Fifteen years old, standing six feet and nine inches tall, Schnider Herard stepped off his airplane and onto American ground for the first time. The Haitian teenager was wearing dress pants, an old jacket and older shoes. At the luggage pickup in the Dallas airport, he waited for a suitcase holding all the belongings he had left to his name: an extra pair of socks and underwear.
Moments after retrieving the suitcase, two men approached him.
“Schnider?” one of them asked.
Herard nodded his head. He didn’t speak English, but the nervous nod was a sufficient reply. Yes, he was Schnider.
He followed the two men to their car as they tried to talk to him, each attempt as fruitless as the last. Once on the road, they used an iPhone to try some translations, first in French, then in Creole. Again, despite their best efforts, communication seemed impossible. Not…
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