“It was cheaper if I came”

Chloe Q.

Shazi Shabation

December 16, 2019

As I’m talking to my grandma, she is happy to tell me all about her journey. She tells me about the weather, her emotions, and the reason she came. She laughs as she tells me that she came because her sister Carmela didn’t want to go to school anymore so she wanted to come here to get a job. “It was cheaper if I came” she says with a smile on her face. The day had come, December 17, 1967. At 15 years old she was going to take a 2-day drive from Guadalajara, Mexico to Mexicali. The weather was horrible and gloomy, snow and clouds covered everything. Despite the somber weather and a horribly long drive, my grandma was over the moon with joy as she was about to go to the United states. As I listened, I couldn’t imagine how boring that drive would be. She tells me about her sister feeling guilty because she thought that my grandma felt forced to join. My grandma had absolutely no problem with this journey. The smile on her face so big and contagious as she relives her experience. When she got to Mexicali, all it took was 6 marvelous weeks and bam! they were residents. Finally! She was in the United states. She started in 8th grade at 15 with no English to help her. She felt horrible not knowing any English. “I was dumb… It was really difficult”.  One memory stuck with her for 52 years. She was reading out loud and she mispronounced the word he. She remembers looking back at her classmates as everyone began to laugh at her small mistake. Listening to that, I begin to feel extremely bad for her. I can imagine the room full of students as shame and embarrassment. She laughs it off and enjoys the memories…