By Fun, July 16th, 2014 — I left the countryside small town in China to Hong Kong when I was 9 years of age. I worked in the newly-established textile factories. I had to lie about my age because they only hired people 18 years or older to work, and I was 17. I stayed working in the textile factory until I was 27 years old. I then was married and had two kids—a boy and a girl. I stopped work to take care of the family until my husband came to America to teach Chinese dancing, and he petitioned for the three of us to come over after being separated for about three or four years. I got here around age 40, until my kids grew up, had a good job and a good family. We maintain a very close relationship to this day. Now that I am older and have more aches, pains, and illness, they still come to see me and take care of daily necessities that make me proud of them and very happy.
I was able to learn how to sew clothes on the clothing line factory after I arrived to the US. When my husband passed away a few years back, I moved here to this apartment because all my relatives advised me to move into a smaller apartment instead of living lonely all by myself in such a big house. The neighbors are very friendly and helpful, and make me very happy and free of burden, even without knowing much English.
Facilitator’s Note: Fun’s story was brought to us with the help of Irene, who translates Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, Vietnamese and English. She is a huge gift to our community. Without her, we would not be able to communicate with Fun and many of the other residents that speak English as their second language. Fun has so many great stories about her life and I’m excited to get to hear them and share them with you. (Irene also has amazing stories that I want to share, but as she spends most of the weekly session translating and transcribing and writing and reading with incredible efficiency and perfection, we will have to hold off for the moment)