I loved the sound of rain as the drops hit against our roof, especially at night. I would fall slowly into sleep even though I knew the roof leaked, it was OK to me.

I loved how this shack brought everyone to our house to help when we wanted to rearrange it. It took days to build it up. Family gathered around, then we would get a chance to go play till day fell, it was OK with me, until the day of the storm.

I hid under the table while my father, mother, aunt and grandmother held the pillars of our home. Yes to me it was a home and I saw it about to fall on me.

I woke up in the morning and the hail storm broke two of our windows. I ran to the streets to borrow a hammer to put our house together again. A friend of mine laughed at me saying “Did you sleep outside? Because our house is still standing, I know your shack must have fallen.” But she was wrong, it was still standing; our shack was still standing and it was OK to me.

I knew in my heart on that day that I was strong. I might look weak or maybe bruised and hurt by chance but I am strong. I knew that day that little can be so much more when you are happy. The same shack that people laughed at, to me was a home, to me was joy, to me it was a fortress, to me it was a place where my family gathered. We would sing and chant, make praise noises as laughter surrounds us.

The day of the storm, I found a survivor in my soul.