Translation by Community Member Pilar Albisu

It was the 90’s and my mother asked me why I was feeling feverish and bloated. I attributed my state to post-exam stress. In my third year [of high school], I had just completed the BEPC examination and at home we were all waiting, my parents, my brothers, my sisters and, of course myself, for the results. After the CEP, which had been more of a formality for me, the BEPC represented my first real experience in my pursuit of a diploma. As the days went by, my faintness worsened. Headaches and lower abdomen pain… At that point, my mother had figured it out, so she gave me some pills, she looked at me carefully and then asked me to join her in her room, away from my other family members. She said, “My daughter, you’ll soon turn 15 years old and I think I know what is going to happen soon, because I had the same symptoms at your age. She gave me a big pack of sanitary pads. She hugged me and after giving me a few “mother tips”, she made me promise never to leave the house without a pad in my purse…

Advice which I ignored because on top of the pain, I didn’t want to have a strange thing getting in the way of my crotch.

My father had a transistor radio glued to his ear on that day that I will never forget… [My father]: “Hey, my daughter, sorry, please go and get your godfather. I have to speak with him,” he said with a big smile. My godfather lived four blocks away. As I was walking, I felt an unusual warmth you-know-where, but I didn’t realize what it meant.

Back at home with my dear godfather, the house was full of people and my father said, “Everyone, I would like you all to know that Sandra passed her BEPC.”

And all of a sudden my godfather took me in his arms to congratulate me. Then he whispered in my ear, “Go quickly and change because you are a woman now. The party is going to start.” In fact, he had noticed that my dress was stained.

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Oh mon dieu,Sandy, vous est devenue une femme en effet ce jour-là .Deux certificats en une journée.Je suis tellement heureux de lire votre histoire !

"I don`t just want to tell stories,I want to change stories"

Chi Yvonne Leina

Thank U Yvonne for encouraging me.

En effet ce souvenir est toujours dans ma tête, mais il a fallut que je tombe malade de règles douloureuses pour que ma mère puisse m'expliquer certaines choses.

TRANSLATION:

My First Period: A Happy and Rather Embarrassing Memory

It was the 90’s and my mother asked me why I was feeling feverish and bloated. I attributed my state to post-exam stress. In my third year [of high school], I had just completed the BEPC examination and at home we were all waiting, my parents, my brothers, my sisters and, of course myself, for the results. After the CEP, which had been more of a formality for me, the BEPC represented my first real experience in my pursuit of a diploma. As the days went by, my faintness worsened. Headaches and lower abdomen pain… At that point, my mother had figured it out, so she gave me some pills, she looked at me carefully and then asked me to join her in her room, away from my other family members. She said, “My daughter, you’ll soon turn 15 years old and I think I know what is going to happen soon, because I had the same symptoms at your age. She gave me a big pack of sanitary pads. She hugged me and after giving me a few “mother tips”, she made me promise never to leave the house without a pad in my purse…

Advice which I ignored because on top of the pain, I didn’t want to have a strange thing getting in the way of my crotch.

My father had a transistor radio glued to his ear on that day that I will never forget… [My father]: “Hey, my daughter, sorry, please go and get your godfather. I have to speak with him,” he said with a big smile. My godfather lived four blocks away. As I was walking, I felt an unusual warmth you-know-where, but I didn’t realize what it meant.

Back at home with my dear godfather, the house was full of people and my father said, “Everyone, I would like you all to know that Sandra passed her BEPC.”

And all of a sudden my godfather took me in his arms to congratulate me. Then he whispered in my ear, “Go quickly and change because you are a woman now. The party is going to start.” In fact, he had noticed that my dress was stained.

Bonjour Sandy!

Votre histoire était si amusant. Votre style d'écriture me fait sentir que je le vivais! Et c'est vrai, cela devait être un peu gênant. Mais au moins vous ne l'oublierez jamais ce jour! Un jour qui est probablement devenu encore plus important avec vos résultats du BEPC. Moi, j'ai constaté plusieurs fois que nos corps ont la capacité de manifester des changements si grands dans les moments les plus importants dans nos vie. Merci encore de partager cette histoire avec nous et de me faire penser à, et revivre, mon porpre histoire.

Bien à vous,

Pilar

Merci Pilar de tout coeur

Oui exactement, ce moment a longtemps été un mauvais souvenir pour moi, mais en la racontant comme tu l'as lu et avec un peu de recul j'en suis amusée....et je suis allée voir ma mère il y a seulement 2 semaines pour nous rappeler ces instants....ce fut un bon moment.....merci encore à toi. espère te lire et avoir de nombreuses histoires venant aussi de toi.....