As the plane lands on the runaway of the Mali airport, tension grew, no english speakers. July 16, 2014 summer my parents sent my older sister and I to Mali, a West African country. With no adults I was intimidated by every sand and move. Our uncle comes to pick us up at baggage claim. He speaks Bambara, Malis native language. I looked at my sister and she looked at me back , we communicated with gestures. So we got to the car and he drove us. I was skeptical the whole ride. It was night time , dark and I heard the crickets chirping. We get to the house and they started speaking bambara. I sort of understood but it wasn’t a language I was fluent in. A man comes out of a room and my other uncle Cal comes out and says “ Hi my name is Cal”. I was so happy as if I was about to cry of joy. He asked me if we understood the language and I said my sister understood it was better than me so I relied on her a lot. So we go to sleep , I wake up and my sister wasn’t there. So I jolted out of my bed and I look at my aunt with fear. I don’t know these people and they are speaking a foreign language. My uncle that speak english comes out and tells me my sister went to the store to get a sim card for our phones. That’s how I know not knowing a language is fearful, I’m hungry so I go downstairs. My grandma is cooking over the big pot , it was a big house with a lot of people. My grandma said “Doumene“ and I know what it meant , it meant food . and she knew I was hungry so she gave out the food. I ate the food so fast that everyone started laughing . An hour passed by and my sister came home. I was a little mad at her but I felt a little more safe. A week passed by and I started understanding and speaking bambara a little better. I was in Mali throughout half the summer and I was 85% good with the language. So we started our trip to the Ivory coast. I was given a fake student ID to get into there by a coach bus. My sister told me not to speak english because since we American they can rob us or worse.  So I didn’t speak the whole 3 days because I was scared, even though I spoke it and you can tell I wasn’t trying to sound fluent. We go to the airport and I asked my sister “ Do you think our mom was scared when she arrived in New York ? Because she didn’t speak Enligsh .” My sister said “ yeah she was at first ”. When I arrived to mali without knowing the language, there was a sense of fear I haven’t felt before. It was like your protective bubble popped and you dont know whats going on. So I believe American education is important to people who aren’t from here (America ) because I felt insecure for my time staying in Africa, it’s beneficial to learners. 

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