My Interview with Nersa

This is a photo of various stalls of street vendors in Georgetown, Guyana.

This is a photo of various stalls of street vendors in Georgetown, Guyana.

Welcome to InJew Nation in Christ Communiqué! Wednesday, December 05, Stormy 2014: InJew iNation in Christ “History and Culture Development”   (Universal Church of Christ 7th Day Ministries, Inc.; (Guyana)

Greetings: Recently I ran into a young lady by the name of Narsa, who has been working tirelessly for the past five years selling stuff for both women and men, and I held an interview both face to face and by telephone with her. Please see interview blow:-

A pleasant good morning to you young lady, my name is Wilfred and I would like to have an interview with you if you would not mind.

“Why would you want to interview me?”

She asked, in a soft tone of voice. And as she looked up, our eyes made contact, and I said to her,

“I am very much interested in your story and I would like to publish it.”

“Publish it! Who would be interested in hearing my story? I am a single parent and my story is about hard ‘wuk;’ and coming out here every day ‘fuh’ five years in ‘duh’ rain and ‘duh’ hot sun to make a living and to make ‘ends meet ain’t’ easy. Who want fuh hear bout hard wuk and hard life dese days fuh G$10,000- $15,000 a week.?”

What do you sell, Nersa?

I sell mostly women clothing, and makeup kits, and some jerseys for men.

Nersa, I can assure you that there are lots of people out there who would love to hear your story and they would be touched, and even encouraged by it. Think about this, for example, the many people who have launched into similar ventures like you, and perhaps longer than you, and especially those single parents like you, who have just started to sell on the street. I was still looking at her while I waited to hear her decision when she said,

“Well if you ‘seh suh,’ it’s ok with me.”

Would you like to tell me about yourself?

“Well, my name is Nersa, and I am thirty one years old. I was born and grew up in Meadow Bank on the East Bank of Demerara. But I was born an unwanted child, you see. I say so because my father told my mother that I was not his child when I was born, and he shunned me, and never supported me. I heard this when family and friends would talk about it, and even thou I was small, yet I had good sense when I was about eight years old: but they did not know this, let alone to think that I understood exactly what  they were saying about me. I had to live with this feeling of rejection from my father, and unto now I have not overcome it fully. The reason why is because I know he is my father and I love him.

Growing up knowing that my father rejected me was painful and still is, and it hindered me from moving on in my life in many ways. It was the main reason why from about eight years old I kept myself to myself and did not want to play much with my two brothers and five sisters even though I loved them. In my heart I really wanted to play with them, but the feeling that my father disowned me always comes to mind, and I found it hard to laugh out, and be happy and free as they , so I would find a place in the house or the yard where I could be all by myself.”

In what other ways Nersa?

“I hardly played at school, and preferred to be by myself. Also I did not focus on my school work all the time because my mind would wander away from the class room for a while and come back again, after an empty gaze, seeing and hearing nothing strange; except when I would hear my teacher say, ‘Nersa, come up in front, I do not want you to sit at the back.’ Then I would say, yes Sir. However, my grades dropped eventually as my school work became harder, and even though I tried hard to keep my previous high grades I was accustomed to having, yet I could not make them anymore. So my performance at school dropped too, and that was added to my list of bad experiences and woes. I became fed up at times and would cry quietly without being noticed and especially at nights when I retired to bed. I asked myself hundreds of times why me Lord, as the tears kept flowing from my eyes as a young girl then, and even now as a adult with responsibility.

I finally left school in form 5 at age seventeen without writing my CXC examination, because that was the age where you leave school if you made no particular progress. However, before I left school, I attended my school’s attachment program and studied Cosmetology.  And after I left school, that is, St, George’s High, I attended an institute where I did courses in floral decorations, and handcraft. I use these skills to make money also.

Could you remember any good times you had growing up, Nersa?

Yes, my father and my mother did not live together, therefore growing up was kind of hard, but God provided for us each day. However, things changed a little when my stepfather met my mother and that was when I was about twelve years old. My stepfather, who is currently married to my mother, had lived home with her at first, treated us well, and I appreciated him a lot, but that did not change my thinking or healed my inner hurts completely. A good time for me also was when I was helping my mother in the kitchen. I always loved to help my mother in the kitchen because she spent most of her time working there, and I thought she need an extra helping hand. Also I wanted to learn to cook and to clean the way she did.  She used to cook food and make pastries to sell, and also according to special orders she would received as well. So by helping her I learned to cook almost anything.

What really went wrong at eighteen years old?

“But how you getting me to talk so much, this woman don’t like to talk out ‘sh’ (her) business, however as a gone so far I will continue. At age eighteen that was in 2001, I was overcoming my childhood experience about my father, when I met my first boyfriend, who was nineteen years old. He was born in my hometown and grew up there, but spent some years in the United States of America before returning to Guyana on vacation. Our relationship lasted for one year, that was the whole of 2002, and during that time I had my first ever affairs with a man, and the second time around I became pregnant. During that one year period he returned to the USA, but came back in September of that year, and when I told him that I was pregnant, he said the same thing that my father told my mother about me. He said that the child was not his. So that made the two of us, mother and daughter to be rejected by their fathers. He never supported her and to this date he shuns her. What he said to me woke up every pain in me again, and I started to cry out again not only why me, but why her also. I would like to add though, that his mother who lives abroad saw the child and acknowledge her as her granddaughter, and never stopped sending things for her.

Is your daughter aware of her father’s attitude towards her.

Yes, but even though I never told her anything yet she knows. It was not that I did not want to tell her, buy I was waiting for an opportunity to tell her at the right time. However, one day she said to me, mommy, I know who is my father, his name is so, so, so. And that was what left me a bit surprised for a while. I also know that she is taking it on. I know this because he was sent back home to Guyana from the USA, and he tried to make up back with me, so I said to him, after you put me in all that stress you want to make up back with me now? Not this woman. Look after your child and do not worry about me. As a result, he shuns her more, and she knows it. This was even noticeable at a function held recently, namely, her grandfather’s birth anniversary, and one where her grandfather insisted that my daughter must attend. So I decided that I would take her to the function just to please her grandfather, and at the same time to let her see some of her relatives. During the course of the evening my daughter’s father passed her as he walked up and down the hall, until it got overbearing where her grandfather was concerned. As a result, as his son passed again for the sixth time, her grandfather said , ‘Stop right here in front of me, I noticed that you have been passing this child all the time without say a word to her, say something to her now, she is your daughter. I am not concerned about the relationship between her mother and you.’  At that point he spoke with her for a while and after he was done, I did not ask her what he told her, but rather, told her grandfather that I was taking her home, and my daughter and I left, after I called for a taxi.

Presently my daughter is at school and not doing so well as before, but I keep praying that she would improve, especially since her examination is just around the corner. This is why I am doing my part to help her as much as possible.

What advice would you like to give to adults and young people?

What advise can I give? I would say to them that life is unpredictable. Sometimes you are not directly responsible for the way life faces you, but you must try to make the best out of a bad situation, and you can do this with the help of God Almighty.

Thank you, Nersa, it was a pleasure speaking with you.