Well, at the end of our conversation we were discussing some of our connections, and a member of my group shared that the book reminded him of his grandfather. And then, completely off topic, the student begins to share one of the most vivid memories of his grandfather. The snippet of his memory led to what is written below. Here is what he shared today, paraphrased by me:
My family lived in El Salvador, but my dad and grandpa already lived here, in our state. But the rest of my family needed to get here, so we left our house in El Salvador. We left our pets and some family that were not strong and some of our stuff. We didn't have a car or even a bicycle to ride. We really wanted to come here so that we could learn and grow up and get good jobs. We walked all the way here. It took us 10 days. We stopped at these houses along the way and they fed us and made us their family for a day. At this one house my dad and grandpa were waiting for us, and he (grandpa) told me jokes and stories even though I was really tired from walking. We had to be really quiet when we were walking because if people found us they would send us back to El Salvador because they would think we were coming here for bad things. But we are good people and we wanted to work hard. We spent all of our money to get here. We had to cross this river once, but some of my family couldn't swim, so we had to pay these men to carry us, to swim us, across the river. After 10 days, we were at our new home.
He was 5 years old.