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I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

All about me

By Mercella Bittencourt  |   From : Brazil  |   School : Everglades High School

      My name is Marcella Bittencourt and I am a freshman at Everglades high school. I am currently 14 but I turn 15 on December 16. I was born in Bahia Salvador, Brazil. Ever since I was a kid my dream was to come over here and visit the United States. I remember watching all the movies and T.V. series from the U.S., like high school musical. I wanted to go to schools like this and experience a different culture and learn the language. My mom would often come here to visit her close friends and she would come back home with toys for me. She would always ask me “if you could move to the U.S would you ?”, but I never knew what to answer her because I was only 10. I didn’t want to leave all of my family and friends to move to a country I didn’t even know how to speak their language.

      In between my mom’s fourth or fifth trip over here and back to Brazil. I remember her getting home telling me she was going to sleep for a while, but that she wanted to talk to me afterwards. I had no clue what it was about, so I just waited. When she was finally awake again, she called me to her room and told me, “I know you would never want to leave your family and friends behind but I want to move to the United States Marcella and it’s your choice if you want to go with me or not”. I remember feeling very scared, I never thought coming here would even be a decision I had to make. When I made my decision I was with my closest friends (Clara Santiago and Estela Carolina ) when I told them my mom’s plan to move basically 3,000 miles away from them. We didn’t have to say anything, I could see their eyes start getting watery and I could feel mine. At the end of the day, I knew I would come with my mom because deep down I know that I can’t live without her.

 A month has passed and she told me we finally had our tickets to come to the United States. I will never forget the day we came, it was January 28, 2014. We got here at exactly 6:00 P.M. I remember the excitement, I would look at everything and I wanted to explore everything. Even the airport looked very different; seeing how Miami for someone who has lived somewhere else for so long is not the same for someone who has seen it once. The feeling was incredible; imagine giving candy to a little girl and seeing how happy she is. That’s how it feels knowing you’re going to live in a new country for most of your life. The first day of school of course like any little 10-year-old little girl, I was very excited, I could feel the butterflies in my stomach. I was scared at the same time due to the fact I didn’t know any English. It took me 5 months for me to know how to speak fluent English. My teacher helped me a lot, she understood how it is like moving to a different country, especially when it’s a different language.

      I’ve had people ask me what my hardest moment has been coming here to the U.S and I honestly have two. I think that most people have to separate from half their families when they move to a new country. So, I guess that is one of the hardest moments when coming here. When I had to choose whether I had to stay with my grandma and my aunt in Brazil or me experiencing a whole new change in a new country with just my mother. That was something I had to think long and hard about. As you can see, I decided to join my mom in a new country. My second most difficult moment in my life was my first few months in school with the language. I felt like I couldn’t express myself or tell most people what I wanted to say because I did not know their language. That felt horrible; whenever I had a question, or I wanted to talk to a classmate I couldn’t do it most of the time. It was very hard to learn a new language and I knew it was going to be hard, so I never gave up. Now I am speaking fluent English. My grandmother always said, “hard work pays off”.

      Four years have passed and now I am 14 years old and I’m a freshman. It’s been a long way when I first came here and to be honest, I am very glad I did. I’ve made multiple friends and learned three languages: Portuguese, English, and Spanish. I’ve been part of a soccer team and volleyball in middle school. I have more than 3 honors classes and I still get to go to Brazil in the summers to see my family and friends. I am very glad I’ve learned so much in the United States of America. I had, and I still am experiencing all the opportunities this country has.

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