S: My Journey to Freedom
BC: Beau Dubois
FC: My Journey to Freedom | The Journal of : Beau Dubois
1: January 26, 1922 Dear Journal, I couldn't believe what I had heard. My ma and pa was talking about leaving Europe! Are they crazy? I feel like crying and my heart is about to explode as if somebody is inflating it. What should I do? Its true that my pa and ma have an unsatisfying job, but still! I heard that we were leaving in two days! What about my friends? What about my relatives and my home home? What about...me? Of course its hard for my parents too, but I can't imagine leaving my hometown: Porec, Croatia. Me. An eight year old. Going on a huge ship full of other people that I don't even know ! I pretended to be excited when my parents called me over to tell me the big news. My parents and I decided to pack our bags the first thing in the morning. Sincerely, Beau Dubois
2: January 27, 1922 Dear Journal, Packing didn't take long because we were only allowed to take a small bag for each of us when sailing on the ship to Ellis Island. I packed many things that was special to me and things that I needed for the journey. I packed pictures of my family and friends, my sewing kit, extra clothes, a cloth bag filled with soil from my garden in front of my house, an extra pair of boots and sandals, a stuffed Alphine marmot doll my grandma made for me, and 10 euros I earned from working at a tailoring shop for 2 months. After packing, my parents told me to say goodbye to my friends and relatives one last time while they sort out their work.Walking down the brick road that I might not see or walk on it ever again. Then, I saw my friends. Jolan, Ceres, Kasha, Ann, and Beta was calling out my name as I just walked pass them. I couldn't explain everything I was going through because if I do, they'll miss me! I just wanted to fade away from their lives slowly so they would not notice anything. I tried to ignore them, but hearing them call out my name repeatedly made my heart sink. Kasha, my best friend, got worried so she ran over to me, sensing something was not right. As she grabbed my arm to keep me from walking away, my tears fell uncontrollably. I quickly wiped them so Kasha couldn't get any ideas of what might've happened. So I dashed off, tears still rolling off my cheeks and making a trail of tears as I ran. I hid behind a house and let all my tears out before I went to my grandparents. Suddenly, my grandma popped out of nowhere! But then I realized that I had been crying behind my grandparents house the whole time! My grandmother gave me a big hug told me that she had heard the big news. She said that I was going through a lot of things. She gave me 40 euros for the journey. She and grandpa had worked very hard to get this money and I couldn't believe that she was giving it to us! I thanked her and went back home to give the money to my parents. It was getting real dark. A day...in only a day...I would be on the train and the ship to Ellis Island . Sincerely, Beau Dubois
3: Some of my friends! | My whole family! | My journal to draw what I see | The letter I'm going to send to my family in Europe! | To Grampa | Porec, Croatia
4: January 28, 1922 Dear Journal, Today is the day I leave Porec, my hometown. My parents managed to get 50 euros from their work. We left our home early in the morning to get to the train stationso we can get to the harbor. I knew that the train would be crowded because lots and lots of people are going to America everyday. As I walked down the crowded road, I saw many families crying because they didn't have enough money to board the train. I felt their sadness and disappointment reaching my fragile heart. I gave them 3 euros and they thanked me many, many times. My parents patted my head with pride and boarded the train. When I stepped inside the train, a swoosh of dust and body odor filled my nose. I pinched my nose and my parents and I sat on the train seats. The seats were very uncomfortable, but it was manageable. My parents gave the tickets to a neatly dressed man with brown hair. Before the train got ready to go, I heard somebody call my name. I looked out the window. Kasha! She threw an object and I caught it. She said it was a lucky charm she got for me. She started to cry and so did I. When the train got moving, Kasha ran after it and yelled goodbye and stopped at the end to wave. She shouted good luck as she got smaller and smaller from my distance. Bye, I heard in the silence. I was worried that those words would be the last words that I'll hear from her ever again from Kasha. Sincerely, Beau Dubois
5: My train ticket! | The small bags we had to carry | Euros! | The train sign
6: January 29, 1922 Dear Journal, There I was, in the loud, boring, and crowded train. I was pretty much entertained for the most of the train ride to the harbor in France. I admired the lucky charm that Kasha gave me. It was a soft rabbit feet that was on a necklace. The feet was whitish tan and it was dangle on the necklace with some chains and a cross in the middle. All the admiration must've put me to sleep because I woke up the next day at noon! Anyway, we got off the train with our baggages and headed off to the boat we were taking to get to Ellis Island. The boat was HUGE! Still, not big enough for 10 thousand people. We gave our tickets and boarded the ship. Another miserable trip is sure to begin! Sincerely, Beau Dubois
7: Ship~ | Train ! | The ship we were boarding | Thousands of people going in the ship! | Our ship ticket
8: January 30, 1922 Dear Journal, When I entered the ship, it was like a circus. The ship was full of noises, other people, and disgusting odors. Our room was way down the ship. It was lined with many double decked beds and it didn't have much room. I always went up to the crowded deck to get some fresh air. My parent were worried that I will get sick because the air was frosty and cold. It was still better than being clogged up in a room thats really small! Since it was only noon, we went upstairs to buy our food. The food they served us was terrible! No wonder it was less than 1 euro! Except the milk was good! The whole journey varied from 2 to 3 weeks. I wanted to get out of this ship as fast as I could and this is only the first day! Sleeping was much worse. Well, trying to sleep. All I could hear was people itching their backs, snorting noises, ruffling of bed sheets, and deep breaths. The dusty and humid air was stinging my eyes. Sincerely, Beau Dubois
9: Lots and lots of people on the ship! | Our Luggage | Bunk Beds | To Grandpa Frank and Grandma Shalay | Porec, Croatia | The postcard to my grandparents!
