Sunday, April 19, 2009

Djenane Saint Juste from Haiti, "My Friend, Mr. 'J'"

The word "friend" means a lot of things to me. Unfortunately, some people use this word for everyone, for whatever reason. Having a friendship with someone is a big responsibility you have to deal with, because you have to be available for your friend in different kinds of situations. Mr. “J” is my friend, and I can provide several reasons to prove that there is friendship between the two of us.

First, some people think a good friendship needs several years together to build some habits. But in my point of view, it is not really necessary to spend a lot of time with someone to discover what kind of personality this person has. For example, I met Mr. “J” in December 2008 at a dinner with another friend of mine. The first time we talked, he was a little bit shy, and I acted like a silly girl with him. After few conversations with him, I saw that all the shyness I had imagined before disappeared, and nobody could stop him from talking. Moreover he has an amazing imagination and creativity, and you never feel bored talking with him. From December until now, I discovered that Mr. “J” had the most beautiful personality I ever saw. He is extremely intelligent, respectful, a good speaker, but also good listener. He is always here when I need him, and he likes to make fun of me and make me laugh a lot. He has a perceptive sense for good art, and we both have the same interest in this area. He doesn’t like to dance or go to parties, and sometimes he just disappears like a ghost to think about poetry.

Even though during his ghost time he can pass weeks without talking with me, I can feel his love and friendship around me. We are like magnets acting together. In a few months, we built a strong friendship together. Lots of people that I've known for years never impacted me the same way. So I can affirm MR”J” is my friend.

The meaning of friend for the majority is being together and having fun: going to parties, drinking, or shopping. But when you are sad, mad, in difficulties, or having troubles, those friends are never available for you. Hopefully in my friendship with Mr. “J” our relationship is totally different. I applied for a scholarship to the University of Riverside, and one of the requirements they asked me for is to pass the TOEFL test with a score of at least 80 points. I had only one month to take the test and my English was horrible at this moment. I was afraid of not being able to prepare myself on time and afraid that I would fail the test. As if by magic, my friend Mr. “J” proposed to help me without any benefit. He started coming several evenings after work to help me study. Sometimes he was tired, angry or without money to put gas in his car, but he always came to support me. He motivates me and encourages me in my studies. He makes my learning process come easily and with humor. He makes me feel that I can win this fight against the test and obtain a good score. Sometimes we have to study until 2:00 am in the morning and after that he has to drive more than 45 minutes to go to his house, but he never seems upset about that. The day before the test he brought me to the station where I was to catch the train to Fresno, He hugged me and told me: “You're gone a make it like a "Soldadita" (little soldier)”. And I made it. Four weeks later, I received my TOEFL score: 81 points.

Mr. “J” is my friend, not only because we built in a few months a stronger relationship based in respect, communication and the same interest in art, but also because he is the only person I could ask for help when I needed it and whatever trouble I have to deal with I know he always going to be here to listen to me and support me. I’m happy to have him as a friend, and I will try my best to contribute with love, patience and cooperation to make our friendship even better.

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