I want to go home!
Phyllis Nand, Suva Fiji
Interviewed by: Will Petersen
"After six months, I got to hold my husband again."
I wake up, immediately grabbed a trash can and threw up. I just found out that I was pregnant, again. I already had two children so I should be use to it, right? Well I also just got off a plane from Fiji to America. I pleaded to my husband saying “please send me back home, I want to go home!” I never felt like this before.
All of that happened once I got settled in America. My husband, Keshwa Nand watched movies of America. He saw the opportunities, the excitement, and pictured me and him in this American dream that he always wished for. Day or night, he would always dream about it.
I met Keshwa in high school in the city of Suva on the Fiji Islands. I left high school for him. I loved him so much, I just wanted him in my life. Before I left school to get married, I was an excellent student! I studied hard, and passed all of my tests. It was all fairly easy for me. I could sing too, everyone loved to hear me sing! I would participate in concerts on top of all my school work.
Family wasn’t so hard either, being the fifth child out of six, the house chorus weren’t so challenging because we would all help out cooking, cleaning, and so on. My older sister would always tell me to make roti (tortilla). Everyone just loved they way I made roti! It not only tastes good with butter and curry, but the way I made it looked beautiful. Making roti was like an art, I always treated it like so. My parents taught me a lot about, well everything! Their was one thing that I always keep close to my heart was to always be nice to everyone, be kind to everyone and never look anyone down. That led me to build great relationships with people, especially with my husband.
Our wedding wasn’t very extravagant like weddings in America. It was a small gathering at a relative’s house, its funny because their wasn’t very many people there, but the way I felt for Keshwa made up for all that. Our first month married was great, in till six months after, he left to America to build a new life for the both of us to live in.
While he was in America, I stayed in Fiji with my three year old girl Linda, and my eighteenth month old boy Francis. It was difficult with out him by my side. I missed him so much but I knew why he had to go. So when I get to America with our two children, everything will be ready and it will be easy for me to settle down. Six months after he left, I was on my way to America. I was sad living my home, so many things that are only memories but meant so much to me.
On my last day we all had parties with family and friends. Linda wasn’t so happy though, but we had to go. I just couldn’t wait to see Keshwa again! Everyone said their goodbyes. The plane ride was very enjoyable.
Unlike my husband who came to America over a boat on the Pacific Ocean. My plane ride was wonderful. The stuartist was very kind to me, especially since I had my two children with me. Once I landed in America we didn’t have those tunnel thingies that connected the plane to the gate. We had stairs, so once I stepped on American soil, I saw my husband. I was so happy! Keshwa started running to me, after six months I got to hold my husband again! It was a very good sight to see.
So here I was, pregnant in America and I felt so sick but thanks to my husband and friends, I stayed and I had my last child, Judy. All my children where wonderful, and I told them that school is very important.
At first, I taught my children Hindustani and a little English. I got a note from school from their elementary principal. They wanted me to come up to the school and talk to me about all three of my children. They told me that since I am in America, you have to speak to you’re children in English at home. That is when I started to learn more about American culture and taught my children about that and some Fijian culture as well.
Everything about America was fairly easy. The culture was easy to understand because the British occupied Fiji. So I learned how to speak English and learned about a lot of English etiquette when I was a little girl in Fiji. Making new friends was easy too, because the Americans were very friendly and there was a Fiji club of America so I was with people that I could relate to.
I keep in contact with family and friends back in Fiji and I still do. I visited two or three times to see them. Hey sometimes asked me how was the journey going to a new country. I Just say, It got harder before it got better. Luckily its better now.