Newsletter Subscribe
Australian Catholics Subscribe

YJA 2016 Intermediate Honourable Mention: A Journey to Remember

Sarah Kelso |  17 August 2016

My grandpa is the most inspirational person in my life because he ran away and risked his life to get away from a communist Romania to get a better life for his family.  

He decided to run away because he knew that his family would not have the life he wanted for them in Romania. “We had very little money and we were living in a dictatorship, which means that the president or prime minister has complete control over a country by generally, and in this case using force,” He explained to me.

When he left Romania he risked his life and his family’s future all while having no contact at all with anyone in the family for two years. ‘It was hard missing two years of my three children’s lives because they had grown up for some of their valuable childhood with no father figure’, he told me, ‘I wanted them to have me as a great father all of their life and when I missed out on some of that I was very regretful'.

When he still lived in Romania he said it was very scary and he feared for his children’s lives. ‘We would hear gunshots and shouting in the streets all the time and at one point your mum was kidnapped for three hours by a stranger and locked in an empty building’, he recalled, ‘The streets were not well cared for and were dangerous for my children.’, ‘I didn’t want my family to grow up there’. He explained with tears in his eyes.

This is what he told me the journey was like. ‘I travelled for two weeks by foot. I had to avoid guards and soldiers who were on standby around the borders of the country ready to shoot anyone who tried to leave. I swam across the Danube river when I was travelling through Hungary which was very cold. I then lived in Munich in Germany for two years before it was safe enough to plan legal trips for my family to leave the country as well’.

‘After we had stayed in Germany for two months it became apparent that we had to move because we weren’t citizens and we couldn’t send our children to school. We caught a plane to Australia and stayed in a migrant’s hostel for two months. It was a very little place and we lived with hundreds of other people it was no place to raise a family’. He told me, ‘We then moved to Sydney and lived in a small apartment for two years and your uncles and mum went to school for the first time. We then moved to Brisbane and got a proper home for us to live in and I could then get a stable job and earn some money for my family’.

I definitely look up to my grandpa because he is the bravest, most heroic person I know. He went through a lot to get my mum and my uncles a better life and I wouldn’t be here if he didn’t risk his life for us.

 

 

Topic tags: heroesandrolemodels, refugees

Request permissions to reuse this article


Comments

Submitted feedback is moderated. Please read our comments policy. Email is requested for identification purposes only.

Word Count: 0 (please limit to 200)

Similar articles

Online exclusive: Teaching boys to respect girls

Peter Hosking SJ | 28 Aug 2016

Hopefully students and families around the country are discussing the media reports about the online behaviours of adolescents, especially those that disrespect girls.


The kujika from Yanyuwa

Dinelle Hettiarachchi | 18 Aug 2016

Malarndirri McCarthy is an award winning journalist who was elected to the senate in July this year. She was kind enough to take spend some time on the line with us during our internship week in May, and we had some questions for her about her career and her Indigenous heritage.


The land beyond the horizon

Superanse Nduwarugira | 18 Aug 2016

Jefry, a refugee from West Papua, made a dangerous crossing to Australia when he was just 16 years old. Now settled in Australia, he is studying a Masters in Engineering and volunteering at a Fitzroy mission house. He now shares his story in schools, to give an insight into the lives of refugees in Australia. Our young editors interviewed him during their week at Australian Catholics.

 


Online exclusive: The iron nun

Clare Deignan | 18 Aug 2016

Sister Madonna Buder never runs a race alone. She has competed in more than 360 triathlons, 45 Ironman competitions and more marathons than she can remember. The sister from the USA says she just does her best and lets God carry her the rest of the way.


Taking mercy to the streets

Caine Wilkins | 18 Aug 2016

Proclaim Lismore works to support young people as they navigate their way into adulthood, building relationships with their family, their peers and with God. This year, Proclaim is focusing its activities in the Year of Mercy, with events focused around the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.


Newsletter Subscribe
ACBC social justice