Africa Bound

November 11, 2007
By Stephanie Myers, Fredericksburg, VA

My life, has been nothing but change. However most of the people I know, don’t understand the true meaning of change. They don’t understand what it is like to leave a place or friends that they love. They have grown up looking at the same picture, seeing the faces of the same people, and never having the thought cross through their mind that they might end up somewhere else. And that truly isn’t the story for me at all. The changes in my life range from small things like a different best friend or different styles of clothes, all the way to living on a different continent.
I have been moving to new places ever since I can remember. I was born in Turkey, then moved to North Dakota, and numerous places through out Maryland. My family moved a new house in Clinton Maryland when I was in sixth grade. I thought that we would be staying there for a while, but I was wrong.
I found out I was moving again, but this time was different. I was not moving to a new city or even a new state. I was moving to an entirely new continent; I was moving to Uganda. I told all of my friends where I was moving, and they all told me how awesome that was, at least until they found out that Uganda was in Africa. I knew that this would be the biggest change of all. I began spending all the time I could with my friends, taking too many pictures and making so many memories, because I had never experienced such an upheaval.
I had known just what to do when I was moving to another city, but a whole other continent? I was lost, scared, and confused, but I realized that the only thing that I could do was see what happens, and make the vest of everything that I had to go through. The days became numbered, and my house became empty. I couldn’t believe that in a matter of days I would be boarding a plane and heading off to my new home, Africa.
September 5, 2006 rolled around and my family and all of our suitcases headed off for the airport. We said our good-byes to our friends and family, and wiped all of our tears, and began the journey to our new life. I knew all of the emotions that came with the whole moving experience but for some reason it didn’t hit me yet. I guess I just couldn’t believe it; or rather, I didn’t want to believe it. We walked through the airport, heading for our gate towards what felt like another short vacation. We then heard our flight number, and walked to our plane to find our seats. The moment I sat down it hit me. Tears began to pour from my eyes, and I knew that this time wasn’t like all of the other moves; it was completely different.
The plane took off, and I sat back. The easiest thing form e to do was to go to sleep and hope to wake up from this nightmare. The first eight hours passes by so fast, maybe because I was asleep for most of the ride. My heart began to beat faster and faster as the plane landed, and we got off in Amsterdam. We had 2 hours to spend, until we had to board our next plane to Kenya. Though I was only in the airport, I was somewhere new and it was amazing to me. Looking around and shopping the gift shops made the time fly by. We soon loaded onto the next plane. And again, the emotions didn’t hit me until I sat in my seat and the plane was about to take off.
I was already well rested from the last flight so it made it hard to fall asleep again. So I pulled out my pictures and I laughed as I revisited my memories. You may say that every hour you go through is the same as the next but I am telling you, on that plane I went through the longest eight hours of my life. After the unbelievably long trip, the plane finally landed. I walked off the plane with just enough time to get to the next. We boarded the last plane, which was a 90-minute flight to Uganda. It seemed so surreal to me, but I knew that it was really happening. By the time we got our drinks on the plane it was time to land. I glared out the window as the plane slowly touched the ground and came to a stop.
The air was warm and humid, as we unloaded from the plane and walked to get our luggage. It was about midnight in Uganda, though it felt like afternoon, I was so weird to me, different times? It was so different because Uganda wasn’t just a short hour ahead, but 8 hours. So I felt like it was completely the wrong time of day.
We loaded into a can, and began our drive to our new house. Hitting potholes the size of America and going down dirt roads let me know that I truly was somewhere else. I couldn’t really see what was around me because there weren’t many streetlights or even working lights for that matter.
We reached our house at about 1:00 AM, and we met some people that would be working with my dad. I looked at my house, actually feeling excited about everything. I ran upstairs screaming at how huge it was, and I made sure I was the first one to look at the bedrooms to pick mine out. I found my room, where a bed and a dresser were waiting so the first thing that I did was spread out my pictures of my friends. Then I jumped onto my bed and tried to close my eyes to go to sleep. Although I was still pretty sad about leaving everyone and everything that I loved, the excitement some how overwhelmed any other feeling I had.
It took a while to fall asleep because of the different times, but I finally closed my eyes and slept until the morning. The next day, I was able to go check out my new school. While we were driving to the school I was about to go into shock. I looked around me and all I saw was dirt roads and old dirty shacks as houses, I had never seen a place that looked so poor. When I saw children playing on the side of the streets, it made me feel so lucky and fortunate. I couldn’t believe that people actually lived like that.
I arrived at my school and I thought I was dreaming. I looked around me and I felt like I was in some far off land. It was beautiful everywhere, I could look off into the distance and see hills going on forever. Everything was so colorful, its like the streets that I just drove on didn’t exist anymore. I walked on these paved sidewalks which I soon found out were hallways to many students. The bell rang and I was in the middle of students rushing to get to their next classes. I was excited; but still in the pit of my stomach I was nervous.
I went home with thoughts of my friends. I was sort of scared for school the next morning, so I go in my bed and fell asleep with all of the pictures of my friends surrounding me. I woke up early the next morning, got dressed, made sure that I was ready to impress, and I walked out the door. One of the most amazing things that morning was when they called a driver for me. I knew tat I could get used to that. I got into the car, talked to this Ugandan man that I did not know, and for some reason all of the worry went away. I went to school and right away I had friends, and I felt like I had been there for forever.
Life was going well. I had friends, and in no time I played sports for my school. I also began to get used to the lifestyle, I had a maid and a gardener, I grew to love it there. It seemed that out of nowhere, I began the stop missing my friends so much. I felt like they were still there, and they weren’t gone al all…I felt at home again. Though the short nine months that we were there passed by very fast, I felt like I had lived there for forever. They I heard those words again, “We are moving.” I thought that it was over when my parents moved me to Africa. I knew could do it, I just didn’t know if I was ready. I knew that again, I had to make the best of everything that happened, and I did. That is how I ended up here in Stafford.
I now know that I can go through any change, though its hard. I know that it will be okay in the end. Now every time I look at my friends, and I see that they are looking at the same picture, I know that I am lucky. I have been able to look beyond the state line, and see what else the world has for me.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!