Liberia

The land of honey and money trees…that’s what I think about America when I come here, alone, at the age of sixteen.

I grow up in a small village in the mountains. I fish with my father and dance by the moonlight with my mother.

At nine years old, I leave my parents, and my village, to live in the city with my sister and go to school.  It is beautiful there with plenty of food, running water, and an inside bathroom.

This is the first time in my life that I will see a car! I feel lucky that I am able to ride in one every day to school.

But there was something missing. I always want to make money and help my family.

I meet a man who tells me he will bring me to America to go to school. If I go to school, I can make money for my family.

February 5th, 1987. I remember this date exactly. The day I fly to America.

When I arrives, I do not go to school. My work is not as I expect. The men I thought show me kindness are selling me to high bidder.

I remember the snow. I have never seen snow. I do not know about snow. When I run outside, this cold is so bad, my nose will bleed, and bleed, and bleed.

This is the worst time in my life. I am scared. I am alone. I must stay alive on my own.

Hope came when I found a friend who knows me from Liberia. She takes me shopping and pays my phone bill. This time is the best since I come to America, and I smile today when my friend name comes on my phone.

Because of this kindness, I can begin my life again. I have two children-a daughter and a son. I take classes, and become a Certified Nursing Assistant.

Now, I am working on my GED. I have to think about what I will do next. Times are hard, but I will find a way, like I have in the other hard times.

I have big plans for myself, and to give back to the place I called home in Liberia.

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