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TOGETHER IN COMMUNITY 2017

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Student Stories | Photo Journal


MY MOM'S DAY By Pisethrainsey Khorn

Yesterday was a tiring day for mom. She was so exhausted, but she was happy. In the morning, she had to get up early and prepare a lot of food for my sister’s birthday. In the afternoon, she went to the market and bought something to decorate my sister’s birthday party. In the evening, she decorated the house and welcomed guests who came to join my sister’s birthday. My mom got up at 5:00 A.M. She took a shower and brushed her teeth as usual. Then, she went to the kitchen and looked in the refrigerator, and thought what she should buy food for my sister’s birthday party. After that she prepared food and some ingredients; she stayed in the kitchen until 12:00 P.M cooked. At 6:30 A.M, my mom fixed breakfast for my father, sisters and brothers. After breakfast, I cleaned up the kitchen and washed the dishes. At 9:00 A.M, my mom went to market bought some ingredients and something to decorate my sister’s birthday party. She spent amount 2:30 hours at the market and came home she ate lunch a little bit. In the afternoon, at 12:00 P.M my mom started to cook food with my sister and we were mom’s assistant. At 3:00 P.M, we were already done cooking and my mom went to Walmart to get a birthday cake that she ordered yesterday. In the evening, my mom decorated the house with my father and my brother. After they decorated the house, it was time for birthday to start. My mom made up my sister, dressed up her and made a pretty hair style for her. At 6:30 P.M, we started to welcome the guests who joined my sister’s birthday party. At 9:30 pm, we finished the birthday party that we celebrated for her. My brother and I cleaned up the house and my sister helped mom wash the dishes. My mom seemed so tired, but she was happy with what she did for my sister. After she cleaned up the house and washed the dishes, my mom rested a few minutes and she took a shower and went to bed with smiling face. It was a long day for mom but she was happy. ABE STUDENT STORIES | 2


VISITING MY FAMILY BY BASRA HASSAN DO YOU WORRY? I USED TO WORRY ALL THE TIME, BUT NOW I AM NOT WORRIED ANYMORE. MY TWO BROTHERS DIED IN ETHIOPIA BEFORE I VISIT TO THEM. I WORRIED ABOUT ALL MY FAMILY. ON JULY 10, MY FAMILY AND I DECIDED TO VISIT MY FAMILY IN SWEDEN. WE DECIDED TO VISIT THEM BECAUSE I WAS WORRIED ABOUT MY FATHER’S HEALTH. WHEN WE ARRIVED, WE SAW THAT HE WAS DOING EXCELLENTLY. THE REST OF MY FAMILY THAT WAS THERE: MY SISTER, BROTHER, AND STEP MOM. I WAS VERY HAPPY TO SEE MY FAMILY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A LONG WHILE. I MISS THEM VERY MUCH AND HOPE TO SEE THEM AGAIN SOON. BEFORE THE VISIT, I WORRIED ABOUT MY FAMILY, NOW I AM HAPPY.

MY FRIEND by AUAKY GILO Ajuil is my friend. She lives in a house with her husband and their three children. She wakes up in the morning. After that she brushes her teeth and she takes a shower and dresses. Then she makes coffee and at 6:30. She goes to work and after that she comes home at 3:30. She cooks for the family and plays with the children. Also, she goes to school at 5:30 to 8:00. She is very busy with work and is also my family. Ajuil is 28 years old and is 5 feet 4. She weighs 125. She is a good friend to me. She is also my cousin. She has a great personality and she is a good listener. She is friendly. Her future plans are to get her G.E.D. and to go to college. Then she can get her dream job. All in all how this is her schedule of how her day goes. It is very busy for her but it gets to be good. Sometimes being a mother is hard work to do. 

ADVANTAGE OF ESL CLASS by Ahmed Osman       An advantage of taking ESL class was learning to write, read, and speak. It is important for everyone who does not know English. I saw more people like me who got advantage from ESL. They didn’t know writing, reading and speaking in English before they attended this class. When I attended ESL class, I didn’t know how to write English well. I couldn’t write good composition, however I was trying to write previously. One important advantage I gained from ESL class was writing skills. After I Joined it I could write better composition than before. Writing was important for me because I couldn’t write something well in English before this ESL class which taught me how to write it easily. Similarly I couldn’t convey massages to someone in writing, so as to express or describe my idea that I wanted to deliver. It was also difficult for me to spelling words in a correct way, because spelling English words was complex. When I came in America I decided to establish spelling well. In order to correct spelling, I had to pay attention to words and how many letters there were.     Reading was another topic which drove me mad. I had no hobby to read newspapers, novels or something written, because when I wanted to read something I took a lot of time to finish. This happened typically because of non-practicing. At the result I hated to read anything, but it was not good to do so. If I read more I gained more, however reading was difficult for me.     Speaking was another important skill that I wanted to develop and improve when I was in Africa. But I couldn’t overcome and establish it in a brief period of time. When I was in Africa I didn’t get the opportunity to speak it with native people or who knew it well. Most of the people I was communicating with were other language speakers. On the other hand there was no situation that obliged me to use or give emphasis on it. The language I used in Africa was my native language Somali, or my second language that was Amharic which is an official language in the country.  All in all those three things I mentioned above were complementary among them. If I gave emphasis to one of them I felt more improvement that’s why I attended ESL class and made it my first priority.     


