By Kate T.
Grade 4, Maryland
Country of Origin: Bulgaria

For my report, I interviewed Mrs. Anna. She comes from Bulgaria. She was born in Pernik and before she left Bulgaria she lived in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. Mrs. Anna left Bulgaria in 1995 with her husband and two children. Her two children are a daughter, Julia, who is nine and a son, Alexander, who is seventeen. The only family she has left in Bulgaria is her sister and her sisterĂs family. When I asked why she left Bulgaria, she said, ˘For lots of reasons, but the main one is the economic situation back in all the Eastern European countries, which is really bad and I wanted to provide a better future for my children.÷ But she also commented that the economic situation is getting better. The things she bought with her to America that were special were her books. The books were her medical books and her childhood books which were written in Bulgarian. None of Mrs. AnnaĂs relatives or ancestors came to America before her. Mrs. Anna came to America by plane. Bulgaria is in Eastern Europe and is next to the Black Sea. She said that the trip was nice and that they used Czech Airlines, which is an Eastern European airline. They needed to stay in the Czech Republic overnight. The next morning they left the Czech Republic and took a flight to America, which was eleven hours. Mrs. Anna said her first thoughts about America were being worried that they wouldnĂt have enough money for a car. She said that she was afraid they would have problems getting around. But they did have money for a car. Mrs. Anna said it was hard to adapt to America because she didnĂt know how to write a check. She told me in Bulgaria they didnĂt use checks or credit cards, they only used cash. I asked her if America was different than she imagined. She replied by saying, ˘ItĂs really different. I couldnĂt even imagine how it is. But it is different and itĂs better than I expected, actually.÷ It took her five years to become an American citizen. She became a citizen on November 21, 2002. She says there is nothing she dislikes about America and enjoys every day of her life here. She is also happy that her children enjoy it here. Mrs. Anna said that the schools in Bulgaria are not very good. She also told me that schools in Bulgaria donĂt have all the supplies they need. She said the thing she most likes about America is intellectual freedom. I asked her if there were any special restrictions on what you can do in Bulgaria. She said, ˘Yes. Especially before 1989 when all the Eastern European countries became free from the communist regime unions. Before that time, for about a half a century, there was no freedom what so ever there. You were born and you lived under all the restrictions that you can imagine as far as your, not only religion but especially intellectual freedom. Now days itĂs better. The countryĂs open, you can travel from one city to another without the governmentĂs permission. ItĂs getting better every day. We can travel, we can see the world. Unfortunately, the population is too poor to do that; the majority of the population is too poor to do it right now. But, there are highly intelligent people there that are working hard and studying hard and hopefully one day all these European, Eastern European countries will be better. Right now itĂs not a good place to live.÷ Back in Bulgaria Mrs. Anna and her husband were physicians. Mrs. Anna was an internist for almost ten years. She said it was hard to be a doctor in Bulgaria because she saw many very sick people that couldnĂt afford the prescriptions they needed to help them get better. She said that the difference between the manners of American people and Bulgarian people are very different. She says that American people smile or say hi to you even if they donĂt know you. She says that in Bulgaria nobody does that. At the end of the interview, Mrs. Anna gave me a wooden bottle filled with rose oil from Bulgaria. She said that she was glad that we were doing this project and she is happy that we are learning about immigration. She says that there are a lot of people who are wondering why there are people from different countries in America and is glad that we have this opportunity to learn about it.

Back to Immigration