Memories of My Family and My Country

by Rosario Maldonado

Photo of young persons dancing the caporalesI am from Bolivia, and I've been in this country for four years. My father's name is Martin and my mother's name is Clara. When I was a little girl they taught me about respect and good manners. They taught me about how important it is to say "good morning," "good evening," "please," and "thank you" to other people. They taught me to help old or blind people to cross the streets, to be on time wherever I go, to stay quiet in the classroom, and to clean my desk all the time.

I went to public elementary and high school. I wore white uniforms and I had wonderful teachers. I had English class only two hours per week. When there was a holiday we had a big celebration in the school. All the students recited poems or played music like guitar, quena or piano, or they danced traditional dances like the caporales with special traditional clothes.

I left Bolivia four years ago because I wanted to meet other people and see other countries. I was twenty-eight years old. I was surprised when I came here to see so many different kinds of people. It was difficult for me because I couldn't speak English, but I've learned a lot in the past four years. I took classes at my church and learned to speak English. I learned how to drive a car. I got a job caring for young children. I've learned to eat different kinds of foods; now I eat more vegetables and fruits.

My goals are for my daughter to get a good education, and for me to learn how to use computers, so that I can get a good job in an office.

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Last Updated By Gail Matthews-DeNatale: 10/08/96