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MY LIFE, MY WORLD ‫حيايت بلدي العامل‬ Noloshayda Dunideyda Моя Жизнь Мой Мир Minha Vida Meu Mundo


Lavi Mwen Mondyal Mwen

Mi Vida Mi Mundo Ma Vie Mon Monde

ሕይወቴ ህይወቴ

Writings from the Women’s ​ Education Center at Rosie’s Place, Spring 2019

My Life, My World Writings from the Women’s Education Center at Rosie’s Place ©2019 Writing Café Artwork: Front cover photo from Back cover map from OpenStreetMap. Cover and Interior Design: The Emerson College Pub Lab; John Rodzvilla, Director; Graduate Students: Ross Concillo, Ronald Duncan, Katelynn Jasper. Simran Rohira, Lu Tang, and Katherine Tozer. This book was created by students, volunteers, and Rosie’s Place staff in partnership with our publisher. Students Who Contributed to Dedication: Xiuzhen W., Zhixin W., and Ying Ying Z. Volunteer: Allison Munro Staff: Michele Chausse, Liz Hughes, and Sara Jorgensen Publisher: Jonathan Jacobsen, Bridgeport National Bindery, Inc. We also thank the entire Rosie’s Place community for their support!

We dedicate this book to women who come to America from different countries. At the Rosie’s Place school, they encourage themselves to learn English, and to improve their lives and the world together. Here, all the students are friendly and respect each other. The teachers are helpful and patient. Rosie’s Place creates a big family for us.

TABLE OF CONTENTS My Story����������������������������������������������������������������� 7 Rosie’s Place and Haiti, Anolle M. ������������������������������������� 8 My Story, Askale H. ���������������������������������������������������������� 8 My History, Marie J. ��������������������������������������������������������� 9 My Family, Khadijo A. ���������������������������������������������������� 10 My Story, Clarivette R. S. ������������������������������������������������ 11 My Life, My World, Lucy N. �������������������������������������������� 12 Clearly Gratitude, Francisca L. ���������������������������������������� 14 Domestic Violence, Evaliss P. ������������������������������������������ 17 My World My Life, Veronika W. �������������������������������������� 18 My Country, My City�������������������������������������������� 27 The Comparison of My Country and Boston, Yres D. ������ 28 My City Is, Marie D. ������������������������������������������������������� 29 My Country, My City, Carmen A. R. �������������������������������� 30 My Story about Haiti, Marie Christianne Stvil D. ������������� 31 My Country, Margarita R. ����������������������������������������������� 32 My Friend Lucinda, Josefina T. ���������������������������������������� 33 My Neighborhood, My Life��������������������������������� 35 My Neighborhood, Idovane M. �������������������������������������� 36 My Special Neighborhood, Renia C. ������������������������������� 36 My Life, My Neighborhood, Fany C. ������������������������������� 37 My Routine, Marie V. J. �������������������������������������������������� 38 Mission Hill and the Lake, Guilene X. ����������������������������� 39 Hyde Park, Ana C. ���������������������������������������������������������� 40 Roxbury, Ana Patricia B. ������������������������������������������������� 41 I’m from Boston, Cláudia F. �������������������������������������������� 42

My Neighborhood, Maira R. ������������������������������������������� 44 A Day in My Life, Mary P. ����������������������������������������������� 45 Chelsea, Anie P. ������������������������������������������������������������� 45 My Life in the U.S., Adenise C. ��������������������������������������� 46 A Pretty Good Life, Marie Jesula D. �������������������������������� 48 Day In and Day Out, Dany S. ������������������������������������������ 49 My Neighborhood, Elcida A. ������������������������������������������ 50 My Story, Angelica C. ����������������������������������������������������� 51 My Home, Iris P. ������������������������������������������������������������� 52 Things Important to Me�������������������������������������� 55 An Important Place, Josefinade P. ����������������������������������� 56 My Family, Junie C. �������������������������������������������������������� 57 I Love Colorful Life, Zhixin W. ����������������������������������������� 58 All the Things I Love, Carmaine S. ���������������������������������� 60 Learning and Working in America, Andree Lourdes J. ����� 61 The Things I Love, Martha P. ������������������������������������������� 62 I Like It Like That, Eustania L. C. ������������������������������������� 63 My Name Is Stella, Stella K. �������������������������������������������� 64 Here, There and Everywhere������������������������������� 67 Places in My Past, Evelyne A. ������������������������������������������ 68 From Russia, With Love, Liubov V. Z. ������������������������������ 68 Places in My Past, Laurette P. ������������������������������������������ 69 Places and Faces, Marie Carme M. ��������������������������������� 69 My Journey, Nataliya K. �������������������������������������������������� 70 Here, There and Everywhere, Darbalisia C. ���������������������� 71 Where I Have Been, Belaynesh M. W. ����������������������������� 72 Places in My Past, Marie Rosette P. ��������������������������������� 74 Memories of My Country, Teresa S. �������������������������������� 75


Rosie’s Place and Haiti Anolle M. I was born in Haiti. I went to school at Elementaire Un. I came to America and went to Boston. The most important place to me is Rosie’s Place. Haiti is important to me because my family lives there. It is beautiful. The food is delicious and fresh.

My Story Askale H. My name is Askale H. I’m a student. I live in Central Square. I like my neighborhood. I go to my house and take the bus. In my neighborhood I go to Whole Foods. I buy avocado, green cabbage and eggs. My hair is black and white.

