Abbas Dairy entry Part 3

New Zealand, September 2001.  A month later. We found ourselves on another bus. This one took us to the refugee resettlement center in Mangere. Our days there were busy. After weeks stuck in limbo, we enjoyed the routine. In school I see other people learning, I hear people chatting. I didn’t know how to write my name or even Speak English. I slowly but surely learnt and learnt. It was a special time for my parents. Neither of them had ever really been to school. My mum had never written her name. We were sent to Christchurch. Our house has a white picket fence and a green front lawn. My mum opened the door, I stared in wonder at the hallway, I was amazed, I see clear windows, Wallpaper, and furniture scattered in different locations in the house. There were so many things I didn’t know that existed. I was surprised that we had our own shed in the backyard. Our neighborhood, Ballantyne avenue was a home to Pakeha, Pacific, Maori and Asian families. I manage to overcome my doubts about other people. The kids on my street became my friends. I learnt to write my name, Speak English, and learnt many things, I was unstoppable.

My family was soon busy with work and school. On the weekend we explored Christchurch and spent  time with other Afghan families. In the months, years that I followed, I thrived. It was much harder for my parents, especially my mother, she became homesick. She missed her watan, her homeland. My father struggled, too. He missed Afghanistan, the land his family had farmed for generations. I see my parents are floating between two worlds, the old and the new. I think my ancestors would be proud of how far we’ve come.

Abbas Diary entry Part 2

It felt like an eternity to arrive at our destination. I see two other buses with people gathering, near the edge of the cliff, staring down. My mum and dad lead the way. Soon, we reached the crowd, I started to hear people arguing and complaining over something. I look down to see a big wooden boat parked near the beach. People left their belongings behind on the beach. There just wasn’t enough room.. 

(Indian Ocean, August 2001.) The boat left the shore, people became sea sick. The real trouble started when the engine broke down. We were drifting in the ocean with a storm forging.  The storm was rough. Inside the boat people were sick and scared. I see pitch black darkness, I hear my mum praying for forgiveness and safety. The boat was shifting from left to right. Morning came by and with the light came blue calm seas. People made weird shapes on the deck. It had two white snakes on the sides and a white circle in the middle. They said it would tell people we were in trouble and needed help. Eventually we were rescued by a big ship. We boarded the big ship and stayed there for ten days. I saw a person speaking to a staff member. He walked back and explained to us the whole situation. He said Australia wouldn’t take us. No one did. No one wanted us. Then some of us were lucky. New Zealand would take 150 refugees.

Abbas Diary entry Part 1

 Dark, cold night in Jakarta, Indonesia 2001. I wake up to a quavering voice from my mum. “Wake up! Abbas. Wake up, We have to get on the bus.” I quickly got out of my bed, took my bag, packed my clothes and went outside. I see a bus on the dirt road. I hear people whispering to each other. My dad took my hand and led me to the bus. His hand felt like a heater, left on for ages. We walked towards the bus. People waiting in a line to board the bus. I hear a gust of wind sweeping the dirt off the road. We enter the bus and we sit at the back exhausted. 


My Coat of Arms

The Canon resembles Knowledge strength and integrity. The blue and red shield means Respect others. The golden outline of the shield means forgive others and help them get back on their feet. The cross means: care for others before you care for yourself. The green flag means you can have heaps of what you want. If you just not quit. The four red stars resembles Aotearoa New Zealand . Also I picked these four stars because I was born in New Zealand