The Girl from the Train


Once upon a time there lived a young girl in a small village in Bosnia. She had a beautiful and carefree life with her family. Her name was Angeliki. She had just started first grade at school and her best friend was her dog Ricky. Every day, he would wait for her, at the same spot, to come home from school and play with him.


Angeliki enjoyed playing with Ricky in the outdoors every day and she lived in a small house full of love and tranquility. It seemed that nothing could disturb their little paradise.


One day, when they least expected it, something tragic happened. War broke out! Everybody believed that it would be over quickly, but that was not true. The war was not ending, it was getting worse. Angeliki was very afraid.


Angelikis’ parents decided to leave the village. They packed their belongings into two suitcases, gave their animals, as well as Ricky, to their neighbors and they got onto the first train they could. Angeliki was very sad because she had lost everything she had, as well as her little Ricky. Ricky came to the train with a neighbor to say goodbye. It was their last farewell.


After a long journey of many hours they arrived in Belgrade. They started a new life there that was neither easy, nor beautiful. Angeliki’s mother went to the Red Cross to seek help for food and clothes. They were very helpful there. People from all over the world supported the Red Cross but the Greeks were really special. Greek families from all over Greece took in children from the war and kept them in their homes for six months.


Angeliki’s mother and father asked her if she wanted to go to Greece with the other children. Angeliki said that she did. So one day, she took her suitcase and got on the train for Greece with two thousand other children. All the children were a little frightened and sad to be leaving their families for six months. However, they were greeted with love, tranquility, beautiful days and warm hugs in Greece.


After many hours of traveling, Angeliki arrived in Greece, in Chania. Her new mother for the next six months was waiting for her there. Her name was Maria. She was wonderful, she had a magical smile and immediately embraced Angeliki. Her embrace pushed all her worries aside. She took her hand and lead her to her new home. She chatted with her all the way, even though Angeliki didn’t understand a single word.


They arrived home where Maria’s children Stephanos and Katerina, and her husband Yiannis were waiting for her. Everyone was happy! A new way of life started for the whole family. Everyone had to get used to each other, and Angeliki had to get used to a new way of life. Katerina and Angeliki became good friends immediately and loved each other. Stephanos was still young but full of love and understanding.


The days passed and the children went to school and Maria made sure that Angeliki had everything her own children had. She enrolled her in various activities, bought her new clothes and anything else she needed for school. The family had its own routine: Maria would put out the clothes for all the children in the morning and Yiannis would make them sandwiches for school. Angeliki enjoyed a normal life without fear and anxiety. Summer came and brought new joys. Angeliki went to the beach with Yiannis and the children and swam in the sea for the first time! Maria bought her a beautiful bathing suit. Her first bathing suit! You cannot imagine how happy Angeliki was!


As time went by they all loved each other more and more and became close with each other. Angeliki learned to speak Greek very quickly and started communicating with everyone better. They all became a true family. Angeliki missed her family in Serbia but she didn’t want to leave the one that she had just found. She was afraid that if she left she would never see them again. She had so many beautiful memories with them that helped her to forget her difficult days and she didn’t want to lose them forever. She had become part of their family and they had become hers.


Six months went by quickly. Angeliki had learned all about love, friendship, kindness, patience and help from her new family and she had matured a lot. As the time approached for her departure, Maria promised Angeliki that they would see each other again. That gave her some peace. Maria bought clothes, shoes, games, things for school, a bicycle, washing detergent and many, many other things for her brothers and sisters. Everything fit into three suitcases and four boxes.


The day they parted was a very difficult one for everyone. The whole family went with the girl to the port to say goodbye. Everyone was crying! The friendship and love that Angeliki had received and that would follow her for the rest of her life was priceless, but the hearts of the family were also full of love because they had helped a little girl in times of need.