I want to tell you about someone. I don’t want to use his real name but I don’t want to just call him “that boy” or him so for the sake of this post I’m going to call him, Kenya.
I met Kenya while I was walking my dog about 6 months ago. Kenya is 6 years old, in the second grade and is absolutely lovely. When I met Kenya he was walking home from the school bus stop by himself, which concerned me a great deal. Knowing that kids like freedom and get insulted if you try to help them TOO much, I decided to just walk along with him as if I wasn’t actually seeing to it that he arrived safely at his destination. Out of the blue he says to me,
You know before my Dad brought me here to America I had never seen a dog before, they are everywhere here.
Startled that he broke the silence first; I asked him,
Where did your Dad bring you from?
He looks at me and says with huge eyes that are filled with happiness,
Somalia. We didn’t have anything, well except my rock collection which I was able to bring with me.
I was taken completely off guard by the word Somalia.
Wow Kenya, do you like America?
I knew he had moved in just recently and I only had spoken with his Dad once and his Mom never because she doesn’t speak English. He replies to me,
Eh, it’s alright. Do you know how to make crystals?
This 6 year old boy gave me step by step instructions on how to make crystals, I should’ve wrote them down but I was just in awe of how intelligent and friendly he was. He had no qualms with walking and speaking with me, none what so ever.
When we get to his home I speak with his Dad and say,
I can’t believe they let him off the school bus without you being present.
The Dad looks at me curious and says,
Walking home from the school bus stop is piddly compared to what he’s used to walking, atleast here he won’t be shot at or starve to death.
Sigh…he’s right, walking home by himself here in America is absolutely nothing compared to what he had to endure in Africa. Here he has reasons to smile. Here he has shoes, a backpack, and school. Hell, here he has food and water!
They’re Americanized now, he still walks home alone and still has his rock collection though.