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“I was thirty years old.  The economy had collapsed.  My husband…


“I was thirty years old.  The economy had collapsed.  My husband had just passed away.  I had two young children.  I was working as a teacher but it wasn’t enough.  It wasn’t enough to send my kids to school.  It wasn’t even enough to feed a family.  So I found an agency that helps you find jobs overseas.  They taught me to work in other peoples’ homes: how to cook, how to clean, things like that.  On the day that I left Indonesia, my children were four and six.  I brought them to my sister’s house.  I explained I had to go to work.  Just ‘go to work.’  That’s all I said.  I’ve been gone now for almost twenty-five years.  I could only visit my children every two years, when I was given a vacation.  But I did provide for them.  I sent all my money to my sister.  I paid for their school.  And they did well.  They are both in pharmacy school now.  But recently they’ve told me how much I hurt them.  They’re older now and I guess they think I can take it.  They told me how everyone else had a mom.  And how hard it was for them.  I always wonder what life would have been like if my husband hadn’t died.  Sometimes I blame myself.  I left my children.  What kind of mother leaves her children?  I still have one year on my contract, but after that I want to go back to Indonesia.  I’ve grown old already.  I hope I can become closer to my kids.  I have two grandchildren now.  I want to know them.  I just hope I can make it better.”
(Hong Kong)

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