Two Worlds Collide in my Home Country

Fellow students from JCC visited my native United Kingdom this summer.

Fellow students from JCC visited my native United Kingdom this summer.

Before I continue detailing everything and anything I happen to encounter on campus at Jamestown Community College, I feel it’s only right that I document the three month break that every student without a doubt, looks forward to: summer vacation. So in reality, this post almost serves as a filler in the line of entries from the honest man, but still an interesting filler worth the 10 minutes of your day.

Students of JCC return to their respective homes wherever that may be, enjoying the familiarity and comfort of their own room, the love and warmth of their families and the undeniable greatness of home cooking. Summer vacation represents a well deserved breath of fresh air from academics, athletics and whatever else happens to lurk over the shoulders of students during the semester. And for me, it proved to serve that exact purpose.

I underwent the daunting task of packing, followed by an almost 14-hour transit flight back to the United Kingdom, all in the name of being reunited with the friends, family and city I dearly missed. This summer began to unfold like every other vacation prior. Frivolous nights spent with friends doing nothing productive, but finding comfort in the company of one another and afternoons spent sleeping past noon and devouring every snack in my household within reach. This was the case for the majority of the summer until it took a weird and delightful turn for the better in the form of JCC visiting the United Kingdom, London specifically.

Now when I say weird, I mean weird in the best way possible. Weird in the sense that as an international student, it is almost mind-blowing to see one part of life clash with the other. Still confused? Let me break it down a little more.

It was extremely hard for me to process the fact that my academic life, which in my case is thousands of miles away from home, was now right in the middle of my hometown for three weeks. That the students and professors I once saw across the Atlantic Ocean are now roaming the streets of the city I had spent the majority of my life in. Led by Katrina Hamilton-Kraft and Simone Mullinax a handful of students embarked on the annual JCC trip to London. Students spent their stay in the dorms of the University College of London and took part in activities which had them journeying around central London on the notorious tube styled transport system.

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Fun times with JCC classmates in London.

In hindsight, the two parts of my life that I believed to be most distant, somehow managed to merge together in one summer. The huge clock on the Big Ben tower struck 12 as I stood at  Westminster Pier waiting anxiously for both Katrina and Simone. Ten minutes passed, then 15.

As time slowly crept by, my mind drew back to all those life lessons Katrina had taught me during her public speaking class, her quirky yet unique character and how she always managed to use it to ignite her class in passionate discussion. A woman like no other, Katrina managed to effortlessly bring the best out of me on a weekly basis whilst pushing me to do my best and be my best. My mind drew back to all the laughs we shared as a class and all the times she scolded me in a motherly way whenever she expected more from me. Katrina Hamilton-Kraft had easily cemented herself as one of the most special and influential people I had crossed paths with in Jamestown.

I couldn’t help smiling to myself as waves of pedestrians pushed past me. The chatter of huge crowds rustling through the the streets of central London woke me up from my reminiscent daydreams of public speaking. I snapped back to reality and looked up into the distance of Tower Bridge only to see Simone and Katrina approaching, both revealing a smile that matched my own.

This didn’t really turn out to be the uninspired, boring and less informative filler of a post I expected it to be. I got carried away with writing this post to the point that I didn’t realize how long it had become, and for that ladies and gentleman, I am truly sorry. What I thought would be a delightful and precisely cut 10-minute read has almost doubled in reading time. So hopefully to your dismay, I will be sure to continue detailing what the rest of the day brought to the table on a later entry from this honest man.

About the author

Obehi Ejele

My name is a weird one, isn’t it? If you haven’t noticed already, it’s Obehi Ejele, and if you haven’t struggled to pronounce it already, it’s simply said as ‘Oh-Bee’. I was born and raised in the east of London in the United Kingdom by my two wonderfully supportive Nigerian parents, so in hindsight I’m a strictly British kid mixed with a Nigerian upbringing. I was raised in a household full of boys, with my mum being the only woman in the house. Growing up, along with my older brother and younger cousin, I took a keen interest in basketball and somewhere alongside that I also picked up art as a hobby. So in reality that’s more or less exactly why I’m here, to play basketball under Coach Sisson and major in Media Arts. However, upon arriving at Jamestown Community College solely for these two reasons, I realized that this place is so much more than just that in a positive light which I’ll expand on more thoroughly in further blog posts. So simply put, I’m an athlete from London who enjoys art and everything else a man of my age would love, such as music, food, family and friends to say the least. My mother is a pastor, I’m a Christian and I love God, my family is huge, and I adore London more than any other place I could think of. But whilst writing this, quite frankly, American customs and culture have always been a bit strange to me, but I’m willing to learn and understand throughout my journey here. I plan to blog about pretty much anything and everything I see here, so if you want to experience the wonders and heights of Jamestown Community College and Jamestown itself vicariously through the unfamiliar eyes of Londoner, look no further, I’m your guy.