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My History Marie J. My name is Marie J. I came to Boston on June 7, 2002 from Florida. I came with one of my children. He was very sick and I had no money, and only by the grace of God my son got better. He made a full recovery through prayers to my God. God is good all the time. He’s great. God did too many good things for me and my family. The world hurts you, but the word of God builds you up. For example, “knock and it will be opened to you”, Luke, 11:9. This is my history.

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My Family Khadijo A. I am Somali. I miss my family. I have not seen my family for ten years because of the civil war in my country. Now I am in America. There is no civil war. I live in Boston. It is good because it has transportation and good hospitals. I feel safe and comfortable.

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My Story Clarivette R. S. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. I have lived in Puerto Rico 31 years of my life on the Island of Enchantment. I moved to Boston, MA one year ago because in hurricane Maria I lost my house. I live in Boston, MA in Mattapan. My apartment is my favorite place because it is cozy and peaceful. I have traveled to many places: New York, Jamaica, St. Maarten, and Santo Domingo. I love to travel on cruise ships. In January, I’m going with my husband to visit the Natural History Museum. It is a wonderful place. It has four floors of many species of animals. It is amazing. I love the animals. We will visit One World Trade Center, the M&M and Hershey stores. I will take a lot of pictures in Times Square and go to the Bronx to visit family.

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My Life, My World Lucy N. I am me, and I live up to the responsibility of being myself. I know who I truly am in body, mind and spirit; it is my divine right. I know that my truth is a truth that needs to be spoken. I was just five when I lost my mom. I survived by helping other families to get food and shelter. One nice family was willing to send me to school. But my sisters saw that that family was over working me. I was too young for that job. I used to hide and cry. When I was tired or sick, they didn’t care. As a child I never had a little time for myself to play with my friends. I was not happy. I was always busy helping in the house. No rest for me. Later I got married and had two kids. Then a deadly illness came over me. I then realized that no one cares about me. I was suffering. I couldn’t help myself. That was when I thought of my education. I cried and cried, with the kids and my health. It was very difficult. I was helpless and confused, my only hope was with my God. 12 | My Life, My World

I had an opportunity to come to the US; the only thing I could do was just helping at home. Because of health issues, I moved from Washington, DC, to Boston, Massachusetts. I got medical care and education. At first I couldn’t believe myself, at fifty-eight years going to school! I found my pencil back in my life. MY WORLD CHANGED. I got my voice through education, writing, and reading. For many years I was in a standstill. How I did it, I don’t know. I can tell my story. I got a second chance while living in a shelter. In my struggle, I started attending classes. After 6 years, I wrote my first book — My Family Tree. This is the fourth story I am writing in my school at Rosie’s Place this year. I felt more comfortable with my writing now than before. I have improved in my English and writing. Writing and reading has brought me a lot of happiness and healing in my life. My pencil is one of my best friends. My pencil is going to tell more than I can — my pencil and I! Thanks to all my teachers, thanks to Rosie’s Place, and all my wonderful friends. Thank you, Lord Jesus.

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Clearly Gratitude Francisca L. I had a miracle from Rosie’s Place in my life. I remember clearly and with gratitude all that Rosie’s Place did to begin my new life after my divorce. I was losing everything. My job my apartment I was very sad. Five years after my divorce my therapist told me to come to Rosie’s Place to learn English and to participate in other programs. I came. I remember one program, the program name was Latinos helps Latinos, that was a little group. With a pencil and one piece of paper we wrote our dreams. I wrote my dreams. My dreams were to learn English, find my apartment, become a citizen, and travel to Germany to visit my son. I gave my dreams to my coordinator, and she asked me, “what do you have to cash your dreams?” I bring my face down making my eyes water. She told me, “don’t bring your face down only tell me what do you have to cash your dreams.” I say to her I have a big enthusiasm to a better life so she told me with happiness in her face we are going to work together 14 | My Life, My World

to cash your dreams, so in only one year, I find my apartment, I became a Citizen, and traveled to Germany. Now I study hard to learn perfect English to complete my four big dreams at Rosie’s Place after my divorce. And I hope in the future to become a volunteer at Rosie’s Place. That is Rosie’s Place. Equality of respect for everybody, compassionate, considerate and opportunity always. So I have my apartment, my American passport, God Bless Rosie’s Place for all the eternity and bring peace and health to all your workers. I am a blessed person because I live in the delightful place, my building is quiet, safe, and convenient. My neighbors are lovely and very friendly. I love and I respect all my neighbors and I am sure they love me too, that makes me feel in harmony with myself and gives me special balance to enjoy all around my life. Now I am retired. Thanks God for my apartment that is a sanctuary for you, for me, and for all your creatures, that is true I am a creature of the Universe I have right to a better life and that is my responsibility. God you are my light who lights up my way always. Instruct me in this long My Story | 15

way of my life to be well until my last day of my life. Clearly gratitude forever and forever. Sweet creator God we are the center of the Universe we have a right to a better life. Respect, education, dignity housing and more. To Rosie’s Place for all that was done for me, thank you for everything to all my teacher for her time whit as thank you to all my classmate. I love you guys. I love you more today than yesterday so everyone be happy, be healthy and be well. Nothing is more powerful than love.

