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Appreciating the USA

I couldn't fall asleep for the life of me last night...I was flicking through the channels and stopped when I saw a documentary that was just starting on HBO - Citizen USA: A 50 State Road Trip.

Alexandra Polansis' Dutch-born husband was becoming a citizen of the US because he didn't want to be the only foreigner in his own family which inspired his wife to go out on a road trip through all 50 states to experience when other people were becoming citizens taking their oath.

I am not a citizen yet but I am hoping to change that within a few months (yes, that is awful, I have taken my time in doing so, tsk tsk, shame on me)...It will be easier for me this time around because elections are around the corner so they usually make the process smoother and quicker! They need voters!!

Watching all of my fellow foreigners becoming a citizen was very emotional, specially when they were asked why they wanted to be a citizen of the US.

I was really taken by the comment one of the new citizens made:
"People here are always complaining, they don't know how lucky they are, taking their freedom for granted and all the comodities they are offered in this country, they should go and try living out of the US and get a taste of what it is like in other countries around the world" and I sure do agree!!

getting the water
Where I come from electricity is a luxury, there are some neighborhoods or sectors as we call them that will only get a few hours of electricity a day...it really depends on where you live, around tourist areas and where rich people live it happens but it only goes for a an hour the most.
Running water is a luxury as well...I remember as a young girl (80's) having to carry water; a gallon in each hand and a can on my head to fill up 4 huge tanks to last us for at least a week or until we would get running water again...One faucet for the entire neighborhood, huge lines and sometimes fights because people wanted to make sure they had their tanks full before the water was gone.  After we collected the water my grandmother would boil what we were going to drink for the week, oh yes, water needs to be boiled if you didn't want to get sick. 
Things of course changed...is not like that anymore, almost every home will have a faucet, they also use this things called tinacos to store water and that way we can have running water through the house.  Other houses have cisternas (like a well). Still, you can't drink the water!! 

Tinaco for the water

We had a little TV, was 13 inches, and black and white...all the kids in the neighborhood would be over in the afternoon to watch cartoons when we actually had electricity, same things with the soap operas, 15 heads deep in the kitchen or living room in suspense! hehe
We had a refrigerator but it was used for storage, thing was getting fixed every other month, the motor used to burn out from each time the electricity would go ona and off - but we at least we had one! We never had a phone at the house, there was a line at the pharmacy for the entire neighborhood! Huge lines to use the phone and it was timed too!  Dang I miss those days believe it or not...things were so much simpler *sighs*

I came to this country and like most foreigners I was in a culture shock! When I first saw a washing machine I was thrilled, even more so when I found out you can dry your clothes in just a few minutes!
Loved it! We had to wash clothes by hand, put them on the lines, wait for them to dry, and after all was said and done it was time to iron. 

anafe

We had to do dishes three times a day, mop twice a day, dust everyday, and that was only the chores.  We cooked with charcoal and in a thing we call anafe (what they call here a grill) but didn't look as fancy...I remember when my grandmother was given a stove for mothers day, all her kids put money together to buy it for her, she only used it for special occasions!! haha It was cheaper cooking with charcoal or with wood...until my aunt took the anafes away so she can use the stove...it worked!


I had a wonderful childhood; my grandfather had like a little farm, we had chickens, he grew vegetables, huge fruit trees, if I wanted a coconut it was right in my back yard, any sort of fruit I wanted, and if we didn't have it one of the neighbors probably did (we had to wait til it was dark so we could jump the barb wire fence to get it) *grins* that was a sure beaten for me the next day!  Happened many times!

I really believe people take for granted how well they have it in this country; the country of opportunities...but of course you can only succeed with hard work, and perseverance.  We can do and accomplish everything we want in life, you just need to want it really bad!

There is freedom, help for those in need (public assistance), training, education, rights, you can get everything you need and want here! you name it! I don't need to go to Cuba to experience it if I can fly to Florida...Manhattan is a little Dominican Republic, each major city has a china town, and I can go on forever!!

The USA is just a melting point of every country in the world! Amazing huh?


Sincerely Yours
Aluv



Comments

Kitty said…
Aluv,

That was such an interesting post. Thank you so much for sharing what your growing up years were like...I will be sure to remember all the reasons I have to be thankful. You're right that people take for granted what we have.

I'm glad that your childhood was a happy one, even if it was quite different than what we're used to in the U.S.

Love,
Kitty
Emi Jones said…
WOW! I too second the thanks on sharing all that. It sounds like you have fond memories.
People really do take for granted what we all have. I really need to count my own blessings every now and then.
My oldest will be taking a mission trip this next year when she turns 16. I hope she can get a better view on the world while there. She has NO idea just how lucky she is as an average American teen.
ALuv said…
thanks @Kitty, just know everything is easier in this country...makes me appreciate everything I have today

@Emi Jones :) I am sure she will be surprised! is not the same seen things on tv or hearing about it until you get to experience it first hand! My kids just took a trip to the Dominican Republic a few months ago and they are still in shock! but they loved it!

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