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My Journey Home Armando Pena Andrew Lam Faith Adiele
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America, My Home Essay Contest

My Journey Home

Guiselle R.
Yorktown High School, Arlington, VA
Sponsoring Station: WETA, Washington D.C.

Home 14 years ago was in Nicaragua, a country that now I am not familiar with, a country that to me feels strange. If it hadn't been for my mother's determination to cross the border to get me a better life I would not be sitting here and writing this at this very moment.

It was the summer of 1989 when my mom decided to make a huge transition from a country that she had been living in her whole life to a country where she would learn the meaning of hard work. Where was I? Well I was in my mother's arms holding on to her as tight as I could. I don't remember how exactly we got here but, the way my mother tells it, it was not an easy trip.

My mom left Nicaragua with just about 50 dollars that my grandpa gave her, and a little bag that held three things that belonged to her and a few that belonged to me. Before we left, my family encouraged her to leave me and just go on her own, but of course my mom didn't pay attention, she was willing to fight on her own with me by her side.

We left on a summer night in a truck. We spent a few days like that traveling in buses and trucks. The closer we got, the more scared my mom was. We finally made it to the river. She knew it might be difficult to cross. She thought of everything that might go wrong; she paused for a second and really thought of it. Putting me on her back, she decided to cross; she told me to hold on real tight and both she and I fought the murky waters of the Rio Grande. We made it to the other side safe and sound. Once we set foot on U.S. soil, they made us go through immigration; inside of the immigration station they asked my mom a few question she had not been ready for but she answered well enough for them and they let us go. That night we found ourselves sleeping in the state of Texas, in the bus station waiting for the next move. I really don't know how we ended up in the state of Virginia.

The night we set foot in Virginia my mom met some people and got along with them fairly well. She asked them if they would let us settle in with them and thankfully they replied with a yes. However, by night time my mom was in tears. We got kicked out because my mom had not been able to find a job and she couldn't continue because she was so tired. The people demanded money from her when she said "No, I have no more money left," they threw us out. She left with me in her arms walking as fast as she could, tears coming down her face. We walked on route 1 for hours trying to find a place. That night God was looking down upon us because we did find a family to live with.

We stayed with that family for a couple of years while my mom settled herself in. It took us a long time to assimilate to a life that we weren't used to. But it was worth the struggle. Although we got physically battered and emotionally distraught, I found a place that I now call home, a place that I know like the back of my hand. I found a story that will forever be told to my future generation, weather it is my kid's or my brother's kids. This is my story of my Journey Home.

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