A friend of mine shared feelings today about what has happened in the last 13 years.
“It was thirteen years ago, when I left Kakuma Refugee with nothing, but only with IOM bag and pair of clothes, heading to an unknown world.”
It is difficult to imagine, truly, what this is like, leaving a war-torn country, alone, with a change of clothes, and absolutely zero guarantee of things working out for you upon arrival in your new home, only hope.
The guys from Sudan who were granted visas to come from refugee camps — most walking through several countries to find safe haven, as kids — came without English, without job skills, or any clue what life was like here.
Today my friend is talking about humbly taking stock of what he’s accomplished in his mission for education: a bachelors, a master’s degree. A family. His continuing thirst to know things about this world and who we are in it.
Several years ago, I wrote a feature story about him before his college graduation from a state public school. I remembered how the guys had never shopped in a store, used a microwave or stove, and walked into Rochester as if from another planet not too long ago.
I read this and am filled with awe at momentous obstacles he faced and the courage you gotta have to take them on. You never know who is sitting next to you, or their dreams or where they came from. It could be amazing, and often is if you let in the silence and listen.