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My Experience in Sawa

Photo: Sawa Eri youth festival

My Experience in Sawa

In 6 days, my life was completely changed through various activities which promoted the spectacular wonders of Eritrea. All over the world, the people of Eritrea were once again united in a fashion which advertised the history of Eritrea. Traditional food was available for purchase and beds were set out to welcome the different people travelling abroad. I will try my best to fit in the substantial beauty that Sawa revealed to me in this article.

When I first arrived, everywhere I turned people were engaging themselves in conversations, strengthening the inseparable bond between our people. Although people travelled from foreign lands, everybody spoke the mother tongue language - Tigrinya. In celebration of the hard-working graduates, Eritreans from around the world gathered to congratulate them on their incredible effort; and thank them for their national-service.

The next day after my arrival, the hosts of the festival organized a 2 mile cross-country running race - something which I personally participated in. Due to this I can portray a detailed description on how it felt. Running long distance isn’t the easiest thing as I’m sure you can all imagine. It takes endurance, concentration and a positive mind-set. While I was running, I came to the realisation that this is what the Eritrean freedom fighters had to do as well as the Sawa graduates (running to an independent and free Eritrea). After reaching that conclusion, I was motivated with a sensational feeling inside of me. Starting near the middle of the group of people who were running, I made my way to the front. After obtaining my goal of reaching first, I felt relieved and glad; which I assume is what the Sawa graduates felt. But this wasn’t the end of the race, the hardest part was yet to come…

Reaching first place was the easy part in comparison to what was next. Now I had to maintain this position. This was like after the war. The Eritrean community had reached the goal of an independent nation but now we must maintain the high expectation which we as a society worked so hard to obtain. Just like the graduates who must maintain and keep the promise to return back to the military if God forbid the time comes. However, this part of the race was a tough battle in its one way. Second place was “tailing me” and in order to stay first I had to summon the power of perseverance. To continue on as first, I had to endure. Although I cannot compare the excruciating pain that the freedom fighters endured to what I felt, to compare myself to them at all, is the greatest compliment one can receive. So I kept on running and running. Until the finish line came in sight…

With a tough battle 2nd place and I were fighting for the winning position, I was first one minute, and the next I was second. Nevertheless, I never gave up. After the finish line approached I could see a gap had formed. Yet I still sprinted the last 100m. This was the end, so I should give it my all. Why stop trying now? So I ran as fast as I could. Running. Running. Running. Until I felt my stomach rip away the red ribbon creating an unforgettable moment of glee and joy. I had done it. Thinking back I remember my school headmaster’s words, Dr. Bevan: “Success is a choice”. I could not agree more with that phrase. And with that 2nd place crossed the finish line, we shook hands and I discovered he was born in Sweden. When we shook hands, that was the highlight of my day. Not coming first, but meeting new Eritrean people who I can gladly call my family. Because truly, that’s who we are, a big family.

So many unexplainable events occurred in the Sawa festival which I can’t really explain all of in such a small article. Nevertheless, I hope to meet whoever reads this today in Sawa has a discussion with me about their experience in Sawa. It is our duty to teach the world of our experiences. Why wait for the world to change us, when we can change the world.

Awet N’hafash

Aaron Samuel Tukue
Age= 13

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My Experience in Sawa Reviewed by Admin on 8:53 AM Rating: 5

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