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Domestic Violence Evaliss P. Hi my name is Eveliss. I am from Puerto Rico. Now I live in Boston with my two children. I’m going to tell you about an event in my life that marked me forever. One day I fell in love with the wrong person. At that time he seemed to be the perfect person. At the beginning everything was changing gradually. The first sign was sickly jealousy, and almost simultaneously, he tried to control my life. Then followed the continuous humiliation, and that included physical and verbal abuse. On one occasion he was even unfaithful. One day I could not take it anymore and I decided to leave. I write these short lines so that you will realize that all is not lost. Never let yourself be denigrated by any man. We are valuable and we always achieve what we desire. Life always gives us another opportunity to be happy. Today, I am in a healthy relationship with a man who values me together with my children. I am proud of everything that I have achieved in my life, especially if I could inspire you to never give up and to seek help. My Story | 17

My World My Life Veronika W. I am V, an alien in this country, from Czech Republic. My country is in the heart of Europe between Germany, Poland, Slovakia and Austria. I had been thinking logically The USA is a country of migrants from Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa so it would be a nice multicultural experience because I believed The States were synonymous with freedom and human rights. How naive I was at that time and unprepared to live outside of Europe. Culture shock was dramatic. But probably worse was that I found out that life in the USA is spent mostly in cars and traffic jams outside the city. My first year was in Natick as an au pair in a nice, quiet neighborhood but where you need a car to go grocery shopping and take kids to playground. There is something called Metro-West public transportation but in practice you can’t really get anywhere after 5 pm, exactly the time when I used to finish my child-care job. So I spent most of the evening at home.

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On Mondays I used to take my dancing classes at BU with my at that time future husband. I was really easy going at that time. I think I could say it was my happiest period of my life. In retrospect I have to admit I should be more careful with my choice of soulmate. I should see the warning signals but I didn’t. When my ex-husband and I were dating, he and I were doing only fun stuff together like going eat out, going on trips, his band practice, dancing classes but we never been together more than a week on vacation. Maybe if we lived together before our marriage I would see his dark side and also more understand what kind of “prison” we set up. I could have prevented our big tragedy. When the wedding preparation was almost finished and my family flew to USA for the wedding, his priorities became clearer. But I was in love so I couldn’t see it: his friends, his alcohol and his audience. Our wedding was beautiful. In the moment I said, “I do,” I became a nice inventory in our house. The cage and well fed bird with cut wings so I couldn’t fly too far away. Our house was located in a small town in Worcester County, MA. It was a really lovely small town but it was also a prison without gates for someone without a car. My life had been about waiting My Story | 19

at home for my husband and going only places where he wanted to go. Good side of that was he didn’t drink much at that time because he was under my control. Troubles started when his grandma bought a car for me so I could become more independent. In that moment the scene for the tragedy started to be set up. I signed up for HI-SET classes in Framingham and also started working as an administrative help in a company of one of my husband´s friends So from caged bird I became wild flying bird. I was getting happier and happier because I was again an independent person and I could explore more and improve my English. My husband was becoming unhappy and bored. There wasn´t any more good housewife waiting for him with hot meal for dinner. He had to make his dinner by himself and there was free evening without me because I was at school. So he returned also to his habits before marriage, going out with his local bar friends and drinking. I didn’t know that drinking could be somebody’s hobby to fill free time. Oh well everything was still going ok until one day when I didn’t have my classes in the evening because it was spring break. I asked him what 20 | My Life, My World

he would like to have for dinner and he answer that he was planning to eat out with his friend Valentyna. I tried to offer that I could go with them but he said it would be too far for me to drive and I don’t like seafood. I was upset because we didn’t have anymore much time for each other and we were supposed to see her on the weekend with a bunch of other friends. In the evening I got even madder because of that dinner. My husband was texting me that she wanted have the weekend dinner some other time but my best friend took off just so she could join us for that dinner what we were planning for months. I answered no but even though he wrote my friends and convinced them that it would be better to do it another weekend. When he didn’t answer his phone I got really mad. He got home around 11 pm and it was our probably first time when we had serious fight. He didn’t take my arguments much seriously and he laughed at my English and he said I couldn’t be taken seriously. I knew I should not say it but I reply him that maybe he would rather find American wife for next time. I was really hurt and upset at that moment. I wasn’t prepared for his reaction. He started boxing his head and breaking some dishes and My Story | 21

bedroom door. I got really scared and worried about him. He yelled at me, if am I happy now, and after he started to cry. I was terrified and didn’t know what to do. I just needed space and calm down but he wanted to discuss, he repeat that he was sorry and in same time blame me that it was my fault because I started arguing with him when he was drunk and also for sure because I stopped taking birth control pills so because of that I am emotionally unstable. It might sound stupid but something broke inside me that night. I could not stop thinking about it. In my mind the next time it could be my head that he could punch. From my husband’s perspective there was everything fine with him. He reacted like every man would and I am overeacting so I probably need some mental health. Week later he came with “great” idea that we both could go out with opposite gender and since I have my car we could do each things that we like separately. He said he actually never liked going dancing and he was taking classes just to impress me but we are married now so there is no reason to pretend he likes it and he also didn’t like skiing, skating etc. He said I was cooking to make him fat.

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His grandmother offered me that I could move to her place until the things get back to normal between us. Too late now but I should probably have taken her offer at that time. He and I were still living together and in front of friends or family looked like happy couple but our ways were going separately ever since that night. Every time when we moved forward came some other incident or accident. Neither of us did great job about trying to save our marriage. A few days later I told him I want to get a divorce. After that he started online terror. I really did not have time and mood to deal with him at that moment. It was maybe unfair and cruel from me but I just needed time to escape and think. Our friends let me stay in their place and helped me go pack all my stuff. I wasn’t allowed to go to our apartment alone just in case I would like to steal something from his property. I was always grateful for all their help and all other people who I would never expect they would do so many nice things for me. Then I returned back home to my country. In March 2017 I went for vacation to USA. I wanted to see my husband in mental hospital, to be sure he is really where my mother-in-law My Story | 23

