Bob Odu

My Neighborhood View

My neighborhood is a small area in southern Tucson. We live right next to “A” mountain. My neighborhood is surrounded by tall buildings and mountains. Before living here, we lived on Swan and Grant. It was our first apartment when we first arrived to the United States. When we first came to the United States and moved into the apartment, I used to just sit behind the window and say in my mind when can I go outside and see what my neighborhood looks like. I knew in my mind that the view would not be the same as my last neighborhood, in Africa. In my old neighborhood, there weren’t any tall buildings, no cars going by 24 hours, nor as many traffic lights as here in my new neighborhood.

I miss my neighborhood that was on Swan and Grant because it was a nice place. It was close to the school and my work also. I had so many friends in that neighborhood. I didn’t know how to speak English at that time because that was when we just came to the United States. We didn’t know how to speak English, but our neighbors would come to our house and spend a day with us so that we could pick up some English from them. That is one way our family learned English, from the friendly neighbors. Not only did they help us in speaking, but they also brought our family clothes, a TV, and furniture, and it did help a lot. That’s why my old neighborhood is a great residence.

My current neighborhood is not a gentle residence. I miss my old neighborhood because it was a restful residence. I miss our neighbors and the apartment view. The reason why my neighborhood is not a gentle residence is because of the street and the people around it who make it uncomfortable. For example, you can hear a family fight. Adults sell drugs to teenagers and make their life wasteful. Adolescents break into different houses everyday, stealing things so that they can sell it and get drugs with the money. Everyday on my way to school, I see people sleeping on the corner of the streets or at the park. Most of the people who I see sleeping in the street by my neighborhood are on drugs.

Here in my neighborhood there is one street that divides rich from poor. It is right next to Tucson Convention Center (T.C.C.). I don’t know the name of the street, but when you visit my neighborhood you will see what I mean. When you take just one turn, you will see the rich view: tall buildings, trees, and all that. On the other hand, when you look on the other side of the street, it is a very different ghetto street. All of the streets have cracks and potholes in them. There is much broken glass on the sidewalk. What I’m trying to say is that people in my neighborhood are not into school or jobs, but are criminal minded because of what they are going through. They are addicted to alcohol and drugs and are leading a negative life. They think if they drink or take drugs, it will take all the pain away, but they don’t know that they are digging into a strange life. Once you get into it, it is hard to get out of it without losing something. The street that divides the good looking view from the ghetto looking view is trying to send a message to people who make the wrong decision: think before taking any step. If you want be successful in life, it is not by taking drugs or drinking, but by completing the process of education.

Some of the people who live here in my neighborhood are just wasting their life because of the alcohol and drug use and the family struggles. This is really affecting them in too many ways. Drugs are the big problem here in my neighborhood. I been have offered to take drugs for free and of course I refuse because I’m happy with how my life is going. Sometimes I see people selling drugs in streets like it’s a provision. I feel sad for some people who are in drug use and are alcoholic. They are trying to get out of it, but they can’t because they are addicted to it and it is hard to reject.

Knowing that one street divides rich from poor is not a big issue for me because in my intelligence I know I need to work hard in order to reach the high level. I see it as a challenge to the multitude that lives here in my neighborhood. If you don’t pass the test or challenge, then there is a probability that you will end your life in a bad way. People are in big problems because of things they face daily here in my neighborhood. Maybe it is because they’re not quite confident about themselves. I’m just trying to play my game right in this strange neighborhood. But at the same time, in my heart, I know I’m holding in the highest regard my neighborhood because most of the people who live in this neighborhood are trying to change and have a life of well-being.

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