“Del Kon tee”

This essay answers how the hardships we endure are simply indicators of the journey that is ahead of us.

Del Kon tee. Everything takes time.Whispered and spoken to me in hundreds of instances, it took me seventeen years to comprehend the essence and purpose of this phrase. Surrounded by sounds that many children my age have only heard in war movies, I never envisioned what life had in store for me. I was born in an era that brought dismay to many Liberians, and spent all my life realizing that my experiences were some of life’s harshest – experiences that not only changed my life but the lives of all the people involved. The memories of my early childhood are gloomy and filled with anguish. However, it is an enigma to me that despite all the hardships I endured as a child in Liberia, the only thought of these experiences brings tears of joy and happiness to my eyes. I was born on January 4, 1990 in Monrovia, Liberia. Unfortunately, I was born at a time when no parent wanted to have a child, a time when people were killed for the tribe in which they belonged. This period I speak of is the first Liberian Civil War, which was fought between the different ethnic groups of Liberia. In May 1990, my mother was killed by the rebels in the war. Raising me was extremely difficult for my father. We lived in constant, unimaginable fear. My father and I, with other family members, lived in fear for years that the rebels would one day take us away. There was neither running water nor electricity. With the war still going on, surviving was an ordeal. Getting an education was impossible. Parents’ reluctance to send their children to school increased. Schools were destroyed by rebels. Due to this, I was home schooled my entire childhood in Liberia. As prices rapidly increased, obtaining food became difficult. At age eight, my father went in town in search of food. Before his departure, he gave me a hug unlike any he had ever given me. As he hugged me, he refused to let go and so did I. Suddenly, I began to cry because I feared he would never return home. Despite all the depressing events that went on, my father never lost hope. I admired my father a great deal because he retained his hope even during the worst possible situations. At times, he held my hands and said “Del Kon tee” and gradually, I began to understand what he really meant. The Liberian Civil War finally ended in 1997 and a few months later my father and I left Liberia. In 1998, he and I moved to Ghana; shortly thereafter, he heard about a program called the Liberian Refugee Resettlement Program. There we began a new life that promised to give true meaning to “Del Kon tee.”God worked in peculiar ways, it appeared. Everybody wanted to go to the U.S., “the land of opportunities” as they called it. Opportunity was just what my father wanted for me. Fortunately, the UN made that wish of his come through – we were part of the group that had been selected for resettlement. On February 2, 1999, he and I departed Ghana for New York City. I currently reside with my father in an apartment located in a peaceful and beautiful neighborhood. I attend a wonderful Catholic high school which is aiding my success in both academics and soccer. While in college, I hope to further my soccer talents and obtain the educational level I feel is essential to succeed. My life is not perfect right now, yet I believe I am living a fairy tale. I have so much right now that it is hard to accept its authenticity. Not long ago, this life of mine could not and did not exist in my imagination.It seems to me that after seventeen years of existence, I have now come to an understanding of what “Del Kon tee,” or “Everything Takes Time,” truly means. As a child, I was surrounded by endless negativity. For this reason, I often questioned life’s purpose for me. My experiences since then have conveyed to me the significance of hope, faith, and struggle. I now realize that my purpose in life is not only going to and finishing college but to travel deep beyond that. I sincerely believe that life’s purpose for me is to strive for opportunity which my father had wanted for me all these years. I learned from my father’s quote an enhanced knowledge that one has to accept both life’s joys and its woes. 

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