FC: Bonaducci Family.
1: My name is Gabriella Bonaducci and my family and I are from Rome, Italy. I am 16 years old and I have dark brown curly hair. My eyes are a deep brown and I have an olive toned skin color. I'm moving to New York America in 1 week! I'm so excited.
2: My family and I are from Rome, Italy. My parents right now are out of jobs and it's very hard for them to find one at this time. They decided to move us to America for bigger and better opportunities for all of us; me, my 8 siblings and my ma and pa. We're all very excited, but nervous at the same time. We've never left our homeland. America doesn't seem too scary I tell them. I've read about it in school.
4: My family includes my ma, my pa, 4 brothers, 4 sisters & myself. My sister Carlotta is 14 years old. She is the second oldest. When we get to America, her and I will work in a shirt waste factory. Also my little sister, Luisa who is 13, will also join us there. My sister Adelaide, 11 years old, will help my mother at home being a seamstress. Alessandra who is 10, will stay at home and care for the 2 youngest children, helping my ma out with housework. Alessandra is a twin to my brother Lorenzo who is also 10. He's going to be selling newspapers for a local store. Massimo who is 7 years old, is going to work at a local fruit stand selling fruit. He hopes to get a better job as he gets older. My two youngest brothers, Renzo and Santino who are
5: 2 and 5 years old are going to be staying at home until they reach the age 7, when my parents feel it's right for them to get a job. In Italy, every child was assigned chores around the house to help out when mother got pregnant. Dad said we'll still have to help out. Father is going to be making cigars at home.
6: As you know, my family and I are from Rome, Italy. Our currency, or as Americans call it money, is the lira. Our native language is italian. My father knows a little bit of english words, but the rest of my family do not. Pa said when we go to America, we're going to get to learn in english in school. My ma is an amazing cook. Runs in the family. My favorites dishes are salame, prosciutto, suppli, margherita, fish and eggs.
7: * Rome, Italy' where my family came from
8: When I was younger, my siblings and I would play in the fields until dinner was ready and our chores were done. Some games we enjoyed playing were lupo delle ore, Regina Bella, Fazzoletto, peo peo and strega commanda color. Now that I'm a teenager I don't play games much. I have taught my youngest siblings how to play them though and they really enjoy them. They said they hope they make friends in New York to teach them and learn American games.
9: * Playing with the siblings on our block
10: * Boarding the boat in Italy
11: Today is the day we leave our homeland and off to America! I don't know whether to be excited or scared. I'm happy for my family and the new start we get. We're boarding our ship now. We have to ride on the bottom of the boat for 14-16 days. I think this is going to be the most scariest part of this whole thing. Ma and pa wants us to stay very close to them, theres a few hundred people on the boat right now; very crowded. It smells, it's pretty dark except for a few lights and the Sun. All I can see is trunks, people and children. The smell is almost unbearable, mixture of fish and human odor. Not the best, but It'll do. Hopefully American isn't too far.
12: Going to America, each family is allowed one trunk. Mother packed few, but necessary items. We packed blankets for on the ship and when we get to our new home, mom's special cooking utensils for meals at home, she let my siblings pack a few toys, including dolls and blocks and father brought his liras to exchange for American currency. My parents said it'd benefit our family and give us a little start in America. | * Stuff in our trunk
13: Life in America is going to be very different for my family and I. We're so used to our traditions, but we'll get adapted to the Americans' ways of life. We'll still keep our traditions, but It'd benefit us and help us learn the ways of the Americans. Our money will be different and us kids' will be learning english when we start school. Ma and pa will also catch on to the english language. Mom is still going to cook her usual, tradition dishes, but she said she'd like to learn new dishes when we get to America. Different kinds of pastas, meats, vegetables, fruits, etc.
14: Yay! We're about 2 minutes away from stepping foot onto Ellis Island, where we'll become legal citizens of America. Right now I see the Statue of Liberty. People say when you see the statue, you see freedom and a new start to life. I hope all is well for my family and I. We're starting our life over again. We only know ourselves and my mothers sister Abelie. She's my moms youngest sister of 6. She came to America 3 years ago to start a new life as well. We will be living with her in her 3 bedroom apartment. It'll be crowded, but it's a start; Once we save up for our own place pa said.
15: Well right now we're standing in line, with a couple hundred people, waiting for our turn to freedom and a new life. 4 of us have been started on the process and inspections. It's actually pretty scary. Ma, pa and the 7 youngest are still waiting for their turn through the line. Some of the inspections we have to go through is checking for pink eye, any skin diseases or visible diseases, infections of the ears, skin or any other visible thing that can cause harm to others. Processers have to be very observant because they don't want diseases to be exchanges from other countries to here. We're all asked alot of questions like our parents name, our homeland and our past.
16: Some of the problems my family encountered through the processing and inspections were that most of us couldn't speak english. We tried as best as we could to explain to them that we are going to learn the language at school, but they couldn't understand us. They recommended taking classes so it's easier to go to stores, meet people, gets jobs if needed or even help. | * Ellis Island
17: * Asked numerous questions | * Pink eye inspection | * Processing and more inspections
18: Hi'ya! My family and I have been in America for almost a year now. My birthday is 3 months away, I'll be 17 years old. Momma said I can look for another job if I'd like, but I don't mind working with Luisa in the shirt waste factory. I've met a lot of girls my age at school. Some of them came from different countries as well and it's interesting to learn about their native culture. My family and I have all learned english for the most part. It's kind of hard to speak it, but I speak it as much as possible. The food here is different then the food in Italy. Mom still cooks her standard dishes, but give them a twist of American food. I go to school from 8-3, then walk to the factory.
19: I work until 8:30, then go home and help around the house. Luisa works until 7, then goes home. Dad is still making cigars at home, he seems to enjoy it. Mom is still seaming at home with Adelaide. The boys are still working their jobs at the local fruit sand and selling newspapers. We've moved out of my aunt's home and found our own. We live in a 3 bedroom home, and it's very nice. Its small but it works. Ma and pa even let us get a dog! His name is Binx. He's so sweet. Life in America is better than what I ever expected! I miss Italy, but life here is great. We're trying to get my pa's mother here to live with us because her husband died 5 years ago. Hopefully within a month.
20: * My 2 brother's in the band | * Me and some of my friends | * Brother's class
21: * The school my siblings and I attend | * My little sister's class | * Little sister with Binx
22: Dearest ma, pa & family, I hope all is well at home and all your guys' jobs are going good. I miss you guys a lot, life is hard. I'm glad I'm helping out my country, but I wish I was home. Right now, I'm at our camp, just got done eating dinner. There are a lot of mouths to feed here! I'm still not used to the lifestyle of waking up early and having the feeling of maybe losing my life. Right back as soon as possible, I love hearing from you guys. -Love always, your son.
23: Dearest son, We all miss you so very much. We can't wait until you return home where we know your safe! Your siblings are doing well, their jobs are too. Pa is still making cigars, I'm still doing seamstress for the locals. When you get home, we'll have to make our favorite meal. Ma misses you very much. I especially can't wait to see you. We're so very proud of you for doing this at such a young age. Takes a lot of courage. Write soon! -Love you with all our hearts.