desire 510 Unlocked I got a ‘fake leather’ cover from Amazon. They advertised it as a leather pouch. My “Americaness” kicked in and I wrote back to the seller bitterly complaining that...

01 January 2015 » Guriix US Journey

Happy new year. I made it to 2015. I was at a party with many other Kenyans in Missouri City, Texas. A chilly night with a bonfire to boot having juicy roast goat ribs and having a good time. It’s what I’d wished for. Better than expected. I initially thought I’d be working on holidays but luckily that has not been the case. It’s just unpaid days. I don’t mind that at all. The only difference in America is that you must have a designated driver to take you home after having a merry time. The...

24 December 2014 » Guriix US Journey

I’ll be spending my first Christmas away from East Africa, I’ve spent some in neighboring Tanzania some years back. This will be the first time I’m far away from family and friends in Kenya. I made peace with it a long time ago. It’s the nature of travel and living abroad. The weather in Houston is still nice outside. Not too cold but still hot enough to venture outside and even use air conditioning when driving. That might change in the next few weeks but for now I believe I made a good choice...

15 December 2014 » Guriix US Journey

My trusted Nokia E5 cannot continue being my primary phone. It’s lost the war. I have to admit I need a smart phone..Yes, I said it. It is working fine, it’s got data, I don’t mind it’s small screen but it’s time in America has come to an end. I need GPS on these complicated roads, I need some apps to send money back home on M-Pesa (our trusted mobile phone money transfer system) and guess what, the Nokia with it’s Symbian OS can’t hack it. So I’m headed the android way. There is an app called...

12 December 2014 » Guriix US Journey

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, what with working 7 days a week for the last 3 weeks. I work nights so I’m not missing out on much by working whenever there is overtime on the weekends. Getting enough sleep is the issue in this country. It’s hard to sleep a good 6-8 hours a day. I sleep during the day which is already hard enough, add a few errands and I’m lucky to get 5 hours. I’m not complaining, it’s just how it is. I’ve been making trips to the junkyard to sort out my second hand car. It...

04 December 2014 » Guriix US Journey

I bought a car recently. I’m mobile now which is a good thing in this city. You can’t survive without a car. I got a 1998 Audi A4 2.8. It’s manual transmission. It’s in OK condition. It needs work but the best thing for me is that I bought it cash. I don’t want to get into car debt. I’ll spend money on it to get it into top shape but I don’t mind that. The next thing is to have the title in my name. The dealer is arranging that and in a few days I should have my Texas plates but it costs money...

25 November 2014 » Guriix US Journey

So I finally opened a bank account after 4 months.. A bit late but I didn’t see any need to operate one and I wasn’t working. I chose Chase bank as I think I’ve seen enough of their ATMs all over town. First shock..I walked into a branch near where I live and was surprised to see less than 3 customers waiting..This is America, no one comes to the bank. You can even deposit by ‘drive thru’. They have these vacuum tubes in the drive thru that suck the cash and receipts to the real cashier inside...

20 November 2014 » Guriix US Journey

I’m officially legal to drive alone in Texas after months of back and forth with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). I passed my driving test easily. The process of scheduling and actually getting to do one was more of a hassle than the actual test. I had all the paperwork ready to do the test and kept time for my test. The paperwork was in order, car was inspected and I was good to go. Parallel parking was the first order of the day, no problem. Next I got on the road and drove around...

12 November 2014 » Guriix US Journey

I’ve been working for 3 weeks now. It’s been a learning curve of sorts..from the work place culture to challenges working the night shift. It hasn’t been easy but I’m happy to say I’m doing it a day at a time. It’s a new experience for me and hearing others tell their stories makes mine a walk in the park. The only challenge I’m having is I still don’t have a driving license. I have a learners permit meaning I can’t drive alone. I have to be accompanied by a licensed driver at all times. I went...

03 November 2014 » Guriix US Journey

Last night at some point clocks were adjust an hour back or ‘Fell‘ back an hour. So when I woke up today, it seemed time wasn’t moving  or had stopped somewhere. It is interesting as it has been getting darker early the last couple of days. Today on the other hand it was dark outside and it was only a few minutes to six in the evening..in comes daylight savings. Apparently it’s supposed to save the energy in lighting up residential areas, extend retail business hours, as it induces customers to...

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