Vingettes of America


I’m 13, coming from France to get a job. Many of my friend left France for money
and a better opportunity for a nice and luxury life. I left with my dad to come here on a boat, a huge one with many people. I was scared at first because of all the adults that I’ve never seen before. Also, I’ve never been on the water this far out of the shore. The water under my feet makes me feel sick, with the bile inside bubbling up. I look into the distance and just see blue waves of water everywhere. I finally arrive at this mysterious place wondering what’s ahead of me. At the factory, we get to our rooms with many people packed in like sheep in a pen. Laying on the floor, wondering how I can get some food and how I will get some rest in this place. I wake up early, ready for the day ahead of me. I walk with all the other kids wondering what I’m going to do. I get to my station with many other kids next to me. The owners said that I have to do everything perfectly or something bad will happen to me.Toy after toy, I do my part by putting and sewing the eyes onto the teddy bear wondering about the money because that’s why I came. I told myself I need this money so I must do my best. I finally am settled but I think to myself now, is it to late.


Here in America is much different than Germany. I came here to support my family because I want to go to school. I used to go to school until I got kicked out for not paying. I loved it there because I had many friends and I love my classes. My favorite was writing because I could express and tell my stories without talking. I still do that now, but much less. I have to work in the factory. I have made a couple friends but it’s hard to make more. Were not allowed to talk while working and we only get around 30 minutes to eat and socialize. I write a lot during that time but then when that time is over we just go back to work. I was really excited to come to America to work and get money to go back to school but now I’m not so sure that I like it because how we get treated. I work in the factory with my brother and my parents work somewhere else. I don’t like that because I can only see my parents after work is done and that’s around 8pm. But when were done with work we go to our room and eat dinner. Dinner is my favourite time of the day because I get to be with my family and I can
also play with my brother. We like playing games and reading and writing. After that is bed time and usually were always tired by then so we go to bed. Repeat, repeat, repeat.


I just finished college and am wanting to go look at the textile mills. I’ve heard that the mills have very harsh conditions and the workers don’t like to work there but they have to for money. I’m going there on Monday to take some photos and videos. I’m just preparing because I know that the head masters don’t want me to take a camera but I am going to anyway. The day has come and I just got in. The door so small and when I’m in the room where they make the Cotton, the smell so dusty and the darkness like no other. The faces on all the women and men and even children were blank. They all had one job and they did them quite well. They did this everyday, nothing else. Then I went to take some pictures. I saw the most horrible things, so I needed to stop this, pictures could help me do this. There was one girl who was just sitting in the floor because of how tired she was and then the headmaster walked in and just started screaming. My ears cracked because of the sudden change in volume. I wondered what he was going to do to her after I left but I guess I’ll never know. I walk out of the factory in disbelief and my heart sank inside me. I said to myself, I’m never going back there, because that won’t be there tomorrow.


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