Always Good to Come Home

Ofelia Martinez from Hong Kong, China

Interviewed by: Christine Moisant

 "I still love the United States. That's the best country. yeah, i'll go to visit other countries, but it's always good to come home. This is my home. My childrens home, my husband's home. The United States is my home.

I heard it was the land of oppurtunities. You can live better, have your freedom of religion and just everything's better! If you work hard, you get whatever you want. If you don't want to work hard, you don't get anything.

Hong Kong, China is my hometown. I came here when I was about 10 with my mother. We came on a ship and it took us 12 days to get here. I was very happy when I arrived because I had heard so much about it, what great oppurtunities it would bring. So I was happy to get the opportunity to have a better life.

I've gone back to China two times since i left. My husband wanted to see where I was from. I've also been to Japan, Indonesia, Thailand and Signapore. I haven't traveled much, and I will go and visit other countries, but it's always good to come home. This is my home, my childrens home, my husband's home. The United States is my home.

Adjusting? Well I had to adjust because I didn't speak English; I only spoke Chinese and Portugese. I also learned Italian because in North Beach, where I lived, they were all Italian. Then I learned Spanish to be with my husband, since he only spoke Spanish.

I met my husband when i was 14, and he used to come and visit the family I was living with. He used to bring beautiful vegetables, and that's how I met him. We got married when i was 15. It was my destiny to be married to my husband. Even though I was very young to be getting married, it was ok because somehow, I was born old and my husband was born young. He was 21 years older than I am, but I would never change him for the world. It was meant for me.

In my case, I was lucky. I came here, took advantage of my opportunities, and became somebody. This country is a good country, the land of opportunities for all people in all parts of life. That's why I love this country, I really do.