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


Worksheet57.36 KB
No votes yet

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.

Profile picture for user OlaIELTS

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
Profile picture for user Hoàng Nhung

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

Profile picture for user Hoàng Nhung

Submitted by Hoàng Nhung on Tue, 19/06/2018 - 10:24

The relationship between Emma and Tinday is very good. A famous refugee i have learnt is Dr Henry Alfred Kissinger. I admire him because he is very talented, though he is old but his memory is very good. I dont understand this sentence: if you go back far enough... Plz explain it for me. Thank you

Hi Nhung,

What Emma means when she says 'if you go back far enough' is that if you look at your family that came before you (your ancestors) closely enough, you will find a refugee amongst them. Here the idea of 'going back' means 'going into your family's past'.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team


Submitted by David07 on Thu, 07/06/2018 - 12:39

It is clear that they really get on well. On the other hand, I am sure there is a lot of refugees in my country which had success since I am living in Spain.
Profile picture for user Kostya B

Submitted by Kostya B on Thu, 07/06/2018 - 09:43

Their relationship similar to friendships. I cant remember refugees which become popular in particular in my country.
Do you need to improve your English?
Whether you need better English to travel or meet new people, our online English courses will give you real practice. Join thousands of learners from around the world who are making great progress with their English level with our online courses.