By Bailee Willson
Totio was the man with the sewing machine and the fat wife. Sofia was always fascinated of his talent to sew, she wished she could one day own a sewing machine and sew a beautiful white dress for her sister Maria. One day Totio ended up offering to teach her to sew, she didnt know how she would find fabric and thread, but ended up stealing one of Jose Maria's sheets. He taught her to sew and when she came back to the refugee camp he gave her his hut and his machine. He set up a future for her basically, a path that she could take that would take her somewhere better.
Fatima was the woman with a thousand birds, she once had a dream that she woke up with wings on her back so she could fly, but she figured that wouldn't happen so she surrounds herself with birds, the sounds of flapping and fluttering and rising towards the grey and blue skies. She was a strict teacher when it came to sewing, but Sofia was taught by the best really, she worked for Fatima for a long time and was taught the way of the sewing needle.
Jose Maria was a kind priest who taught at the local school in the refugee camp, he let Maria and Sofia into the class of many students, there a four people seated at each bench, the classroom is very different to a one in Australia, they had no blackboards or desks, pens or pencils, laptops, paper even school uniforms, they have to memorise everything they learn. Jose Maria also warned the people to not step off the footpath or they will be in serious danger. One day Sofia and Maria were walking along the path playing games with their eyes closed, Jose Maria didn't realise that someone was of the path until he heard a humungous bang and woman screaming that he knew someone had trudged off the path. Jose Maria has helped set up an education for Sofia even if the school isn't the same as a school somewhere else.
After Sofia's village was intruded by bandits and her father was killed, her sister, mother and younger brother fled from the village, they traveled far, for miles, across deserted areas where they met an old woman who also had fled from her own village, they camped for nights and kept traveling and for the first time Sofia saw the ocean. The old woman passed during the journey, but Sofia and her family made it to a refugee camp, Sofia and Maria heard about the school through a new friend, they were afraid of what their mama would say but ended up asking and Lydia agreed. So Sofia and Maria joined school, once on the way to the fields Sofia was walking along the path and met a man named Totio, he owned a sewing machine and she instantly fascinated by it, she wanted to learn how to sew she had to bring him a sheet and some thread. Another day Maria started to talk about the white dress that her father got her, how it was left behind at the village, Sofia felt sorry for her sister so she wanted to make her one, so she stole a sheet from Jose Maria and gave it to Totio to show her how to make a dress. She brought the dress to Maria and Maria wore it everywhere. One day Jose Maria gathered the people at the camp, to tell them about the land mines around the paths, he told the people that they had to walk on the dirt path and the dirt path only. One day Maria and Sofia were coming back from the school, Sofia decided to make up a game, to close her eyes and walk along the rocks, she took a step to far and then the monsters from the ground exploded. She lost her sister and both of her legs, she was in hospital for a long time, then went to a special home were she would be looked after while she worked with her new legs, she met Hortensia and for the first time in a long time she felt happy. She named her legs a while after Hortensia left, they were called Kukula and Xitsongo meaning short an long in her language. After a long time of waiting (months), Sofia finally got to go home, when she arrived Lydia had had her new baby, Sofia met the father soon after, he was a cruel man and scared Alfredo, he pushed Sofia off of her crutches. She felt bad to leave but she had to get away from this man, so she walked miles and miles and ended up at Dr. Raul's house, she was disappointed in her mother for being with a man like this. Dr. Raul let her stay for a while, then she left to go stay at the guards sisters house, Hermengarda. Hermengada asked Sofia what she wanted to do, and Sofia answered by saying she wanted to sew, so Hermengarda introduced Sofia to Fatima and Fatima showed Sofia the way of the needle. Lydia came and visited Sofia and she was over-joyed, not long after Totio visited with a proposition, to give Sofia his hut, sewing machine and shop. Sofia agreed eventually and moved back home where she finally got to start her new life.
An old woman who was also known to be a witch that used to live in Sofia's village, once told her about the secrets in the fire, she said "Every flame had a secret, if you sit at the right distance from the fire, you can look so deeply into the dancing flames that you can foresee what is going to happen in the future." She also told Sofia how memories are found in the fire to, by looking into the flames you could unlock any memory that you might have thought you had forgotten forever. Even though Sofia and Maria thought Muazena was a wise witch, Lydia was afraid of Muazena and just thought she was an old and crazy, not wise.
Sofia was faced with many emotions throughout her journey, when she first fled from her village she was angry and terrified at the bandits, grieving for her father, the dogs and the people who lost their lives in the attack, she didn't know what her future held. She was tired from the journey from the village to the refugee camp, and fascinated by the secrets in the fire, she was a rush of emotions when the explosion came up, she was on fire but felt like she was drowning in a deep dark ocean. She ended up holding a bright future with her own hut and sewing shop, she was elated by all these things.
The Physical journey was probably the worst for Sofia but she was determined to pull through it all, her journey from the village to the refugee camp was long and weary, she saw the ocean and the way and wished to see it again in her life. She went to the local school in the refugee camp and was warned about the landmines around the footpath, unfortunately on the way home from school one day the two girls were playing games with their eyes shut and Sofia stood on a landmine and both went to hospital, both girls were strong but Maria's were to severe for her to survive, Sofia held on but lost both of her legs, she had more troubles ahead in the future like her mothers new boyfriend, troubles with her legs, ect. She has been through so much yet she got through it all.