Words Alive! Writing Contest Winner: Japheth Kemoi (Personal Essay)

“A Tale of Glorious Hope”

By Michael Shade at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1900005

There comes a time in every person’s life where they pause and look back at the voyage which they embarked on. Every human being, while unique in different facets and traits, is the same in their pursuit for the betterment of the people around them and themselves. This voyage begins in a beautiful land called Kenya and extends into the land filled with infinite possibilities called America.

I was born in the Great Rift Valley in a small town called Masiat in Kericho. A beautiful green landscape envelopes the landscape, the air always clean, where great runners are born, and the people always seem to adorn a smile. Ours was a large family. I was the last born of eight, three brothers and four sisters. As a small kid, I remember the outdoors as an exploration playground. The forest provided a bottomless pit for my curious mind with all the different species of flora and fauna. As early as eight years old, I remember herding our cattle from the early morning when the dew was on the blades of grass, to the nights when the crickets and the occasional jackals provided for a late-night symphony. I remember the countless nights that we would sit by the fireside, under the beautiful night sky with all the stars visible, with my grandmother as she told us stories. She did not possess any formal education, but I remember her as an instrumental figure in filling my mind with infinite ideas.

I joined Hesston College in 2016 to pursue my baccalaureate degree. I knew Hesston was different from the other colleges I had attended. With every lecture, the professor would start out with a Bible verse. There seemed to be a calmness in the way things were taught. The students were also exceptional and easy to work with in group projects. The nursing program always kept me busy, and I found the learning materials easy to understand. One of my best experiences yet came in March 2017 where our nursing professor took the class to Russia for a visit. I gained an understanding of what nursing truly means to the people. You must love what you do and the people you help. Hesston seemed focused on teaching me this with beliefs rooted in a righteous and Holistic path. Each class taken in Hesston has made a difference in my personal and professional development. I particularly remember the class with Gregg, simulation lab, it is incredible and offers a great experience. Every student will reiterate this to you.

As life unwinds like a beautiful flower in the morning light, I have found that my journey has been a tale of glorious hope even from a backdrop of contrasting cultures and economic hardships. Just like my people in Kenya would always wear a smile, I have been blessed to have a promising career which keeps me smiling. Where this voyage leads to along with all the accolades that may be, Hesston stands to be a part of my story. Whether I tell this story to my grandkids by a fireplace under the stars or should they read it for themselves in Wikipedia, my college years in Hesston serve to be an instrumental part of my life. Start here, Go Everywhere.

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