Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Words for Wednesday - April 10th, 2019

Mimi is hosting this month's Words for Wednesday. You can visit her here and join in the fun. Or just read what others are doing. I found this week a challenge but I reflected on a book I'm reading at the moment called "The Boat People" - a very moving story about refugees coming to Canada and I thought, oh those words would fit that experience, so here we are.




Words for this week are:

gaze*
dogs*
brave*
decisive*
wrench*
tempt*

and/or

bad*
shake*
scribble*
flower*
afternoon*
camp*


The detention camp was rough, but no rougher than the rickety boat they had sailed on or the filthy holding pen from their last port. Built for 200, holding 500 in cargo and on deck. A shaking, rumbling, diesel-soaked voyage from Sri Lanka, Her broken English picked up a few words from the immigration officers, brave, bad weather, miracle, satellite. They'd been fed and showered and given fresh clothes and were now awaiting processing after their documents had been turned over.

She'd been allowed to keep her pencil and sketch pad. And she gazed about her now in the afternoon light pouring in from the high windows, tempted to sketch those around her, her fellow refugees, the officers, the welcoming Canadians she'd seen outside the fence with flowers and banners when they came off the boat, tattered, broken, starving, dirty; they, the very precious few, had survived the dogs of war.

No, she was freshly decisive, no drawing, I need to scribble as fast as I can before these memories are wrenched from me, I must write, write. I must think of my brothers, my parents. Did they survive? Did they suffer? Her throat filled, her eyes closed.

"Miss?" the voice was in her own language. A young woman stood in front of her reaching down to touch her shoulder gently. "I'm your emigration lawyer sponsored by the Canadian Refugee Service. Come with me please for your first interview. Welcome to Canada!"

20 comments:

  1. This is so uplifting and hopeful, thanks for sharing!

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  2. Oh, what a day that must be, to finally find shelter after fleeing hardship and war.

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  3. We can't even imagine. And leaving so much death and destruction behind.

    XO
    WWW

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  4. So few who board those boats have a happy ending. Bittersweet story, she is one of the lucky ones but she has lost so much!

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    1. I know Annie. I worked with a Vietnamese "Boat person" in Toronto, it took her years to sort everything out. She'd been held in a dreadful camp in Singapore where her mother died. Hong was 12 when her dad took her and her 2 sisters on a floating hell of a boat but they made it. And so many unheralded heroes covered expenses for them.
      I met hers, he was a millionaire who did all this work anonymously and hired Vietnamese in his company along with language instructors. You'd never have suspected he was that kind of person by his demeanour. I'm sure there are many out there like him. Gives me faith in the human race.

      XO
      WWW

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  5. Hope there new life works out.
    Coffee is on

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  6. I hope her notes survive and eventually some or all of her family can be found. I wish I had been old enough to remember some part of my time in an immigration camp.

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    1. Oh my goodness River! I had no idea. I too was an immigrant, processed through Halifax but the pre-approval had been done in Dublin so no hassles of any kind just welcome.

      XO
      WWW

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  7. How I wish my country was as welcoming to 'boat people'. Your story fills me (again) with shame.

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    1. So many refugees in the world EC, it is truly horrendous, war torn, no water, starvation, danger. Canada is not a perfect country by any means but kinder to refugees I believe.

      XO
      WWW

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  8. Oh, It brought tears to my eyes. It sounds so like what I have heard from the "boat people". So well written.

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    1. We truly can't imagine what it's like living for weeks in a glorified tin can with a bucket for waste and no washing facilities and minimum food. Traumatizing.

      XO
      WWW

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  9. That sounds like an interesting book! Glad I stopped by.

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    1. It is brilliantly done, MoW, showing the lawyer's lives, the adjudicators lives and the immigrants' lives as well. I love how she knits it all together.

      XO
      WWW

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  10. Wow, "welcome to Canada." Those words must have been very sweet to hear.

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    1. It was said to me when I arrived to Canada first. And the sweetest words are always when I come back to Newfoundland from being away and customs simply say: "welcome home" and I start to cry.

      XO
      WWW

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  11. Oh - great ending, WWW! Awakening from her real life nightmare to warmth, light and humanity!

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    1. So very very difficult for those who suffer so much in their destroyed countries. Can't even imagine losing everything familiar, family, landscapes, dwellings, schools. Nowhere to visit and reminisce.

      XO
      WWW

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Comments are welcome.

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