Emma Thompson and her adopted Rwandan son

Tindy left Rwanda when he was just a teenager and moved to the UK as a refugee. There, he met the famous actress Emma Thompson and was adopted by her. In this video, they describe Tindy's incredible journey.

Do the preparation task first. Then watch the video and do the exercises. Remember you can read the transcript at any time.



Emma: For World Refugee Day, from my point of view, and you must say what you feel, but from my point of view it seems to me that, I mean, in many ways we're all a product of refugees. You know? We're all … if you go back far enough, you'll find a refugee in your family.

Tindy: Oh, yeah.

Emma: People have had to go because human beings commit dreadful wrongs upon one another and people have to leave their homes sometimes and they don't ever want to leave their homes.

Tindy: Yeah.

Emma: You're talking about people who are leaving their homes!

Tindy: Their homes, for … you know …

Emma: … And their friends and their families and their … the people that they know and the country that they know, the weather that they know, the food that they know, all the things that gives life its flavour and its …

Tindy: Oh, then when you're leaving home: or the smells, or the excitement of friends and … it just happens in a snap really, it happens involuntarily. And to me, my take on it is that … it's a … it's a forced situation and you have to quickly adapt to it but also accept that you have to learn new things, to incorporate your background at the same time (in) the new environment. That's how you would survive, really.

Emma: Yeah. I think you've discovered over the years that the refugees that make the best … kind of fix of their lives and are happiest are those who …

Tindy: … who have tried to integrate and … they've not left … they've not completely left their background.

Emma: No, there's no need for that.

Tindy: Yeah, but they've accepted that, yeah, life has to go on.

Emma: And you're … you know, you're speaking a new language. Your language … your English is fantastic now.

Tindy: Yeah, it has been a long journey.

Emma: Long journey.

Tindy: Home is always best but at the same time, you know, when things are difficult you might as well slightly move away but home is where … (it) will always be important.

Emma: Yeah.

Tindy: Yeah, so … yes. It's always a constantly … learning experience.

Emma: Well, as life should be!

Tindy: Oh! Yes! Yeah.

Emma: What is life without that? It'd be an empty husk!

Tindy: (laughs) Yeah! But it has been phenomenal, you know? An amazing journey.

Emma: I think the real downside is that you've got very expensive taste in wines now.

Tindy: (laughs)

Emma: That's living with me!

Tindy: I was … I had never tasted wine. And then I tasted it and then it became nice!

(both laugh)

Tindy: There are lots of amazing moments that have happened and continue to happen and …

Emma: God willing, will continue.

Tindy: Yes.

Emma: If I'm spared, because I'm a very old lady and you're still young and lovely.

Tindy: Oh, yes. Yeah. That's undisputed.

(both laugh)

© UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency

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Task 2


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Submitted by micpar on Fri, 05/07/2024 - 14:24


I think Emma and Tindy are totally at ease with each other. They agree on the main aspects of being a refugee. They even make jokes and laugh a lot. I don't know what it would be like to walk in a refugee's shoes, but I'm highly respectful of people who had and unfortunately still have to start their lives anew. 

Submitted by afsane on Fri, 20/10/2023 - 12:40


I think their relationship is great and despite the fact that they have differences in age, or race they are really good friends too. Especially Emma that is a famous person. Some of my relatives are refuges in Germany or Netherlands which they have really an improved life there and feel happy too, the only thing that makes them a little upset or sad somtimes is missing their families and friends which I think the advantages of being refuges outweighs the missing your loves.

Submitted by Rita25 on Mon, 04/09/2023 - 14:36


I could see they seem to have a lovely relationship, Although I doubt they never had to face challenges that arise due to their differences. Compassion and sincerity could surely put any differences aside. Regardless of race people are bound to make connection to one another, that makes life much more rewarding and fulfilling.
I've certainly heard stories of refugees mostly of whom had to go on a long and ardious journey that cost them everything leaving their home and family behind. The sacrifices they made is remarkably astonishing given that they have to start from the bottom yet manage to pull theirselves up. Unfortunately some Refugees has been subject to discrimination and violence. As the saying goes, There are two sides of the same coin. In my own opinion, People are either cruel, merciless or compassionate and altruistic.
We must shine a light on this societal problem. It seems idealistic of me to say this. But, No one must be forced to flee their home. Everyone deserves a safe place to live in.

Submitted by JasmineMH on Sat, 22/07/2023 - 16:58


Emma and Tindey's Relationship looks very great, I think they're great friends. I knew recently that Rita Ora is a refugee, and I believe that refugees are always successful and wonderful people, because of the circumstances they went through

Submitted by anastasiaa-02 on Thu, 20/07/2023 - 11:32


As for me, their relationships are amazing. They joke and talk about everything with positive sight. Unfortunately i do not know about other famous refugees.

Submitted by Miguelitorico1996 on Mon, 07/02/2022 - 02:53


From my point of view I think they have a lot in common, even in a sense of humor, so Emma made a good choice when she decided to adopt Tindy, it really seems like they were mother and son biologically speaking.

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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Thu, 07/05/2020 - 18:26

The relationship that exist between them is that of a mother to a child (adopted son). Yes, i knows.

Submitted by Andygon16 on Thu, 12/07/2018 - 22:48

The relationship between Emma and Tindy is very good, they have a good conversation about the refugees. Refugees is a current issue and a big problem for many countries, currently we are living the football world and we are seeing many refugees who found success in their countries. Regards Andres
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Submitted by Hoàng Nhung on Tue, 19/06/2018 - 10:31

If I'm spared ....What does She mean in this sentence ? I want to translate it in Vietnamese. Plz explain. Thank you

Hello Nhung123456,

To spare someone from harm means to not hurt them in some way. For example, you might say:

The soldiers found a man hiding in the field. He was frightened, but they spared his life and let him go.


In the text, Emma when says 'if I'm spared' she means if I live long enough.



The LearnEnglish Team