My nails are pink right now. I don’t paint my nails pink. The last time my nails were this pink was way back in fifth grade-the only time I went with my Mom to get them done (she got her’s done every week back then despite claiming how she was so “poor” and couldn’t “afford anything”). I picked out dark purple nail polish, but the Asian woman shook her head at me when I presented it to her and said: “No, no. Not your color. Too dark. Pink your color.”
A little refugee girl did my nails. Her name is Azula. She’s six. I did her nails too in the same bright purple-red shade. J and I played tag with her and her little brother Issac, we threw paper planes, we played hot potato, and then their numbers were called so they went to the store to buy clothes. Everybody there had a certain number and only when it was called could they go to the store. I met a little boy named Axel who demanded that I make him 3 paper planes, there was a girl I met who’s name I forgot. She’s from Africa and she told me that she’s in seventh grade, she doesn’t like her school because there are a lot of fights there, her brother is in a gang, all kinds of things-I did her nails too. J and I played Guess with a little Hispanic boy, except we didn’t really know how to play so we just asked him: “Can you find Puddles?” “Can you find Bebop?”. His mom told us that he wanted to be an engineer and he proudly said as he poured pink glitter on his plane: “I’m really smart.” (He also taught me how to make paper planes, I haven’t done it in years). There was this dark boy who looked like he was about ten. I asked him if he wanted to make a paper plane. I don’t think he understood me. He just looked at me. So I held up plane and he made one in about a minute, showed it to me, flew it around, decorated it, then left it with me.
It was a bit overwhelming at the refugee center. It was crowded. There were tons of kids on bikes going up and down the mini hill, there were tons of parents sitting around on tables speaking Spanish or Swahili or whatever their native language was, the older boys were playing soccer and basketball, the little kids were either swinging on the swings or climbing up the monkey bars or playing with barbies or coloring, and some of the older teenage girls were texting or watching their siblings. J and I didn’t know what we werereally getting into at first. We just showed up, the white woman who ran the whole “house” showed us around. Her name is Sherry.
I’ve never really been in a situation where I’m one of only few white people. I felt a tad uncomfortable about it. Some people were sort of staring at me, and I sort of stared back.
I want to come back there. It’s chaos, but I have this intense need to know these people.
My Leukemia and Lymphoma Society campaign officially kicked off yesterday. So far we haven’t raised anything. I have a heart sinking feeling that we are only going to raise a small amount of money…. I’ve sent out an email blast, my team members haven’t really gotten many contacts in, and I can tell that I’m going to have to be the one to take over most of the campaign even though it’s supposed to be a “team” thing. Maybe the school events will pull through. I don’t know. I’m just worried we won’t raise a significant amount and I’m worried that we won’t win (I’ve accepted this though). I just want to do well. My Mom isn’t going to help me much….neither is my Dad…or my grandparents…or anybody really in my family…. I just want to do well. I want to raise a significant amount of money for cancer and help fund research.
It’s so hard to have to be focusing on this campaign that’s already starting off bad, SAT’s coming up, finals that have just passed, school, and life in general. College…..college….college….how the hell am I going to pay for that?
That’s another reason I’m stressed. I’m in this campaign to help, but I also really need the scholarship money, badly. I can already tell though we won’t pull through as winners. And I know it’s not about the money, it’s about the help. But still…I don’t have enough money for college. This wouldn’t hurt.
A lot of my friends are letting me down about it too. They were all: Oh I’ll totally help you with this campaign! I’ll send out emails and give you my contact list! I have 21 members on my “team” only 6 of them have done everything that was needed to be done. The rest just haven’t gotten back to us. It’s disappointing how much people don’t care about this.
Oh wait the Christian thing. Almost forgot. This elderly woman at the refugee center was teaching the Swahili kids about Jesus and stuff. She saw me looking at them and pulled me over there, asked me if I believe in God (Me: I don’t know. Her: We will make you believe). She had us read bible versus and say prayers and at the end of it all she told us that we were all Christians now then had Sherry go get me a bible and everybody was like Congratulations! because the old woman kept telling everybody I was a new convert to the religion. I’ll be honest. I’m not. I’ll read that Bible just to know, but I don’t think I’m religious. I sort of went along with it because I couldn’t get myself out of it. I keep thinking about what we said though:
“Jesus I accept you in my heart.”
I did say the words, I told the old woman I believed and told her I’d go to church with J. Maybe that was deceptive of me, because I don’t think I will and I don’t know if I am….I don’t know if God is out there or anything. I find it a little crazy how she kept telling us that he loves us and he knows us and he’s been waiting for “today” the day we “convert”. I could tell the African refugees felt stuck there too. But they went along with it too. That was the second time I’d prayed in my entire life, and it all happened today. Well I guess I’ve technically prayed before in my head when I’ve been like: God give me strength. God, why? Are you even there right now? Please God if I get an A on this test I’ll…..
I’m just confused.