Dora’s Interview as told to Thomas Saw Aung

Dora was enjoying her life at home as a housewife until she divorced her husband. After losing custody to her only child, she decided to move to the United States to get a job. In her native country employment was only possible for those younger than 35 years old. The States brought her loneliness bringing forth a revival of her faith in God.

The Homeland

Back in my native country, I was married with no work. I had only one child, a daughter that is now 34 years old. At home I did my chores. There were many chores to do. The first thing I always do, I clean my house. Then, I clean the clothes. I also take care of the plants. There are two plants at my home. A palm tree and a plant that they called “couch.” Couch grows really really tall and it just keeps growing. I do not really like plants, but my husband does. To cook food I buy my food in a supermarket in the main plaza. Sometimes I go shopping at the supermarket with my husband. Only sometimes because I like to go by myself only. I like to save money and not buy as much. After I bring the food home, I cook good meals.

Moving to the States

I moved to the Unites States about 18 years ago, in 1996. When I first arrived in this country I was feeling very sad. I was alone, my family was not here with me. I felt that that this country was so big, very big, but there was only me here, no one else. My first house is in Jackson Heights, Queens on 75th Street. It was an apartment with different people that I did not know. In my old home, I knew the people around the area. I loved my native country, but this country (United States) is better for my job. At my old home, I was housewife so I do not work. When I come here, I was divorced so I came by myself. My daughter does not want to be with me. She stayed with my husband to finish off her studies. In these 18 years she has not come here at all. My daughter does not like the cold, she wants warm weather so the winter here is not good for her. So there is only me alone here, but that is no problem I like this country.

Living in the States

I miss my family, but it is better here. In this country there is no problem for finding work. In my native country, my age is a problem. Up to 35 years is good for working, past 35 is not that good. My first job in here was to take care of babies and be a housekeeper. Both jobs I do them together. My second job was to clean internet booths. The internet booths are like internet cafes with separate booths each including an individual phone. Phone cabinets are another thing they are also called. I cleaned the phone cabinets for six months, but after nine months I was not working. I then lived with my sister-in-law who I helped out in church. After helping out at church, I worked inside her home, doing housekeeping. I worked the entire week and was only outside on Thursday for one year. Then after that year, I cleaned the house everyday. I spent one year inside completely inside her house. From then on I performed housekeeping duties to this day.

Changes To Lifestyle

I did start to go to Christian Church here. I became more active in the Christian Church. This country is very good, thank your God for this country. But the city people do not change. Only God change. In my home country I was more angry, but here I have God. I have become more calm. Maybe the loneliness without my family cause me to refuge myself in God. This is better for me. The light is different now. Alone in my room three or four days I pray to God. I read the Bible now a lot. I watch T.V. very little, but I do watch when I have homework and to study. During the weekays I do light chores and during the weekends I do heavier chores. I cook for myself and I never eat out except on Sundays. I cook my food because of my heart for at least five days of week.

Future Goals

First step is to make my English better. In my job they only speak English, nothing in Spanish. There are only Americans, so I try everyday three hours I study English. I try to learn English, but sometime when I read it is not very good. I have very difficult for pronunciation, but I still try. I need English because they ask in English for me to clean things. I do not use dictionary and I try my best. My second step is to buy a house in my country. I buy a house for business. The house price depends a good big one is about $35,000. I will buy this house for business to rent the rooms for my living.

Dora Picture