martes, 30 de abril de 2013

Rose's story

Author: Rosario González Salguero
Nationality: Bolivian
Specialist in Preparation and Evaluation of Projects
* Series: Stories about skilled immigration and foreign professional women

When we leave our origin country we think that there are many lucky opportunities waiting for us, which will help us to develop as persons, besides of making economic resources.

This is a real story, almost a novel with some lines of irony, humor and charm; very subtle tricks that we immigrant women use to invent so we can overtake the sadness of being away, far away of our land, our family and our children.

This is Rose's story: When she arrived to Madrid on a hot July, when the sun seems to never rest and day are so long and bright, as the illusions of arrive to a new country looking for challenges and goals. what she did not know was that there was a big difference between arrive as a tourist and living as a worker, but She was determined to pass any barrier, achieve their goals and integrated in old Europe, being an active person in this new country and society.

When Rose went through the door of the employment office she had to hide the title under the arm and instead of showing up her studies and profession, she had to show up her kindness, patience, a little of psychology and a lot of cooking and cleaning skills. This will open the doors to generate her economy, besides of give her a decent life and give support to her distant family.

Rose didn’t hesitate, any place of Spain, any job for women (cleaning, cooking, children care, elderly care), after many years of college, after so many classes and seminaries, she had to choose the iron and dishwasher, besides of accepting the new reality, she didn't have a name on the working house, she was nothing but the maid.

Anyways, she was optimistic and happy, people on the streets were kind, for example: if she ask any direction of places she doesn’t know, a bunch of kind people shows her the way with many details, people were always asking her, where is she from, and she always answered that question explaining that she was only a maid.

Rose lives in Spain five years ago, three of those five years she worked with a family in which there was a disabled five years old boy, with an unknown disease and without diagnostic, he was charming, he didn't speak, he didn't walk, only jump around as a frog, he was extremely restless and naughty, he wasn’t paying attention to the dangers close, so Rose had to be very careful with him, very patience at lunch time, bath time but she really understood him, they were good friends. The disabled boy knew who loves him.

Two years went so fast, and Rosa requested to the family to help her with "the papers", they accepted. Few months later when Rose was finally legal in Spain, the boy's family came up with a radical change, they were asking for nonsense favors, for example: They asked her to take the bad humor at midnight, after Rose took care of their kids all day, gave them the breakfast, lunch and dinner, helped them with school chores, went to the pool with them, eat with them, going to the park with them and being all day very dedicated to their kids. Is it normal to ask for taking care of two extra little girls that live in the neighbor? Rose is a very responsible person; she knows that with three little girls in a pool is a risk for everyone, for them, for Rose and for irresponsible mothers that went on shopping.

Anyway, the conditions changed since the day that the family helped Rosa with the glorious "papers". Rosa disappointed left to Madrid looking for a better destiny. Madrid City is a place with a lot of cultural diversity, an unstoppable activity in every way. There is a place for everyone, genius and no genius. Madrid City is a place that catches the attention of everyone, it generates illusions, imagination, generates art, but at the same time is the capital city with all the problems of a cosmopolitan city and there is the problem of immigration.

How many people like Rose had to pass through the CIES (Internal center for foreigners), how many others got an expulsion letter and they walk with fear on the streets, there are policemen everywhere, uniformed and dress as civilians it doesn't matter if it's day or night, they love making raids late at night, with the time difference between the cities the best time to communicate it's from 10 at night on forward. And the people that are in a very irregular state debate about satisfaction of having some good news from their families, but at the same time with fear of being trapped by the police, for a very common activity like missing family.

For immigrants life in Madrid is hard, the heads of the employee offices think that the working girls are like robots, restless, without feelings and no emotional needs. Give a job contract or pay social security it's their obligation, but they don’t do it, so immigrants have to pay that for themselves.
In the past year, Rosa had experience with elderly of Spain; it's dramatic in every way. Elderly is abandoned in this country, family is bored of them, and so they have two options, the residence for elderly or the immigrant attention.

At this time, Rose arrived to a lost neighbor of Vallecas, for her surprise, most of the people were elder. Rose, besides of accepting her economic conditions and very unfavorable job, past trough very maddening experiences specially with the old woman, in her crazy mind, turns aggressive, refuses to eat, sleep or taking the medicines, and Rose as many other women in her conditions, must search in the psychology bag any persuasive tool to apply on the old woman who's bored of life, because if the old woman is conscious about something, it's about the love absence that her family has on her.

Working with people, children or elders it's decent, but are the conditions decent? Intern jobs with endless schedules, insufficient payment, and if you don’t like it they kick you out, 'cause there are many other immigrants dying for that job.

The illusions are like an alleyway, some of the gained experiences here in Spain are marks of the best laundry products and a mastering title washing dishes; an experience with unpaid jobs.

Go back? That's the main issue that many others ask themselves as Rose, to go back with a broken illusion, no money, no future, no life plan, Rose is not a young girl, and she’s fifty. But this last year immigrants decided to go back.

On February, she filed her application for residence by "rooting", which would allow him permission to live and work in Spain, after six months without response the result is “negative", she doesn’t know why, but the letter didn't arrive yet, in the mean time there's nothing she can do, but she has to survive, make some money.

In Bolivia, Rose's children need money every month for school. She's been almost a year pending the processing of immigration, to try to get a work permit that ultimately fails.

Right now, Rose is a worker women, immigrant, she looks for domestic jobs, she could be decided to work on the bad conditions with no sufficient payment, no security, but with kindness, patience, good at cooking and cleaning skills and washing dishes even to midnight if it's necessary.

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