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As the engines thrust the airplane off the ground, her heart began to race. She felt as if something was pressing her whole body into the seat, but it was some kind of comforting feeling that she had never experienced before. As her body and her carrier rose higher and higher through the blue spring sky and white clouds, her excitement rose along with the airplane that would take her to a place where she had never been before.

Would America be a lot different from Korea? Would there be many Koreans in there? Will studying in America be hard? Will I make many friends? It would be full of Americans, of course? What will we eat? Maybe we would eat pizza everyday, I hope?

Imagination went on and on about the new land she was about to encounter until her eyes reached the window. Dark sky containing grey clouds among the darkness of pitch black reminded her of heaven her pastor was preaching, heaven when everything was in deep sleep. She could not take her eyes away from the beautiful scene that just came into her view.

“Mom! Dad! Yoomi! You should see this! It is so beautiful!” She exclaimed to her family, unable to stop admiring at the amazing view beyond the thick glass. While the scenery of the night sky slowly changed into a bright morning sky, here eyes were still fixed on the world outside until the airplane started to descend slowly.


Among the swarming people, there stood a family with face expressions revealing their fear, anxiety, and worry. A man and a woman in their 40s looked around the place they were in, waiting for their relatives to come, who will take them from this unfamiliar and uncomfortable place. Next to them stood two girls, a teenager and a little girl who is younger than the other, staring the people surrounding them with eyes full of curiosity and wonder as if the people in the airport were abnormal aliens.

“Look at all those people! I had never seen this many foreigners in my life! Do you think they are all Americans?” A teenage girl whispered to her younger sister standing next to herself.
It was beyond her imagination. The place was full of not just Americans, but people from all over the world who spoke many different languages and had different looks, standing, walking, talking, smiling, eating, each doing their own task.

“Look! That woman is so fat! How can anyone be so large like her? I would never be plump like her.” Pointing at a woman standing near them, the little girl murmured to her sister.

The two girls’ gaze came to the woman the little girl was pointing at. The woman was extremely fat. Girls had never seen anyone who overweight extremely like that woman. They were surprised, shocked indeed, that they could not cease to stare at the woman, even though they knew their behavior was rude. It was not solely her, but everyone else in the airport who attracted the girls’ attention. Back in their homeland, it was rare to see different groups of foreigners. All of the people in Korea were expected to have brown or black hair and eyes and speak in Korean. People of black, brown skin colors, people of blonde, red hair colors, people of green, blue eye colors, and people who spoke all different languages was surprise for them. Even though they knew that Americans were a lot different from themselves, seeing and accepting the differences was indeed hard.

At the little girl’s rude speech and behavior, the woman scolded them. “Be quiet, you two! Where are they anyway? They should be here about now, shouldn’t they?” She seemed highly anxious that she did not wished to linger any more minutes.

“They will be here. With all these crowds, it might be hard for them to find us.” The man next to the woman replied, trying to comfort her with his firm speech, but his eyes were also shaking.

Two girls were deep in joyful excitement for the novel and exotic environment as if they were on a family vacation, while their parent were deep in worry for difficulties they will face in America. All the adults could think of were the concerns about their life in America.

Will we have a stable job? Will we have enough money to live on? Will we have a nice house? Will our children adopt different culture well? Will they do good in school? Will there be any trouble? Will we be okay? Will we ever regret leaving our homeland behind? Will we be happy in here? Will our children be happy?

Remembering the happy memories in their homeland, how their cousins, neighbors, and friends cared and loved them deepened merely deepened their longing for where they used to live. Leaving the loving home country in the hope that moving to America will give the children a better life than theirs required their great courage and sacrifice.

Once the family stepped out of the airport, the burning heat from the scorching sun of Arizona greeted the newcomers. For a few moment, they felt the heat of Arizona was chocking them, foreshadowing the hardships and troubles they will go through. As they looked out into the new world in front of them, they could sense the worry, fear, anxiety, uncertainty, and tiny bit of excitement in their heart for the future that lay in front of them. It would be challenging and there will be a time that will make them wish to give up everything, but they believed if they worked hard, there would be a reward for their hard work. That was enough reason for them to take one step forward into the land they were standing.





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