Saturday, October 31, 2009

' Don't look back, go ahead...'

" We are going to Australia." Dad entered their tent early morning.

" What are you talking about?" Grandmum stood up with difficulty from the ground.

" Come on kids, we are going to fly to the sun." He had shaken them to wake up.

Saranda sat up shivering from the icy air coming in from th ethousands of hole in their plastic tent. She had already forgotten what the warm sunlight felt like.

" I'll stay. My life, my dear husband and your sisters are all still here.." Grandmum whispered.

" You will die here, Mum." Dad started to talk but she stopped him resolutely.

" You know that I'm too old to go, besides I have to wait here for your sisters
to come," She waas helping Dardon to put his damp jumper on. "But YOU have to go,
you are lucky to escape this misery."

When Dad hesitated, she pushed him out of the tent: " For the sake of your children,

" Saranda, I have something for you," Grandmum took off her gold chain with a tiny golden sun and put it around Saranda's neck: " My Grandmamma gave it to me and
now it's yours, it brings you good luck on your journey."
She gently patted Saranda's long brown hair then quickly turned away to hide the tears in her eyes.

It was a cold frosty morning when they boarded the bus, still half asleep. Saranda
waved to her beloved Granny for as long as she could see her old figure, so fragile
until it finally disappeared in the crowd of thousands of cold, desperate refugees.

The same day they boarded a plane for the long flight to Australia. Saranda landed a seat near the window. As the jet soared up into the sky, she could see her beloved Kosovo, the piece of land, which they were forced to flee, their war-ravaged homeland. How small and wounded it looked. She had no desire to go back now, but...

" What about aunties, my cousins and my friends?" She quickly turned to the rest
of her family to see the same question in their eyes. " And our Grandmum, will we see her again?"

" We were lucky to escape the camp." Dad sat next to her, his eyes full of pain.

" Look, that muyst be our village." Mum sobbed.

Suddenly, a flight attendant touched Mum's injured arm, gently telling her something in English.

" What does she mean?" Mum turned to them from the front seat. Dardon scratched his head trying to remember the English phrases form school.

" Don't look back, go ahead, we are on the flight to sun." Saranda said triumphantly. " That is, what it is!"
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