One day I was on my way to study in Kabul when a girl came up and introduced herself as Wahzma. She told me she was working for a man from America who had seen me on the road and wanted to meet me. “I am his assistant,” she said, and gave me his card.
I told my friend Sweeta about this meeting and she said it might be dangerous to go to this office, so I waited a couple days, thinking about it, and then I went to the office with Sweeta and knocked on the door. The guard told us to come in, but we were afraid so we said, “No, just call Wahzma. please.”
Wahzma came and brought us inside. I saw an old American man. “He is my boss and wants to talk with you,” she said. We went into the dining room and sat on chairs. At that time I couldn’t speak English. She translated for us. He said he wanted to help me by having me come to his office to learn English. I talked with my family, and they agreed.
After that, I went there with my friend to learn English every day. I made many friends there, including a 13-year-old girl who couldn’t speak and hear, but is very lovely. I called the American man my grandfather and he introduced me to a program that would send me to America for medical treatment. I got accepted into the program and went to live with a host family in North Carolina for six weeks of medical treatment. While I was there, I sent an email to my American grandfather and told him I wanted to learn more English and then return to America for my education. “I don’t know, Sana,” he said. He couldn’t promise me, but he would try. I told him I wanted to work in his office because I want to support myself. Again he said, “I don’t know, Sana, I can’t promise.”
In North Carolina, I made up a song:
I am so happy
I am so free
I am so happy
Look at me
When I was returning to Afghanistan, I couldn’t say goodbye to my host family. It was so hard to leave them. At the airport, I didn’t want to cry, but I was crying. When I returned to Kabul and saw my American grandfather, he said, “My granddaughter is here now; she has come back.” After this, I went to stay with my family for three or four days, and then I returned to my American grandfather’s office, and he came downstairs and said, “Sana, I can give you some work.” When I heard that, I couldn’t believe it.
After two weeks, I started to work for him. He gave me the job of database manager. I also began to learn American Sign Language so I could talk to the 13-year-old girl. One night I had seizures and my American grandfather and my two friends came and took me to the doctor and stayed with me. I will never forget that day.
After a while, my American grandfather went to the U.S. and stayed for two months. During that time, my friends asked me, “Sana, why are you so sad?”
I said: “Because I don’t think I have the chance to go back to the United States to study.”
But then I found out my American grandfather had arranged for me to go to high school in Indiana and stay with a new host family. “God gave a smile to my daughter today,” he said when he told me. After he returned to Kabul, I got my visa. Finally the day came when I was to leave. It hurt my heart to say goodbye to everyone and I thought my American grandfather wanted to cry, too, but he walked outside. I went home to say goodbye to my family. It was hard to leave them, especially my mom.
I am very excited about the days ahead in Indiana. But I miss my American grandfather and my friends and family in Afghanistan. I will never forget them; they are always in my heart.
This is Part Two of my life story, but it is not the end. Wait for the end.
By Sana S.