Leaving Tonga Behind

“After miles of walking and restless nights, we finally came to a stop.”

Tonga’s Sila. Photo by Tau’olunga

This is the story of how my dad and my mom had to leave their home. Tonga, a place where there is peace and hardly any violence. People would wake up to the sound of singing birds and a beautiful view of the beach and the sun shining over the grass and trees. Life was hard in Tonga because my dad had to farm and cut grass for the neighbors, and he also had to walk every day to school because there was no bus.

One day him and my mother got into a big argument with my dad’s cousin. After that day it was my dad’s birthday and he had turned 22. So him and my mom decided to make a plan to leave from Tonga to New Zealand. My dad had leftover money that he saved up from cutting the grass and some from his parents. They used the money to go on a ship after the ship they had to walk miles to get to the airport and they took the airplane to New Zealand. In New Zealand it was hard getting a job and a house. So my parents moved in with my cousins and lived with them for a while.

My parents and family are doing good right now because we got a house and my mom is a caretaker and my dad does concrete. After we moved into the new house i asked my dad if he ever regret coming to America and he said “no” because out here they have lot of healing supplies to help if one of our family members get sick. Dad said that “sometimes he enjoyed it out there and sometimes he didn’t because it was hard in Tonga and they really didn’t have good medicine to help with the sickness.”

At first my father was planning on moving out to New Zealand and staying there but things happened and he moved to America. When my dad first got to America he tried out a hamburger because out there in Tonga they never had a hamburger, and he also tried out pizza and many more delicious food. I asked my dad if “he ever liked out here” and he said that “he liked it out here because out here they have a lot of stuff that Tonga never really had.”

Now the year is 2018, and my family is living in a nice small house in Seatac. My family now sets its future on me and my siblings to graduate high school and find a good future. I am a proud son who understands his family’s past and will graduate high school for a better future.

This story was written by Brian Vaka, a student in Seatac, Washington.

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