Diversity Writing Contest Inside Story What Counts

When I was little, a boy from the Dominican Republic came and lived with us for a year. I was stunned when he ate all of his chicken and the bone too, when I only ate three bites. That was because he didn’t get that much food where he lived.

We had a Sesame Street record called “C is for Cookie” and that was what he always wanted to listen to. He also loved “La Bamba.” You should have seen how he danced!

Why he came was for surgery on his lip. (It was attached to the bottom of his nose.) And his hand. (He had an extra pinkie.)

At first I thought he was weird, just because he looked funny and was dark. But then I got to know him and play with him. I quickly picked up a few Spanish words that he used a lot like “casa,” “si,” and “agua” and of course his name. His name was Yanire (Ya-nar-e).

I remember another of his favorite things to do was ride my sister’s yellow banana-seat bicycle. I still remember my sister and I watching him ride down the alley with his knees sticking out and my brother running after him.

Yanire made me realize that color doesn’t matter, it’s how you act on the inside that matters.

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