10: February 2, 1922 Dear Journal, Everyday, I have the same schedule. First I wake up, eat bad food, hang out at the deck, take a nap on my uncomfortable bed, eat bad food, play around with other kids, nap, eat bad food, write in my journal, and sleep. I met 4 few other kids. Their names are Hyunwoo, Jeremiah, Lukas, and Lila. Hyunwoo is from Korea, Jeremiah is from Spain, Lukas is Poland, and Lila is from Peru. Lila and Lukas are cousins! We play together almost everyday except when somebody is sick. We always sit together, eat, and talk about our lives before boarding on this boat. Sincerely, Beau Dubois
11: South Korea -Hyunwoo | Spain - Jeremiah | Peru - Lila | Poland - Lukas | Croatia - Me!
12: February 2, 1922 Dear Journal, This morning, I was awaken by the sound of people cheering. I quickly got dressed and went up to the deck. The people were cheering Newfoundland. They were looking at Newfoundland! That means we got a couple more days left until we arrive on Ellis Island! I couldn't wait! After all the ruckus, Lukas, Hyunwoo, Lila, and Jeremiah was waiting for me at the table we were going to eat at. We were talking about what we were going to do when we were in America. My family was going to California, Hunwoo's family was going to Oklahoma, Jeremiah's family was going to Wyoming, and Lukas and Lila was going to Nevada since they are related. We were all really depressed upon hearing the news that we going in separate ways. Sincerely, Beau Dubois | - Hyunwoo - Lukas and Lila - Jeremiah -Me | Key
13: Friends Location Status
14: February 14, 1922 Dear Journal, Again, I was awaken by a big ruckus. The people's cheering and screaming was louder than when they saw Newfoundland. So, we must be really, really close to Ellis Island or we're ON Ellis Island. I got dressed and raced on to the deck. Suddenly, I felt dizzy and I felt myself hit the ground. It was way past noon by the time I woke up from my ma's voice. We had to pack our stuff so we can get off the ship. I was excited, but I still felt a little dizzy. I must've gotten sick from the cold air! When I met my friends, they looked sick, too! They had gotten sick from the cold air we played in! We pretended that we were fine so our parents wouldn't get worried. When we entered the main building of Ellis Island, there was a big staircase. It was hard for the people like us who had to carry our baggages while rich people and people with larger baggages could afford to leave their things in the Baggage Room. The doctors at the top stared at my friends and me. They could tell that we were having a hard time climbing the staircase so they put a weird chalk marks on each of us four. We didn't know what it meant so we just kept on. After climbing the stairs, we took a medical exam. Our parents were fine, but not the four of us.We had a minor cold. We begged and cried for us to stay with our family. I couldn't be without my parents! My ma and pa told me that they will meet me tomorrow at the Great Hall. So Hyunwoo, Lila, Jeremiah, Lukas, and I went to the island's hospital to get cured. The nurses gave us foul tasting liquids to drink and they made us sleep the whole day! But I knew that I'll be fine tomorrow and i will most certainly meet my parents at the Great Hall. Sincerely, Beau Dubois
15: When the immigrants saw the Statue of Liberty | Physical Inspection | When we got off the ship! Finally!
16: February 15, 1922 Dear Journal, This morning, I felt perfectly fine when I woke up. All of my friends were, too! We were free to go to the Great Hall! We ran and ran with our parents in our mind. When I saw my parents, I hugged then real tight! When we went for the legal inspection, men were separated from the women. So, my pa was in the men's side and my ma and I was in the women's side. The inspectors asked us simple questions like "What do you plan to do in your future in America" and such. I was very nervous because if we day something wrong, off we go back to Croatia. After we completed the legal inspection perfectly, we went to exchange our euros into U.S. dollars. A nice man with a navy colored uniform changed our 97 euros into 126.24 U.S. dollars. After that, we ran to the Kissing Post to meet pa again. When we saw him, we ran up to him and hugged him like we never hugged before. We were crying tears of joy and then pa wiped our tears and said "Don't worry. We're in America now". I met Jeremiah, Lukas, Hyunwoo, and Lila at the Kissing Post, too! We hugged each other and said our last goodbyes. We promised to send each other letters. We waved and ran off to step on the American soil. This was a new start for everyone. After all, this was only the beginning. Sincerely, Beau Dubois
17: To Lukas and Lila | To Jeremiah and Hyunwoo | My Diary | Beau Dubois | Going to the Island's hospital | The log of the people who signed in on Ellis Island | Ellis Island! | My first U.S. money! | The shoes I wore to Ellis Island | The place I saw my pa!