This was the fourth time I was visiting this building in the last two years and one would have thought that by now, I would be used to the atmosphere this room in particular had. For me it was a daunting experience each time. Everyone in this room wanted the same thing, some were given others were denied I was denied three times already so I basically had no hope this time around. The only reason why I came was because Mummy Pat believed that this was my time. “EsiEsi-Tawanda… ” a low flat male voice called my name and I stood up and confidently walked toward the glass window that separated the man that called me and him.Order now
Welcome to the American Embassy” the man said with his really strong American accent, “May I please have all your paper work, Ma’am. ” As I handed him my documents I could literally feel everyone’s eyes on me. Watching the Embassy official go through my paper work was intense because I kept saying to myself quietly “If this VISA is denied again, am not going through this crying business again. I am not. ” The tall middle built Embassy Official then looked straight at me, gave me a knowing smile and said as if it were not real “Your VISA has beeen granted. Come back and pick up your Passport at 4pm tomorrow. ”
Carrying a big smile on my face, I walked out of the freezing building feeling as though I had just been baptized. I felt like the Sun was shining in a different way, I felt like the security guards were smiling a lot more than when I came inI simply couldn’t believe it! As I went through the last security check-point, my feelings overwhelmed me and memories of how my last three visits had been, all came to me. Tears strolled down my face and I didn’t want to wipe them. Outside the building, Patricia Littiya my Mother’s best friend whom I now called Mummy was waiting for me the whole time I was being interviewed.
From a distance she saw me walking out of the building and she drove in my direction not knowing whether I had got the VISA or not, upon setting my eyes on her I broke down and criedMummy now believing the worst had happened opened her car door stepped out gave me a hug and said “Osalilatizayambo yesa sochabe” (Don’t crywe’ll keep trying). I then looked at her and said “AwehBanipasa” (NoI’ve been granted), she then asked me to stop crying but I couldn’t because this to me meant the world, given all that I had been through until this point.
I left my Mother’s house on my 21st birthday in June 2011, I moved in with my Mother’s best friend Auntie Patricia with the agreement was that I would eventually move out after finding a job. Auntie Patricia treated me like her own child, never once did she treat me like her friend’s daughter, in fact people that didn’t really know much about us actually thought that she was my motherin her house she taught me how to be a positive person always, how to turn a negative situation into a positive. She taught me how to set and achieve goals in life and for that I will forever be grateful.
In January of 2012 Mummy Patricia received a letter of Appointment from the Zambian President, she had just been appointed as the Zambian Press Attache to the United States and we were all excited!! I remember clearly one Thursday evening she came back home from evening Mass and she handed us an envelope with the appointment letter and said “Girls we are going to America..! ” me and Auntie Patricia’s daughters had become so close people thought I was their blood sister So when it came to moving to the United States, it was only natural for her to take me with her family, unfortunately for me the U.
S Embassy couldn’t grant me a VISA reason being she was getting me as a dependent and under U. S law 22 is an adult. That was how I remained in Zambia while Mummy Pat, her daughters Mulenga and Nalyambai came to the US. It was a really sad time for me because I had told all my friends that I was leaving for America and then to top it all off I had to look for a place to stayI remember staying with friends, distant relatives and then finally aloneI had this fantasy that when I start staying alone I’ll have the best fun everSo for the first time I found myself staying alone in a boarding house full of men.
Oh my, I remember that houseit was a three bedroomed house the owner rented out all the bedrooms then she slept in the kitchen. We all used one toilet, and that of cause didn’t work out very well. I moved to another place, this one I liked quite a little bit it was a bachelor’s apartment. The only problem came when one morning I knocked off from work after working a shift from 4am to 9am and found my door and grill gate open, my little house had been swept out by petty thieves.
They broke the locks and forced my door open till they got everything they wanted Meanwhile Mummy Pat was doing all she could to make sure that I could join them in the US, puling all the strings she could until she finally found a away. I went for three interviews at the American Embassy and my VISA was denied three times, until that beautiful Monday morning in September. I remember waking up late that morning because in all my excitement I forgot to set an alarm..!
But I was still on time in any caseI was dressed in my favorite pair of blue jeans, a white top, a little pink jersey and my favorite pair of heels. Mummy Pat drove me to the Embassy and told me that she would wait outside for me. She told me to keep affirming to myself that I would in fact get it, and I did although I didn’t really believe it, but maybe I did without knowing. Today Mummy Pat has given me an American education, something that most of my friends back home can only dream of Her coming into my life was really a total turn around for me and I am grateful.