We spend the next half hour or so doing the usual custom checks at the airport, and I especially like the scrutiny our faces and passports receive at the immigration check counters, as though 5 young African adults could not have possibly come all this way unaccompanied. We smile at them, pick our luggage, and almost miss seeing Simone rush towards us with his beaming smile, beside him a friend of his I have not met before. I am impressed by his hospitality, and the trip to Milan from Malpensa is filled with talk of – how are you? How was the flight? How is so and so? This is what we will do this evening – are you guys tired? Tell me more about your life since the last time we met. And as we go along, the gentle traffic to Milan and the music in his sister’s vehicle is drowned by the voices of Michelle and Grace and Arnold and Simone and me, talking and talking and catching up on how life has been – lives so varied, and oh, how so much changes and remains the same in a year.
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has his plans and concerns about what he will do once he graduates later in the month, and I have my last undergraduate academic year waiting for me in January back in Nairobi. It is a pleasant conversation, and I am glad he is here with us.