‘Housing, job is never guaranteed by green card’ Kenyan in US cautions

Patrick Mutoro a Kenyan living in US
Patrick Mutoro a Kenyan living in US. [Photo: Tuko]

Patrick Kasumba Mutoro’s early life was not rosy at all. All he wanted was for things to change, and he invested heavily in books to better his life, only to end up in the US.

He never knew he would travel to the US. So, he worked hard in school to break the chain of poverty in his home.

Mutoro excelled in physics and mathematics. He decided to take a course in teaching and significant in the two subjects.

He graduated and taught at several private schools before moving to a government school.

Mutoro taught at Laizer Hill Academy and recalled celebrated radio personality Maina Kageni as one of his students.

Then, one day as he was walking along the streets of Nairobi, he bumped into a poster about green card applications.

He had never thought of his life in another world. He decided to try his luck and forgot about it just as fast as he saw the application banner.

Weeks later, he passed by the cyber café along Tom Mboya, and he remembered that he had applied for a green card but never checked the outcome.

“I was along Tom Mboya one day when I passed that cybercafe that I had applied from and remembered I never came back for the results. After keying in my details the guy told me I had been offered a green card,” he told Tuko in an exclusive interview.

It is then that the reality of leaving Kenya and start a new life hit him. What came to his mind was the illusions of luxury in the US.

Mutoro recalls this is all he heard while growing up and saw from movies. 

He was confident that he would have a less stressful life in the US since he was a graduate teacher in mathematics and physics.

Friends told him life would be easy with a ready job and a house on standby upon landing in the US.

He finally left Kenya for the US on May 30, 2012. “It felt like I was going to Heaven,” he recounts.

When he arrived in the US, he nearly got depressed. The culture shock was too much for him.

Kenyans, who had been in the US for many years, told him things were different there. He only had an option to work as a caregiver or a security guard.

Left with no choice, Mutoro settled for the security job.

“So I quickly took up the job security and had to undergo training for three days before I started,” he narrates, adding he was stationed at a supermarket.

His shift ran for eight hours every day.

Incidentally, he saw an advert for a teaching course by Grand Canyon. Mutoro did not hesitate to apply and get back to his life’s passion that is teaching.

For the nine years she has been in the US, he’s learned crucial lessons about life on the other side.

Mutoro says the “grass is not always greener” and that there is a lot of misconception about green card. 

It doesn’t guarantee a place to live or employment.

Thus, he cautions, “Before deciding to move to the US, compare what you have in Kenya and what is at stake abroad. Sometimes you relocate and find that whatever is on the table is not what you expected.”