MY DAUGHTER NAIMO SHIRE BY AMINA BARRE NAIMO SHIRE IS AN INSPIRING PERSON. SHE IS MY DAUGHTER AND MY FRIEND. SHE IS A GIRL WHO, DOESN’T GIVE UP ON ANYTHING. NAIMO IS 17 YEAR OLD; SHE IS GOING TO BECOME 18 IN JANUARY. NAIMO IS 5 FEET 2 INCHES TALL. HER EYE COLOR IS DARK BROWN AND HER FACE IS ROUND AND OVAL. THE COLOR OF MY DAUGHTER’S HAIR IS BLACK AND WAVY. SHE LOVES TO PUT HER HAIR UP OR SOMETIME BRAIDED. NAIMO’S FAVORITE COLOR IS VIOLET SO HER HALF HER STUFF IS VIOLET. FOR EXAMPLE HER SCHOOL SUPPLIES ARE DIFFERENT SHADE OF VIOLET. NAIMO CLOTHES ARE ALL STYLISH AND CULTURAL WHICH I REALLY LOVE! MY DAUGHTER IS WITTY AND SWEET. SHE IS ONE OF THOSE WOMEN THAT STOP TO GIVE MONEY TO THE HOMELESS. BUT THE THING I LOVE ABOUT HER IS SHE HAS CONFIDENCE ON WHAT SHE DOES WHICH MAKES HER INDESTRUCTIBLE; SHE GOES FOR WHAT SHE BELIEVES. MY DAUGHTER WANTS TO MASTER IN PSYCHOLOGY AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT. I BELIEVE THAT MY DAUGHTER IS GOING TO BECOME THE BEST PSYCHOLOGIST IN THE NEXT GENERATION THAT WE’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR. NAIMO IS MY DAUGHTER AND MY FRIEND. I’M WAITING TO SEE WHAT SHE CAN ACCOMPLISH. I’M ALWAYS ON HER SIDE EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. .

                    The Big Move to Minnesota by  Antonio Huichapa                         When I came to Minnesota, I thought this state was the most beautiful state in the United States. Maybe you ask me, why I think that? And my answer is because Minnesota has four seasons: winter, spring, summer, and fall. Winter time is a little longer, but I like cold weather more than hot weather. Spring time is beautiful because you can see the grass coming through the snow when the snow begins to melt. During the summer it’s green everywhere and during this season you can go swimming because Minnesota has more than 10,000 lakes. Fall is beautiful because the trees have many colors. When I first came to Minnesota it was February so it was very cold. And I came from Mexico and I had lived in a small town and the weather in Moroleon Guanajuato, Mexico is very hot. I like winter time because I play in the snow but sometimes we have to stay inside. In Minnesota the weather can be very drastic, but now I feel more comfortable because I have lived here for 17 years. 

Asli’s Day by Asli Adan My name is Asli. I live in St Cloud, Minnesota. I live on the first floor of an old building. I live with my children. I’m a student at Discovery.  I’m studying English. I work part time at Goodwill, a thrift store. I get up early every morning. I usually take a shower and get dressed before I have breakfast. I don’t usually have much time for breakfast, so I have only a piece of bread and a cup of tea. After breakfast, I quickly clean up the kitchen. Then I go to school. I take my car to school.    Then I go to school at 10:30. I study English. After school sometimes I type on the computer for fifteen minutes. After class I go home. I go work. I work at Good Will. I come back from work at 6:30. Now it is evening, I cook dinner and we eat all together. I wash dishes and clean house again. I help my kids with their homework. We brush our teeth. Then, we go to sleep. All in all, I am very busy person. I work hard and study hard. I missed my family in Somalia.


Feeling Empty byBilan Ahmed Imagine a woman who was a refugee in another country who loses her family!   When I had parents, I felt the world was full of life. I had someone who cared for me. However, when my parents passed in a same year, I felt the world was empty. I felt alone. After four years I prepared to be a strong person and to help others when they have a problem. Now I am a business woman, I am a student, and I have a job in the same school where I study.  Although I’m an adult, still I miss my parents. Getting a visa to come to the U.S.A. helped me make the changes.   I thank God first, but I also thank America for giving me the opportunity. 

My Experience by Abshir Mohamed I like Somalia because it’s my country. My parents are there and my brothers and sisters and friends are there. I am from Mogadishu. I lived there for twenty-nine years. I am from Somalia, and then I came to America. I love America. I have healthy food to eat, a hospital, a school and a house. I have a big family, a wife and children. If I could return to Somalia I think I would not go because there still is not peace.  

My History by Ahmed Abdi In Somalia I lived in Dadaab for eighteen years. In 1991 Somalia stated the civil war. I felt sad because people died. When I left Somalia I went to the country of Ethiopia. I did not come to the US until December 1st 2015. When I got to the US I got peaceful. Today living in the US I feel good, happy and peaceful. The things I miss about my country are Somali food, culture, camel milk and meat. If I could return to Somalia I won’t go because they are not at peace.  

Me by Fadumo Ali Myself by Dahabo Abdi I like Somalia. My mom is Somali and it is where my children and siblings are from. Somalia has good food. I had a job in Somalia. In America I have to learn English, it is hard! I like America. I like America’s food, homes, medical care. My children are with me. Summer is my favorite, I can walk and be outside and exercise.  

I like Somalia, it is a good country. My family is there. The Koran is there. I like Somali food. I like my mom. I like America. I like the teachers.  


I by Fatouma Hashi

Afmadow, Somalia by Hindio Muhumed

I like Somalia. I like America. I miss Somalia sometimes.   And sometimes I am glad to be here. I like that in America I can go to school and the gym,  so I am healthy and happy.  

I am from Afmadow Somalia and I lived there for twenty years until 1992. I left because of the civil war and I felt sad because in 1991 people died. I went to Ethopia in 1991 and did not come to the US until 2007. I felt good when I got to the US and today I still feel good. The things I miss about my home are My Home my house, my country, my culture, by Ismahan Nur camel milk and meat and all the cultures.    In Somalia I lived in Galgadud Caabudwaaq

for seven years and then I left because Somalia had problems. I felt happy when I left and went to Ethopia. I did not come to the US until 2015 and when I got to the US I had a normal feeling. Today living in the US I don’t know how I feel. It is better than Somalia, but I don’t know. I miss my culture and my family. If I could return to Somalia I would go back because it is my home.