said and I felt sorry for him. I know how I was feeling when I was in hospital or lock at home when I started experiencing symptoms from my movement disorder. After that visit I felt kind of free and less worried. He was there under control, kind and innocent. It was happy period for me until May when he was moved in mental hospital to better department and got back his phone. He started again to terrorize me, my friends and family. I got messages he had back the divorce papers and he didn’t want divorce anymore. He felt he is a good boy now so there is no reason for it. He was so generous he said, if it made me happy we could go to marriage therapy so they can fix also me and we can have a baby. So I had to return back to USA to start the divorce process from beginning by myself. Ten days before my booked flight to The USA, my green card is suspended because I applied like my divorce is pending and I didn’t get divorced so I have to reapply again like married. This was with thirty-three days notice. I wished immigration had same notice to reply because it took them almost a year to approve my residence status. During that period I was unable to legally

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work or travel outside of USA. This time I was in “prison” of the USA system. Under these circumstances I have to ask for help. My lovely friends were helping me as much as they could but I needed more than what they could provide me. I found Rosie’s Place. At Rosie’s they help me apply for Mass Health and later for jewelry-making training. During my jewelry training I was practicing my hands every day so it is like hand physical therapy and I get paid as well so I feel more independent and relaxed because I know I will be able to pay my bills. I would never think that my hands could be so creative and do some real art. Thanks God for this place. I was able to see neurologist in USA and it turned out that I don’t have MS neither functional movement disorder but dopa responsive dystonia. Since I have been taking medication I am able to be almost symptom free, I multiply my walking distance, my balance got better, and I don’t have numb leg and hand. My muscles still get stiff and occasionally I get spasms but it is not permanent anymore. It was hard to accept this diagnosis and all what was going on but in Rosie’s they have a lovely psychologist who is really supportive and My Story | 25

can always help find some solution and give good advice. At Rosie’s they have some activity almost for everyone starting finding shelter and ending with supportive groups or art activities. I fill my free time during a year with English classes, creative writing, sewing etc. I learned from this experience how important is patience and staying focused on the goals. Now I know the later you start the harder and more complicated will be the solution. In life it’s important to be flexible and be prepared to adapt to changes and see them like new opportunities. Every end of something is new beginning for something better. I hope in the future I will never forget this. Impossible becomes possible. I am free. I have a job that I can enjoy and my health is stabilized.

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The Comparison of My Country and Boston Yres D. I like Boston. It is beautiful and I feel content here. The way of life of the people, the food, and the climate are different than my country. The seasons of the year are very marked in Boston. In my country, the seasons are not different, because it’s a tropical country. Here in Boston I study English, thanks to Rosie’s Place. My teachers are very good. They help me learn. Thank you.

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My City Is Marie D. Port-Au-Prince. In my city there are too many people. I like the Tabernacle Dela Grace. I like the beach with coconuts, compa music and chicken. I like the houses, they are blue, yellow, white, pink, green and brown. I don’t like the heat. I have two sisters in Haiti. I go to Haiti to visit them two times a year. I like visiting my family and my friends. We go to church and we go to the beach. I am happy visiting my country.

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My Country, My City Carmen A. R. I am from the Dominican Republic. It is a beautiful country. I like shopping there in the markets and stores. I like the weather; it is hot. I like going to the cinema to watch movies with friends. I like to sit and watch people walking by. My city of Boston is also beautiful. I like shopping at Downtown Crossing. There are so many stores! There are also a lot of restaurants to eat at and a big cinema to see movies. I go to church in Boston and to school at Rosie’s Place. I don’t like the weather—it’s too cold!

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My Story about Haiti Marie Christianne Stvil D. I was born in Haiti, I like the church, the gospel music, and seafood. In my country, I like the beach, water, and soccer. I visit my friends and I go to church. I see no hospitals, no jobs, no schools or colleges. Adults and children go to different countries to work. I love the weather because it is tropical. It is always sunny. In different provinces it is cool like America. For example it is cool in the mountain areas of Kenscoffe, Fermatte, Foret Despims and Gros Cheval.

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My Country Margarita R. My name is Margarita Rivers. I was born in Puerto Rico. I came to America in 2011. My country, Puerto Rico, is located between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic. It’s a tropical island. It’s very pretty. It’s also called the Island of Charm. When I go to Puerto Rico I enjoy being with my family very much. I go to the beach. We also go to museums and the park. My country is important to me because my family lives there, because the people have such quality, and because it is my birthplace. I grew up in Puerto Rico, took my first steps there, and cried and laughed there. Even though Puerto Rico is a bit roughened, for me it is the Island of Charm. My beautiful Puerto Rico, forever I’ll call you lovely.

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My Friend Lucinda Josefina T. I have a friend from Chelsea but she is from Cape Verde originally. My friend’s name is Lucinda. Lucinda is old. She is sixty years old. Her hair is black. Her eyes are black. Her husband’s name is Antony. She is my cousin. She has five children. She works in her house. She has five grandchildren. Lucinda goes to the church to pray for all her friends. She is scared of gangs. She does not like violence. My Historia Es Clara Perdomo. I have two sons they are named Juan Pablo and Fausto Jose. We live in Boston [MA]. I am very happy because I am a citizen the United States. I swore two weeks ago by the flag of this country and became a citizen, thank God. I am a student of the English School at Rosie’s Place, thank the teachers of that class because they work hard so that we learn English well. In the morning, I get up, take a bath, eat breakfast and go to school two or three times a week. Arrive in the afternoon to my house and take break, and then I clean a little in the evening My Country, My City | 33

I relax and watch TV. My neighborhood is very important to me because it is very quiet and has a park, shops and a clinic for medical attention a close by. Besides that it has good people. I’m grateful for my neighborhood.

