No Time to Fall Apart!

Rebecca with Christmas tree
Be Bright
Word cloud

The year 2020 is the 1994 in repeat for me. It been a year of loss in varies form. I was living at Kakuma Refugee Camp in Northern Kenya in 1994 as a nine years old refugee child. We get news of relatives and family members that didn’t make it out in the Sudanese civil war. It started with few names but rapidly reached hundreds of names daily. The normal sounds of arguments, singing, dancing and talking turn into orchestra of mourning at every tent or compound of Sudanese living at Kakuma Refugee Camp. The amount of loss was so overwhelming which left us with nothing to say but to just be there; sitting, listening and cooking for the mourners. My first memoir called What They Meant for Evil came out in September of 2019. It captured my story as one of 89 Lost Girls of Sudan who came to the US. in 2000. Mentally & spiritually, I was putting the cap onto a bottle of my healing journey. My memoir was to closed the chapter of loss caused by Sudanese civil and its consequences which made me a refugee and migrating to the United States.

At the ending of 2019, we heard of COVID-19 and at first it sounds like a virus from faraway places but certainly it become a global pandemic affecting us all, some more than others. The whole world is mourning the devastation costed by the Coronavirus. In the late summer of 2019 and its peak in November of 2019, a personal pandemic starting at my household alongside the global pandemic.

The quarantining and event of this year have taught me about those who truly and deeply about me. I am beyond blessed with personal relationship and I am thankful for that. I have cooked meals for my kids and I at a cousin house number of times since I don’t have proper kitchen. A friend flew me down to visit her in August and she visited me during Christmas break again which was wonderful. Friends and colleague have been there for me in so many ways. The highlight in the new year is the word cloud of words we are shared at work. I am not sure what will happen in my next season but I know we are better when we go through hardship together. I am thankful for my work with Refugee/immigrant communities during this time to support and show each other kindness. We are in this together as humans and Americans. 2020 have been a year of loss but also year of focusing on things that matter and needs.

This story is part of a Refugee Communities collection.