Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: CROWD (07/06/17)
By Lisa Enqvist
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As I got off the bus with Mother and my four older siblings, I could hardly take a step. There was too much noise and too much to see. I had to go with them; there was no time to stand and gape at everything around me. I caught a glimpse of three kids, about the size of my seven-year-old brother Emmanuel, walking among the crowd on tall stilts. Their heads almost seemed to touch the branches of the rain trees. One man had a monkey tied with a chain. Women dressed in red, green or blue saris added color to the scene. My ten-year-old brother John, and the twins, Samuel and Mary who were eight, did not seem so impressed by our surroundings, though everything around us was new.
Dad was still in China
We left Dad in Kunming, China eight weeks earlier, on December 5, 1949. The last days there were chaotic. I was only four and a half, so I did not understand what was happening. I only knew we had to leave everything behind, including our dog, Price, We could only take what each one of us could carry in our hands. I had to leave my toy iron as it was too heavy. Mother took her iron and her Singer Sewing machine. We flew to Hong Kong on the small mission airplane St. Paul. Only later I realized Dad would not join us in Hong Kong as he promised. The St. Paul could not return to Kunming. The Reds took the city.
Dad joins us in Ceylon
All my older siblings were excited about dad coming home after eleven months separation. I, the youngest, was not sure what I should feel.
When he distributed the simple gifts to each one of us, my plastic duck was cracked. It could not float. Father's call, his vision, and his mission caused damage in my relationship with him. There was too little space for any natural affinity.
Dad was home. I was shy. It was nearly a year since we had seen each other. I wanted to show him what I had learned in Kindergarten, but I could not find the words.
I watched him working. He had brought bales of canvas to our home and began sewing a large tent. He said,
"Do you remember the tent I had in China? I am making a new one just like that."
I nodded. I remembered the crowds coming to the tent dad had put up in some open field. I didn't like to be surrounded by many people. I tried to hide behind mom or sit in her lap. I thought if I don't look up at anyone no one will see me either.
Now I was a little older. I was already five and a half. Still, I was afraid of crowds that might come to dad's tent in our new country, Ceylon.
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