I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

I gave up something to get something better

By Alberth  |   From : Guatemala  |   School : Los Angeles School of Global Studies

I am currently living in Los Angeles. I am a junior. I have been here in the United States for almost 4 years. It has been difficult for me the last two years in this school to keep my grades up because I joined the school’s soccer team last year and I struggled to do my tasks because sometimes I needed to work on on the computers. Something I would like to change is to be together with my mom and my dad because we all are living separately. Today, I have become stronger in my writing. I want to practice my pronunciation more. I am going to try to read more so I can get better at it. Every day when I get home I try to read for at least 30 minutes, I am only trying to read for 30 minutes because I have to do my work for my other classes. My goal for this semester is to pass all classes with As.

I remember when I came to the United States, I was excited. One day my mom was talking to my dad and told him that I wanted to go with him. My dad told her that it was okay to come to Los Angeles with him. After they finished talking, my mom told me that my dad had confirmed  that I was going to the U.S. I had started 7th grade in Guatemala, I had been going to school for almost a month. I decided not to go to school anymore because I wanted to to go with my dad. My mom got mad at me because I didn’t want to to go to school anymore. My mom told my dad about the reason why I had left school. Then, my dad said that he thought I was joking about coming to the U.S. My dad talked to me and asked me if I was sure about the decision I had made, I told him that I had always wanted to be with him. Then, my dad confirmed it with me. My mom was not sure about it because she thought I was too young to travel alone. She did not want to let me go because I was the only male in my family. My mom was afraid that something could happen to me on my way to Los Angeles. Another reason why I wanted to go with my dad was because I wanted to have more opportunities with my education. Finally, my mom decided to let me go. She was heartbroken but, she knew if I could make it I was going to be alright. My mom and my sisters were all inconsolable. Then, my mom took us to picnic. We were taking our last pictures. My mom and my sisters were all bursting into tears. In the afternoon, we went back home. The next day I woke up and found my sisters crying because the day I had to go had finally arrived. My sisters were sitting next to my bed, she hugged me and telling me not to go. I started crying, too. I did not want to leave my home, I did not want to leave my family and I did not want to leave the place where I had spent all my childhood in. But, I could not stay.  I could not stay because it was hard to live in a place where I knew I was not going to have the same opportunities as I do have here. For example, I go here in a school where I don’t have to pay for books, furthermore, I am learning more about technology that is big difference between here and Guatemala. That’s why I was going United States to have opportunities to study and to go to college. I had to leave the place where I was born, the place where I have had wonderful memories. I packed four pair of pants, two shirts, and two pair of socks. When I got into the car where I was going to my momś last words were (cuidate mucho hijo, te quiero mucho) ¨take care son, I love you “. She could not stop crying. I looked back at the window and I could not believe I was leaving them behind. After three days I realized what I was doing, I realized that my life was going to change because I would not be with my family. At night, I remembered my mom and I would try not to cry. When I was on the buses in Mexico, I would feel scared because I was with other people that I didn’t know, I was by myself. I felt I was by my own. Furthermore, the police in Mexico would make us to get off the bus because we didn’t have papers, they asked us for money. There were a few times where I wanted to go back because I couldn’t forget about my family, while at the same time I was getting further away from my family. Every time I got into a bus, I remembered the last word of my mom ¨take care son, I love you¨. Something that made me to keep going and be stronger was the idea to be with my dad and to have a better future. I used to pray so that everything would be okay.  After fifteen days, I got to the border between Mexico and the United States. I had to wait for two day to cross. I was nervous and terrified. I got caught. After crossing the river I was nervous and I didn’t know what to do. I was tired and I could go anywhere because I was alone and I was afraid to get lost. I stayed with immigration for two days I believe, I am not sure because I could not see if it was daylight or night. I saw numerous people, there were a lot of rooms where there might be about 15 or 20 people inside. For breakfast we would get a fruit, and a juice. For lunch we would get a juice and a burrito. I don’t remember what we got for dinner. After the two days, I was sent to a family in Arizona. I stayed there for one week. I got there on a Friday and I arrived here in Los Angeles by a Friday. The family in Arizona treated me with respect and with kindness. They bought me clothes. Even though they were treating me nicely however, I wanted to be with my dad already. I was sent with someone to make sure that my dad would be in the airport waiting for me. I saw my dad for the first time, I could not believe I had made it to the United States.

My happiest memory in the United States was when I graduated from middle school. I had been in the United States for one year when I graduated from middle school as one of the best students in my class. It was my happiest memory because that was one of my goals and I made it. I wanted to show everyone who I was. I think the best way to show people what you are capable of is doing things that others don’t want to do or cannot do. I wanted to make my family proud of what I was achieving, but especially, I wanted my mom to be proud of me. She always was supporting me and I think it was time to return what she had done for me. Even though I only talked to her on the phone but she always cheered me on. Even though my mom was in Guatemala she has been one of the people who has been inspiring me since I was in Guatemala to do the things I wanted to do. My mom was happy when she was informed about my academic achievements. When I arrived in middle school the only thing I wanted to do was to get good grades and to be someone who would be recognized for what I was doing. I wanted to be successful in that school.

