Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Leaving Dubuque

Dubuque had been my home away from home. In fact I feel special attachments toward Dubuquer. I came from a country where foreigners are treated as the form of god, high treatment, I don't expect to be treated in similar way, rather I'm expecting a discrimination against my brown skin color and looks. As an immigrant, I'm very different, my accent, my manner of speech, I always feared and feel this sense of being "out of place", especially here in small city of Dubuque that most people know each other.
There is an impression about Dubuque that they are closeminded to immigrants. But all these scary thoughts changed when i first set my foot in the land of Dubuque. From O'hare Chicago Airport where my husband picked me up, I'm anticipating corn fields and very remote, boring rural areas that I will view from the car. But what I saw in contrast is the very beautiful, serene, quiet place, panoramic view that I only see in the magazines. When we passed by the bridge connecting Illinois to Dubuque, the mighty Mississippi River welcome us with a scenery of the floating Casino with a dog in the billboard.
Dubuque Panorama
Since it's already past 6pm when we arrived, the bright lights of the Casino, buildings in the Downtown area really cheered me up, its like welcoming me to Dubuque. I got amused after meeting the first Dubuquer who welcome me with flowers and cake. My husband's friends Joan and Kari, they are warm and very friendly. Made me feel at ease with more confidence. Neighbors says Hi! and wave at you, knowing I'm new to the area.
I got to meet a bunch of good people when I was hired in the Dubuque Community School District, being the only filipino employee there. Table Mound school employees and staff were so nice, I never ever feel this special as a new employee even in my native country, where I experienced a lot of discrimination in the job.(I will make a post about this topic later). Everyone is treated equal from the school principal to the lowest level.

I don't wanna flee away from Dubuque, I want to contribute something to my "home" state that has given me a shelter for almost 2 years.