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Conversation with Carlos Estrada

Interviewee: 
Estrada, Carlos
Interviewer: 
Parrish, Sarah
Date of Interview: 
2001-04-13
Identifier: 
LGES0058
Subjects: 
Overcoming obstacles; Relationships with people and places; Cultural identification
Abstract: 
Carlos Estrada talks about the differences between Colombia and Charlotte, and how he has been able to adjust to life in the US.
Collection: 
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Sarah Parrish interviewed a variety of people currently residing in North Carolina for a class project at UNCC.
Interview Audio: 
Transcript:
CE (Carlos Estrada): Uh, my name is Carlos and I'm from Colombia and well I'm, I'm going to talk about, about like the biggest difference between Colombia and here. The biggest difference is the weather, which is really, really different, because we don't have seasons, so it's the same weather all year long. It depends where you live, so if you live uh, up high in the mountains it's really cold, but if you live near the coast it's hot, hot all year long so, it's really different and for the first time in life when I come here, I got to see snow last winter and it's really, really cool. Um, I used to live in a city which about same population as Charlotte, but it, it wasn't so scattered around, it was a lot, a lot closer together so, people don't have to, to travel a lot to get to their jobs or school or wherever. So we got a lot of public transportation too, yeah.
SP (Sarah Parrish): So is that something different in Charlotte too?
CS: There's none here--
SP: There's not much public transportation here?
CE: People don't used to have a car, like they do here, like students, students are poor and you just take the bus whenever we can, and we usually don't live at the universities, or the schools where you go to. Usually just live at your house with your parents or whatever and just stay there and take the bus to your school or your job. That's pretty much about it. Before I came here, I, I finished my major in engineering [pause] and then when I finished, there wasn't very many jobs open for me, so, I decided to come here and study some English, so I could have some doors opened and I came here and I really like it and I been practicing my English and it's getting better and I really like it here, so [pause] I decided to, I want to stay here longer and maybe do uh, uh a master's degree, so that's what I'm working on right now.
SP: And ( )?
CE: And yeah, I also found uh, this lovely lady which [laugh] is my fiancee and I'm getting married in November, which is like a big step so I'm happy about it and we are also moving in together in May and we found a really, really nice apartment and we are looking very forward to it because it's nice and we want to go ahead and take this step and start a new, a new process in our life [pause]. And what else can I tell you? [Long pause] Well, the holidays, we, since in Colombia the families are really big and I have this huge family, and I have about uh, on my father's side, I have like seven uncle and aunts, and on my mother's side, I have, eh, four uncles and four aunts too. So, everytime it's like Christmastime or Mother's Day or any celebration all the whole family gets together and we celebrate with big dinners and stuff, and it's really nice, and that's mostly what I been missing here, because I don't have much family here and we get together and have some drinks and talk and have a really, really nice time. Actually, the past Christmas, I, I went to visit my cousin down in Florida, and it was really nice because I was a little bit of Colombia and he is really, really nice and my only close family that I have here. It was good, but it was still different, because I miss my family and the food, because you can't get all the things you do in Colombia here. But, it's, it's been good. I really like it here.
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