Saturday, February 20, 2010


     Next morning some strange men waited for Mum and Dad in the entrance hall. They had tired looks on their faces and held many forms.
Mum quickly ushered Dardon and Saranda outside to play with Victor. After they saw the men leaving in a
shiny car, Dad found them under their favourite Eucalyptus tree.

He hugged them all tightly and said: " My Mother always taught me that the most important thing is the peace
and security for ones' family."

    " Do you have some news from Albania about Grandmother?" Dardon asked eagerly.

Dad looked absent-mindedly at the golden sun around Saranda's neck. Then he picked up Victor from her lap saying: " She has found her peace, you can always remember her in the prayers she taught you."

     " Is she really dead?" Dardon asked. " And what about our cousins" I haven't found the beg shell for them yet."

Dad gently touched his head: " It's an opportunity for you to remember that our brief existence, here on earth is not of great importance."

Another few weeks past, the barracks were nearly empty except for few families waiting for  their Permanent Residency applications to be considered. Saranda felt lonelier than ever before. The English Classes stopped. Most of the staff left. Sometimes she helped Lisa to clean up empty rooms or helped in the canteen to make herself busy. Now she hated the empty lounge room and preferrred to push Victor outside in a pram. Suddenly a small bus appeared from the corner and stopped at the front. she rushed to the porch to meet little dark woman approaching her.

     " Saranda, nice to see you, do you remember me?" the Albanian lady asked in Australian English.

Saranda looked blank.

    " Saranda, this is the kind lady, she gave me a welcome teddy bear for you, do you remember, ou our first day?" Mum apeared behind her back talking Albanian.

    " Mrs Hysa from Western Australian Albanian Club, I come here to welcome you." The lady smiled at her.

     " I am sorry, Mrs Hysa," Saranda felt embarrassed, she could remember the people welcoming them on the airport, coming to their barracks occasionally to cheer them up, but she had hardly talked to anyone.

    " And if God helps us, I soon welcome you in my home," Mrs Hysa continued, when she suddenly turned back. A little dark girl was hiding behind her back: " This is my daughter, Joyce, she doesn't speak Albanian very well, but she understands."

    " Hi, I am Saranda, " Saranda knelt down holding Victor in her arm.

Joyce handed her a funny banana in pyjamas: " It's for Victor, I don't need it any more. His name is B2."

Saranda hugged her hard. She was a real Australian, speaking in English without thinking. She had nothing to do with the war and her old home.

How Saranda wished to be the same.


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