Our first morning at sea
a mist rose over gentle waters.
We had made it through the night.
We were hungry, but we could keep going.
My friend caught a fish.
He divided it among the children
and gave some to my sister for her baby.
I saw her smile.
At the end of the first day
I thought we would be ok.
Our second day we saw lightning.
We turned away fast
but the waves came after us.
My wife held the children
and everyone hung on.
As long as I could, I hugged my sister.

The wind tore my nephew from his father’s arms
and swept my sister into the sea.
My mother grabbed the baby.
I dove in after my sister.
…dark hair in dark water.
I reached for it, but the hair slipped from my fingers.
All night I kept diving for my sister’s hair.
I kept diving for her all night.
Our third day at sea
16 went to the dock.
On day 3, 13 kept going.
On the fourth day we saw land.
People came towards us from the shore.
We were afraid they would force us back to sea
but they were kind.
I wanted to scream across the sea
to everyone who died there.
Then a big white Land Cruiser came for us
and in the distance, we began to see…
We were strangers in a strange land
and we had to start our lives over.


This concludes the first half of the book.