Mosaic Community Essays
The Public’s Radio’s podcast on immigration, Mosaic, has a series of community essays. This one is called “The Dream” by Ruth Machie who lives in Rehoboth, Massachusetts.
I remember it was a February afternoon, the snow was coming down, I was excited. I was going to touch and feel the snow for the first time. It melted in my hair and in my hands it was pure white, just the way I remember from the movies I used to watch back in my country.
Hi, My name is Ruth. I was born and raised in Guatemala. I was born in a country with beautiful volcanoes, mountains and beaches; rich in culture and faith.
I came to Providence on April 18, 2000. I remember the day and time exactly. I arrived on a Tuesday at 4:15 PM.
I left my mother and 3 younger siblings behind. I left my boyfriend and my career behind as well. I was to be reunited here with my father and 3 older siblings.
I was an elementary school teacher in Guatemala. I worked very hard to obtain that degree. I felt accomplished. I had my dream job and I was providing for my family.
It was my dream to come to the US and continue teaching. Soon I realized that wasn’t going to happen, at least not for now. I found myself not speaking the language. How frustrating that was! Nor did I have the requirements needed to teach here.
So, I had to start all over again. It took me 3 years to learn English. I got my GED and was working as a teacher’s assistant. I was working toward a certificate in early childhood education, but it didn’t work out. I didn’t feel confident enough, I dropped out 3 times. During that time I fell in love and got married. We have two smart, athletic and beautiful children and we own a beautiful house. I dedicated myself to my family.
Fast forward 22 years later, I’m here still seeking my dream to teach. I’m enrolled in College Unbound and currently working hard to obtain my Bachelors Degree and Teacher Certification. The dream has not died, because when you desire something so deep it is worth it to keep trying to achieve that dream, whatever that might be.
You might think that all of this was easy. I assure you, it was not. I have worked in factories, I have worked with kids with severe disabilities, I have been a maid, babysitter, you name it. I have been mentally abused by people who I believed loved me. Now, I have a better job and I’m close to the finish line. I can envision myself clearly teaching in my own classroom.
Many of us immigrants might get stuck on our way and whichever direction we try to go, we find obstacles, barriers, confusion and sometimes pain, But also, we find people who are willing to help us. The key is don’t give up. Sometimes it might seem impossible, but it is not.
Ruth Machie lives in Rehoboth, Massachusetts and attends College Unbound. To learn more about Mosaic’s community essays and submit your own essay, visit mosaicpodcast.org.
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