This I Believe

Monica - Louisville, Kentucky
Entered on August 28, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: immigrant

This I believe

I believe in change because it brings hope and new beginnings. I believe in change of people, life and countries. Growing up in Zimbabwe was no different from growing up here in America. The economy was good, the education was great and it was a young and vibrant country with lots of opportunities. I lived in a border town of Mutare and our house was 15 minutes away from the border. Mozambique was the country on the other side of the border. It was a war torn country whose people were jumping the border everyday to come to Zimbabwe for a better life. Mozambicans did not use the border to get into Zimbabwe because they had no passports and they did not meet most of the entry requirements. They jumped the border the same way Mexicans jump the American borders. There was always talk about the “Moskens” as we called them. I saw them being deported everyday and somewhat saw them as low class human beings. There was no question as to whether they were in the country legally or not. They were illegal immigrants. Everyone talked about how they came to the country to steal and how hard it was to employ uneducated people. My family employed at least six migrant workers. I still remember two of them very fondly. The first immigrant worker my family had was Wayne. He came looking for a job one day and my mom hired him on the spot. She gave him some sheets and blankets and sent him to the servant’s quarters. His job was to do the yard work. I was in 3rd grade and after school I would teach him how to speak and write English. He was fun to be around and he taught me to count in Portuguese. A few years later, Sergio took Wayne’s job. He worked for my family until he died in 2000.

With time, the situation in Mozambique changed and most of the Moskens went back home.

I believe in change and that change is what brought me to America. Change is what transformed Mozambique to be the country that it is today. Immigrating to America made me realize how Mozambicans must have felt when they came to Zimbabwe. It must have been degrading and humiliating. Mexicans are usually the target of most immigrant issues in America and seeing them reminds me of Mozambicans. When I came to America, I became the Mosken. I became the uneducated, dirty, job stealing Mosken. I am a legal permanent resident of the United States but whenever there is talk about the immigration bill, there is that unsettling feeling that identifies me as one of them. I believe tomorrow is a different day and with it, comes many changes and challenges. With China and India ‘s economies rising and China set to be the next world power, where will America be? I believe in the power of change and that even the greatest countries can change.