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My Neighborhood Idovane M. I live in Dorchester. Every day I pray to God. In the morning I drink coffee. I eat rice. In the afternoon I meet my friends at Rosie’s Place. In the evening I watch American TV. My neighborhood is wonderful.

My Special Neighborhood Renia C. I live in Hyde Park. Every day I wash myself. In the morning I have my coffee. In the afternoon I cook rice. In the evening I watch TV. My neighborhood is nice.

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My Life, My Neighborhood Fany C. I like living in Dorchester. I like my neighbors. They are friendly and say “hello.” I like to watch movies every day when I am home. It relaxes me and makes me feel good. I like the park near my house because it is nice to walk around and sit in. It is beautiful. I like the Italian restaurants in my neighborhood. I really like spaghetti with meatballs and sauce. It is so yummy! I also like the Chinese food places in my neighborhood, but I don’t eat Chinese food often because it is not good for me. But it tastes good!

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My Routine Marie V. J. I have lived in Dorchester since 2013. Every day I go to work at McDonald’s. Before I do, I go to Rosie’s Place to have breakfast and see friends. I take the 730 bus to get there. I spend time eating and talking. Then I head to work in the afternoon feeling happy. In the evening, I come back to Rosie’s Place for English class. Then I go home and eat a meal of rice and chicken. My neighborhood is quiet at night and not too loud. It’s nice.

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Mission Hill and the Lake Guilene X. I am living in Mission Hill on Frawley Street. It is a quiet, very clean and peaceful street. It has a beautiful church and a Mass Eye and Ear Hospital. My neighborhood has a hospital, Brigham Hospital, and Stop and Shop. I like Mission Park because it has a good place to relax. Sometimes I visit New England Baptist. I live near the Museum of Art and Northeastern University. I have a Walgreens Pharmacy. The bus and train are very close to me. I can go to work, and I can go anywhere. It has restaurants, convenience stores. I like this area, it has the most hospitals and the most universities. It has the Seven Eleven store, Bank of America, Citizen’s Bank, Dunkin Donuts, Trader Joes, Friday’s restaurant and a liquor store. In the summer I visited the lake in my area. I saw many little boats on the lake. I saw many people with dogs visiting the lake. Some walking, standing looking at the boats. I enjoyed staying by the lake and walking the board walk. I saw the birds on the water. My family and I sat to play and admire this moment. It is very important to relax, feeling happy and pleasant. My Neighborhood, My Life | 39

Hyde Park Ana C. My name is Ana and I live in Hyde Park. It is in the south of Boston, in the state of Massachusetts. Hyde Park is a very quiet place because there is not much traffic. I live in the intersection of Metropolitan Avenue and Hyde Park Avenue. These are very important avenues around where I live and it facilitates traffic to other streets in my town. The bus 32 runs through Hyde Park Avenue. It is the only public transportation that goes to Forest Hill station. My neighborhood is interesting. There is a high school where some people go to vote during elections. There is a supermarket called America’s Food Basket. There is a gym. It is a 15-minute walk from my house. I go to the gym to exercise for about an hour and when I am finished, I walk back to my house. My neighbors are friendly. I say good morning every day and they answer me back. Right now there are no malls. I think we need a mall in my neighborhood, but we do have a public Library that serves the community.

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Roxbury Ana Patricia B. My name is Ana Patricia. My neighborhood is Roxbury. Some people say that Roxbury is not safe because there are some people in the streets who are dangerous, but I like it. It is good for me because Roxbury is close to my work, Rosie’s place, and my family. I am happy living in my neighborhood because it’s near so many businesses. There is a supermarket, a laundromat, a hair salon, a bus station, a fire station, restaurants, and clothing stores. I like my neighborhood because the people are very nice and friendly. They say “Hello!” and ask, “How are you?” and people smile a lot when they see me. I feel relaxed in my neighborhood, like I am at home. I feel good because my home is quiet and I am very happy with my husband in our beautiful home.

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I’m from Boston Cláudia F. I’m from Cape Verde, but now I live in Boston, Dorchester. My neighborhood is quiet. I also like it because my neighborhood has everything. My neighborhood has good people and many businesses. It has daycare, church, park, pizza shop, hair salon mini market and good public transportation. I take the bus from my street to my school at Rosie’s Place, after school I go to pick up my kids at daycare. America is very important to me because it helps me with everything and it helps me learn English. I’m so happy because my friend lives close to my house. She is a teacher, so she is really good with me and my kids. She also gave me rides.

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If something bothers me I love to talk to her. She is a great listener. I have also visited Florida but I didn’t go to Miami. I like to go Miami because I want to see the beach, the hotels and boats.

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My Neighborhood Maira R. I live in Boston, Massachusetts. My neighborhood is Dorchester, It is big and clean. Near my house I have many places: a restaurant, pharmacy, fire station, hair salon, nail salon, barber shop, bus stop, Burger King and Bank of America. I live close to the public school, a charter school, the court of Dorchester, Franklin Park Zoo and some more. In the afternoon the traffic is heavy and it is very noisy. It is as crazy as the circus. My son goes to the charter school, Roxbury Prep in Dorchester. I like that school because it is near my house. The teachers are very friendly and my son likes it too. Sometimes they call me to talk about my son, about the homework, for his good or bad behavior or his grades. My son is 12 years old. He likes his school and friends. He likes to play with his friends after school. I feel confident that my son will do his best.

