Inspiring Story of the Week
Many Lands, Many Life Lessons
by Rita Wiesen
I was born in Kyiv, which then was part of the Soviet Union, but now the capital
of Ukraine. Life under the Communist government was very difficult. There was
no freedom of speech or religion. Food was scarce, and I remember how many times
my mother and I stood online for several hours just to buy bread and milk.
The education system was one of the only positives in Russia, as the government provided free
dance, accordion, and piano lessons, and I enjoyed participating in them all.
Academics were advanced as well. By second grade I was studying subjects like
chemistry and foreign languages.
Rita, age 10
I was 11 years old when my parents and I moved to Poland. My mother was incredibly sad to leave her father, sister and niece as we were a closeknit family, but she wanted to give me a better life.
Then, when I was 15 years old, my father, mother and I came to the United States.
I was truly fortunate to come to the United States with my family and create a wonderful life
here. I was lucky to meet Debbie the first day of high school.
She had moved to the US a year before me and became my best friend. She not only helped me with homework, but helped me in another way that changed the course of my life.
Moving to different countries helped me in many ways and taught me to be grateful
for everything that I get: family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and for
this great country.
This story is now published in
Tales2Inspire ~ The Jade Collection