When I was in Christian elementary school, I was wrestling and having fun. Every boy I was wrestling with, I won! My health was really good when I was young. Sometimes I would go with my friends to the store and purchase dried prunes and ginger. Every day I walked a very long distance from home to school, and from school to home with a big heavy bag of books.
My life was easy, fun, and successful before we came to Canada. In Hong Kong, I went to United Christ Elementary School. I earned the highest marks in the whole class in math; in every English dictation and homework; and every Bible dictation and homework. I got 100 per cent. In Grade 6 and 7, I was a teachers’ assistant. Math and English for me were easy and fun.
In Grade 6, I got a scholarship to further my education. I gave the money to my father.
After arriving in Canada, I went to Eric Hamber Secondary School and took Grade 9 math in Grade 8. Also during those years, I was the fastest runner on the track and field team. I worked very hard at this and practiced running around Langara College.
My parents said I was obedient, pure, and polite. They wanted me to be a Catholic nun, a Catholic sister. My dream was to become a policewoman. I tried to be as religious and spiritual as possible by going to church a lot when I was young.
I got sick later in life. I've been on psychiatric pills since I was 18. Now, I am turning 50. The side effects of psychiatric pills make me unable to keep a job. I haven’t had a business that doesn’t result in me getting fired.
I am on welfare now and I was on welfare after I completed high school. I like selling the Hope in Shadows calendar and Megaphone magazine. It's like I'm hiring myself for my business, like I am owning a business. It's nice to be polite and smile and say "Hi" to people. And I don't get fired.
It's like a community, to make friends and be friendly to people.
Hope in Shadows vendors and Megaphone paper vendors are poor. The business is help people to help themselves. I am really happy that I can make enough money for myself to survive and make a living every two weeks.
From Voices of the Street and Megaphone, 2014