There are a few--I readily admit, it is barely a few!--who seem to be happy that I chose to come to these United States. It makes my day when they let me know, like how a newspaper reader (an endangered species?) did in an email ten days ago:
I met you several years ago at an orientation for prospective Western Oregon University students. We chatted briefly and I told you that I appreciated your opinion pieces in the Register-Guard. My son decided to attend the University of Oregon but I still remember our brief but enjoyable conversation. Yesterday I was reminded of that time after reading your piece on the Americans with Disabilities Act.There is a good chance that this reader does not know the phenomenal value his email added to my life. Thanks!
You hit the nail on the head in reminding readers how our government used to operate and why we need political parties that work together constructively. I cannot begin to tell you how the present dysfunctional Congress and the insulting level of political discourse trouble me. I am concerned for the future of my children and our country. Despite those frustrations I want to convey how much I appreciate your cogent writing and world view. I’m glad you chose to become an American citizen. We need more people like you.
I am glad, indeed, that I am here in the US.
Though, my decision to come to the US surprised quite a few who knew me well when I was young. A few years ago, my father wrote in a letter to me:
You were a bit rebellious in your outlooks and attitudes! ...You earlier had a liking for communist literature and Russian novels. ... But surprisingly you landed in USA for higher studiesSo, yes, it was a surprise to them.
But, not to me.
I continue to be rebellious in my outlooks and attitudes, and march to my own drum beat, though, outwardly, I look "mainstream," which perhaps all the more is the reason why the self-proclaimed rebels get pissed-off at me? I continue to like Russian literature--there is something unique about their interpretation of life. Communist leanings? I suppose my father didn't know that it purged out of my system even halfway through my undergraduate studies. It was a teenage infatuation. Am glad that the evil red was not a love in my adulthood!
After all the various twists and turns, in a fortnight, I will complete 25 years in the US--a long journey from Tanzania.