Blogpost – 15 June 2016 – Love

From Joakim and Sheyda

Hello everyone! Since the last post the participants have written short poems about their childhood memories. We were very pleased with the outcome and we thought it would be interesting to hear more about their experiences and how it influenced their writing.

First out is Yonatan.

How long have you been in the UK?

Five months.

How long have you been with PAN?

I was referred by my support worker. I’ve been coming to this group for about four weeks. I know another person who was already in the group so that helped.

What is your first memory of coming to PAN?

I was delighted. It was exciting because I was meeting more people from my country. I made new friends.

Why do you come to this group?

I like it. I have fun and meet new friends. People are so friendly here and I am enjoying playing games because it improves my English and my confidence.

Tell us one thing that you have learned at PAN.

Can I only say one thing? I really liked learning how to write a poem. I’ve also learned how to present in front of people. You have to think about how to present the game and you can look at the others how they are presenting and learn from that.

What game did you bring to the group?

I introduced a game called 21. I played this game in my country, mostly at birthday parties. Playing it here in London made me remember my time in Eritrea. I used to play it with friends. In our version it would be a boy and a girl playing it and the one that lost had to give the winner a kiss. If you were lucky it was the girl that you liked. I still remember it was exciting and sort of romantic.

When was the last time you played this game?

I was around 16 years old. It was not that long ago. I haven’t played it since I came to the UK.  I still remember the smell of the deodorant that one of the girls was using when she kissed me.

Do you like writing?

Yes, I like writing poems. When I was in my country I was writing quite often in my language, Tigrinya. I would write when something interesting came to my mind. It’s hard to translate from my language, Tigrinya, to English.  I can’t write so well in English but I’ve written some poems.

What do you like to write about?

I mostly write about love, like love stories. We have a lot political problems in our country so we need more love stories because of the difficult situation. I wrote a story about life in Eritrea under the British occupation but I left it in my country. I’ve e only been here a few months so I don’t have many experiences to write about here so I write more about memories from my country.

Do you get to do creative writing in your studies?

I’m doing my ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) and we only get to write formal things like letters of complaint and things like that. I prefer creative writing when I get to use my imagination. I love writing about the past, about experiences that people have had.

Thank you for sharing!


By: Joakim Daun and Sheyda O’Rang


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