“When my parents came here, their life was hard. They were working 150% to pay off a house in Portugal that they bought for their retirement. And so I don’t have so many memories of time spent with them because they were working all the time. They come from a very remote village in Portugal with 100 or 200 inhabitants. A place like Texas where everything is very dry. My mother grew rice, tomatoes and so on. They are very down to earth, so they taught me the value of things and the importance of sharing. If I wanted a pair of shoes worth 200 francs, it would cost them a day’s work!
When I turned 16, they said to me, “You want to make yourself happy? Go find work!” It was simple and direct. So I managed to work at 5àsec Repassage, at the Meyrin swimming pool, in a restaurant, in a video club. You can always find something ! And I wanted to afford to travel elsewhere than Portugal (laughs)! But today we are in a society where we have to run, run, run. Most of our time during the day is spent working or sleeping. In Switzerland, and especially in the financial sector where I work, it’s all about money, money, money. You have to be profitable. That’s it.
My dream, if one day I earn enough, is to buy a cabin in the middle of nature, if possible, perched in a tree. And I will be the happiest woman. That would be the greatest thing of all. If I have that, I’ll have achieved everything. The idea of the tree house has been deep inside me since I was little. And I would love to be able to live there independently, and share my fruits and vegetables. I have a tattoo of Pocahontas. For me she’s the ideal woman: a person who is content with very little, who is simple. Maybe it’s a fantasy world, but I don’t think so. That’s where we all come from. It’s just that we’ve forgotten.
In 2018 I went to Costa Rica. The people there are very warm and generous. I fell in love with the place. I called my parents in tears. I wanted to resign and leave everything behind. My head had spun 360 degrees! But they reasoned with me and said: “You can’t just leave like a deserter! You have a job, an apartment!” So I said to myself: be patient, it will happen when the time is right. Since then, I’ve kept this dream deep inside me and I promise you that one day I’ll make it happen. When? I don’t know, but I’m on the lookout! I tell myself that there’s my cabin waiting for me somewhere, and that’s what makes me want to fight every day!”
(Quartier de l’Étang, Vernier)