When Victoria wrote this essay for her English class, she was an 8th-grader in Knoxville. She and her family moved here from Venezuela. (It has been edited for length.)
I was just nine years old and I didn’t know how the only thing I knew…how my whole world was going to change.
My parents told my sister and me we had to move from Venezuela, the place where I was born, because it was getting hard for my dad to work there. I was little, so at first, I didn’t pay much attention to it. But as the days went by, I started thinking about my family, my grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Was I ever going to see them again?
Now I would do anything to go back to those warm Sunday afternoons at my Grandma’s house, feeling the calm breeze coming from the window and the delicious smell of coffee as my Mom and Grandma talked for hours. I watched the sky change colors: purple and pink mixed together, then a gorgeous bright orange as the sun hid behind the mountains. Barquisimeto, the city where I was born, has the prettiest sunsets in all the earth.
I’ve always been very close with my mother’s side of the family. I remember, on Friday evenings we all gathered at my great-grandmother’s house. I loved hearing my aunts talking. I laughed at their jokes even if I didn’t understand them.
On the day we were leaving, all our closest friends and family came to the airport to say goodbye. In that moment, I realized I was probably not going to see them for a very long time. I wasn’t going to live there anymore. We cried and said our goodbyes.
I still miss Venezuela, with mountains that touch colorful skies, looking like God just painted them, and the clear warm waters of the Caribbean Sea. But I know I wouldn’t be who I am now if I hadn’t had that change in my life. Now I expect to enjoy my new life in a new country and new culture. I will make new friends, new memories, and keep discovering myself.
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Victoria’s story helps us personalize the immigration situation in the US. Want to help international children thrive in Knoxville? Volunteer through KIN today! Start the application process here.