My Name

January 17, 2011
I stand in the middle of the street listening. Listening to all the people walking by, laughing, talking, yelling. I listen to the cars whisp by, tires screeching, horns honking and engines roaring.
Leaving my life behind, those huge walls, in the dead silence of South Africa. Sitting in a small brown chair squished between my weeping mother and my smiling little brother in economy class, balling my eyes out, pondering why me? Why do I have to be the one to leave?
After a long 24 hour flight sleeping awkwardly shifting left and right trying to find a comfortable spot, which seemed near impossible, I fell asleep.
The next thing I know, I woke up to the soft droning voice of the flight attendant, informing us we would be landing. I sat up straight, buckled up, and waited impatiently while the plane landed. When I stood up, I could feel the blood rush through my body. It was like I was drinking a ice cold glass of water, on a hot desert day. I was so relieved I could stand up and stretch my legs, even though it felt like I was learning how to walk for the first time again.
After we got off the plane, it hit me, “here we go, this will be our new life in our new home” said my dad, who was picking us up. He had been living here for 3 months trying to find a house for us to live in. Numerous thoughts were running through my head I could hardly keep up with them. I’m going to be the new girl again, Will people like me, Will I make new friends?, Will they think I’m weird?
Starting school and trying to make new friends seemed impossible. But when I got to school, it didn’t take long for everyone to realize I was the new girl. The new girl with a funny accent. People were coming up to me every chance they had and asked me questions. I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the questions. Questions such as “if you’re from Africa why are you white?” and “so did you ride an elephant to school?”
Throughout the school year I made friends. I listened to their problems and helped them.
My name is Simone, it’s French and means listener. Whether or not my parents planned on that I sure do fit my name. I now am the one walking those streets I once listened to and driving that car someone else hears. But I still listen to the cries of my family and friends in the land I call home.

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