My Journey by Maryamo Abdi M onday mornings I go to work. A re you a student? I am going home. R ead to build my English. Y ou need your picture taken. A re you living here in St. Cloud? M innesota people like to talk. O n black hands I lay my head.  

My Experience by Muhumed Ibrahim I like Somalia. In Somalia I lived in Buale for 30 years, until 1991. I like Somalia because it is my country. Somalia is my birth place. I like Somalia because my brothers and sisters are from there. They are farmers for camels, goats and we had a house there. We had a shop for people and for us to make money. I left Somalia because it had political problems. I feel like I would miss it. When I left Somalia I went to Kenya. I did not come to the US until 2014. When I got to the US I felt good. Today living in the US I feel good, very good. The things I miss most about my country is goat milk, goat meat and the Somalia culture 


My Background by Muyehdin Ahmed I came from Somalia. In 1991 when I was in Somalia I liked my father, mom and my sisters and brother. I liked soccer. I liked work. Somali has good food. I had a job in Somalia. In America I have to learn English. I like America. I like the food and  it’s medical and houses.  

My Thoughts by Safia Issak S omeone else told me. A sk me a question. F irst night I speak English to myself. I nglish is first Language in the world. A dan is my father.  

Coming to Indianapolis by Fadumo Farah  How does a young woman who is by herself learn to live in a new world? It was very difficult to start a new life in a new country because everything was new for me: language, weather and culture. At first I felt confused, scared and helpless because I could not understand English or speak when I went to buy groceries.   People could not understand me. In Indianapolis there are few Somalis, so we felt different from other people. But then I started school.   I met different people from several Africa countries.   central America, and  even Europe. All of us were trying to learn English. We are all human, more the same than we are different. Now I feel at home because I can speak English and people can understand me well.  I have a job. Most people are friendly, so I am not scared or confused or helpless any more.  Ending Of the Garden by Dol

When I went outside last week I saw a small beautiful garden is near my school, Discovery school. Its oval shaped and looked like an egg. In the garden were varies flowers, rocks, and very small insects. The flowers were different colors. For instance, same were pink, purple, and yellow. The rocks surrounded the garden, and they made for nice shape. Though the garden was pretty, I saw signs like dry sticks and leaves of flowers turning brown. It had sign of summer an end. I look forward to seen a beautiful garden next summer.  

Events in My Life by Lesly Tabora I had two  big events happen in my life. One was when   I lost everything in my country.     Before this happened, I could afford to have all the things I wanted.   Now I’ve learned that nothing is stable.   Our lives can change quickly.   The strongest event in my life was when my son was born with special needs, and I was traumatized because I didn’t know how to work with that.   Now I have learned to take care of him.  I am happy because I accept that things are not going to change for him.   All those events in my life helped to me to be a better person.  


When I was ten years old I was a student in fifth grade. I lived with my parents in Hargeisa, Somaliland. One day my mother told me that we were moving to a new country. It was sad for me and I didn’t want to move to a new country. I liked my school and friends, but I had to listen to my mother. We moved to Ethiopia and lived in our new country for two years. After that my father died. I had to help my mom, so I didn’t go to school. I started working in a coffee shop and helped my mom at home. I helped take care of my siblings. My mother started a small business. She went out of the country and bought some clothing and shoes. After that she came back and sold everything. We only saw her face once a month. I just tried my best to take care of my four younger sisters and three younger brothers. We were all happy, but after a few years we moved again.

LIFE AT SCHOOL By Asma Mohamed

On May 18, 2014 we came to America. When we first got here we went to Wichita, Kansas. A student must not be over 18 years old to go to high school in Wichita. I was over 18 so I didn’t get to go to school. It was really sad. I remember I cried for a week and I didn’t leave my room. I started working part-time and went to ESL classes at night. The teacher at night school told me that I could take GED classes. We moved again to Minnesota. We have lived in St. Cloud, almost one year. When we came here I could not take English classes during the day because classes were full. I started night school again. Now I am in classes during the day. I found out I could get my high school diploma. I’m close to getting into the Diploma Program. I had a dream when I was young and I still have that dream. My dream is to go to collegeand become a lawyer. I hope my dream will come true. NOMADIC

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I remember it was back when I was only 13. My dad and brother and I were at a Halloween party in Charles City, Iowa. I remember it was a really foggy night and after the party we all got into the car to go home. I remember how cold it was and the windshield was all fogged over. My dad said he was cold so he started to drive away. He had a hard time seeing out the window so he was looking around for something to wipe the window. I was sitting up front and my brother was in the back seat. I started to bounce around as if we were driving in the dirt and all of the sudden everything went black. I woke up in the car and the first thing I noticed was there were three big smashes in the windshield with blood on it. Then I looked in the back seat and my brother was lying face down and I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t open the door. It was dark and the car was smoking and there was glass everywhere. Finely someone opened the door and it was my dad. I got out of the car and he picked my brother up out of the back seat and we started walking down the street and these people came running out of their house to help us.

A CAR ACCIDENT THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING By Donald Schoolmeesters

I was in such shock that I didn’t realize that I was hurt. There was a lot of blood on my right pant leg and I didn’t know where it was coming from. The ambulance came and took my dad, my brother, and me to the hospital. On the way there, they started to cut my pant leg to see where the blood was coming from. When I looked down at my leg I saw a big hole in my kneecap and then it started to hurt. I got 13 stiches in my knee and I couldn’t bend my leg for almost four months. My brother got 93 stiches in his head, and my dad got eight stiches in his lip. We were all really lucky that night. We had driven into a stack of railroad ties on the side of the road at 45mph. I had to drop out of wresting for a while. That hurt me more than the accident itself. When my knee got better I was able to bend it, but started to get bad cramps every time I would bend down, so that car accident really ended my career as a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter. All I ever dreamed about when I was a kid was becoming an Ultimate Fighting Champion (UFC) fighter and it was taken away from me in a second.

