Patricia Chicaiza

"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain" - Vivian Greene


It was a beautiful sunny Friday when my mom and I got our visas. Every day since my dad came to the U.S, I wished that one day our family could live together. I was excited to travel and to see my sister. After some months I decided to leave my studies and start to prepare everything for my departure. Some of my friends knew about my situation. They wished me well and they said "We'll miss you". Just the night before my flight; my family and I had dinner. I had different and confusing feelings. My grandmother took me in her arms, I was unable to say anything; it was the longest night for me.


It was a long flight, we were at JFK airport around 12:00 am, but we had a problem because at the airport; the immigration officer told my sister that there was a mistake on my visa; it was dated Jan 06 instead of Jun 06. They said: “How is it possible? How did you get in here?” But in that moment another employee came and helped us, my sister talked with them and after 20 minutes we left the airport with my documents all right. I still remember the noise and the smell outside the airport, people running, talking really quickly. Also I saw a big line to take a taxi. It was just the beginning of living in the most crowded city in the world. When we arrived home, everyone wanted to sleep or take a shower. I was surprised because the house where we were to live was old and the sidewalk was broken. Some days after, the weather was getting hotter and hotter. The first time I got the subway was a little confusing and I saw some rats. I thought the rats lived there because of the garbage in the railroad.


After 5 months, I started to study English at Riverside Church. I made a lot of friends. Also I visited some of the fantastic museums. My favorite museum in NYC is the Museum of Natural History. At school I learned a lot and I enjoyed different activities, but when I went home it was a strange situation because my mom and my sister had some discussions. Well, in spite of all of these problems, life has to continue.


New York City is a beautiful place, there are buildings, museums, bridges, everywhere you can find people from all around the world and learn about their culture. Every time I take the subway even for 2 minutes you can see different faces, styles of hair, clothes, also you can hear some languages totally different than yours; it is a mix of cultures and that is amazing. Also we know everyone is busy but if you stop using your phone for a while you could observe the view; only imagine the wonderful and amazing world we have around us. Nobody cares about others, we are really too busy sometimes to appreciate the world in which we live.


After all the things that happened in my short life, I only want to live in the present, because the past is in the past it will never come back and the future is a mystery. I'm focused on enjoying each day by day with the people I love and with whom I feel familiar. For example, here at the English Speaking Union I have made new friends and I get something interesting from every class. My dear friend, just be happy and look at the beautiful world we have. I know sometimes there are problems and bad situations but don't worry. We learn and it is going to be okay.

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