The empire and colonialism were all my fault. I had argued until I was exhausted, it didn’t change matters. What was worse was that they were right in a way, a mind set and attitude that I did nothing to dispel. I was the bossy one, trying to organise the hot and unwilling to my ideas. I was the one who became cross and frustrated because the Pre-teen group wouldn’t play games whilst Brennan just sat there. The little girls came and played with his long hair, plaiting it like a dolly’s. The boys couldn’t get over his huge size or the fact that he could speak another language. He taught them a song in Nauruan. They loved to join in the singing. So they ignored me and played with Brennan. Until I gave up and joined in too.
And of course I was still telling them they were wrong.
But why do you want to go to America? Why not stay here and make it work?
Would you? Why buy a pair of Jamaican shoes that fall apart when you can buy an American pair that are far cheaper?
But you’ll build up the trade and they’ll get better.
I can’t afford to do that.
One holiday our group was scattered to various families in the country. Norma was determined that she would only stay in a house with a television. Carys decided she ought to stay with Norma to get to know her better, so I was on my own. Gee thanks folk.
We went to the first house, the boys already delivered elsewhere. No television aerial, therefore no Norma. One person could stay.
I remember looking at the house and grounds and my heart sinking. It looked rather… confused at the back where we had arrived. Pipes and old parts of machinery lay on the earth. The cooking area outside was a car wheel on a pile of bricks. A rather large lady in a dusty brown dress with a kerchief tied around her head came towards us with a large pot spoon in her hand. Her face didn’t give anything away. I felt that it was my fate to step forward and say hello. The others said they would see me later. I wandered in behind her thinking why me and then took a deep breath and went in.