NOMADIC

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Khadra Jama The flower garden is near our school. Rocks of different shapes and colors surround the garden. Big, hard mushrooms grow under the rocks. Patches of grass are among the flowers. As summer came to an end, all of the flowers in the garden changed colors, so some are yellow, brown and red. But some are still pink and green. The pink flowers are magnificent. Their color is bright and they are the only flowers that catch my eye. Also there are green flowers with yellow stripes which are beautiful, but they, too, will fade and die. Fortunately, they all will come back next year. 

My Friend, Nawal Nawal is one of my good friends. She is also my sister. We live together. We also share our parents. I think that we are going to be friends for a long time.   We will certainly be sisters for a long time. Nawal is 18 years old. She is about 5 feet 2 inches tall. Her face is long and narrow. Her eyes are dark brown, and her hair is black. She doesn’t look very Somalian. She smiles a lot and usually has a friendly look on her face. She is skinny. She plays volleyball. She likes to dress up. She wears different outfits every day.  Nawal has a pleasant personality. She is a humble person. She worries about our parents because they work so hard. She also helps old people because they are like her grandparents. She is my youngest sister, but her English is better me. She likes to eat chips and ice cream. Nawal’s future is very clear. First, she is going to study pre medicine. She wants to be doctor. After that, she wants to travel to United Arab Emirates. I want her to be happy. She is my little sister and I love her.  

Maria’s Day Morning was a typical day for Maria. In the morning I took a shower. After my shower I had toast and coffee and fruit.   I cleaned the kitchen and did the dishes. Then I was ready to go to school.  I drove for 10 mins, and I took the class from 10:30 to 12:20.   After class I went home and made the food for my family. In the afternoon I went to work at 3:30 until 12:00.   I finished work and arrived at my house at 12:30.  I did my homework and I studied until after midnight.   I fell into bed and I was asleep the minute my head hit the pillow. It was a typical day. 

Fadumo’s day I live in a small apartment in St Cloud MN. It is on the first floor in a new building. I live with my husband and I am a student at Discovery. I am studying English. I work full time at Coleman from 3:30 to 12:00. I get up early every morning. Usually I pray then I brush my teeth. I prepare breakfast.   When I am  done I have a lot of time for my school work   I look at my homework then I leave school in my car at 10:30. After school I go home. I make lunch then we eat. Me, my aunt, and my husband eat together. After that I clean up the kitchen then leave to go to work. that is my day.                                


It Is My Belief by Arad Sugule

My Story A long time ago, by Burhan Hassan I was a skinny and beautiful young lady. I would like to keep that way forever. My name is Burhan Hassan. After I got older, I am from Kenya, I was gaining weight. but originally from Somalia. It was changing my beauty and my health.   I came to the United States 8/24/2008. Before I was getting weight, At that time I didn't know anything about America. I didn’t feel tired.   I have a wife and 7 children. My sleep was good. My wife's name is Nasra Adan. I was not worried My wife came to the United States in Dec. 2005. what I ate and what time I ate,  I am glad because my wife but after that my body was changed. helped me learn how to know I felt heavy, lack of sleep, and uncomfortable. United States and how to find job. I tried to lose weight and I want to say thanks to my wife.  did many different things. It didn’t work at first, and it was hard to lose even one pound. I believe it is hard to lose weight when your become an adult, but I never give up. I kept trying and trying. Finally, I lost a lot of pounds. Griselda’s Typical Day I realized if you try something and  work hard, Yesterday was a typical day in my life.                                    you can win one day.                               

A Letter to a Friend Mariam It is early evening and I ‘m sitting at home after a long day. It was not a nice day today and I felt homesick. I think of you often and all of my friends in Libya. I miss everyone.  It is cloudy and cold today in St Cloud. The people wear winter clothes. Everyone is in hurry to go to the school. I hurried to school too. I didn’t want to get late from my class. My class starts at 10:30 to 12:30. I study English class every day. I want to get high school diploma. I study a lot every day because; I want to go to college. I hope that you are well and happy. How is your college? How are conditions in Libya?   Can you read my letter? Please write soon. I like to see you, when God willing. 

It was a normal day in the morning. By evening it was a typical day. At 9:30 I got up and took a shower and brushed my teeth. I went to the kitchen for breakfast. After breakfast I cleaned up the kitchen. At 10:20 I was ready to leave for school.   After class I went home. There was nobody home. I cooked something for the family.       In the evening I spent time with my family and watched movies. I usually read a book to my daughter. Then we read together the bible as a family, and pray at night. And that’s my typical day. 


It was at midnight when my seven year sister, Paty, started to get sick. We lived in a small town in Mexico where there was no hospital. The hospital was about 30 minutes away from own town. My mom had to take the bus to get to the hospital. It was too dangerous to take the bus at that time of night because people didn’t trust the bus driver but, my sister was sick and my mom had to do it. I was about five years old when this happened. My mom told me that when they took the bus there were only two men on the bus, the driver, and the person who charges the passenger. My mom was scared that something bad would happen to her and my sister so she started to pray.

MY MOM FELT HER PRAYER WAS HEARD By Aldo Carrillo

After five minutes a woman dressed in all black got on the bus in the middle of nowhere. My mom told me that she tried seeing if there were some houses around but she did not see any. This mysterious woman had her head covered with a shawl. She could not see her face but my mom felt more comfortable. Five minutes before getting to the town where the hospital was the woman got off the bus again in the middle of nowhere. The driver and the other person looked surprised because it was all dark and there were no houses around. My mom finally got to the hospital. Still today, my mom remembers the woman who was on the bus. NOMADIC

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When my baby boy was born he changed my life. Before he was born, I felt alone. I was trying to find something but I didn’t know what. I felt incomplete and that made me sad. I did not believe in anything. But now, it’s different.

THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE by Cesar Larios

He changed my whole life, I understand the importance of being a parent, I will never be alone. It makes me happy to see Noah play, sleep, eat, laugh and grow, I appreciate the life, and I am happy because he will always be with me. I love that baby. NOMADIC

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My Friend David by Elizabeth Tot

Muna’s Day

My friend, David, is one of my good friends. He is also my husband for a long time! We have lived together and we share our children together. We work hard together to take care of our parents. We are outgoing people too. I think we are going to be friends for forty five years. David is 67 years old. He is 6 feet, 11 inches tall. He is very handsome. He helps other people a lot. His face is narrow, his eyes are dark and his hair is too. He isn’t fat or thin. He smiles a lot and he only has two teeth. David has a pleasant personality. He is fairly outgoing, but he is also very sensitive. He worries about his parents because they are old, but they are still in good health.  In the future David wants to be a farmer. He would like to raise animals and grow vegetables. In order to raise the money that is necessary to buy the farm, he is working for another farmer and sharing part of his wages.  He doesn’t know how many years it will take to save enough money to buy a farm, but he is confident that he will have a successful future. 

I live in a small apartment in St Cloud. It is on the third floor of a new building. I live with my family, my husband Sidiq and six children, two boys and four girls. I am a student at Discovery school.  I get up early every morning. I usually take a shower then I help my children to get ready for school. I cook breakfast. After that I get dressed and I quickly clean up the kitchen. Then I go to school. I start at 10:30. I study English. Sometimes I type on the computer for thirty minutes. After class I go home. While I cook dinner, my children work on their homework, and I get dinner ready. When my children finish their homework they brush their teeth and shower, then they go to bed. 

My sister by Fardosa

Immigration to the USA by Nasira Abid It was a different experience for me to move to the USA. Before getting my visa, I was so excited to see a new world. At the same time, I was also sad because I had to leave everything, like my parents, relatives, loving friends, and my job. I had a good life in Pakistan, but I wanted my son to get a higher education since my brother was a doctor at the St. Cloud Hospital. He sponsored my family, that’s why I choose Minnesota. Now, I like living in Minnesota because it is a peaceful place and people are nice. At the end, I would like to say it has been a good experience for me.  

Ifrah is one of my good friends. She is also my sister! We go to masjid together and we used to even share a bedroom, but right now I got married. Even though we live in the same home, we have separate bedrooms. Of course, we also share our parents! I think that we are going to be friends for long time. We will certainly be sisters for long time!    Ifrah is 28 years old. She is 5 feet, 5 inches tall. Her face is long and narrow. Her eyes are brown. She smiles a lot and usually has a friendly look on her face. She isn’t fat and she isn’t thin. Her build is average. She works out, so she stays in shape. She doesn’t like to dress up. She likes to wear a skirt and scarf.      Ifrah has a pleasant personality. She is fairly outgoing, but she is also very sensitive. She worries about our parents because she is young. She is my younger sister, but her English is better than mine. She always encourages me to speak English and to learning new vocabulary. Ifrah is crazy about mango juice and chocolate.       Ifrah’s future plans are very definite. First, she is going to improve her English. Then, she will graduate with an associate degree in science liberal arts, and science general studies. Right now she works as an interpreter. After that she would like to marry. I don’t know but, I hope so. I want her to be happy.  She is a good person and has a true life. I hope she has a good marriage if Allah says so to this sister of mine.    


My Friend, Farhiya Farhiya is one of my good friends. She is also my sister. We work together. We even go shopping together. Of course we also share our parents. I think that we are going to be friends for a long time. We will sure be sisters.   My friend’s name is Farhiyo. Farhiya is 29.   She is tall, about 6 feet, 9 inches.   Her face is long and narrow and her eyes are green.   We live in the same apartment and we grew up together and usually we love each other.  My friend has a kind personality. My friend has one problem only.   She worries about her parents because she works hard.   My friend and I went together for shopping at the mall. We were late. She was worried. Once we came together, me and my friend, we thought about how we can keep up her parents and take care of them because she loves them. And I love her.   She is little sensitive about learning English.  Farhiya’s future plans are little uncertain. However she thinks that she is going to get a bachelor’s degree in psychology.   Then, perhaps she will go on to graduate school. I am sure that she will be successful. I also hope that she is going to include me in her future plan. 

Dear Haddi, It is morning and I am at the school. I remember you so I feel sad about when I came from Africa because I had family and friends and relatives, cousin, nephew etc. That is why I am homesick. I think of you often and all of my uncles in Ethiopia. I miss everyone. It is winter.   All of the people wear coats, gloves and scarves. Everyone was in a hurry to get to a dry place.   St. Cloud is a very good city, but sometimes it’s cold. I feel better than you think. I study English, the Quran and school, so I like St. Cloud’s weather. After school yesterday, I ate rice and pasta so it tasted very delicious. You know, the food in St. Cloud is very good. I am fine. I am learning a lot in my classes. I like my teacher and the students.  I attend classes every day, and I study every evening.   I don’t have much free time, but I like my life in St Cloud.       I hope that you are well and happy. How is your English? Can you read my letter? Please write soon.  Sincerely, Fathiya 

Dear Hodan It is Saturday afternoon and I am sitting in the playground. It was a hot summer day in St Cloud. I am sitting under huge oak tree and I am thinking of you. Earlier today the playground was crowded with people. Many of children were played in the playground. They played soccer. They wanted me to play. But it was too hot. Several of the children were my children. The others were friends from our neighborhood in St Cloud. All of them went home a little while ago they are good friends. But I prefer our friends from old neighborhood in St Cloud.  I am fine, but I miss you and my other friends, and all my family. You are a good sister and a good friend I enjoy my husband and my children. My husband went to work and children went to school and I go to school every day. I am learning a lot in my class. I like my teacher. I don’t have much free time, but I like my life in St Cloud. I hope that you are well and happy. How is school?  How is your English? Can you read my letter? Please write soon, Muna 

