The Immigrant Experience: Martha

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Living in the United States: Then and Now

Martha, Class 4.5

My first day in this country, I was very excited. I came with my mom and we hadn’t seen my sister for many years. I was happy to see her again. When I first saw her, my heart started beating very fast because finally we could hug each other. After many kisses and hugs, she introduced her husband and baby daughter. She picked us up at the airport.

When we were going to her apartment, I noticed all the trees didn’t have any leaves. It was March. In my country, all the trees have leaves. She told me it was because we were still in winter. Then we came to her apartment. She invited us to eat in a restaurant. So we went to the most famous restaurant in the world—McDonald’s!

During that week, my sister’s friend told me that in her company they were hiring. She asked me if I wanted to go there. I said yes. She gave me the name and the address of the company. Of course, I wanted to get the job. I prepared everything for the next day.

So next day I took the name and the address of the company with me. I took the train. But I took the wrong train and I got lost. Like a new immigrant, I didn’t speak, read, or understand English. I felt very sad. Then I started to look for some coins in my pocket to call my sister and explain to her what had happened to me. So she explained how I could get back to her apartment.

Now I feel more comfortable because I speak, read, and understand English. Not like I wanted, but better than when I came. I don’t feel too frustrated when I make a mistake.

When I walk around, I feel sad because I remember many things I did with my mom. In my experience, when I have to go to a new place, I try to bring a map with me, or I look at it in the bus or subway station, or ask somebody.

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