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Carolina Ortiz

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I met an Irish person when I was living in Columbia and he was in an exchange in University. After we met we kept in contact for two years and he came to Columbia in the summers. I then went to London to do a Masters Degree. Since we are both architects he went to London as well and then we decided to get married in Columbia.

We lived everywhere...London for 7 years, Hong Kong for 5 (years), and then we came here to Ireland. Since living in Ireland I’ve lived only in Dublin and didn’t know anyone else other than my husband’s friends and family...

I came before I got married on holidays and I told him that I would get married to him only if we didn’t live in Ireland...because I found that it was too cold. But then after I had children I thought that it would be nice to have his family or some sort of support...when he proposed to come (here) I thought that it would be good for the kids. I only really problem was the weather...when I came on holidays I always had a good time and I never had a problem.

My eldest was born in London, and the second one was born in Hong Kong (which is China now)...we have an English one, a Chinese one, a Columbian and an Irish one in here! I try to keep the Columbian heritage very strong and I know for them its difficult because they want to belong to the Irish culture completely...but I speak to them all the time in Spanish and I do Colubian things...I cook Columbian food, as well. I bring them home and they know that we are different. They go to an international school.

If someone were to go to Columbia to live they would be considered a King! I was trying to explain to my husband what happens when a houligan goes to Columbia they are still a King because they come from the North or from a different country and people immediately assume that its absolutely doesn’t really happen here.

For example, my best friend here in Ireland was from Denmark, a complete blond, blue eyes, and she’s goregous and whenever we went to a place or whatever, people would be different to her than they would be with me you know. And we were both noticing it...and that is amazing you know because that means that its not just foreigners, its certain kind of foreigners you know... so I don’t know if its their colour or if you come from a developing country that affects the people. Of course sometimes I have bad experiences here, not all the time but certainly I never felt that in Hong Kong or in England.

Yeah, I think that younger people are more tolerant and they don’t see the colour or features of the face as a different person you know. Having said that Ireland is going to suffer for a while and people are going to have to emigrate again and you just hope that they will learn from their experiences. In so many countries they were very welcome and it is sad to think that even if you are a parent or a grandfather of a guy who had to emigrate not to think that they could be having trouble in somewhere else.



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