Dear Gudoon,      It is early in the morning and I am sitting at home after a long day. It was not a nice day today and I felt home sick. I think of you often and all of my friends in Uganda. I miss everyone. It is warm today here in Waite Park. It is fall and the trees don’t have leaves. Winter is around the corner. It is going to snow. Winter is usually cold and freezing. I don’t like driving during the winter. I work 5 days a week. It is a full time job. I go to school. Life is not easy but I am trying my best. I miss you guys and hope to see you one day. I am planning on coming to Uganda for vacation. We will have to spend time and have fun. Pass my regards to everybody.  Sado 


My favorite place to live was near the Pacific Ocean. When I was a child, the place I just loved to visit a lot with my mother’s family was Playa Jardin. This place was peaceful because there were no buildings. It was green everywhere. There was a puddle that was created when the tide was high. There were two places to swim. The water in the puddle was warm and the water in the ocean was fresh. One day, I remember we were swimming with my cousins in the ocean and we could not touch the sand in the ocean. The waves moved us into a hole in the ocean them after the wave went away we can step on the sand. That was scary but even then I loved Playa Jardin.

FAVORITE CHILDHOOD PLACE TO VISIT By Ma Elena Gutierrez

The thing I liked most was when my mother sent us to find firewood. Then all my brothers and cousins volunteered to get the wood. We would go off to explore and climb trees and later we would start to look for the firewood. My mom was waiting for the firewood. We took a long time because we were having fun. My mom cooked delicious grilled fish called huachinango. It is also called red snapper. While my mom and aunts were cooking, my uncles climbed the palm trees for coconuts. Then we cut the coconuts. Then we ate delicious fish, coconut and drank coconut juice. Then all the family played, swam and built sand castles. The day went fast. After we saw the sun set we went home.

ABE STUDENT STORIES

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When I was seven years old, I went on a vacation with my family to Valencia. Valencia is a state of Venezuela and its capital city is Carabobo. This was the most wonderful trip that I have ever taken. My entire family was on the trip. My grandparents, aunts, uncles, and my cousins were all on the trip. My family and I went to so many different places. Once I was taking a walk in a park and I saw for the first time in my short life a squirrel. I was amazed; I saw the squirrel while it was eating.

MY FAVORITE VACATION By Mariangel Marin

Valencia has so many beautiful places that are full of history, such as Carabobo Park. It was my favorite place. In this park took place Carabobo’s battle. Carabobo’s battle was a fight for Venezuelan independence. At this park, there are always a number of soldiers. They stand almost all day long. They wear uniforms and they hold guns in their hands and it is exciting to see them. After we visited Carabobo’s park, we went to the aquarium, which was the first time I went to an aquarium. I saw a dolphin show. The dolphins were spinning in the air. There were eels and a lot of different species of fish that I had no idea could exist. Finally my vacation came to an end, but I will always remember this vacation as the best vacation of my childhood. I am going to keep these wonderful memories for the rest of my life. NOMADIC

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HIBO'S DAY FRIDAY WAS NOT A TYPICAL DAY FOR HIBO, MARYAN AND MONA’S MOTHER. IT IS WAS DIFFICULT AND FRUSTRATING. IN THE MORNING, SHE WAS LATE FOR WORK. IN THE AFTERNOON, HER BOSS GOT ANGRY WITH HER BY EVENING, SHE WAS EXHAUSTED. SHE WAS GLAD THAT MOST DAYS ARE DIFFERENT.

At 6.00 the alert clock rang and she got up as usual. Took a shower and then went straight to the kitchen. She fixed breakfast for her husband and daughters. After breakfast, she left for work, Maryam cleaned up the kitchen, and she got dressed.at 7.30 she said goodbye to Maryan and Mona as they left for school. They  drove to school. Then she left the house and walked to the bus stop. So far so good I waited and waited at the bus stop. The bus finally came about twenty minutes late. Then, on its way downtown, the bus broke down. All of the passengers had to get off and wait for another and she called her work to tell she will late about 20 minutes finally, she arrived at my office thirty minutes later her boss wasn’t very happy she worked hard all morning.

Then at noon, she met her friends for lunch. In the afternoon, her boss really got angry at her because He was upset in the morning because she forgets to mail an important form to the IRS service Friday was deadline for the form .when her boss found out late in the afternoon he said some very nasty thing to her. She felt terrible. Later, her boss apologized to her to know that she really is a wonderful and valuable employee. By the time she got home she was exhausted. She told her family the whole story and they were very understanding .Maryan and Mona offered to fix dinner. While she took a long, hot bath. After her bath and nice dinner, she felt much better. She went to bed early; while maryan and Mona did their homework .I really deserved a good night sleep.


MY FRIEND AYAAN BY NAFISA FARAH AYAAN IS A GREAT PERSON. SHE WAS A FRIEND IN AFRICA. SHE IS ALSO MY BEST FRIEND. I HOPE THAT WE ARE GOING TO BE FRIEND FOR A LONG TIME. SHE IS 20 YEAR OLD. SHE IS ABOUT 5 FEET 7 INCHES TALL. HER EYES ARE BROWN AND FACE IS ROUND, HAIR IS BLACK. SHE WEARS HIJAB. SHE HAS A VERY PLEASANT SMILE. SHE DOESN’T WEAR GLASSES. SHE ALWAYS LOOKS NICE. SHE IS A CLEAVER STUDENT. SHE WORKS THE ST. CLOUD HOSPITAL. AYAAN HAS A WONDERFUL PERSONALITY. SHE IS A NICE PERSON BUT SHE ALSO LIKES TO HAVE A GOOD TIME. SHE HAS PATIENCE. SHE ALWAYS GOES TO MASJID SATURDAY AND SUNDAY. SHE IS A GOOD STUDENT AND SHE HAS GOOD GRADES.               AYAAN HAS FUTURE PLANS. SHE IS GOING TO IMPROVE HER ENGLISH THEN, SHE IS GOING TO STUDY PHYSICAL EDUCATION. I AM SURE THAT, SHE WILL BE SUCCESSFUL. I HOPE SO. I WANT HER TO BE HAPPY. SHE IS A GOOD PERSON AND TRUE FRIEND. 

