Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 1/7/2010 (3694 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
FOR Enderasu Teweldebrahn, photography is the light at the end of a long, dark tunnel.
"My husband, Tesfalidet, is one of the 20,000 Eritreans that died during the border war with Ethiopia in 1999," she said in Tigrinya through a translator. Eritreans have a long history of struggle for freedom in Africa, she said. "Many women and men raise their children alone like me. Tesfalidet always gave me strength and courage... The strength and love that he gave me, it leads me till today."
The social and psychological impact was hard on the woman, who was pregnant at the time and had to flee with a son, seven, and a daughter, three.
"It went dark. I felt like every day was dark."
They took refuge in Nairobi for several years before coming to Winnipeg, thanks to the "generous hospitality of the Canadian government."
When they arrived, the 37-year-old single mom was working shifts for a cleaning company while her kids were going to school and learning English. One day she realized her youngest, Simon, had lost his mother tongue, Tigrinya. "He can't speak my language," she recalled. "He'd cry and I didn't know what he wanted and he didn't understand me."
She entered a full-time English program, is considering nurse's training and getting more confident through the photography program.
The photography project has used art to help her make the transition and she said she's grateful to the City of Winnipeg, her teacher, Sarah Crawley, and the Eritrean community. "I did not learn only to take and develop pictures but also to ease my spirit..." she said.
-- Carol Sanders
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