Rabbit Holes

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Though it had to be the worst eight months of my life, it was also probably the best. I lost weight, discovered true fashion (or style), and decided that it was ok to be who I am. But I should probably start from the beginning.

On November 25th, 2010, I left Blacksburg, VA for Arima, Trinidad. I didn’t know much about it but I pictured endless beaches and sunshine. The ultimate location. I was wrong. From the moment I stepped into Piarco International Airport, there was a feeling of dread. Maybe it was the fact that I realized I wasn’t in Kansas anymore, so to speak. First, we had to wait in the airport for two hours, and when we finally got out we weren’t exactly greeted with glitter and rainbows. We were warned. We couldn’t go anywhere due to the fact that we were tourists, so people would try and take advantage of us. When we did get to go out we couldn’t even wear normal jewelry for the fear that someone would mug us. This was a world so different from mine. In Blacksburg I got up everyday and put my necklaces and bangles with no worry. If I felt like it, I could walk to the university library, a mile away. But not in Arima. In Arima I couldn’t walk anywhere alone, even down the street. It became my personal hell, my own prison. At first, contact with my friends kept me going. But soon even that got boring. I wasn’t having any of the adventures they thought I would have. And no one really understood my situation. They thought I was the lucky one. I was living on a tropical island while they had to brave winter storms. The “jealously” mocked me. “See,” it said. “They want to be in your place.” At times it made me feel ungrateful. But if they had been in my place they would not have been able to survive. I was barely eating, which worried my mother and I would spend my days sleeping and watching endless television. The one comfort I hoped would come was academics. I needed books. I needed school. Sadly, that too was unattainable. I was denied entrance to any school due to the fact that we had planned to be in Trinidad for only a few months. This was the hardest blow for me. I remembered in Blacksburg, the multiple people I had seen come to school for just a month and go back to wherever they came from. The fact is, not only did it make me sad, not to go to school, it angered me. What kind of developed government deprives a child of necessary education? This increased my desire to return to Virginia. I began trying to teach myself using the internet and some home school videos I had around. But it just wasn’t the same. There was no one to tell me if I was wrong. There was nobody to share my opinions with. This was my biggest trial in life. And to even think about it hurts. But I do focus on the positive things of this experience. I got to go the beach for the first time in my life and I shared some laughs. Plus, I’ve learnt many things. The biggest lesson: you have to appreciate what you have because only when you lose it, do you realize what amazing things you did have.





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