Article Title

A Refugee’s Choice


Every two months on a Saturday morning, I would wake up with the sun for a kind of ritual. This particular Saturday was cool, gray, and dreary; all of the colored leaves were now wet brown piles laying on the dead grass waiting for a blanket of snow to cover them. After washing my face, I went into the kitchen and prepared Uji, an African porridge. I sat down in front of my mother and readied myself for the next six hours: that’s how long it would take to braid my hair. I would dread this ritual because the day was long, but even so, I anticipated the excitement of having a shared opportunity to strengthen my relationship with my mother. The highlight of this ritual was that, for the next six hours, I would get to hear African folk tales and sing songs in Swahili. On this particular Saturday, the topic of our family’s origin and how we became refugees was heavy on my heart, but I was determined to ask about it.