Warsame's Day  Yesterday was typical day for me. I went to school at 10:30 morning. I went to work at 3:00 pm. My wife had dinner with her family and learned that is the way my life goes. I jumped out of bed at 9:45 and I did some exercise. I took a shower and brushed my teeth. After I got dressed I went to the kitchen for breakfast. My wife had it ready for me. As I ate my breakfast fruit I thought about my family. They live in Africa. After breakfast my wife cleaned up the kitchen and dishes. While my wife did that I got ready for work at 11 am.

Sahra‘s Day   I live in an apartment on the first floor in Waite Park. I live with my family. I am a student at Discovery School. I get up early every morning. I pray. After praying, I wake up my kids for school. Then I eat breakfast and get dressed. The kids leave at 7:00 a.m. to go to the bus. After that I clean the kitchen. I give the little kids their food. I go to school two days a week. I go to the ESL class. My two babies come with me to Family Literacy at 9:00 a.m. I leave with all my children at 2:30 p.m. They come back and eat snacks and play with their toys and then they do their homework. After that, they eat dinner. The last thing I do is help the little ones brush their teeth and put them to bed. Sometimes I call my mom and dad. I am a very busy mom and I have a good life.    


MY ILLNESS HAD A HAPPY ENDING BY VERONICA BEDOLLA

When I was 12 years old I had a horrible virus in my stomach. I remember that I couldn’t eat any food because anything I ate would make me vomit.  Also, I had a high fever. I could not stand because I was not strong enough.  My mom cut my hair a little. She believed my body needed all the vitamins possible for me to be stronger. For that reason, I was in a hospital for a lot a time.  My family was very worried for me. My mom didn’t have enough money to pay the money to pay the hospital. In Mexico not all people have insurance, and my family did not have insurance. However, two doctors, my mom’s friends, decided to help me and they brought me to their house to take care of me. I remember how they looked after me. Before they went to the hospital in the morning, they checked me. Their family prepared soup for me and they liquefied my food. When I started to feel a little better, my mom and I were able to go to my house. 

My illness made me miss many weeks of school. During that time, my classmates were preparing for graduation from Miguel Hidalgo Elementary School.  I also missed all the training for the final dance of the school year. I thought that I would not graduate from school that year, but my teacher gave me a test and I had good grades. Therefore, my teacher told me, you are ready for secondary school.  Also, he had a place in the dance for me. He thought that I must graduate the same as the other kids, so he gave me a place in front of the dancing group, and he prepared a few easy steps for me. I remember that day. It was awesome for me. We had a big party in a wonderful place that we call La Carreta, and the dance was perfect. My parents took many pictures. Finally, I was graduated, but I never forgot the magnificent people that took care of me.   


WHEN I MOVED TO AMERICA BY KIIN FARAH WHAT IS IT LIKE TO MOVE ACROSS THE WORLD?  WHEN I CAME TO THIS COUNTRY I FELT NERVOUS, BUT I AM HAPPY NOW. BEFORE, I DID NOT KNOW HOW TO START A NEW LIFE. ALSO MY FAMILY WAS LIVING IN AFRICA AND ONLY I CAME HERE. I FELT ALONE. IN THIS COUNTRY THE WEATHER IS DIFFERENT FROM AFRICA. AFRICA IS VERY HOT, AND HERE IT IS COLD. I SAW A LOT OF SNOW, AND I FELT SCARED. FINALLY, I GOT A JOB. I CHANGED MY LIFE AND SUPPORTED MY FAMILY. NOW I FEEL BETTER. FINALLY, WHEN I CAME TO THIS COUNTRY, I DID NOT KNOW ABOUT LIFE IN THIS COUNTRY. NOW MY LIFE HAS CHANGED, AND I FEEL AMAZING  MY FRIEND SEYNAB BY NASRO ASHUR

Seynab is one of my good friends. She is also my sister. We go shopping together. We live together. We also share our parents. I think that we are going to be friends for a long time.    Seynab is 23 years old. She is about 5 feet, 6 inches tall. Her face is long and narrow. Her eyes are black. Her hair is dark black.  She isn’t fat or thin. Her build is average. She likes to wear dresses and hijab.     Seynab has a pleasant personality. She is fairly outgoing, but she is also very sensitive. She worries about our parents because she is young. She is my younger sister, but her English is better than mine. She always encourages me to speak English and to learn new vocabulary. Seynab is crazy about vanilla ice cream.      Seynab’s future plans are very definite. First, she is going to improve her English. Then, she is going to college. After that she would like to marry. I want her to be happy. She is a good person and has happy life.    I hope she has a good marriage. I love my sister.

My Typical day by Noor Abokor  Yesterday was a typical day for me. It was interesting fun. In the morning, I went to work. In the afternoon I went to the library. In the evening, I had fun with my family. That is the way my life goes. I wake up at 6:00. Then I took a shower, combed my hair and brushed my teeth. After I got dressed I went to the kitchen for breakfast. My mother had it ready for me.  I ate bread and drank a cup of tea. After two hours I cleaned up my house. After two hours I took my mother to work. After I came back my brother Abdi Rahman was ready to leave the house. Traffic was light, so my brother drove to the library in nine minutes. My brother went straight to the library. I asked my brother some questions in English.  I tried to ask some questions after I read the book. At eleven o’clock I came back home. The rest of the day passed as usual. After I ate some spaghetti, my mother got off work at 5:30. I took my mother home. I relaxed for a few minutes and then I started my homework. After I finished my homework I cleaned up my bed and I slept. That is the way my typical day goes.