In addition, I was going to start ninth grade. I was going to move to a high school even though I knew it was going to be hard but I took it as a new challenge. I heard other students talking about high school and they were saying that it was going to be hard, and I got scared because I was going to move to a new school again. I got emotional that day because I have achieved one of my goals. However, I was depressed because I was not only going to move and change schools, but I was going to move to a new apartment. I had to leave my friends behind, I was starting to feel comfortable in my new environment. I didn’t want to move because I wanted to be close to my friends. But, it was a decision that my dad made and I had to accept it, Something I don’t like about this country is that sometimes you have to move to live in other places and leave those people that are close to you. I got into our new apartment and I was going to start high school.

My happiest memory in Guatemala took place when I joined the soccer team at my school, and I remembered that my mom never failed to show up to all of my games. Even though I did not have soccer shoes, I still wanted to join the school’s soccer team because that was something I loved to do. I did not have soccer shoes because we did not have enough money; at that time, my mom was trying to get me a pair, but she could not afford them. Though I didn’t have soccer shoes, that was something that never stopped me from joining in. When we started practicing, my Physical Education teacher told me to be the goalie of the team. I did not want to be a goalie, but since my teacher had asked me so I became one. I wanted to be a midfielder, but I had to get used to being a goalkeeper for two years.  During those two years that I was in the school’ soccer team, I didn’t get my soccer shoes, I also didn’t have shin guards. But, the funniest part was when I got in the field I didn’t even think about my shoes, the only thing I was thinking about was to make my mom proud of me and to enjoy the game. When we had games away my mom took me in the car. In those moments, I was the happiest person in the world because I was going to do what I loved doing moreover, I had the most important person in my life with me: my mom. She has been there for me when I needed her the most, and she has always wanted me to do well in school. I remember that she didn’t let me go outside to play soccer with my friends because she used to say that I had to do my assignments first and then I could go outside. She did not want me outside too much because I would be wasting my time. At the time I got mad at her because I wanted to be with my friends. At that time I didn’t understand why she did that today, I am living alone without her and I can do whatever I want. However, I choose to stay at home doing homework instead of going out because I have to show what my mom has taught me. My mom wanted me to be someone who would have an excellent education and that’s what I am trying to do. I am trying to take advantage of this opportunity that I have. My mom wanted me to have a good education so, I would not have to worry about what I would have to do to take care of my needs tomorrow.

In my future, I want to join the school soccer team again. I want to get all A’s in all my classes. I want to graduate from high school and to go to college. I want to leave high school with a 4.0 of GPA. I am not sure what college I want to go to but I would like to go in a college where there’s architecture. I want to be an architect because I like to build new things. Another thing why I would like to be an architect is that I would like to want to design my own house. My parents agree with my decision for becoming  an architect. My mom told me that if I like what I am going to do then she would like it too.

Furthermore, I want to join the soccer team because this is something that I love doing. Next year will be my last year in high school and I want to leave it with doing what I love doing. Besides, I want to graduate from college with honors. I want to do this because if I attend to college, I will be the first generation in my family to go. I would also like to join the soccer team in college. After graduating from college the first thing I want to do is to get a better job. I want to go to college because I want to have a better life, a life where I do not have to worry about money, where I do not need to live in a place where I do not have privacy and to make my dreams come true which is to be someone important in this country.  I want to have my own house. I want to have a big house. I want to visit other places like Paris or Spain. I would like to go to visit Paris because I want to see the Eiffel Tower. I want to go to Spain because I want to see the stadium of Barcelona (Camp Nou). I want to learn more about other cultures. Furthermore, I want to learn more languages such as French. I already know how to speak in three languages. Something I would also like to do is to go visit Guatemala. I want to go to visit in Guatemala because I miss my friends, I miss going up the mountain where my friends and I used to spend time. I miss eating the food such as roasted chicken that people cooked. They sell that type of food here but I feel that it is different, the smell is not the same. I wish to accomplish a lot of things in my future but I just hope I can make it. I will work hard to achieve them. I will be working twice as hard than my dad did. I will be a better father than my dad was. I will try to spend more time with my family. I will try to get a good job where I don’t have to leave my family. I want to be the boss. I want to have my own company where I don’t have to work for somebody else. I want to give my family a better future where they don’t have to  worry about struggling with money. I want to prove that it worthed leaving my family behind to come to the United States. I want to create something that will remain forever and people will admire.

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