Amani Thal

Child Who Used to Be Fun

Dear child who used to be fun,

When you were a child, you said that everything would be fun and different. You used to think that everything would be easy to do. You thought that you wouldn’t have to work as hard to get money. And if you were to see the airplane, it would be so big that you would have to climb a building to see it.

Our old neighborhood was fun, but it was the type of fun that you have to be there to believe that it was fun. I miss my neighborhood – how we used to have that small room that my dad made for us to play in, how we would get dared to build African toys. See we didn’t need any toys for the day to be fun; we only needed our imagination to have fun.

Well, it’s not like that any more. Here people have to work. You can’t get your money, you have to earn it. Houses here are not like the houses over there; they’re called apartments, meaning you have to work to live in one. You can’t just build your own house like we uses to. It’s called renting, in other words working hard for it. And if you are one of those people that likes clean places, then it would take you a long time it find one if you have a big family. Living here is not as the same or as fun and not every kid will just went to play with you. In Africa, even though we didn’t have any playground, kids had fun just getting along.

Since we came to America, my parents keep moving from place to place to try to find a place that we would love, but not every place is the same. Every place is different. I didn’t like it moving every month, but we had to. Over there, in Africa, we lived in one place for years and we made friends fast, but here when you move it means making new friends all over again and it’s not so easy.

Making friends here is not easy. In America, sometimes making friends means doing the same things that they are doing. In Africa instead of smoking and getting in trouble, friends try to help each other out so that they would keep out of trouble. In my country, girls would spend the day just cooking together and laughing even though the radios are not that much. In Sudan, the girls try to make music by singing and having fun.

Living in a place where no one cares how your day went or cares about what happened when they heard a scream is really awful. No one cares where you have been or how it went. Teens just lie and watch TV all day and do nothing but play video games. My neighborhood has no place for teens to express themselves, no basketball net to shoot hoops, a game room to play games, or a summing pool at least so they can go for a swim. Only work, there is nothing to do but work – at least that’s how people get the things they need. Working for teens in my apartment means doing something because that’s the only thing they can do to get out of the house unless they’re in sports.

There are so many differences between my childhood home in Africa and here. So many differences dear child who used to be fun.

Comments are closed.