Mariam Cessouma

International Airport of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, West Africa.  It was 5:15 pm .I’m with my family members, my friends, my internship students (Nurses, Doctors, and Auxiliary Midwives).

6:35 pm: the hard and painful time of separation, the goodbyes. It is said that “separation builds lasting love".

7 pm: I have to take my flight for the Land of Uncle Sam, one of my dreams.

I reached New York City, John Fitzgerald Kennedy Airport around 9:30 am, after two hours’ stopover in Paris.  My husband was standing in the waiting area .He didn't look like my African husband anymore. He had been working for a German non-profit organisation in our country. For political reasons, he was forced to leave our country. We thought that America was the best option. He started learning English in a private school. Six months later he realized that his savings were not enough to survive. He stopped attending school. At first he was doing a dishwashing job and selling newspapers. Then, he added one more dishwashing job and a math tutoring Job.  I decided to help him; he must not stop his English class as English is the “spinal cord” of success in America.  I started with hair-braiding and housekeeping; later I took one of his dishwashing jobs. A few months later, he obtained the TOEFL. He started with DeVry College where he met a Japanese man, they have stayed friends until today.

My husband loves African food, juices, especially hibiscus and ginger juice. With him I visited the White house, Arlington Cemetery, Virginia and have eaten foods from different countries.  Now I have obtained my Work Authorization Permit and it’s time for me to realize my second dream, to be an American midwife. I need to build my English; one proverb in my country says: "If you’re in too much hurry to have a baby, you risk marrying a pregnant woman", which means take your time, don’t rush. I must learn appropriate English.

Luckily for me I don't have to pay any fees, not even one cent .The English-Speaking Union has opened its door to me. This action is my first stage of being part of America. The interesting trip to the lower East Side Tenement Museum helped, too. My father, peace be upon him, used to say: "With patience you can drink stone soup"; this means that with patience, nothing is impossible"

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