I left Kenya in January 2006, leaving behind my family and everything I knew to find a better life. I was an acrobat for the past 12 years with the Black Angels African Acrobats. We received several emails from contractors for circuses in United States wanting us to be acrobats in this country.
The emails promised a lot of money and I wanted to do something to provide for my family. The group decided to come to the United States and work for the contractors, who got our visas for us. We travelled all over and they made a lot of money—but they paid us less than half of what they promised.
I met my wife during one of my circus performances; she was in the audience in Brownsville, Texas. She came to the locker room and asked for me. We talked for a long time. I went to Canada for three months with the circus, but the next time I came back to Brownsville, I moved in with her. I still travelled to perform but I had a home with her.
I wanted to stay in the United States and start a life with her so I asked her to marry me. She said yes and we were married on June 19, 2006. We had a really good life full of love and respect for one another. We wanted to have children, but felt we should wait until we had our own house before starting our family. She used to talk with my mother when I would call her in Africa. Even though my mother spoke Swahili and my wife spoke English, I would translate for them. I had hoped we could travel to Africa one day so they could meet in person.
My wife had never been on a plane before, so I surprised her. When she had gone to her mother’s house, I packed all of her clothes and things she would need. When she got back, I told her to get into the car and close her eyes. When we arrived at the airport, she opened her eyes and I showed her the tickets. She was so surprised! We flew to California for two weeks and had a wonderful time together.
I miss my wife. She was beautiful and a good woman.
On the night of May 15, 2011, she went to the bedroom and I heard a boom. I ran in and found her on the floor. She was having a seizure and foaming at her mouth. I called 911 and I kept talking to her.
We had been together for five years and she had never had a seizure. The ambulance arrived very quickly and took her to the hospital. The doctor told me she was bleeding inside her head because a vein had popped and they needed to do an operation.
She didn’t talk all night. They finished the operation the next day and she opened her eyes, but did not talk. For three months she did not talk. She had a tube to feed her. Every day a different doctor came and I asked them if she was going to recover. After three months, they said she would not be able to walk or talk. I told them maybe God would bring a miracle and make her well again. If it is God’s will, He will have His way. It was not meant to be.
I did not want to let her go. The doctors let her stay for three more months, then I finally decided to unplug her.
I had not returned home for the six months I stayed by her bedside. When I did return, everything was gone. My wife’s family had taken everything. I did not have a place to go. My visa had also expired so I could not work. I was referred to La Posada to stay until I get my green card.
I try to help with everything I can here because this is my home. My father passed in 2009, my oldest sister died, then my wife … now La Posada is my family. One day, I will get my papers straight and be able to leave, but I will not ever forget La Posada.
My wife’s family has lots of money and could help me, but they won’t because they do not like me. I love and miss my wife so very much. I carry her ashes with me everywhere, around my neck, and I talk to her all the time.
When I get my green card, I want to get my GED and go to college. I want to be a physical therapist. I want to go to Billings, Montana. I travelled there for the circus and it is very beautiful there. My cousin, who has his papers, lives there and is married with a son. He helps me with money when he can. He works in the oil fields. He tells me I can get a certificate to work in the oil fields, too, while I go to school to be a therapist.