Because Excerpt

A friend forwarded this National Geographic article, “Far From Home” by Cynthia Gorney because it contains a Because passage. I appreciated the Because excerpt and enjoyed the piece as a whole: the subject is relevant to where I live; Kuwait hosts guest workers whose experiences parallel those shown in the article.

As for the Because passage, each sentence answers the question why a person leaves home to earn money abroad.

In a city of foreign workers these are the stories that predominate: the reasons you’re here, the people you left behind. Frequently they turn out to be one and the same. My daughters, my husband, my parents, and my brother, who is still in the village and who I am now afraid is using drugs. Because I wanted that brother to go to high school. Because although we are eight men in a room meant for four and must soak our filthy work clothes in soapy buckets to remove the smell, the employer pays for my lodgings, leaving me more to send back. Because even though my employer does not pay for my lodgings, I can lower my rent by sharing not only a room but also a bunk, day-shift men and night-shift men taking turns lying down to sleep. Because my wife was pregnant and we were afraid for our baby’s future, and now, by the way, I keep my wife’s picture inside my suitcase, not on the bunkside wall, where the other men in my room might look at her while having private thoughts.

Each sentence tells a story.

I first saw the Because WP exercise in Room to Write by Bonni Goldberg. I’ve adapted the prompt in two ways. First: Start every sentence with Because. Fill a page or two, listing. Or, second: Answer a question (as the above excerpt does) using only sentences that start with Because.

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