There are certain phases of life that seem like they will never end. Education feels this way for those of us sitting in lectures, cramming information for exams, attempting to collect reliable data, making endless revisions on theses and jumping through administrative hoops. But all things eventually come to an end… even pursuit of degrees.
Although I “cleared” from my master’s degree (in Agronomy) in April, I participated in the 53rd graduation ceremony of the University of Nairobi in early September. And what an event it was – 5,300 graduates with 15,000 guests.
Because of the number of graduates, we did not walk across the stage, but stood in place when our name was called. I can’t say that listening to thousands of names was particularly riveting, but everyone deserves their moment of glory, so we sat…and sat. But to observe the event and be a part of the excitement outweighed the long hours of listening to “Mwangi, Gitonga, Chebet, Nganga, Ochieng, Njoroge, Omondi…”
And when the wait was over, we celebrated by photos with classmates and people who walked the long journey with us.
The event wouldn’t have been complete without getting covered in flowers, garland and other sundry congratulatory items. I overheard someone say that they realized it was graduation day when they saw people walking around town looking like Christmas trees. In the photo below, I couldn’t even hold all my “decorations”.
This post would be incomplete without acknowledging the man who always stands by my side, often pulling me ahead when I can’t go any further on my own. Thanks, Simon. You made this weekend memorable and special. I wouldn’t want to walk this road with anyone else.