Kenyan runner experiences Midwest life

Patrick Maina learned of Missouri Southern by its Web site, and recieved an athletic scholarship to attend.

Patrick Maina learned of Missouri Southern by its Web site, and recieved an athletic scholarship to attend.

Scott Hasty

Running, making friends and working for a better future make up the life for one Kenyan native.

Patrick Maina, sophomore undecided major, is an international student from Central Province, Thika Town, Kenya.

“I learned about [Southern] through the Web site,” he said. “I came here because I wanted to study health.”

“Other schools I looked at didn’t have a health department.”

Maina is also an avid track and cross country runner for Southern.

For him, the transition from running in Kenya to running in the United States was a small change.

“In both [countries] you have to work hard and be very disciplined,” Maina said. “I run 60 to 70 miles during the track season and 70 to 100 miles during the cross country season.”

Food is also one of Maina’s joys.

A Kenyan favorite for Maina is Ugali and Choma, a dish made of roasted meat and cornflower bread.

He also seems to have gained a taste for American cuisine.

“My favorite American dish would have to be chicken nuggets,” Maina said. “I first ate them in the cafeteria.”

Midwestern climate is also different for Maina.

“The weather here is hotter during the summer and colder in the winter,” he said. “In Kenya the weather is balanced.”

Along with track and cross-country, Maina said one of his favorite hobbies is socializing with friends.

“What helps is that [Southern] is very cooperative and ready to help,” he said. “This institution has very friendly students and staff members.”

“As far as an international student, he’s been a pleasure to work with,” said Stephanie Davis Goad, international student advisor. “He’s really easy to work with.”

Maina is a Christian that lives life by what is written in the Bible.

Favorite passages of his include “love your neighbor as you would love yourself” and “during times of temptation, ask for God’s strength. With God, all things are possible.”

“I just want to encourage everyone to not lose hope in whatever it is that he or she does,” Maina said.

Whether it is running track or running through life, Maina hopes his experiences at Southern will prepare him for academic and athletic excellence.