The Packer Weekly: Luzha publishes work in a different country
Sitting in her house in Kosovo, senior Adelina Luzha would stare out of her window for hours waiting for anything to inspire her. Luckily, that inspiration came quickly.
At age 10, she began writing poetry, not even knowing if she was writing anything good. Gradually though, the words came to her more easily and before she knew it, she had written a book of poems.
“I think I was 10 when I wrote my first poem,” Luzha said. “(In) the summer I had nothing special to do other than help my mom, so I decided to do something fun, and I really enjoyed it.”
It was not an easy road after the book was written. Luzha quickly realized she had to find finances to support her dreams of becoming a published writer in her country.
“It was really hard. My family was poor at the time because my sister was in college, so I go to the government and I ask them (to help) and then to the school,” Luzha said. “The school wanted to help, but it was low on budgets, so I had to actually wait a year until I got the money to publish it.”
After she had the money to get her book “Tweeting on Petals” published, she said she was overcome with a joy she had never felt before. The only disappointing thing was that the book did not look as good as she thought it deserved because of her limited finances at the time. After her first book was written, a second one quickly followed, this one a combination of her poetry and stories.
“I was really happy,” Luzha said. “I couldn’t wait to go home and tell my mom, and (walking) that hour back to my house, the whole way I was just so happy.”
Soon after publishing her second book, Luzha moved to North Dakota without her family because they wanted her to have a better life and education. While Luzha enjoys the education she receives here, she said she misses her home land because she is not as inspired to write here.
“Back home all day I could write something,” Luzha said. “I would just look out of my window and anything could inspire (me); my country was really beautiful. Not as many things inspire me here because it is not so beautiful.”
Luzha said she writes because it helps her deal with anything going on in her life. Her family in America helps to support her in any way they can.
“It’s been a real joy to have Adelina in our life,” family member Festim Luzha said. “We all have read her books and most of our friends have copies.”
Luzha uses writing as a means of escape. When she came to a new country, she was nervous with the new language and how to express herself. With the help of ELL teacher Dakota Breen, she quickly mastered the language and, by the end of her first year was already reading and writing.
“Most students don’t make as much gain in their language skills in so little time,” Breen said. “Based on her end-of-the-year language skills test, Adelina was deemed ready to exit the ELL program and enter mainstream classes”
It is through her family’s and school’s support that Luzha is now beginning something she never dreamed she would be doing, writing a book about her life experiences.
“I never thought to write that before, but when I came here, I saw all the differences from where I am from and here and how my life has changed,” Luzha said. “I don’t want to move back (to Kosovo), not yet. Maybe one day I would if I can get a better job here and have the money to go back, but not right now.”
In order to get the money to go back to her home country, Adelina said she has to get a proper education that will benefit and challenge her. Her family here in America plans on supporting her through it all.
“We encourage her to follow her passion and her dreams,” Festim said. “Whatever she needs, we are here to support her in any way possible. We encourage Adelina to continue her education into college.”
Luzha’s family are not the only ones pushing her to continue her education in the hopes of later publishing more books. Breen also pushes her to reach her goals, and Luzha feels like she is ready for the next step.
“College will be challenging, but I am positive that Adelina can handle it,” Breen said. “She is a hard worker, and I can tell she is driven by some personal goals. Not knowing English as her first language and having to read college-level texts will probably be a big source of frustration for her, but she has come a long way since moving here, and I only see her getting better with her English skills as she moves into college.”
(The Packer Weekly is an ongoing column authored by journalism students at West Fargo High School with the intent of providing awareness about and insight into a variety of school-related topics and activities. For additional information, visit westfargopacker.org.)