I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film


By Leonela Rojas  |   From : West Palm Beach, Florida  |   School : Royal Palm Beach High School

Before coming to the United States I have some memories of when I was little. I had happy and sad moments, like when my father left from Cuba trying to find a better life for me. In the beginning I felt unhappy and depressed, but it made me stronger and I knew how to overcome it. I can say that I stopped being unhappy to stronger because I had the support of my mother that also helped me a little. But there were days that in the school I felt vulnerable because I did not have my dad next to me and yet my classmates had to their fathers by their side. Sometimes people would bother me because I had beautiful things that my dad would send me, that was hurtful.

Well at the beginning, as I said, it was difficult for me to start to miss my father when, at the end of the day, I did not know about my father because he had told me that he would return in a few days, but I really did not know when he was coming back. I had special moments in which I missed him, for example when it was my birthday. I saw that only my mom was with me and that my dad just called me. I felt good that they would be there for me but made me sad not to have my dad next to me. I also had happy moments, like the birth of a sister, Maria Celeste . For me that was something I could not describe because I always told my mom that I wanted a sister to play so I was not alone. I had my brother, Jose Agustin, but I did not know how to play with him. It’s true, life changes at the moment you least expect it.Life changes over time to help people become stronger because there might be harder times.

After five years without seeing the second most precious thing that gave me life, Leonardo, my dad, he asked me to visit him. When I arrived in Miami, Florida I thought it was very beautiful that I have no words to describe it. When I arrived in Miami, I felt very excited because I knew a new place that I never thought I knew was one of my dreams fulfilled. From Miami what I liked were the beaches and the places that I saw them very beautiful. Well the life of Cuba is very difficult, no matter how hard they work, they can never have what they want because the food, although the government’s at lower prices, the private individuals put them at a higher price to survive and help their families.
I was on vacation for two months.When I came I visit some new places that I did not know like McDonald. I went to Miami to the “Little Havana” I was walking around there, I also knew Miami Downtown, a place full of very cheerful lights. I was accompanied by my father and his wife. I was very happy to have come for vacation.

When I returned to my country, I saw my brother and my mother, I hug them and told them how much I loved them. Eight months later my father told me that I was moving to the United States to have more wonderful moments.

One of those moments despite not knowing the language of this country, I had my first acknowledgment for having good grades.This happened in middle school.

Another glad moment was one night my Dad told me that for my “Sweet Fifteen” I was going to Las Vegas, Nevada. That day for me it was great, Dad sang me the “Happy Birthday” I felt like a “princess” because that was the day I fulfilled my 15 a super special day! My time in Las Vegas was something incredible because I knew a place even more wonderful, a place that has many hotels ¨CASINOS¨ each one is from a country in specific for example the Venice is about Italy, The Bellagio has a water show that something Wonderful, the Caesars Palace is about Rome. That experience was something wonderful that I will never forget in my whole life, that was a surprise that I never thought about having when I turned fifteen.My life is different today because I have another sister, new friends. I live in a new country where I can have anything, if I make a goal in my life that is to achieve my greatest dream.

Soon, it will be almost two years since I have seen my brothers and my mother , that saddens me. “But if it’s the super truth, life changes when you least expect it.”

Life changes over time to help people strengthen because there could be more difficult times. With the passage of life, I have learned that you must do things well, that you do not have to be afraid, that you must move forward despite the problems, you must learn to overcome the pain that your life leaves you. That is why there is a saying that says: “La tierra da muchas vueltas y no sabes cuándo te tocara a ti”. “The earth goes around a lot and you do not know when it will touch you”.

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