This interviewee is someone that I knew a lot about before I did this interview. She is a little older than my other interviewees but her story is just as interesting. Her story begins in Berbice, Guyana along the Corentyne coast. For those of you who don’t know, Guyana is an English speaking country in northeastern South America. She was born and raised in Berbice, attending the top primary and secondary schools within Berbice county. Upon graduating secondary school at the age of 15, she went to teach food and nutrition in the local primary school for two years; studying for and taking the entrance exam for teacher’s training college. After that teaching stint, she went on to nursing school. After two years, she left nursing school and decided that what she really wanted to do was teach. She was hired for a teaching position and continued to teach. Meanwhile the infamous Jonestown Massacre occurred and it shook the nation affecting all of the country’s citizens.
(If you want to know a little about the massacre, watch this attached PBS documentary about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPtl2xR3Zzc )
After the Jonestown Massacre, she traveled to Suriname and worked as a missionary for a year. After which she entered college in Trinidad, trained as a teacher and received a Bachelor degree in History. After graduation, she remained in Trinidad to teach. She stayed for approximately six years before coming up to the United States. Upon arrival in the U.S. she taught in a public school in Brooklyn for one semester and found it (as she puts it) “totally unsatisfying”. The she went on to work for the State.
As far as the living situation was concerned, when she moved up here she lived in the basement of a two family house sharing an apartment with four other people. After a few months, she moved to three family house with a roommate. After which, she moved to a 70-unit apartment building with a roommate and she stayed there for two years. Within those two years, she saved her money well; making lunches at home to bring to work and saving every penny that she could. Also during those two years, she started a real estate course, worked real estate part-time and looked for a home that she could call her own. After working three jobs simultaneously, she saved enough money to buy that home. And she’s been living there ever since.
This lady is one of the strongest people that I know. She literally worked from the ground up to secure a better life for her and her family. She worked numerous jobs to accomplish all that she wanted to accomplish. Out of all the people I have interviewed, she really is the one that inspires me the most.