What is your name?
My name is Anna Maria McGinty.
How old are you?
I am 62.
Where are you from?
I am from Belize.
What did you do in your home country?
When I was a child I went to school there. I was ten. I left my home country in 1961. I left with some friends and my brother. We went to America. My mom divorced my father and was remarried. He was in the Air Force.
How long have you lived in Northern Ireland?
I have been living in Northern Ireland since 1978.
And why did you choose Northern Ireland?
I did not choose Northern Ireland actually. When I was in England (I was in England for a while) I married an Irishman. He wanted to come back to Ireland so we did. Things were not working out either so we went back to England. But my brother was over here, so I came back and never left. Then my brother died too but I didn’t leave. I met another Irishman – McGinty – and remarried. But he is dead now, fifteen years.
What do you do?
I am retired now. I used to work in home help – care assistance for disabled people, and old people.
Can you tell me about the object you brought?
This is the coconut tree that grows in my country. They have a bit of root there. The root - there are some trees there that grow upwards, like that – nothing but root.
Why did you decide to bring it with you?
It is important because it is part of my culture. I would like to have something to offer. I have more photographs, but I can’t find them – they show buildings, you know, and different parts of the country...
Do you still have memories of Belize?
Oh yes, sometimes I’ll be dreaming about it! Home... But there is no home there for me now. My grandmother, they are all dead now except for my brother over there. And the rest of my family is in the USA – my sisters and two of my brothers. There was 10 of us, you see. Two died, now I have only three brothers and four sisters. They have their own life. I have my life over here. I think I will stay.