<< True survivors

By Shengul Bajrami, 15, University Hs
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"When you have cousins immigrating from Kosovo, there’s a million things to take care of. Here’s a sample of how I spent one day last summer.

7 a.m. Since it was summer, I was going to laze in bed. "Come on, come on, we have to be there by 8," my mother shouted from the other room. I stumbled to the bathroom. I pulled on my clothes and sat down to eat breakfast but my butt didn’t even touch the chair before my mom pulled me up, handed me some donuts and a cup of milk and we were off! We drove to Uncle Frank’s house to pick up Turkan, Jaman and Zejnep. First stop, a refugee center in Sherman Oaks. We waited two hours before we finally picked up their check.

10 a.m. We drove to a health center on Wilshire Blvd. It took two hours to get there because of a freeway accident, and we had to keep pulling over because Zejnep felt car sick. As we were waiting for their vaccinations and blood tests, whoops, Zejnep expelled her breakfast right there in the carpeted waiting room.

1 p.m. My mom had to take Jaman and Turkan somewhere else so I stayed with Zejnep. She got her shots and then we waited outside for 40 minutes. Then my mom took us to the Red Cross office on the other side of town. By that time my mom’s feet were killing her and she had taken off one shoe.

3 p.m. After we waited to see her, the Red Cross lady said she couldn’t help unless my cousin’s mother came in. My mom slapped the table. We all sighed with exasperation, and piled back in the car so my mom could pick up Azize.

4 p.m. Then my mom took me to the metro station to help Turkan and Jaman submit their bus pass applications. Meanwhile my mom drove Azize back to the Red Cross.

6 p.m. By the time mom came to get me and my cousins, it was getting dark and I needed to work on my summer project. Inside the burning, crammed car, I asked my mom to take me home, but she just squinted her eyes and let out this really ferocious "Grrrrr." I looked at her wide-eyed. She was ready to blow. I didn’t say another word until we reached my Uncle Frank’s house at about 6:30 p.m. I was exhausted. My legs were stiff and my thumb was twitching from the stress of the day."