A few months ago I started tutoring ESL freshmen at my local high school. I go weekly and help them out with physic's and math, or anything they need help with. It's extremely enriching for me, and these kids continue to inspire me to work harder and live more. Yesterday though, yesterday I was blown away.
I was asked to help two girls with an essay they had to write, both of them on wars that had taken place in there home countries. I'm thinking World War II kind of report, until I start researching with them what they are writing about, and I see that the war in Guatemala was not over until 1996, a 36 year war that killed hundreds of thousands of people and left the country in extreme poverty. My second student was from Guinea. She was writing about the war in her country, and I could see the sadness in her face. One of the ESL teachers sitting behind us asked her if she would rather write about her experience with the war. What she said next I will never forget.
"It was so bad you didn't worry about things like eating or drinking, you were only trying to stay alive. My family tried to stay together and we constantly hid, if you even tried to walk outside you would be shot, I witnessed so many people being shot. Guns and explosions were everywhere, and there was so little food. Most of the time there was nothing to do but hide quietly in the dark and wait until we could move again. Eventually we escaped, we moved constantly to try and stay alive, but we did not feel safe until we made it to America."
Until that moment I had always taken my personal safety for granted. I have never had to worry about being shot. This girl was 14 years old. To say she has inspired me is an understatement. Never again will I take for granted my safety or the people that help keep it that way. Each time I walk outside I will remember to be thankful for the ability to go for a walk outside, to choose where I want to work, and to buy products that I want to buy. We really have so many freedoms in the USA, freedoms that most of us take for granted each day.
God Bless America, and may God help all of the children still in war areas fighting for their lives.