|The author celebrates her 10th birthday with her family and neighbors a month after arriving in Italy from Ethiopia|
I was 10 years old when I moved to Italy from my country in 1998. The reason I moved to Italy was because of my mother’s medical condition. My beloved country didn’t have enough doctors to help her, so we moved to my aunt’s house in Italy.
In Italy I used to have a lot of family members and my mother with me. Italy is a beautiful country and has different customs and a different system of government. For me it wasn’t difficult to learn the new things. The culture and the language were easy.
I started school after two months. The strange thing for me is the school situation wasn’t very different from my country. Both of them had a lot of subjects and it was very hard to get an “A”. I found the language was easy because my teachers were friendly. They loved to help me as much as they could.
The thing I found difficult was having friends. I was the only Ethiopian girl in the whole school and felt alone for a long time because I was a foreign person. People didn’t want to be my friend because of my color and my hair texture. Maybe they saw bad things about Ethiopia on the TV. They had no clue about Ethiopian culture. I was very sad about that. Every day after school I was crying all the time because I thought I wasn’t good enough to be their friend. But after two years I began to get friends and felt better. When I started to speak their language, I forgot everything bad that happened to me.
I have found a great friend. I was verysurprised about that. My friend Mary has been great to me. We have been friends more than two years and I still contact her.
After I finished my high school in 10th grade, I started beauty school to become a hairdresser. I started working at the same time. I used to go to school and work too. For mother, things were hard and it was difficult to adopt. It was almost impossible for her to learn their language because in Ethiopia we don’t use the same alphabet. Our alphabet has more than 250 letters. Even after seven years it was difficult for my mom to adapt to their custom and their language. But in these seven years my mother was feeling better after she started to get medical help.
My brother wanted us to come to the U.S. The reason my brother wanted to take care of us was because my mom was jobless for three years. Also my brother wanted me to finish my school but my mother did not have any money to send me to school in Italy, so my brother brought me here to the U.S.
On February 20, 2006 we came to USA but we were sad because we left all our family members and friends. But I like American schools because the teachers help you and there are a lot of ESOL classes. Students are very easy to get along with.
To change from one country to another is very hard because of homesickness and difficulty learning a new culture. But I love America because it is a very nice country.