Benjamin from Sierra Leone

Ok, so there’s this guy at the hostel that is named Benjamin. He looks about my age, and I had spoken with him several times, but nothing into detail. So, when I got home from Sigrid and Paul’s last night, he was out in the meeting hall, and so I sat and talked with him for a bit. Turns out I’ve been talking to a refuge.

So, I asked him how long he was planning to stay in the Netherlands, and he said he wasn’t sure, but just wanted to rest. Of course, that prompted me to ask about his family or other travels. He said he had been in the Netherlands since almost 1998. I asked then if he was planning to go home at all to see his family. He told me he wasn’t sure where his family was because of the war. He hadn’t seen them since he was kidnapped by the rebels. So of course, him saying this so lightly took me by surprise, and I was completely shocked to find out about this poor boy’s life. He escaped from the rebels after being “trained” in their warfare for almost 2 years. So, he came to the Netherlands for refuge, and has been working at hostels cleaning in exchange for a place to sleep. Needless to say, even though staying in hostels isn’t always the most luxurious place to be, the people and the conversations made are well worth the inconveniences of a single room.

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