Monday, January 28, 2013

Displaced Immigrant: What could have been might have been.

June 30, 1989 – Loaded taxi took off from Line Path A, Skeldon, Guyana carrying my grandfather, grandmother, mom and myself.
June 30, 1989 – Arrived at (then) Timehri International Airport, Georgetown, Guyana.
June 30, 1989 – Flew to Piarco International Airport, Trinidad. Missed the connecting flight because we did not know where to go and what to do. So we spent the night at the airport. Still unsure of what to do. Finally, my 17 year old self grew a pair and walked up to a counter attendant to explain our ply. They are wondering about us. We were sitting right in the lobby. First time on an airplane, first time leaving Guyana, first time my old grandfather was out of his element. It was a very fast maturity for me. Hours to be exact.
July 1, 1989 – Arrived in John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York. USA. Spent time reuniting with family and friends.
July 7 1989 – Got on a flight Minneapolis, Minnesota bound, where my step dad lived. This was the final destination of my mom. Her childhood sweet heart had finally got his childhood crush. When they we little kids growing up in #78 Village these two destined souls were giving each other the googly eyes. As time would have it, somehow parents were not in agreement to this. My mom was sent to live with her grandparents in Line Path A. Enter my swankadeen dad, the playboy of Line Path A, man of men amongst Sugar Workers, a friend to anyone who crossed his path. He swept the young girl from #78. They got married, I arrived on earth in 1971. My dad passed, in August 1977, from some would say his reckless behaviour of driving motor cycles without a helmet falling too many times and hitting his head. Others would say it was a hereditary brain disease, guess I would never know the real reason.
Back Yard
Back Yard Jan 18, 2013
My stepdad was divorced from a marriage that resulted in two kids, a boy and a girl. What better thing to do than pursue his childhood sweetheart? He came back to Guyana looking for her. They got married and sometime later off to the States we came.
Front Yard
Front Yard Jan 18, 2013
Having very limited knowledge of the geography and lay out of the US, I really never considered living in Minnesota. It was all about living in New York amongst my cousins. I was given a warm welcoming reception when we arrived at my stepdad. His kids, my now step brother and sister, were very accomodating and treated me kindly. I spent that first summer exploring and getting to know my new family. Never did it cross my mind that this could have been my home, had I choose to.
At the end of Summer 1989, I went back to New York to start my own journey. As faith would have it one day as I was walking around Times Square New York, I literally stumbled into the military recruiting office, a month later I was enlisted and attended United States Navy boot camp in Great Lakes, IL. Being the gunho sailor I was, I volunteered for the first Desert Storm onboard the USS Midway forward deployed from Japan. Which saw me serving out my time of enlistment in Japan. After military service, sailing around in the cold North China Sea, in the Korean, Japanese, and Chinese waters, I could not see myself living in a cold climate. I relocated to sunny Florida, where since 1994, I enjoyed the warm climate similar to my motherland.
During my years in Florida, at one time I gave Minnesota another try. For reasons apart from the weather, I could not find myself staying and living. Is it the way of life, is it the scarcity of West Indians? They are many Guyanese who call Minnesota their home. Many of them are spread out across the state. I never really felt right here. Yes there are many great things about this state, apart from my mom being here. There are magnificent lakes, nature parks, great fishing, great education, great living conditions, the state is always looking for ways to better systems, increased ease of transportation, and many more wonderful things. It was touted as one if not the best state to live in many years running. But I just can’t seem to get behind the eight ball.
They say hindsight is 20/20. Look back to see where one came from, look around to see where one is, and look forward to see where one must go. When I look back, there will always be that unanswered question. Did I make the right choice to not live in Minnesota? Some may continue to argue that it is never too late to make changes, I fully agree. However, I am still not convinced that I can make a life in Minnesota. I am very fortunate to be able to freely choose where I make my home. Who knows what might have been could have been.