The following are the five people who nurtured and cared for me when I was a child.
My grandmother Regina, and my grandfather Matayo ( Matthew in Swahili):
My grandmother took care of me from age four to six. My parents were going to study abroad and they could not take me with them as their stipend could not support a child. My grandparents stepped and up and offered to take care of me so that they could continue with their education. My grandparents taught me responsibility, the value of hard work, respect for elders and to put God first.
My aunt Rose: Rose was ten years older than me and acted like my big sister. She took care of me and it was her responsibility to take me to school and bring me back while I lived with my grandparents. She always gave me advice on friendships and how to avoid getting into trouble. She continues to be one of my best friends.
My parents Phillip and Theresa: I have the most wonderful parents. They have eight children and each one of them is treated like they special. I am the eldest of eight and as such was treated differently because I had to set a good example to the rest. My parents reinforced the need for me to be responsible and to be respectful to elders and people in authority especially my teachers. I was encouraged to pursue whatever field I wanted and was always guaranteed their unwavering support. There was no gender bias in our home and everyone was given the same opportunities . This has helped me to treat all the children that I teach the same and not to assign gender biases to their wishes and aspirations.
All the people above made me feel loved, safe and secure both emotionally and in the physical sense. They continue to inspire me to do more and become better at whatever I do and for that I will always be grateful to them.