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A Day in My Life Mary P. My name is Mary. I live Boston, MA. Every day I go to work. In the morning I eat my rice. In the afternoon I watch TV. In the evening I go to sleep in my bed. My neighborhood is very clean and safe.

Chelsea Anie P. My neighborhood is Chelsea. In my neighborhood there are trees, streets, sidewalks, and banks. I like McDonald’s because it is my work and it helps to pay bills. I go to the Ebenezer church every Sunday, where I sing and dance too. I like New Pizza because it is good and I get to eat vegetable pizza. Unfortunately, my neighbor smokes. I said, “Please no smoking.” He did not listen.

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My Life in the U.S. Adenise C. I come to Cambridge 29 years ago. I like Cambridge because it is my home, but it is expensive. I also like the senior center in Cambridge. I am a member of a Haitian seniors group called GRANDET IN AKSYON; we socialize, exchange information and support each other. We talk about health issues, we also exercise and attend parties. My friends help me with my medical questions. I also go on day trips with the senior center staff and other groups. I eat meals there sometimes if I want to. I really enjoy the great programs at the senior center. Also in Cambridge I like to shop at Market Basket because of their price and their products; I can do “one-stop shopping” because I can find almost everything I need for the kitchen and the house. I love Cambridge very much, I meet very nice people. I also go to Boston every morning to my classes at Rosie’s Place. I receive great health care at the Boston Medical Center; I love my primary 46 | My Life, My World

care doctor and the hospital’s staff. I usually stay home in the evening to relax, read my Bible and other interesting books.

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A Pretty Good Life Marie Jesula D. I was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. In my country, I spoke Haitian Creole. I still speak it here. I visit my daughter and her family in Kenmore Square. We laugh and talk and have fun. Sometimes we go for walks. I get to see everything going on in the neighborhood. I love my two sons and my daughter and their grandchildren. I go to church every Sunday and I pray.

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Day In and Day Out Dany S. I live in Roxbury. Every day, I do the same things. In the morning, I make my lunch and I drink tea with sugar and lemon. Then I go to work in Boston. I take the bus. The bus driver always says “Hello” when I get on the bus, and “Have a good day” when I get off the bus. In the afternoon, I eat my lunch. In the evening, I go to mass at Holy Cross to pray. I thank God for everything that I have. One of them is living in Boston. It is beautiful and I live close to the T.

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My Neighborhood Elcida A. My name is Elcida A. I live in Boston. My neighborhood is around Fenway. It is very interesting and the people are caring and friendly. I like my neighborhood because there are museums and two schools of music near me. Also near me is Northeastern University and Mass Station. I like the music schools. I hear students practice and I see them rushing with their instruments every day. At the Museum of Fine Arts, I see XV Century jewelry, statues in marble, etc. I go there with my children. We love it! The Christian Science Center is also a place I like to go and it is very interesting for children.

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My Story Angelica C. My name is Angelica. I am from Venezuela and live in West Roxbury, MA. My family is large and lives near me in South Boston so I visit them a lot. I drive my car to visit them. My car is white and large. Why is my neighborhood interesting? Well, because there are many institutions and many businesses. There is a police station, a school, a church, a hospital, a pharmacy, a hair salon, a shoe store, a dress shop, a gym, a restaurant, a fire station, and a garage. I live near Washington St. and it is often very noisy because of the cars and sometimes there are accidents. Most of the time, though, the people live quietly and my neighbors are happy and friendly.

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My Home Iris P. My home is special to me because I feel relaxed and I feel like I can concentrate better when I am there. My neighborhood is quiet and private. I am free to spend time with family and friends. We celebrate birthdays, holidays and listen to our favorite music together. We watch TV and I enjoy the programs because it helps me learn English. I am an independent woman in my home. I can make changes to anything I want, like the decorations and the furniture. In my bedroom, I change the curtains depending on the season. I also decorate my home according to the holidays, for example, on Valentine’s Day I decorate my house with hearts, stuffed animals and much more. I spend the holidays with my family and close friends. On Thanksgiving I cook rice, baked turkey, salad, and desserts to give thanks to God for all the mercy that he has shown us in our lives during the year. On Christmas Eve my family cooks traditional Christmas food like baked pork leg, veggie salad, pigeon rice and 52 | My Life, My World

beans, coconut flan, papaya, cake for dessert and we drink soda, eggnog and wine. Everyone in the family sits and listens to Christmas music in Spanish and English like Navidad Sin Ti, My Grassland — little Donkey, Little Drummer Boy, Merengue, Salsa, White Christmas, A Belen Pastores, Alegria Alegria etc. The children play while the adults make conversation about different topics. At midnight on Christmas Day everyone opens their presents and eats more food. On Easter I visit church to hear the word of God. After mass I greet all my friends and we go to a restaurant to eat and then I go home with my family. In the summertime I like to visit a lot of different places; for example, I go to the museum, the park, the movies, the beach, watch parades of different countries, and have BBQs. Sometimes I work in my community garden and I plant tomatoes, pepper, lemon grass, flowers, eggplant, mint, parsley, potatoes, strawberries, cucumbers and much more. When I have the time, I visit my friends who live in New York or I visit my family in Puerto Rico. Other times I go to Cape Cod with my siblings and we have a good time. I enjoy watching My Neighborhood, My Life | 53

TV I watch the news, mass, and some other programs in English because I like to hear and practice the pronunciation of new words to expand my vocabulary. I love to cook and bake so I watch channels like the Food Network and other similar channels. I am happy and grateful for my life and for everyone in it.

