Belladonna Rebecca Pierre: I was born on an early Thursday morning on November 7th, 1991 on the beautiful island of Curaçao. This was the beginning of my life’s journey.
At home, I could be who I really was, without worrying that all eyes were watching me. Home for me was the place where I lived with my mother and my brother.
I never really knew where my father was. I cannot remember him as a father figure, even though I knew he was my father. In my mind he was the man who every now and then disturbed the peace at home by coming around in the middle of the night knocking on the bedroom window, begging my mother for money. I knew he was doing this because he used drugs. What drugs meant I didn’t know at the time. All I knew was that drugs caused me not to see my dad every day and caused him to stay away many nights.
When my mother told me that we would move to the Netherlands, I was eight years of age and found this quite exciting, although I had no idea what to expect.
The person I missed the most was my dear grandmother. Spending a lot of time with our grandparents helped us to build a strong bond with them. They were like a second mom and dad, but with a lot more gray hair and wrinkles.
After I’d recovered from the culture shock, I soon got used to living in the Netherlands, even though I missed the warmth of the island. Then the time came to go to school here in the Netherlands and I was reluctant, because I knew no one. Again I was faced with all kinds of differences.
As a matter of fact, I was bullied because I did not speak the language. Because I could not defend myself. Because I was not white, but had a tan. After a while I could understand the mean kids better. The things they said about me were awful, such as, “Belladonna is so brown because she rolled in shit.” I didn’t know what racism was until I was bullied because of my skin color in the fifth grade.
I had promised myself that if I got my High School diploma, I would go to college.
My motivation was that I wanted a title to my name. I gave serious consideration to which study I wanted to follow. Ideally I wanted to follow a study in which I could help children with different problems. I ended up with Educational Sciences / Pedagogy, and I attained the degrees successfully. First a Bachelor’s followed by a Masters, which now makes me (MSc) Master of Science Belladonna Pierre. I did it!
From “Go Ahead, You’re Home” – The Caribbean Dream with Grit & Guts
A true and poignant story of forgiveness, hope and love. Mountain-moving faith with a burning desire determined to succeed.