Getting a passport and a visa to travel and work in the US, considered the land of opportunities, has not been a walk in the park for many.
However, for Margaret Njoroge, a 74-year-old Kenyan woman, obtaining a visa was remarkably easy.
Here is her story as narrated by Kenyan Report:
After the death of her husband, Margaret found herself struggling to make ends meet in Kenya.
“ I decided to look for greener pasture so that I can bring up my children and they can go to school,” Margaret narrated.
Despite trying various avenues such as farming, vending Sukuma wiki at the Gikombaa market, and selling milk to Kabete dairy, the returns were not enough to sustain her family.
Faced with these challenges, Margaret made the life-altering decision to relocate to the United States.
The journey to America was not without its hurdles. Margaret recounts the difficulties she faced in obtaining a passport and visa.
However, her widow status proved to be a blessing in disguise at the American Embassy, guaranteeing her a visa.
“When I reached the America Embassy, the only question they asked me is whether I was married. I told them that I was a widow and I had my husband’s death certificate. So I was guaranteed a visa,” said Margaret.
On December 9, 2000, Margaret left behind everything she knew – her relatives, friends, and the familiar landscapes of Kenya – for a chance at the American dream.
Her first year in the U.S. was marked by struggles to adapt to the American way of life.
Jobless and trying to find her footing, Margaret eventually turned to babysitting as her first source of income.
Later, she found employment in a mental health facility where her culinary skills took center stage.
Margaret not only cooked for the mentally challenged residents but also introduced them to the rich flavors of African meals like beans, ugali, and chapati.
“They used to call me mama. The whole month, the house was like ‘where is mama, where is mama’. I think that is the reason why they decided to give me another chance of working,” said Margaret.
Twenty years down the line, Margaret, the resilient Kenyan widow, is living her American dream to the fullest.
She owns a Toyota Sedan purchased a decade ago and resides in a comfortable three-bedroom apartment with her family.
Her message is one of gratitude, asserting that America is indeed a good country for those willing to work hard.
“If someone finds a way of coming to America, it is a good country if you work hard,” says Margaret.