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An Important Place Josefinade P. I was born in Cape Verde. I went to Rosie’s Place. I came to America 20 years ago. The most important place to me is America. America is important to me because: I like my school. I like my husband and children. I live in Calendar Street in Dorchester.

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My Family Junie C. My name is Junie. I am from Haiti. I love my country. My country is very good. My country has boats. It is sunny and very hot. The clear water is good. My mother’s name is Edestazie Jumelle and my father’s name is Fermat Charles. I have eleven children.

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I Love Colorful Life Zhixin W. I live in Senior Housing. It is nearby Symphony Hall, and many universities. There are lots of shops, the transportation is convenient. Our building has many activities, like dancing group, chorus, and some parties. I think our lives are interesting and very happy. Studying English is important to me. I like going to Rosie’s Place-Women’s Education Center. It proves and helps me continue studying English, some time they teach us exercise Yoga, and we visit museums. Many Berklee students come here and teach us to sing songs. The teachers and classmates are all very nice and friendly. I realize that good health is also important for my live, because if I’m sick I can’t do anything, and I suffer all day, so taking care of my health is very important. I like plants such as dill, aloe and Christmas cactus. I grow them from cutting seedlings to plant. Sometimes I give plants to my neighbors. 58 | My Life, My World

The plants also can clean the air inside. Every day I observe and water them. Plants are pleasant, relaxing, and enjoyable. Sometimes I go to parks, concerts, museums and zoos. I like lush botanical gardens, lovely animals, music and art. The Boston Museum of Fine Arts has a large collection of precious artwork. I have a full and colorful life! Every day I read books and newspapers and watch TV, that can motivate me to learn and understand about world events. Family and friends pay attention to and take care of each other. My friends and family bring me warmth and happiness. I love them!

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All the Things I Love Carmaine S. I love God. He is the center of my life. I love my son. He is my world and he is intelligent. I love going to church. I like to pray and to talk with other people. I love to cook. I make special dishes that taste good. I love to work. I use the money to make a life for me and my son. I love to go to Rosie’s Place. I like to learn to read, write and speak English. I like seeing my teacher and the other students. I like using the food pantry—it helps me.

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Learning and Working in America Andree Lourdes J. I was born in Haiti. In Haiti I had a job typing. I always try to work. In May 2010, I came to the U.S.A. I went to school to help me to listen and understand when I talk. Now I try to speak but I can’t speak well, but I am learning. Now I live in Dorchester, MA. I like it because everything is busy. I work at Gate Gourmet. I clean for too long. I start at 2:00 pm and finish at 10:30 pm. I have five days to work and I get two days off. I like this country which helps me to help my son and my family.

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The Things I Love Martha P. My name is Martha P. I have lived in Boston a long time, because it is beautiful and I am content here. I have two daughters. Their names are Martha and Maria. I have two grandsons. I have four granddaughters. I like English class. I have two teachers. They are excellent. I have friends in English class. They are friendly. They are from different countries. Every Monday I go to English class because I am happy when I am learning. For a long time, my class has been important to me. I like being kind and loving with people. I love going to church on Sunday. I love going to water-aerobics two and three times a week. Thank you to my God for giving me my health. Thank you Rosie’s Place for my English class.

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I Like It Like That Eustania L. C. In my neighborhood I like to shop for fresh fish, boxed fruit and chicken for my son and my daughter. I like to cook for them. They like my food. I like going to work in Roxbury—I see my sister and we clean together. I like to work out and exercise with my family. We stretch and run together to stay in shape. I like to watch football (soccer) games in the park every Friday during the summer. I don’t like winter because I have to wear a lot of clothes to stay warm, but it makes me look forward to spring.

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My Name Is Stella Stella K. The most important part of my life is—I love God because is very important to me. He created me and put me on Earth. His words in the Bible are good to me. His words teach me to be kind. I like to go to Old South Church on Sunday and to worship Him with other people. I like to hear the beautiful gospel music and sermon, the pastor’s speech. I like music, I really like the choir because explains how God has been good to us. I expect that if I am good in my heart one day in end of my life I will be there with God in heaven. Love is my faith. Love is inside all of us. It is very important because it make the people to be kind, nice, and stay safe and peace. I love my family; God gave me six children. They are good and lovely children. Four sons and two daughters. But now I have five children. My first one was a girl, was passed away. All my children have married, and all of them have children too. Now I have sixteen grandchildren, they make me have a big family. 64 | My Life, My World

Four children are in Tanzania. One son is living here in Boston with his wife and two children. I have a big family. I love my family very much indeed. Another thing which is important to me is to have friends. They love me, and I love them. They like to visit me to in my house, and talk together. They help me to know how to speak English, because we practice. Speak English with friends help me to know new words. I also like grammar and pronounce words well. Another important thing to me is to go to school because I want to know how to speak English well. Before I came to the U.S. I did not know how to speak English. It was difficult for me to understand people when they spoke. But then I went to school to learn English and the computer. I love all the teachers in Rosie’s Place. They do a good job to help me. I also learn English from them, reading, writing, and using the computer. Now in the computer I know to email my children back home without a problem. I can open YouTube very well, and hear music which makes me to feel calm. I love the Leaders in Rosie’s Place and all of the workers there. They Things Important

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are so kind and very welcoming to me and to everyone who is going there. They work hard to make sure that everything there goes well and nicely. I love Rosie’s Place. It has enough space for everyone and it is very clean. It is a beautiful place. I thank my teachers, my leaders and everyone at Rosie’s Place. May God give them good health and long life forever. Amen.

