I will begin with quoting my long distance mommy Andrea Klouman Coppola. She said, "Sobia, You are allowed to feel sorrow, as we all do, that young lives were taken for no other reason than hate. It is senseless. …But do not feel regret that you are here ‘having ice cream”, because your mission is honorable. You are here learning about the US culture and bringing your world into ours. You have opened my eyes to a nation, (I regretfully say) that all I ever heard about was through the voices of the media. You have brought humanity into my house and I truly appreciate. You deserve all the “ice cream” that you can eat."
America is where I am right now. Till the very last minute before we set out for America, I was devicing ways of dropping myself out of the trip. I was worried about my people and I didnt feel like leaving even for a single moment. I guess you just cant over rule destiny sometimes. When I came to America, and that too, the North VT, I saw the North of Pakistan all around me. When I met the people, they embraced me with open arms and open hearts. Often I would ask Bob Miller, one of the great Rotarians who was driving us around, if it was only because of Rotary that people were good to me or was it that the people here are so loving and caring. He would say, the people are so loving.
There were moments and there were people who touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes; the happy tears. I felt loved and cared for. The first person who touched my heart was Bob Miller, then Andrea (my long distance mother) and Elynzia (my little sister), Cindy who has a special bond with Peshawar, my homeland, Trixee (Cindy's dog) who has touched my heart in ways that was magical, David Junior who would hold an umbrella in the rain for me as I offered my prayers, a young boy at Zack's place, who offered to hold my back pack while we were walking to the library, and only yesterday Donna who too made a special place in my heart for her.