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Interview with Closel Macena

Macena, Closel
Bailey, Kim
Date of Interview: 
Overcoming obstacles; Relationships with people and places; Then and now; Cultural identification; Stories and storytellers
Closel Macena talks about leaving Haiti and going to work in other countries, including the US.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Kim Bailey interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
KB (Kim Bailey): OK. Now we've got the microphone on. [Laugh]
CM (Closel Macena): Good!
KB: You can go ahead and tell me about, um, what you were just saying when you left your country which is Haiti.
CM: Yes, Haiti. I was living in Port Au Prince, the capital. After that, um, I'm, I'm do to, I'm do, do business, in travel business, to go to different, Puerto Rico, Panama. After that I still so in, one time I'm so in to, to one lawyer, he like something I make to him. He say to me he want to give me job. He say to me, "Monday morning come to the white house." When I come in to white house he give me job to sew in, he give me about three thousand so to the white house he give me one thousand to the, um, to the different police station. I say, "OK, thank you very much." After three months, um, Baby Doc leave this country he go in. After that, after three months, this guy don't want to pay me again. The minister and them, um, they are to, he don't want to pay me. One time I'm going to over here every day, I'm going, every day I'm going he try to mess with me. One time I meet him, he say to me, "When I see minister you have to pay me." He say to me, "Well you don't where I am." I say, "Yes I know. I, I, I been to your office minister." He say, "Yes." I say, "Believe me," he go out, when they come back they try to get something to kill me. I got a someone to help me say, "Where you from?" I say-, I tell her, "I am from, to different city." He say to me, "Well, I try to help you, you better get out right now." After that when I get out I, I went to Baha-, Bahamas. Bahamas I got a, I'm, I'm sleeping about three days outside, in the wood, because I don't have anybody when I'm go Bahamas. After that, after three days, I got a somebody want to give me some job. Well, I work about two weeks, I got my people, name Chuck ( ) he got company name Kung Fung. I almost make conch shells. After that-.
KB: You dov-, you dove for conch shells?
CM: Yes, I do. I'm going to the, um, big deep water. I'm going to the ( ) had to become ( ) after that I put in the boardwalk after that I made-, after three months, it become-. After three months, he say to me, "Macena, you've been working very good for me. I want to go England. Do you want to go?" I say, "Yes, sir, I want to go." After that I went in ( ). I'm working for him eight month. After that, after contract finished, he say to me, "You-, you want to go back Bahamas?" I say, "Look, I got family New York and Miami. Let me go." He say, "OK." He just give me visa to go into new, to Miami. After Miami I, I live into my sister I say, "I don't like Miami I coming to New York." After New York, I still going to the church. I used to play music at the church. After that I meet my wife.
KB: [Laugh] You're smiling! \\ [Laugh] \\
CM: \\ ( ) \\ After that, when I meet my wife, after six months me and her got engagement. After six months again me and her got married. After that when I come over here I'm working for Mrs. supervisor. After that I'm working for Chinese people, supervisor to after that I do all my business. So now when I see New York coming very hot, everything very expensive, so I'm looking for different place out. When I come over here, I'm so glad to come over here. God bless me! I'm working to UNCC, I'm so glad. Say, "Thank you God!" I meet Mrs. Kim.
KB: \\ [Laugh] \\
CM: \\ I'm so \\ glad, to meet nice people. I'm so glad to do, to make interview with her today. That's why, my story very, very long story. If I have to talk, I don't have time everything I want to say. That's why.
KB: I understand.
CM: Understand me? Only one thing I say to you, I don't speak very good. I don't want anyone mad at me because I don't speak very good. I'm telling you.
KB: You speak well enough.
CM: OK. Something I have to say to you again I say thank you very much today. I'm so glad to interview me.
KB: [Laugh]
CM: I don't know if I something I say good. I don't know.
KB: You did well.
CM: So I don't know if I have something to say, if you want me say more.
KB: Tell me about your child.
CM: I'm sorry?
KB: Don't you have \\ children or one child? \\
CM: \\ Yes, I have, \\ I have two kids, I have two boy. Name one Mosen, little one, Modli. My wife name, um, Matayla Macena.
KB: Oh.
KB: How old are they?
CM: OK, my son got a four years old, one got, um, one years old.
KB: Oh, OK. Didn't you just have a recent baptism?
CM: Exactly I just meet somebody over there, last two weeks.
KB: Uh-huh.
CM: I'm so glad I come to live to North Carolina. I'm very glad.
KB: How did you get to North Carolina?
CM: Well, I got my friend come over here. We, we go back to New York he said, "North Carolina very good. You can, you can come over here. Come to see, to visit." After that, when I come on over here one day, I say, "Oh! This is nice place to people live in." When I come over here I just, just buy my house. I just come to living over here-.
KB: \\ Uh-huh. \\
CM: \\ -And \\ my family. I'm so glad I'm be over here.
KB: It's hot though.
CM: It's not, it's not too hot for me. Not too hot, not too cold. What I like it over here anyway.
KB: How long have you been in North Carolina?
CM: I been North Carolina about one year and a half.
KB: Oh! Oh, OK.
CM: Yes.
KB: You're still a baby then! \\ [Laugh] \\
CM: \\ Yes, I'm \\ baby. But I'm so glad over here. Yes.
KB: Good.
CM: So, I'm, I'm working to UNCC. I'm so glad too. I got a good job over here. You can, maybe it can be fine for me.
KB: So you have a happy life?
CM: Exactly. This is life. God knows everything anyway.
KB: Exactly.
CM: Yeah. You know, I'm so glad again to talking to you Mrs. Kim.
KB: [Laugh]
CM: You nice! You nice, that is very good.
KB: Well, thank you. \\ So are you. \\
CM: \\ I got to talk \\ to you.
KB: I'm glad we finally got to get together. [Laugh]
CM: I'm so glad, to do it.
KB: Well, thank you for your time.
CM: You're very welcome, anytime.
KB: All right.
CM: Whenever you say, I'm here for you.
KB: Thank you.
CM: You're welcome.