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I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

New Culture, New Friends, New Life

By Enaile Da Silva Baessa  |   From : Boston, MA  |   School : East Boston High School

My name is Enaile Silva. I am from Brazil and I have been here in the United States for 2 years. I live with my mother, my stepfather and my little brother. When I was in Brazil, I lived with my grandparents and my cousins. We lived all together for 8 years and it was really fun because I was never alone at home and we used to play games and do fun things every day. I love animals and my favorite animal is a cat. In my country I had 12 cats. Unfortunately I do not have any animals here and I miss my cats so much. I had to leave them in my country.
My biggest dream was to come to the United States to meet my mother again. She left me when I was 3 years old. I did not remember her very well, however my grandmother used to show me pictures of me and my mom from when I was baby. I always thought it would be impossible to leave my grandparents, because they are the most important people in my life and I admire them a lot. Finally, when I turned 14 years old, I decided to leave my grandparents’ side because I was really curious to see new things and to meet my mother who I had not seen since she came to the U.S because she was looking for a better life. The worst moment of my life was when I had to say goodbye to my father and grandparents. I cried a lot when I was leaving them, I thought it probably would be our last moment together. I could never think about living a life without them. I felt sad for leaving them, however it was my big dream to meet my mom and I could not lose this unique opportunity to accomplish my dream.
The best moment was when I finally accomplished my big dream of my life, it was when I met my mom. I was in the airport. I was waiting for her to pick me up. I remember I was so nervous and excited that day. In this moment I started to look back at my past life, when I thought it couldn’t possibly happen. When I heard someone screaming at me I looked around. It was my mom. We hugged each other and at this moment I felt a different feeling that I had never felt before. It was an amazing feeling of being loved by a mother. We both cried. It was an impact on my mind meeting her for the first time. I was sure she was my mom, but I still couldn’t believe I was meeting her after 12 years of not seeing her.
My first day in the United States was strange, everything was different from my country. The weather made me very sick. I was not accustomed to the humid continental climate. The streets, the houses, the way people dressed, were so different from what my life looked like in my country. I came here and it was really hard because I did not have friends to hang out with and talk to. My mom used to take me to places so I could make friends, but it did not work that well because I was very timid to make new friends. I felt afraid about what people would think about me for having different habits and ideas. I was worried they would discriminate me for not speaking English, so I stayed on my own for the first few weeks without talking too much about myself and just listening to what people were telling me. At home I did not feel comfortable living with people I did not know very well and I could not even make eye contact, not even with my mom, because I was too shy to do it.
A weakness that I have is that I’m afraid of being a loner, so I felt horrible and weak without all my friends. I came in the Summer 2015 and I remember that there were many people going out and playing in the park. In contrast, I was at home doing nothing. It was because I did not have friends to hang out with me. Now I have many friends and I am so thankful for having all of them in my life. However, I never forgot my old friends in Brazil and I am still missing all of them.
On my first day of school in the United States, I remember that I was so nervous, but I decided to not be shy anymore and would try to make new friends. I was going to 8th grade and at the beginning it was hard for me because I did not speak English. This day was really special to me because this was the day I met my best friend, Priscila. She was also new in the U.S and she was also from Brazil, so she helped me a lot with class work and vice versa. The food was so different and at the beginning I used to say that American food was “disgusting”. In all my life I had never drunk milk at lunch time. I had never eaten sweet beans before. In my country, beans are seasoned with salt and we eat avocado with sugar because it is a fruit, which is different from here. But it was not hard to change my habits because I was looking for new things so I did not discriminate against anything that looked different from my country. The good thing is that I had the opportunity to learn new cultures and new languages from my friends. Now I speak three languages which are Portuguese, English and Spanish.
I could live forever in the United States, but Brazil will never stop being my home. Even though there are many differents things in here, all of this is part of the experience of living here. We learn and grow with good and bad things everyday. It’s really hard to live with the distance from family and friends, to not to be there for birthday hugs, not to be there to give support when someone needs it and to not be there whenever I want to be there. But I am so thankful for the opportunities in my life so I say thanks everyday tp God. I would like for everyone to have the same opportunity of life that I have because living in the U.S was the best thing that happened in my whole life.

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