Here in America, dreaming of home


Lincoln International High School • I remember my first day of school in America in 2005. I didn’t even know how to introduce myself to my new classmates in English. When I walked in the 9th grade class at Augsburg Fairview Academy for Health Careers in Minneapolis, there was a group of students who were introducing themselves. When it was my turn, they looked at me and waited for me to talk.

This blog features new Minnesotans. This story comes to us from ThreeSixty journalism project.

I felt like I was in a cage and couldn’t breathe. The teacher said: “What is your name?” But honestly I had no idea what he was saying. I asked a Somali girl sitting next to me what the teacher was asking, she told me to say my name. “Sadiyo,” I said. I was born in Somalia, but I grew up in Kenya. In Somalia, we had a government that gave rights to everyone. There was peace. My family lived in a small city near Mogadishu called Qoryooley. We had a farm that was two blocks away from our home. In the farm we had lots of different kinds of food such as corn and bananas. The farm provided us with food, but it also provided us with fun. I remember on Thursdays and Fridays – which are the days students don’t have class in Somalia – my older siblings would come home from college in Mogadishu for the break and go to the farm and camp there. They used to play any game that they wanted in the farm. I wish I could have those days in Somalia. Sometimes I cry because I have never seen my country at peace, but I always wish one day Somalia will have peace again, so I pray to Allah to bring my country back. To have peace in your homeland is like having anything that you want in the whole world. In 1991, Somalia entered a new phase. The government was no longer in Somalia; the peace was done. People hade guns everywhere and were killing each other. There was blood everywhere you looked. I asked many questions to my mother as I grew up about how she feels now and felt then when Somalia was the best country, because I was only two years old when the war began in Somalia. My mother sometimes cries when she remembers those days. My family moved to Kenya in 1993 to find a peaceful place to live. In Kenya, we lived in a refugee camp for a long time. We came to the United Sates in 2005. I personally had a tough time when I first came to the United States. Almost everything was hard for me – the language, weather and many other things. The language was the most difficult. I started going to school. I used the library to improve my language. I used beginning level books. It took me about a year to understand. I changed from the first school to Lincoln International High School, which is in downtown Minneapolis. Lincoln played a big part in improving my language. Coming to the United States was an opportunity to get anything I wanted. There are jobs, schools and many other things that I can do. My dream career is to be a journalist who writes things that are happening in our planet and to work with the United Nations. I think I can see that my dream starts now, and I’ll continue to work hard until I get them, God willing.