Wednesday, October 29, 2008

First Snow

First snow. Not just first snow of the season. First snow ever.

This is a picture of Sarah, a 15-year-old who has recently come into my life (as if working at a school didn't provide enough teenagers!). Let me tell you just a little bit about her.

It started summer-before-last when my sister Bonnie and a young friend of hers, Rose, spent three weeks in Ghana, teaching creative writing at the Heritage Academy. It was a life-changing experience for both. And for another, as it happens.

Upon returning home, Rose, who is presently a senior in high school, asked her parents if they might help Sarah, who had just finished eighth grade in Ghana, come to the United States for high school. Her parents agreed, and so a year of anticipation and preparation began.

A scant month ago Sarah arrived, alone, on an airplane for the first time in her life, from her village in very rural Ghana, at JFK airport. She's now living with Rose and her family, and Bonnie is her new grandmother (which I hope makes me her new aunt). She's attending a local parochial school and already doing very well. She's learning about the joys of marching band (her new family has three members as participants this year) and shoe stores and squirrels and all kinds of things unknown to Ghanaians. She's 15, finding out about homesickness, and has one of the best smiles I've ever seen. And she likes spaghetti and meatballs.

While the kids at my school were ga-ga with glee when the unseasonable huge, floppy snowflakes came tumbling down yesterday, none of them knew the joy that Sarah did. For it was the first snow of her entire life.


5 comments:

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

What a precious photo of this beautiful girl, what a heartwarming post! Thanks for sharing Sarah's story, Aunt Nancy!

Living on the Spit said...

Thank you so much for sharing Sarah's story. That is so wonderful! I love the snow and I was so jealous when I saw that you all got some and we of course got nothing, as usual.

I love visiting with you each day. You always make me smile.

Marlene

floribunda said...

that's beautiful, Nancy! does Sarah have a quilt for the cold near Philadelphia weather?

Tanya said...

What a lovely thing for your friends and family to do. This will change Sarah's life like none of us can imagine. Every day, every hour, every minute and second she is absorbing new things that will be with her forever. I know. My daughter went to the States at 15 too (and she knew the culture!) but her life was filled with wonder and homesickness and problems and life changing experiences. Every second that she has been there we consider a learning experience for her. It is exciting to think of what these young people will do with the knowlege of two cultures.

Gretchen said...

A story to make you smile :) Thanks!