Last year, one night on the way home from work something very bad happened to me. I will never forget it. I took the bus to go home after work. When I got off the bus, a man who got on at the same place as me, also got off at my stop. The man followed me, but I didn’t pay attention. I thought he was going in the same direction as I was. When I got to my apartment and I was right in front of the door, suddenly someone pushed on my back and pushed me toward the sidewalk. He hit me, but he did not say anything to me. I was very scared; I yelled for someone “please, help me!” I yelled all the while, but nobody helped me. It was during the winter, and neighbor people had closed their windows and doors. There wasn’t anyone walking outside, although it was only 8:00 pm. I pushed against the man. I wanted to stand up and run away, but he was more powerful than me! I could not get away! I bit his hand! Then he was angry. He pulled me under my neighbor’s balcony and used his hand to choke me. I could not breathe! Fortunately, my neighbor heard the noise under his balcony. He opened the door and shouted at the man “get out!”

RECOVERING

FROM A BAD EXPERIENCE

Anonymous

The man saw my neighbor was very strong and ran away very fast. I stood up and said “Thank you very much.” I was still horrified. I couldn’t go home because I looked very bad. I was bleeding from my mouth; my hair has been pulled out in places. My children were young, and I did not want to scare them. I needed help. I went directly to my friend’s apartment and told her what happened to me. We called the police. After 10 minutes, policemen came to my friend’s apartment, and I made a report of the crime, but I never saw him. After around one month, the guy was arrested and in the jail. Living in a new country is difficult. I’m hard working. I go to school to study and to take care my children. I also have part time work so I work often in the evening. As a result of this attack, I am scared to walk alone in the dark night, but I still do this. I need to earn money to support my family. I often think I need to be positive and enjoy every day. I don’t know what will happen in my life, especially something I cannot control, and I need to look for happiness and laughter.

NOMADIC

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Sahra‘s Day live in an apartment on the first floor in Waite Park. I live with my family. I am a student at Discovery School.  I get up early every morning. I pray. After praying, I wake up my kids for school. Then I eat breakfast and get dressed. The kids leave at 7:00 a.m. to go to the bus. After that I clean the kitchen. I give the little kids their food.  I go to school two days a week. I go to the ESL class. My two babies come with me to Family Literacy at 9:00 a.m. I leave with all my children at 2:30 p.m.  They come back and eat snacks and play with their toys and then they do their homework. After that, they eat dinner. The last thing I do is help the little ones brush their teeth and put them to bed. Sometimes I call my mom and dad.  I am a very busy mom and I  have a good life.   

Young Mother by Shukri Abdiwahab In the fall of 2008 at the age of 16 I was married and I had my first daughter. Therefore, I had to grow up really fast. Most girls my age were worried about makeup, boys, and college. The only thing I was worried about was how I was going to take care of my daughter, Nasteho. How was going to provide everything she needed? I faced many challenges. Having no car and taking the bus with my little one was very hard. I had to drop out of school and find work, to help support my family. At the time my husband was a college student and working a part-time job. Unfortunately, I didn’t have family in St. Cloud and as a result of this I couldn’t find childcare. I struggled with life as a young mother. With the help from my husband things eventually fell into place. He was able to watch our daughter so I could work part-time. I got a job and bought a car. Things don’t always turn out the way we planned them. Having kids at a young age made me grow up fast and realized there is more to life than yourself. It taught me to be patient with life and to be more grateful and most of all to enjoy life. I had two more amazing girls that I wouldn’t change for the world.  In the end I went back to school. It was a long time coming, but eventually I found my happy place. Currently I have a new job that I love. I make enough money to support my family. All three of my girls are in school so I have more free time. I encourage my own daughters to not get married at a young age. With the perks of being a young mom there are also hardships that come with it. 

Nimo’s Day Zahra Ibrahim Yesterday was a typical day for Nimo. It was long and tiring, but it was fun. In the morning, she want to class. in the afternoon, she want to work. in the evening, she had lunch with his family and studied. That is the way she life goes. Nimo   jumped out of bed at 6:00 and did some exercises. Then, she took a shower, shaved, and brushed her teeth. After she got dressed, she went to the kitchen for breakfast. Her mother had it ready for her. She ate her toast and fruit. After breakfast, she cleaned up the kitchen and did the dishes while her mother got ready for work. At 7:30, her sister, Ubax, was ready to leave for school. Traffic was light, so Nimo and Ubax drove to school in fifteen minutes.  Ubax went straight to class and Nimo went to the library. She asked the librarian some question and looked up some information for her chemistry class. Then, she rushed to the cafeteria to meet Mohamed before their nine o’ clock class. After her eleven o’ clock class, she met with Ahmed and Ahmed’s girlfriend, Sylvia, until 1:00. By that time, she had to go work. The rest of the day passed as usual. After dinner, Ahmed dropped Nimo off at the music store where she works. Nimo sold a clarinet, two guitars, and a violin before the afternoon was over. She got off work at 5:30 and took the bus home. Nobody was home when she arrived, so she started dinner. Spaghetti was ready and on the table when her parents and Ahmed got home. They were hungry and ready to eat. After dinner, Nimo relaxed for a few minutes and then started her homework. She studied until midnight and fell into bed. She was asleep before her head hit the pillow. It was a typical day! 


Profile for St. Cloud Area School District 742

Together in Community  

ABE Student Stories

Together in Community  

ABE Student Stories