Turning Point Memoir

Essay by starpremierCollege, UndergraduateA+, April 2004

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It was March 1999, when I went back to Albania for a visit. I was so excited and just couldn't wait to get there. After an eleven-hour flight, there I was meeting my relatives, my friends, even strangers. I had missed everything my city had, including its streets, its small buildings, its parks, its beach, its trees, etc. Right then I whispered, "It's going to be a wonderful vacation," but was it?

In Albania, I was staying over at my grandparents' house. It is nice, big, beautiful and right in the center of the city where you could hear and see everything that's going on. Two days after arriving I woke up early and decided to go outside and enjoy that beautiful sunshine. As soon as I opened the door I saw a lot of big trucks, a lot of women and kids, and also a few men, mostly old.

I was terrified and I wanted to believe that I was asleep so I shook my head, opened the door again but... there I was standing in my pajamas in front of all these people who were crying for help, screaming their husband's and son's names, praying out loud, and asking for food to feed their kids.

It was right at that moment when my grandfather walked in with some strangers and told me these people's story. It hit me so bad when he told me that the war had started in Kosovo. All these people were Kosovars, coming from Kosovo to survive. They were being sent to different places, different families so that they could be taken care of while Serbs were destroying their houses, burning their belongings and killing innocent people. The Albanians took good care of the Kosovars and really felt their unfortunate luck because after...