It was the time that I, a 7-year-old boy from the Dominican Republic who didn’t know any English, was told that I and my older brother were going with our mom to live in North America. At first, I didn’t know whether to feel excited or afraid. I wanted to feel excited because I knew we were going to have a better life in New England. But I also felt scared because I had to learn English and I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy. The day that we had to leave was a sad day, because we had to say goodbye to our family and the life we had there.
I remember my first time in a plane. I had a big headache and my ears were plugged. But when I looked out the window, it was so beautiful. I had never been so high up in the sky. After I got to the Boston airport, on the way to my new house, I remember all the big buildings and the fast food restaurants. I knew we were going to have a better life here.
As the months passed, I missed my home more and more. I missed the empanadas that my uncle made at his restaurants. I missed the plantain, eggs, and salami that all tasted like heaven. Everything tasted different here. And I missed all the colmados (general stores) that sold everything I loved, especially country club soda. But I always knew that many in the Dominican Republic wanted to live here, so I never took it for granted.
What I learned was that even if you miss something or someone, you should always appreciate what you have, because someone else would always like the same, but they aren’t able to have it.
Teuddys Mateo will be a sophomore this fall at Worcester Technical High School in Worcester, Massachusetts.
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