Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What it is to be an immigrant!

Today I woke up to painters around my building, it kind of brought me back memories of the life Abuela, Abuelo, Nono, Mami and baba lived. I was able to take a picture of the gentleman painting our building and it scared me to see him high in that ladder with no harness in case he falls. I wonder if he has any family here? What if he falls who would take care of him? Does he has insurance? Is he suppose to have harness? What if he falls, his family would not receive his weekly call, who would call them instead?

Then I started to think how sad and lonely the life of an immigrant can be in this country, sometimes these people we see cleaning our bathrooms, picking up our fruits, serving our foods are professionals in their country. Never underestimate a person.

Nenas when abuela came to this country she scrub toilets, clean kitchens after having somebody doing all of these for her back in Colombia. I vividly remember how we will get up at 5 AM walk take a bus for about 2 hours, Abuela would sit me with coloring books while she cleaned, she never trusted anybody taking care of me so she would carry me everywhere. She cleaned homes for about 3 years I was still very small to talk to her about it but I know it was not easy, not that cleaning houses is not a decent job, but when you are not used to it I can only imagine how difficult it can be.

I remember that while I was in high school Abuela, Tio Fabio and I will go and clean a bingo hall every night from 10:00 PM on, I also know that it was not easy for Abuela seeing her children doing that but food needed to be in the table. All of these taught me not to be afraid as longest we have two hands anything can be possible, Nenas work is the best thing that can happen to a human being. Abuela is the perfect example she had never worked in her life but the moment she step in the USA the only thing she did was work hard so we could make it.

I personally know many professionals from Colombia, Peru, Venezuela and Mexico that are here now doing other kind of jobs painting homes, construction, cleaning etc. ~ and I admire them for so many reasons they come to this country to work hard, is sad how many professionals we have in our countries but not enough job openings.

Another point that is very delicate is that many of these immigrants don't have papers meaning papers to work and at a point we were one of them, one has to be in our shoes to know the constant fear of being stop by a policeman and then being deported I was small but I remember Abuela always being fearful but with her hard work here we are.

Nenas always be thankful of being born in this country there are million of people in other places that would give anything to be here. Some cross deserts, I wonder how many make it and how many more die in the process. Some cross seas infested with sharks in small boats that are not even made to sustain the waves of the ocean, but they still try to do it even if it is to clean that dirty bathroom, or paint the building where I am living at now.

So nenas always remember were your family came from!!


Ashley said...

Thank you for sharing this with us!

Umm Omar said...

What a beautifully written post. It made me tear up because my husband is a medical doctor, but for the first few years of our life together, he worked at minimum wage jobs-McDonalds, gas stations, anything...while he was studying for his medical license exam. Those were hard years on us not only financially, but emotionally, too. Imagine, my husband went from being called "doctor" and "sir" and any other respectable term in Egypt to "hey, you!" here. It was hard for him, to say the least, but at the same time, it humbled him and reminded both of us of God's Power. I never want to forget those days.

Anonymous said...

yes my grandpa was a bracero and he worked hard to make it here! He always sent money to my grandma and her 7 kids (My mom's side of the family) Finally, he got a resident permit and was able to bring his family to the US and that is how we are all here:)I love your post! The US is made up of Immigrants, we are all from somewhere else or descendents of another place whether people like it or not those are the facts!

Stylomom said...

This is why I love reading your blog, you are very down to earth and i admire your style of telling the story to your kids.. I am so happy for you that life is turning much better than you first came to the US and I know things always get better when we have our feet firmly on the ground. I always tell my kids, the true essence of life is working for what we need and what we want in life, nothing should be in a silver platter, and I have heard so many stories like yours, truly inspirational. Mashallah.

*~Ange~* said...

i feel sad for all the lonely male immigrants here in australia. no wife. no family. all alone. all they do is work work work.

Khadra said...

I love this post (and your new look here too!)

This story is more relevant to me than you may think!!

MyHijab said...

I am sorry but I only read the beginning of this post. And I will tell you why.

Last night I had a dream! It was about a boy who jumped from a balcony, unintentionally, and smashed against the ground. He feel 3 storey's down! He died instantly. I was so upset in my dream and wondered what it meant.

ANd then I come to your blog and read the first paragraph and I am blown away!

Why do I dream such things?

(btw thanks for visiting my blog!)

MyHijab said...

And I am going back now to finish reading the post!