"… how happy I was with the little I had."
Home is where you grow up, and home for Loic is Paris. The child of Cameroon natives who emigrated to France, Loic is in the United States to earn a college degree, which he thinks will be very useful to him when he returns to his hometown of Paris. Colonized by France, Cameroon has many French speakers, like Loic’s parents, and they feel at home in regions where people speak French. They are infusing new life into Paris and other parts of France, ushering in a brave new world of chocolate-, ivory-, and golden-skinned French families. An eloquent writer in both French and English, Loic is a voice of this brave new world, and we look forward to future essays and stories about Paris, as seen through the eyes of this young Frenchman.
I Remember: Paris
Oh! How innocent and not worried we were, pulling all
those smiles across our faces until the day was over.
As a five-year-old kid who lived on the outskirts of Paris I remember my mom waking me up every morning at 6:00 A.M. and also the loud sound of the church bell just across our street, then the cold water she would bathe me with despite the freezing winters, ’cause we did not have enough money to pay for the hot water. After a cold bath, she would dress me up with a two-inch thick jacket, that is all she could afford, and she would give me some hot tea and bread to sustain me for the rest of the day. Then comes my dad, a hard-working man who would carry me and put me in his old truck, which he inherited from my grandpa, and he would drive me to school singing a song to me so I could forget all the sufferings we were going through, and he always told me, "United we stand as one big family,'' not knowing how happy I was with the little I had. As we arrived at school, he would give me a kiss on the cheek and let me run to meet my friends. School was almost my second home; we used to play soccer from one part of the school campus to another , destroying all the lawns and not worrying about how tomorrow will look like. Oh! How innocent and not worried we were, pulling all those smiles across our faces until the day was over. From a distance I would hear the sound of my dad's old truck, and would wave to my friends, then rush to the truck. Back at home we would have some hot soup for dinner and some rice, and all in joy, having our little meal and happy with it. Then it was time to get into our thin sheets to gain some warmth, which was a basic necessity during the cold winters. Days would go by, but our faith that things would become better could never be changed. Oh! oh! oh! OLD Paris.