Q: Good afternoon. What is your age?
A: I’m 51 years old.
Q: Are you married, do you have children?
A: I’m married and I’ve got 3 daughters.
Q: How old are they?
A: They are 30, 27 and 25 years old, the youngest.
Q: One of your daughters isn’t living with you at the moment?
A: No, she has emigrated.
Q: Why did she have to emigrate?
A: Because of her job. She took the nursing degree but didn’t get a job in this field, so she decided to emigrate to be able to be a nurse.
Q: What does she do?
A: She is a nurse.
Q: Does she work in a hospital, in a clinic?
A: No, she works in a Home for elder people.
Q: Does she feel fulfilled?
A: Yes, very much. She enjoys what she does very much. She likes working with older people very much, she feels very comfortable with them.
Q: When did she emigrate?
A: About 3 years ago.
Q: Do you remember the day she went to Spain?
A: I do …
Q: What did you feel back then?
A: Because we had been emigrants before, we came here when they were little, so they could start their studies and finish them here, to be easier for them, for their lives, and then later, when she finished her degree, she had to leave from Portugal again.
Q: Where were you emigrants?
A: In France, for 23 years. Alexandra was born there.
Q: With whom did you emigrate?
A: With my parents, back in the 70’s.
Q: Did you meet your husband there or here?
A: I met him there, we got married there, our daughters were born there and we came back to Portugal 23 years ago.
Q: So you feel hurt, because your daughter came here and now she had to emigrate again?
A: Yes, I feel a deep pain, and especially my husband feels it, because we have done everything for them to stay with us. We came here when they were children, so they did not have to go back there, and truly that was what happened, one of them had to emigrate again because of work.
Q: How do you communicate with your daughter?
A: We talk everyday on Skype.
Q: What do you talk about?
A: We talk about everything! We talk about our day, if the weather is fine here, if it is cold there. About everything.
Q: What is your job?
A: I’m a beautician.
Q: Does she talk to you about her work?
A: Yes, we talk about my work, about her work, about their life there, about their friends. We talk about everything.
Q: Who does she live with?
A: With her husband. She got married in April and they live there together. He has emigrated, too and he is a civil engineer.
Q: Did he go with her?
A: Soon after, to be with her.
Q: Tell me something. Having two more daughters with you doesn’t make up for the fact that she’s out?
A: No, it doesn’t. There is always one missing…
Q: What kind of person is your daughter who lives in Spain? How would you describe her?
A: Extroverted. A good person, very sweet. She likes her family very much. She feels very sad to be away from us.
Q: But you understand the reason why she has emigrated?
A: Yes, yes, I understand. I encouraged her to go. She did not feel fulfilled here and then I told her to go! It was no solution for her to be here doing something else when she had a nurse degree and that was what she liked doing.
Q: So, basically, you also think that there are advantages in the fact that she emigrated?
A: Yes. Her work there is even more recognized there than here in Portugal. She works 7 hours a day, slacks one weekend in two, does not work at night, which is very good for a married woman.
Q: She really wants to come back. Do you think she will come back? What do you think about that?
A: I think she’s there, but her heart is here. For now she won’t be back. She has to organize her life. Maybe later. But this “maybe” is perhaps more and more distant.
Q: What about the other two daughters? Are you afraid that they will also have to go away some day, or do you think that won’t be necessary?
A: No, I’m not afraid of that and I don’t think that’s going to be necessary.
Q: Why do you say that?
A: Because they are not like their sister. Their sister is adventurous and they are not.
Q: So, do you think they would never go away?
A: No. And they’re fine. They have their jobs, their boyfriends have their jobs, too. So I don’t think they will have to emigrate.
Q: If you could, what would you ask Alexandra right away?
A: What do you mean?
Q: Would ask her for to do something? Is there anything you wish to see happen very much?
A: I wish I won the Euromilhões (lottery) to be able to bring her back.
Q: To have enough money so you could have her with you. What would you do? Would you build a medical clinic for her?
A: Who knows? Maybe…
Q: What about grandchildren?
A: I haven’t got any grandchildren, yet. It will be very sad, too. Having a grandson who is far away. One day I’ll have one I think, I don’t know, but it will be sad, because we won’t see him every day. That is one of the saddest things about emigration.
Q: Is it she who comes here more often or is it you who visits her more often?
A: She has been here more often, but we have already been there a few times.
Q: And how do you do it? Do you arrange everything to go all together or do you go one at a time?
A: Sometimes we go all together, sometimes that is not possible. Whenever we can go, we go.
Q: Just to be a little bit closer, right?
A: Yes, yes.
Q: Did Alexandra adapt well to the place she went to?
A: Yes, she did. She is very good at languages and that is also a great help.
Q: She has already been to Spain before, right?
A: Yes, that’s right.
Q: Why did she go there?
A: She went on an ERASMUS program to Salamanca for 6 months while she was studying in Bragança to be a nurse.
Q: So, language wasn’t a problem for her?
A: No. She did a basic training in Spanish before going and after those six months she already spoke Spanish like…
Q: Like Portuguese?
A: Yes. For her, that was easy!
Q: Thank you for your testimony and for your cooperation.
A: Thank you.