My first day in America - Episode 4: Jean-Pierre's story

Here's why Jean Pierre feels like every day is Christmas after arriving in the U.S.

His inspiring story

Brut. spends the day with Jean-Pierre as he walks us through what his first day in America was like.

My first day in America, it was a surprise. It was a miracle to find myself in this situation. I couldn't believe, I couldn't understand how this existed, because this is something I could not imagine in my mind. In my dream, I've never thought of this.”

He and his family spent 20 years in a refugee camp in Uganda

They came to the U.S. via a partnership with the United Nations Human Rights Campaign. “My first landing was in the New York City. So, this is the place I came in for my first time in November 2016. American people helped me, they demonstrated they taught me how to use a kitchen and more especially to use the microwave, the stove… The microwave was something which was —I don't know how to describe it, but — it was something which was very confusing where, you can put water, you can put food, you warm it up, you eat. We used three stoves, you put something on the ground, and you throw it. Just you put that pan, you put the firewood. But here just the fire comes you get it. Everything is simple now.”

Help from the volunteers

“So, the bread was something which interested me because where I'm from, to get bread, it was very difficult. One of the volunteers, she took us to the grocery stores. That was giant stores. So we could see a lot of stuff. Different types of foods, South American foods that were there. But it was for us new to see that kind of bread. And then, it was very expensive, you know. But here, to afford it was very easy for me. And I was surprised to see that.”

“Every day is Christmas here.”

“For us to get Christmas, it needs preparation, some months and months in preparation. Collecting some money to buy food, buy meat. But here it's different. But here in America, everything is simple. You don't need to struggle for that.”