Chocolates To Afghanistan

Finalist in the 'Dream Big 2013' competition

“Apparently they eat only chocolate, there’s enough for everyone!” I said to my parents just before I left Afghanistan. I’m twelve, unsure where my parents are now. They only had money for me to leave. I’m living in a hostel. When people discover I’m Afghan, they don’t like me. I’m an outsider. My name is Mitra.
At least I don’t have blistered or muddy feet any more. Now I can feel the padding of my six-month-old op-shop Nikes. First day at school. I hear birdsong along the footpath, glad it’s not bombing instead. Yet I still look longingly through the window of “Basserdorf Schokolade”. I almost taste the sweet chocolate sensation in my mouth. I walk on.
Entering the school, the sea that is playground noise hits me. I navigate the swell, into the building. I see a boy, about to be hit. I tap the bully. He swivels to face me. I stare stonily into his eyes. “Stop it. Now!” he says. I continue gazing. He glances at his friends and walks away, not looking back. The boy smiles thankfully. I say where I’m from, but he doesn’t understand. Realising I’m not Swiss, he points to himself and says "Wulf". I smile and do the same. I say “Afghanistan” after looking at my tourist shop German phrasebook . We spend quite a while in my phrasebook, happily deciphering pieces of conversation.
“We have a new student today” says the teacher, according to my phrasebook. “His name’s Mitra. Mitra is a refugee.” A boy asks; “Isn’t that a terrorist?!” I don’t know what ‘terrorist’ means, but I guess it isn’t good. I find out later the boy’s name is Hans. In Art, I draw my Nikes. “People’d pay for that!” exclaims Wulf, gesturing to the canvas. I look at him in disbelief. I think about chocolate.
After school I ask Wulf (with the help of the phrasebook) if he’ll come to sell the picture. He agrees. On the corner nearest the chocolate shop, a woman buys my picture! I get 20 francs. I ask if it’s enough for chocolates. Wulf smiles and nods. We race around the corner and open the door. I buy two Lindt chocolates. I bite. Bliss. I’ll send one to Afghanistan.
Sport ends. I take my Nikes and chocolate from my bag. Hans appears. Before I can do anything, he runs off with my chocolate. I yell at him. He jerks to a stop, turns like a sly fox and points to my Nikes. Desperate, I slip them off and hand them over, snatching my chocolate. As Hans saunters off, Wulf walks over. We are silent for a while. Wulf says, ”I’ve got an old pair you can have.” He gestures. I grin. We go to his house after school. Wulf carries out a pair of green Nikes. I smile, putting them on.
Posting chocolate to Afghanistan is expensive, but worth it.
The stamp has green Nikes on it.


25 was established in 1997, and since then we have successfully completed numerous short story and poetry competitions and publications.
We receive an overwhelming positive feedback each year from the teachers, parents and students who have involvement in these competitions and publications, and we will continue to strive to attain this level of excellence with each competition we hold.


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