Marcia Penfold’s arrival into the world was recorded on a small piece of brown paper in curly whirly Burmese script on the 19th of November, 1935. I have omitted her middle name as she has never liked it!
My mom’s name is Lorenca Gutteres da Conceicão. She was born in small village called Suai in 1948.
Lorenca’s father died a week before she was born. What a life for my grandma without a husband. She couldn’t do much to look after my mom and her sister, Aquilina. She was only a housewife without a job. When Lorenca’s mother’s mother heard the news, she went to Suai to bring my mother and her daughters to live with her in another village called Aitutu.
My mother’s name is Etelvina Lopes. She was born in Sub-district Quelicai, District Baucau, on June 8th, 1933.
My mother was the first baby of the family, born at the foot of Matebian Mountain, the second tallest mountain in Timor. Etelvina’s great grandfather was the Chief of Lacoliho Village in Quelicai. His eldest son replaced him after his death. The second, Etelvina’s grandfather, moved to Baguia to be the Chief of Ossuna Village, following the Rota, a traditional ruling tool.
Thus, Etelvina grew-up in Baguia.
My mother, Rosa Han, was born in the small town of Buyeo, in the Southern Choongchung Province of South Korea on June 15th, 1946.
Although the Korean war broke out when Rosa was four, and lasted for three bloody years, my mother’s life in the country side was largely unaffected by the fighting. That is not to say that her early years were free of conflict, or that she bears no scars from that time.