Air Conditioner

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

My family’s air conditioner is one of the oldest objects I could remember. It was one of the earliest purchases my parents made when they immigrated to the United States from Guyana in the late 1980s. The AC doesn’t operate by remote like today’s modern technologies (you actually have to turn the dial), and the color appears faded, but it has much deeper contrast behind the cold temperatures it blows. Growing up in Guyana, my parents didn’t have the luxuries that many people take for granted today, some of which include electric light, proper bedding, kitchen appliances, new clothes, toys, and even bathrooms. They would often say someone had to be really rich to afford the new products that populated America. Hence, they would often have to make the best of what they had, which was tough in a country like tropical Guyana. As a result, when they came to the United States, they wanted to adapt to the modern lifestyle from their poor upbringings, often laboring long hours to earn their pay that they would spend on the house. Now looking back on the air conditioner, it demonstrates the struggles that my parents had to endure in order to provide the best living environment for their kids. Not only that, but it also implies that the connection between my West-Indian heritage and my American upbringing is more than materialistic, but depicts how greatness can stem from humble beginnings through enough patience and hard work. 

Place(s): Guyana

– Sam Prasad

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant