What is the What

What is the What Irony

Valentino's perception of African Americans

Back in Africa, Valentino was taught that African Americans were always thugs and criminals. This was perpetuated by Hollywood stereotypes that made their way into Africa. Valentino thought it was going to be a stereotype, but then two African Americans, Tonya and Powder rob him. However, he also meets Julian who gives him the MRI scan at the hospital. Julian is also a veteran of the Iraq War.

Valentino's expectations of Ethiopia

When Valentino first sets out on his journey, he believes that Ethiopia is going to be the land of promise; since the Lost Boys are traveling there to escape the war, they think it will be different than what they have experienced thus far. Yet when they arrive, they see the same landscape with the road littered with the dead bodies of soldiers and refugees.

People asking Valentino for money

Like Valentino's friend who asks him to help with gambling debts, many people ask Valentino for money. They think that, because he is in America, he is wildly successful. They do not realize that refugee life in America is extremely difficult, as there are hundreds of barriers pushing back on Valentino's success. He was also just robbed, making it impossible for him to help anybody.

Having possessions in America

While Valentino was still in Kakuma, he did not have many possessions. He was happy, though, because he remembered his life as fairly carefree. Yet when he finally got to America and owned things like a television, a microwave, books, and a phone, they were taken from him. None of these possessions gave him any peace, though, because he still felt like he was struggling financially even though he had more to his name as an adult than he did as a child.