Melvin Kanaiza '21 & Vitalis Wekesa '21

For freshmen Melvin Kanaiza and Vitalis Wekesa, the start of the school year was also the start of their first years in the United States. The Kenyan students joined St. Anne's-Belfield School after receiving Bridge International Scholarships while studying at the secondary level, Kanaiza in Gachie, Kiambu County and Wekesa in Eldoret, the principal city of western Kenya and the capital of Uasin Gishu County.

"It felt very nice coming here because it was a great opportunity for me to continue with my studies and to meet new people," said Kanaiza. "But it also was difficult to come here because it was my first time getting out of the country and I felt sad leaving my mom, my family, and my friends because I was used to them. Starting again to make friends and live with people you don't know can be a little hard."

Kanaiza threw herself into School life from the moment she arrived on dorm, and considers going to class every weekday, dorm activities, and being involved in the Tartuffe production in the fall as her favorite aspects so far.

For Wekesa, the most surprising thing about life in the United States was realizing that the subjects he'd studied in Kenya were the same as those taught in the United States. His favorite aspects of American life have become food, holidays, and the mixture of different cultures in the community.

Both students hope to excel in their time at the School, and to have the opportunity to go to university either in the United States or Kenya. While Kanaiza plans to become a cardiologist, Wekesa would like to study engineering.