Susan Kwok Annoura oral history interview and transcript
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AuthorAnnoura, Susan Kwok
This recording and transcript form part of a collection of oral history interviews conducted by the Chao Center for Asian Studies at Rice University. This collection includes audio recordings and transcripts of interviews with Asian Americans native to or living in Houston.
Susan Annoura was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, but grew up in Clear Lake Houston. Her parents are of Chinese heritage, and both worked at Lockheed Martin, a subcontractor of NASA. Susan went to college at Baylor University, following in her older brother’s footsteps. Wanting to escape from the restrictive atmosphere at Baylor, she applied for a study abroad program in Japan on a whim, and was eventually accepted. She spent nine months in Japan on the program, learning the language, then decided to stay for the summer and teach English. That June, she met her future husband, Kou Annoura. They got engaged soon afterward. Susan finished her schooling at Baylor, Married Kou, and moved to Japan to be with him. At first, it was difficult for Susan to adjust to the cultural differences in Japan. She had different expectations, and was unhappy for awhile. