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.

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