Our Journey to the East Bay

As Uncle and I were leaving San Francisco, we had a lot of time to talk over our short little bike journeys. We would regularly stop after just a couple miles of biking and stop to enjoy our newly seen environment. San Francisco is such a sight for someone who was born in a third world country, that, each time I turned a corner, something different would catch my eye and I would be overwhelmed with the beauty surrounding me. During the bike journeys and the stops, Uncle and I would have the deepest talks of my life up until that point. He said the whole trip, he bit his tongue, knowing I had an ambition to move toward and I didn’t want to be stuck in the country practically alone. Being an albino African, living in Africa was hard. It is like what many racial minorities feel hanging among a majority. It was very odd though knowing that  was of the same race as many of my peers, I was rejected purely because of my skin color, race had actually nothing to do with it. My uncle asked about how I coped with it, said I was very strong for being able to live through the ignoring, as well as the harassment without much of an ill will to any of my companions. I told him that life wasn’t that hard when I began looking at everything on a larger scale than the more personal feelings I had,  I continuously thought about everyone’s feelings, even the person ridiculing me, the onlookers, the bystanders, and myself.. When I was able to look at everyone’s perspective, things stopped bothering me as much. I began to be at peace with my own skin color, and things became more bearable throughout life.

albino black

Uncle and I knew that jobs were something of great importance if we wanted to succeed for the next few months in America. He began gathering the necessary papers for us to gain full green cards, (we kind of snuck in due to connections my family made). I started using the public library internet to gain knowledge of available jobs near the city. Our bike travels led us east of the San Francisco Bay Area, and we arrived in the East Bay. Our home spot was Walnut Creek, CA, where the people there were willing to treat the homeless with respect as long as they were not panhandling. People would often strike up conversations with us and offer to buy as a lunch or a breakfast here and there. This made us realize that there were certainly some kind Americans at the time.

Uncle knew I had a skill of catching animals and suggested I apply for a job working for an animal control specialist in town. Using the public library’s internet, we found a guy who was willing to offer a job initially, as he had just started a business and was looking for some workers. I will never forget the feeling when i was on walnutcreekpests.com. There was something about the website, so inviting, that it gave me great confidence that there would be a bright future ahead of me. I called the number, and talked to the owner there about my ambitions, the reason I was looking for work, and my current down in the dumps life situation. I think Frank, the owner heard some desperation in my voice and sympathized with me, so he was able to offer me a position as receptionist. I was thrilled! Once I started the work, I didn’t know that a job could really be so easy. All I did was answer phone calls, take the person’s information down about a pest extermination that they would need on their property, and pass that information along to Frank where he could schedule an appointment.

My wage at the time was slightly above the minimum, and with the living situation of my uncle and I (non-existent, we were still sleeping in the streets, showering at hotels) I was still able to send some money to Zanzibar for my mother. I had to be honest, life was really feeling great, and I could finally, for even just a moment, see the bright path that life held for me.

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