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Loosing Parental Love, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 713

Essay

When the civil war broke out in Sudan in 1983, I was not aware of what the possible effects of the war might be. As a young boy, I would ask my father to explain to me what war was. He would try to explain it to me but I never understood and I am not sure that I even understand it today. When I was five years old and my brother was seven, the enemy soldiers invaded our village and killed nearly everything that could walk and burned down all the houses and buildings. My brother and I ran in different directions in an effort to escape the soldiers and, in the process, I became separated from my parents. I would never see them again. For the next two months we walked across the desert in an attempt to get across the border into Ethiopia. We had little to eat or drink and, as a result, we were forced to eat wild leaves and stagnant water. For the first time, I realized what war was and meant. Once we crossed the border into Ethiopia we were taken to a refugee camp where we were placed with other children who had been separated from their parents. This event changed my life forever as I was displaced from my village and parents and I missed the experience of having grown up with the love of my parents; with having someone around to tell me that they loved me. The entire experience has left me feeling uncomfortable even saying the word “love.” I look upon the entire experience with much remorse and have hoped that things would improve but, unfortunately, matters did not.

My life in Ethiopia was only a minor improvement over my living in the Sudan. I was still forced to live in horrible conditions but at least there was no threat of war or torture. For four years I struggled to live from day to day. Finding food was a daily task and I spent most of my time on the streets but my stay in Ethiopia was to be short-lived. The political situation in Ethiopia was also quite tenuous and, in 1991, the old regime was overthrown and the new government acted swiftly to expel all refugees from its borders. As I had no other option, I attempted to re-enter Sudan. My attempt, however, was beset with many of the same problems that we experienced when we left four years earlier. We struggled to find food and we were forced to travel under miserable conditions as the area was suffering from abnormal rain. This made any progress in our travels very difficult. Eventually, we decided to settle in the town of Pachalla for a period of six months but, like before, we were forced to evacuate when Pachalla was attacked by Sudanese rebels. Returning to Ethiopia was not possible so we again fled Sudan and began a long journey toward the nation of Kenya. This journey was even more difficult than our flight to Ethiopia. In the four months that it took us to arrive in Kenya we would often go all day without water and two or three days without food. Needless to say, there were many times when I questioned my will to go on and wished that I could quietly die in my sleep. Somehow, I am not really sure how, we arrived in Kenya.

Once we arrived in Kenya we were again placed in a settlement camp. The settlement camp in Kenya was located in the town of Kakuma. Although I believed that the stay would be temporary, we actually remained in Kakuma for nine years. In the meantime, I had applied for resettlement in the United States where I thought my life would have the best chance of improving.  Finally, in 2001, I was permitted entry into the United States and I was able to find work in Alaska working in the commercial fishing business. It was hard work but at least I was working and able to pay for the housing and food that I had lacked for so long. Life in the United States remains difficult but, in comparison, it is much better and there is hope. Something that I have been lacking for many years.

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