The Shuvalava family was one of the 706,000 individuals in 2003 that migrated to America.
The Republic of Belarus is a country in Europe between Poland and Russian, and the Shuvalava family lived there before migrating to America. Their level of life wasn't so great due to the bad economy that kept most of the people poor in Belarus. When they got a chance to visit Belarus with the help of a relative that invited them, they quickly made the decision to come to America in search of a better life and hopefully stay and become citizens. Twelve years later ofter many hardships everyone in the Shuvalava family of 4 stayed in America and became citizens.
The Night Before
Your heart was pounding.
“Why aren't you sleeping tonight?”
You wrestled in your nervous cocoon
But still you focused on the fight.
We would fly in a metal bird
Away from feet of countryside snow,
Towards the city skyline of New York
Greeting the faces that you didn't know.
Tomorrow would be a journey like no other
From the fresh Belarusian bakery to New York City fries,
From the five-cent ice creams to the dollar snow cones,
From the sunflower fields to the dark allies.
"Papa, don't you like to travel?
Don't you like to fly?”
We would fly like the white stork across the planet
To a new nest not in the birch tree woods or in the sky.
The smogged air and busy streets called us.
They wanted us to try the new fruit,
The forbidden fruit that might make us suffer.
Everything was so different from our roots.
They said money grows on trees here,
Promised we would eat from fancy silverware,
But that was just something we heard
Searching like lost birds, slightly unaware.
Can white storks compare to the bald eagles?
Can they eat in the same nest without a fight?
“Papa, how foreign is the new land?
Will we be able to watch the same sky at night?”
The packed bags lay motionless.
Soon all the white birch trees would be out of sight.
I wondered how many tears would be shed...
“Papa, sorry to bother you, goodnight.”
By Veronika Shuvalava
Here is the Russian version of my poem, its the language of the Shuvalava family and their culture.>>>>>>>>>>
Ночь перед поездкой
Social Studdies Aspect
I made a scrap book for my Social Studies aspect about my families experience migrating to America (2003-2015).
For art I made an acrylic painting of birch trees, since they are a really common tree in Belarus. I remembered them the most out of all the nature in Belarus.