My Country, My Culture: Congo, Gabon & USA


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Congo Africa

An LHS student recounts the journey of her family to escape the dangers of war.

By Fallone Ikary Nguimbi

I am from one of the biggest continents on earth: Africa. I was born in 1998 in a small village. In the year of 1999 my country, Congo, lived in a  dark, painful moment. I was only a 1 year-old baby when Congo was in pain and had bloody streets in the capital city Brazzaville. A civil war was raging.  I was living a life that no parents would let their children live, but I could n’ t do anything to help. After a long trip in the forests of Congo running away from the war, we finally arrived at one city in the country of Gabon. Coming to a new place, we were thanking the Lord that the people there spoke the same language as us, thanking the Lord that we would probably live a peaceful life. We entered Gabon with a lot of hopes for the future.

Congo Republic

An LHS family fled the civil war in Congo where they lived in Brazzaville, a city of 1.4 million inhabitants.

My father’s passion for cars saved us. He met a kind man.  This one kind man asked him to be his taxi man. It’s from that small job, that my father did, that we survived for years. It was n’t easy to live with three children and a wife with this kind of job in Gabon. My father spent so much money on me. My health and my school. I would get sick every week, and no weeks passed without me being sick. And somehow through the beliefs of my culture, I was already someone that was pronounced dead. To make matters worse, the city in which we  lived was n’t a secure one. They did n’t like us.  We were outsiders.  We didn’t belong there, and we were n’t suppose to be there. It wasn’t our country. My mother, who  according to my culture is actually the head of the family, did everything on her own to sign up for the refugee supporters. Only her great and strong faith brought her toward these people. My courageous mother actually waited for six years until we got accepted and qualified for the US voyage. I am here today because of her determination.  My parents are my Gods. They are my heroes. My dream will be completed the day I’ll make them completely proud of me.  That’s the day they’ll realize that when you help, you’ll also be blessed.  I am seventeen now.  And now I have so many things that I can do to give back.  I can help.  I want to be successful with my dream of being a writer just  like Martin Luther King, Jr’s dream ended up being a success. I trust and believe, and this will always be helpful on my journey in the United States.