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Places in My Past Evelyne A. I am from Haiti. I have been to Port-au-Prince. In the past I went to Delmas in Haiti. My favorite place is Haiti, because of the food and the beaches. I like the food because the fish is cooked on the grill so it is delicious. I like the French fries when I am hungry. I like the beaches because I go fishing. I catch small fish on the warm sand.

From Russia, With Love Liubov V. Z. I have lived a few places in my life. I lived in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. It was a big town with beautiful fruits and vegetables which was good because I like to eat healthy. Next, I lived in Moscow, the capital of Russia. It was a lovely town with big, beautiful houses and snowy and rainy weather. Now I live in Lynn, Massachusetts. It’s located near the ocean with pretty homes and very good people. 68 | My Life, My World

Places in My Past Laurette P. I am from Haiti. I have been to Boston four times. In the past I went to New York to see my cousins. My favorite place is Boston because the fish is frozen and fresh, and the people are friendly. I love Rosie’s Place because the teachers help me. I can find Rosie’s Place on the map.

Places and Faces Marie Carme M. I was born in Mirebalais, Haiti. In my country, I like going across to the Dominican Republic to shop, mainly for clothes. I get boy shorts, dresses and shoes. I try to speak Spanish with the sellers. Sometimes they laugh, but they encourage me. I love visiting the capital of Haiti which is Port-auPrince. I see people walking, eating and buying for themselves or their families. Sometimes I will eat at a restaurant. I order papaya, rice, chicken and fried plantains. The food is delicious!

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My Journey Nataliya K. Before I came to the United States, I lived in Kazan which is located in Russia. It is near a river named Volga that has a lot of fish and is very snowy. I went to school—I took classes at university. I came to America two years ago. I first lived in Boston. It is a big historical city. Now I live in Revere, MA. It is surrounded by water and many good restaurants. The most important place to me is Rosie’s Place because of the English classes. I want to learn English. I want to speak it very well. This is the language many speak in this country.

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Here, There and Everywhere Darbalisia C. I have lived three places in my life so far. First, I lived in the Dominican Republic: Bani is a very nice place. It is hot with a lot of trees. I have also lived in St. Martin. Next, I have lived in several places in Boston. I have lived in Mattapan and Dorchester. I like living in Dorchester. The people in my neighborhood are very nice and good neighbors. We look out for each other. It makes me happy and I feel relaxed. Sometimes I eat with my neighbors. We eat white rice and pork. We talk about where we come from, our families and work. Sometimes I talk about Rosie’s Place and the English classes. I tell them to come to school with me.

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Where I Have Been Belaynesh M. W. I was born in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. I taught Amharic, the language of Ethiopia. In my country, I have a husband and four children and two sisters. I visit my sisters most of the time in Ethiopia. I visit my brother who lives in Boston every week. I go to my church every weekend for services, worship and prayer with my friends every Sunday. I visit my doctors every two months for a checkup. I see a lot of miracles in my life. When I came to Boston, I got so sick but now I am so happy and healthy. God gave me miracles in my life. I love Jesus because he is my savior. I love my children and my family. I love animals like cows, cats, dogs and their voice, especially birds when they are singing in the early morning. I love my country, I love my culture and I love the weather too. It is so fresh! I love America, it is the land of opportunity. 72 | My Life, My World

In my country, I go to Awassa Langano where the tourists like to visit. I visit there with my friends. That place is where the fish are found. The people swim in the pond. Now I am living in the South End in Boston.

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Places in My Past Marie Rosette P. I am from Haiti, from Port-au-Prince. I have been to the beach by the ocean. In the past l went to Georgia where there are mangoes, strawberries, and yellow apples in the market. My favorite place is Haiti because of the food and the people

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Memories of My Country Teresa S. I remember living in the Dominican Republic when I was younger. In the morning, I would wake up and run behind the chickens and the pigs to feed them their breakfast. Then I would eat mine. In the afternoon, I was in school. After that, I would go home and sit on the porch or the sidewall and do my homework. I really liked school. In the evening, I would go to my tia’s house. I liked talking to her about my day and sometimes my dreams. I miss all the things I used to do in my country when I was younger. Life goes by fast.

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Index Writer / Artist Page A

Adenise C. 46 Ana C. 40 Ana Patricia B. 41 Andree Lourdes J. 61 Angelica C. 51 Anie P. 45 Anolle M. 8 Askale H. 8


Belaynesh M. W. 72


Carmaine S. 60 Carmen A. R. 30 Clarivette R. S. 11 Clรกudia F. 42


Dany S. 49 Darbalisia C. 71


Elcida A. 50 Eustania L. C. 63 Evaliss P. 17 Evelyne A. 68


Fany C. 37 Francisca L. 14

Index | 77

Writer / Artist Page G Guilene X. 39


Idovane M. 36 Iris P. 52


Josefinade P. 56 Josefina T. 33 Junie C. 57


Khadijo A. 10


Laurette P. 69 Liubov V. Z. 68 Lucy N. 12


Maira R. 44 Margarita R. 32 Marie Carme M. 69 Marie Christianne Sil D. 31 Marie D. 29 Marie J. 9 Marie Jesula D. 48 Marie Rosette P. 74 Marie V. J. 38 Martha P. 62 Mary P. 45


Nataliya K. 70

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Writer / Artist Page R Renia C. 36


Stella K. 64


Teresa S. 75


Veronika W. 18


Yres D. 28


Zhixin W. 58

Index | 79

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Profile for Rosie's Place

My Life, My World  

Writings from the Women's Education Center at Rosie's Place, Spring 2019

My Life, My World  

Writings from the Women's Education Center at Rosie's Place, Spring 2019