I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

my parents did not tell me we were going to live here. They said we were here for vacation.

By Edwin Korsah  |   From : Bronx, NY  |   School : MACS

Journey to The U.S.

It started when we went to my aunt’s place in Accra. Accra is the capital and largest city of Ghana. My aunt lived in a big house with my uncles and a big dog that I used to be scared of. Every time I saw that dog, I tried to run away but he would run after me. My uncle told me not to run because he was going to chase after me. I learned that dogs smell you in order to get to know you. So when they are smelling you, you should let them do it because if you try to run, they will run after you.
The house was huge with many people around it like a big family. Everyone knew each other and it was fun to be around them. What I hated was that I had to wait a long time to eat. A person like me is
always hungry and needs to eat but it was hard in Ghana. Moreover, when it is time to eat, we eat together, so if you do not eat fast the food will be gone. I hated that because I love to eat slowly by myself. When I ate with people the food would always be finished quickly. Africans eat a lot and very quickly, so if you are a slow eater then it is bad for you and so it was bad for a person like me.

My family did not tell me we were going to the United States. My dad was already in the U.S. I did not finish school in Ghana when my family left to come here. Once I came here, I finished fourth grade. I left all my friends behind. Even my best friends and I could not keep in touch except for the one who had Facebook. I miss all my friends in Ghana and I wish I had kept in touch with them. But I bet they do not even remember me anymore because it has been about eight years. Having friends that make you happy was what I had in Ghana. We always played soccer, and that was something we all loved the most.

Playing soccer with my friends made me who I am now. I like soccer more than any other sport. I even remember most of my friends, but they might not remember me. I know for a fact they changed and most
of them got taller.

We were in Accra for a while with my step-mom and brothers. I had no idea we were coming to the U.S. because my family and I often traveled to Accra to visit. I was surprised when I got to the U.S. because it was different and a much better place than Ghana.

When I was in the plane, I was having the best time because that was the first time I had ever been on a plane. I never knew they gave food and beverages on the plane. However, I was hungry and I wanted to eat so badly. When they brought the food over I looked at it and the smell was good but I did not like it.

My mom said, “It looks good try it.”

I said, “Eww it’s different from what we eat.”

I ate a little even though I did not like it. My mind moved on to dessert. However, the dessert was
taking too long so I fell asleep. When I woke up my mom said to me, “The dessert was served right
when you fell asleep…and it was ice cream!” I was mad and hungry for the rest of the flight because I loved ice cream. And it looked like the passengers had gotten vanilla and chocolate chip cookies on top, which was all I ever wanted. When we got out of the plane it was cold and we did not have any jackets because in Africa it is hot, so we did not need any of that. My big brother and I had an argument about who would get out of the plane first. Whoever got out of the plane first would arrive in the U.S. first.
But I do not really remember who got out the plane first. When we were at the airport, I did not know what we were doing or waiting for, but it was very cold and then my dad came with jackets. I said, “It’s really cold.”

And my mom said, “Wait, calm down.”

I asked, “Why is it so cold?”

My mom said that the weather is different from our country.

“I can’t stand this weather,” I said.

I realized that the weather was different from my home country. It was very cold here in the United States and in my home country it was very hot. Furthermore, I learned that the weather here changed over time that there were different seasons: Spring, Summer, Winter, and Autumn. However, in Ghana it was just always hot, sometimes with rain. Most people in Africa are different from the people here. We stood there and waited for someone to pick us up with my dad. It was a long ride and I was looking out the window on our way. Everything was different from the way things looked in Ghana—buildings, streets, cars, people, stores, parks, and everything else. I was surprised. I just knew everything would
be different. I started to feel like this would be my new life here. However, my parents did not tell me we were going to live here. They said we were here for vacation, which I did not care much about because
I did not know how it was here.

When we first got home it was so different. Everything was clean and organized. It was the cleanest place I had ever seen. My Dad said, “This is the hallway, its long. The bathroom is right at the corner.” He took our bags and put them in the hallway. My uncle was there too because
he had driven us.

Afterward my dad offered us the cereal “Corn Flakes,” which I had never had in my life. I looked at it and I was speechless. Then I asked for a spoon. My dad said they were all in the sink. I got up and went to the kitchen, which was very different. In Ghana, the kitchen was a big place that everyone could use. In my old home it was outside, but in my new home it was inside and it belonged to only us. My dad showed me which water was hot and cold, so I began to wash the spoons. They were new and small, but I still used one. The cereal was alright, and then my dad asked, “Do you want sugar?”
I screamed, “YES!” I loved sugar. I loved everything about the U.S. I loved the cereal with the sugar. My dad turned on the TV and they were showing wrestling, something that my brothers and I loved back in Ghana. But they were showing it for free here in the U.S. In Ghana they only showed it sometimes, so we had to be there to watch it, but here they show it most of the time. At that moment we were all happy and enjoying ourselves. We were home for a while hating the cold weather, but we had to get
used to it. The next thing you know is that my dad is looking for school for us. My
big brother had to go to high school and my little brother and I had to
go elementary. I started in the fourth grade here and I did not really have any friends but the schools were also different. The schools in the United States were free, but in Ghana you had to pay school fees.
Moreover, in Ghana if you acted up in school they beat you and if you did not do your homework would also they beat. There was a lot of discipline in Ghana. However, in the United States they would call your parents so some kids kept acting up because their parents never did anything. Anyways, I learned and I got used to the U.S. Now I feel like I love the United States better, but I want to go back and visit Ghana sometimes.


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