During some point of the journey, they had an argument; and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone:
Congolese refugee comes to Valley Homecoming highs and lows Get your schools limited edition yearbook now.
From the DRC to Valley: Private driving schools now require workshop5: My experience at Valley8: Meet you at the bude9: The highs and lows of HomecomingFoster hurdles over difficulties Foster hurdles over difficulties Five days of fun and fearless fashion Upcoming eventsRichard Meyer strikes a pose on Toga Day.
She works hard to do her best in her core classes of Math, English, Science, and History. She supports the football team as a member of the color guard. Without speaking to her, it might seem like she has led a typical life. Awa is a Congolese refugee. After spending nine long, difficult years in Kenya, followed by two years in Uganda, Awa and her family immi-grated to the States, spending a few months in Michigan before settling in Loudoun Mothas day for big mae.
Awa attended Loudoun County High before finally coming to Valley in the spring of It was kind of hard at first, because we speak English in schools in Kenya, but the English is different here, Awa said.
I would be shy to speak up because of my English, but then I got used to it because I found good friends. The war is characterized not only by mili-tary violence, but war crimes against civilians.
A page United Nations report from October detailed the history of the war in the DRC that spanned the years from to Awas family poses for a family photo while still in Uganda.
Lydia Awa3newsAwa poses for a photo in Kenya. The report states that [m]any of the attacks involved massive vio-lence against non-combatant civilian populations consisting primarily of women and children amid a climate of near-total impunity, which contin-ues today.
I would ask my mom where we were from and why we never go back, and she would explain to me that its not safe. They come into peoples houses, they rape women, they kill pregnant women. So thats why we stayed in Kenya. Even in Kenya, life wasnt easy.
Racial discrimination made it almost impossible for Awas father to find a job; the family moved from house to house, sometimes staying with friends, because they had no rent money. We lived there for nine years. The first five years it was hard because my dad didnt have a job.
School was hard because they would throw you out, said Awa.
It was kind of hard the first few years. While Awa is glad to be re-moved from the danger of life in the DRC, it still touches her life.
Her family was forced to leave many relatives behind when they moved to Kenya and later to America. Awa said that her family keeps in touch with her extended family in Africa by phone every few weeks, but the fear and worry for their safety is never far from her mind. You never know what will happen the next day, Awa said.
You always pray for them, because to-day they might be alive and then tomor-row theyre dead.
Im just worried sometimes and praying. Although being a refu-gee means that Awa now lives in safety in the US, it has come at a high cost. I dont really know my cousins, Ive never seen my aunts; theyre all back in Congo. I mean, Ive never even seen my grandparents, said Awa, so Id say it has sepa-rated us a lot.
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