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Natasha at 21

Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Published in: Education      

Transcripts - Natasha at 21

  • 1. 1 . , , illlíuülllllílílílllfd I Natasha at21 ifihandcned by atafire: : Fafizirer' unknown_ , .. ». ii"3'i : ean [hanica y x. ' iwonder* til life in: i ” í Engtanoíf , The last time she was in this narrow cellar, Natasha , Nicholson was a frightened child of nine, sheltering ' i» _i t i from the Serbian bombing of Sarajevo. It was dark " and damp. Candles were lit to relieve the gloom. - " 5 5 'Iwas scared, ” she recalls. “There was the constant , z- sound of babies crying in their cots. When the ` shelling started, you just went down in your nightie and sometimes you would be in the pitch dark for hours. ” 10 Today, in a basement far smaller than she remembers, there is a pleasant fug of drying laundry and Natasha, now aged 21, is being swallowed up in the pillowy embrace of Fazila, the white-overalled laundress. Fazila worked in the orphanage kitchen at 15 the time Natasha was spírited away to England from war-torn Sarajevo twelve years ago. Natasha is j ust back home in Surrey after spending five weeks on a personal odyssey to the place of her birth, her first return visit to Sarajevo. Every day, 20 she worked with children at the orphanage where she was abandoned by her mother at the age of five months. “This is like travelling back in time, ” she said as she saw the orphanage for the first time since the 25 Chaotic day of her flight. “So much is exactly as I remember it. This cellar, and the playground bring 50 back images of war and blood. I remember shrapnel falling in the play area. One friend was shot through the shoulder and two children were hit in the leg. ” Natasha`s rapport with the orphanage children, many with special needs, was remarkable. Everyone z 4-7 72:( : -r . a. . /" 'l . expected her suddenly to remember Bosnian, but she never managed more than two or three words and wonders how she ever spoke it. She was struck by the warm 'playgroup' atmosphere of B jeleve orphanage compared with its austerity when she was a child. “Then it was a cold place and we were left to our own devices. ” Through contacting a Sarajevan lawyer who had helped her father with the adoption process, Natasha discovered that her mother - formerly a factory cook and now apparently a cleaning lady - had tried to contact her only eighteen months ago. “It was a shock to find out she had been making inquiries. She would want me to help her. She would want money. I knew her intentions were all wrong. l was afraid of what might come up. She might one day decide to turn up and I don't think I could cope. Deep down, I would really like to have met her, ” she says, “but realistically I have to admit I was not ready for it. “l am very lucky and privileged to have been given a second chance. And sometimes, after Fve been grumpy, I'll say to my dad, “Look, what you did for me was absolutely fantastic. ” 35 40 45 30 2 Discussthesequestions. a) What are some ofthe differences between then and now in the orphanage? b) Did she meet her mother? Why orwhy not? Imagine thatyou are Natasha. The warwas over long ago. You have grown up in England with your new family and you are now 21 years old. You have decided to return to Sarajevo forthe first time since you left, all those years ago. What d0 you hope to see, do or find there? D0 you think it will be the same or completely different from your memories? Willyou go to the orphanage? Will you try to trace yourfamíly? Do you think going back will make you regret having been taken away from Sarajevo as a child? 3 Find these adjectives in the text. What do they describe? Whatdo they mean? chaotic warm pitch personal special straightforward Advanced Second edition © Macmillan Publishers Limited 2013