Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Abrahatsiyone on Being Her Own Boss

"I came to D.C. 24 years ago. I am originally from Eritrea. I own this food stand and have been in this same place for seventeen years. Always on 4th and E Street Northwest and always selling the same things: hot dogs, chips, soda and candy. I decided on this space because my family used to run another food business here. When I was ready, they gave this to me so I could run my own business. 

"After all of this time, I have a nice relationship with the people here. When I need to use the bathroom, I can go use the building across the street. I lock the door and the other vendors and people on the street look after my stand. I have been here so long that we all know each other. 

"I am here five days a week, no matter the weather. In the winter, it is very cold and there is not much business because people don't want to come outside. But still, I have to be here. It is difficult to be your own boss, but I like that no one tells me what to do. I decide whether the business is open or not. I am out here to earn money for me and my family. That makes me work harder." 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When I lived in that neighborhood, she would sell me my water and juice in the morning. She alway remembered what I would want, and knew the face I made if I was running late. Each day on my way home, I would see her packing up her cart and making her way off. She was a real bright spot during my morning commute, and even on the coldest mornings, she would reach right into the ice bucket and grab me my favorite juice. Very nice and sweet.