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Amelia Stankiewicz

Amelia Stankiewicz, photography by Błażej Sendzielski
 

Amelia Stankiewicz was born on May 3, 1933 in Kolonie Bachmackie (municipality Suchowola). She is a mother of six, her last child was born two months after the death of her husband who died in an accident. Mrs and Mr Stankiewicz owned a small farm, which Amelia had to take care of on her own following the death of her husband. At the same time she looked after her ill mother-in-law and her children.

In 1974 Honorata, Amelia’s seventeen year old daughter, went to the United States, upon the invitation of the family who resided there. Her daughter taught Polish to the children of the Polish immigrants, while learning English at the same time. She started working as a waitress at the Polish National Home while she also commenced her studies. When her daughter had an accident in 1980, Amelia went over to the the United States. It was the very first long-distance trip of her life. She had the intention of helping her daughter and return to her five children after two weeks. In the end she decided to extend her stay in the US, in order to provide financial support to her family.

Like many Poles, she looked for work through an employment agency in Greenpoint - she did housecleaning in the neighbourhood of Williamsburg. That work lasted for 12 years.

In 1989 Amelia’s son arrived in Chicago from Poland and got married. Amelia moved to Chicago to stay with him and took a job in Elderly Care. After ten years in Chicago she returned to New York.

At present Amelia is not planning to return to Poland. In New York there is a nearby community club and the church she attends. She spends the entire day involved in activities away from home.


Interview conducted by Karolina Łukasiewicz and Ewa Dżurak on 9 November 2015 in New York City as part of the project called “Greenpoint. Transition”. More on cultureshock.pl.

interview excerpts
: / :
An Unlucky Year
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: / :
My daughter’s departure to the United States
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: / :
“In an open prison”
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Working places in New York
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: / :
Chicago is clean
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: / :
Dancing in the park and orchestra
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: / :
Helpful neighbours in Greenpoint
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