The day was hot and sunny. I was lying in the front yard on my back when my mother called me inside to have something to eat.
“Come, my darling, and take a piece of a sandwich or two,” my mother gently called.
But, I was always a bit of an uncontrollable child – or might I say, a naughty child – when I was growing up. So I pretended that I didn’t hear her. As my mother is a clever mom, she just said: “Okay then. I think that you are going to have to go and buy bread. This time she didn’t say it so gently. This was punishment for not responding when I was called.
So, I quickly went inside. But, it was too little too late. The money was already in my mother’s hands. With a grin on her face, she said: “Better now than when you start to get hungry…”
I started to frown, saying, “Hayi, hayi, hayi, mama!” That is: “No, no, no, mama” in isiXhosa.
My mother’s wonderful grin turned to a frown – a big horrible frown! She spoke in the most horrible voice – I think she sounded like a lion roaring at its prey – letting me know clearly: “Amanda, don’t test or I will…”
Before she even finished her sentence, I ran out of the door, heading straight for the shop.
When I was crossing the road in a hurry, a car came out of the blue and knocked me out.
“Are you OK?” the driver asked with concern. I’m still not sure if those were his exact words because I was dizzy from the car hitting me like a bull tackling the matador in a bull fight.
By the time I realised what had happened, I had run so fast – like a horse in the Durban July – all the way home.
Until this day, I’ve never told my mother about this incident. How strange it is that all my mother noticed was that I was not hungry anymore.
She only said: “What, did you eat from this bread, little child?” I laughed, she laughed.
I will never forget this day.
FunDza is working to develop young South African writers and provide them with a platform to publish their work.
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A Journey I Will Never Forget
Posted by Yazmin Doroteo
I am a first generation Xicana pursuing double majors in Criminology & Justice Studies and Sociology with a concentration in Children, Youth, and Families at Cal State San Marcos. I remember being in your shoes not that long ago. It seemed stressful and frustrating because I was unsure of what schools to apply to. I was also unaware of what each college had to offer me. Even though it’s a long process, it is rewarding because you learn a lot about yourself.
The best advice I can give you is to apply to as many programs the school offers such as the Educational Opportunity Program, Student Support Services, College Assistance Migrant Program, ACE Scholars Services (support former foster youth), work study, and other amazing programs that will support you in your college journey. Every school offers different programs so make sure to contact the schools and ask.
In particular, I encourage first generation, low-income students to apply for the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). The program offers services including admission counseling, academic advising, peer mentoring, student success workshops, financial assistance and much more. The CSUSM deadline is February 15, 2016. I am an EOP student myself and I have the great honor to be working for them now. I am a peer mentor who works with first-generation college students, alongside friendly and kind-hearted staff who want the best for students.
Since I became part of the EOP program I have grown as an individual and have become a profound scholar. Helen Keller once said, “When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.” I strongly believe this since it applies to my journey. Make sure to always try your best, I know you can ALL DO IT.
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