May Be Awkward, but It Has to Be Said

Elayna Yussen
Elayna Yussen / The Immigrant Story

Belise Nishimwe was 5 years old when she arrived in the U.S. She was born in a Tanzanian refugee camp, the daughter of genocide survivors.

In 2007, her family moved to the United States as refugees. Their new home would be Portland, Oregon.

In her first moments in the United States, Belise noticed a man writing. She was captivated by the movement of the pen. This pen would become a metaphor for Belise’s life. She would go from struggling to learn English to becoming an award winning poet.

Many Roads to Here is a production of The Immigrant Story. This episode was produced by Jodelle Marx. Audio editing was done by Richard March, assisted by Jodelle Marx and Gregg Palmer. Our executive producer is Sankar Raman.

For more episodes, https://theimmigrantstory.org/category/episode/ or subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Many Roads to Here are expanding. We’re looking for radio producers, especially those from immigrant communities and communities of color, to join our team. We’re all-volunteer for now, but we’ve got dreams. Please email mrh@theimmigrantstory.org for more information.

For more stories, visit theimmigrantstory.org/manyroads, listen live at prp.fm, or stream us wherever you get your podcasts.

This episode is made possible by a generous contribution by Oregon Cultural Trust.