SMU Student Loses Friend In Kenya Mall Attack

Smoke rises from a mall in Nairobi on September 23, 2013. (credit: CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

Smoke rises from a mall in Nairobi on September 23, 2013. (credit: CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

LAKE DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As gunshots rang out at an upscale mall in her hometown of Nairobi, Kenya, located more than 8,000 miles away, Esther Kanyua could only read about it online, sitting at her computer in her home in Lake Dallas. “You feel alone,” she said.

While checking on her friends and family in Kenya on Facebook, the Southern Methodist University graduate student said, she learned that her friend from high school was one of the victims in the shooting.

Kanyua was devastated and heartbroken to find out that Ruhila Adatia-Sood, a radio host and journalist, was among the dozens who were shot and killed. Kanyua had planned to go and visit Adatia-Sood in December when she returned to Kenya.

Kanyua, who was born and raised in Nairobi before coming to Texas to attend college, said that she wants to be there for her friends and family members, but she feels helpless in Texas. “The most we can do here is pray,” she said.

Her father, who still lives in Nairobi, told her that the city is fearful of another attack. Travel warnings have been issued to the area, but Kanyua said that she will be going back to visit in December regardless.

Texas may now be her home, but her heart is still halfway around the world.

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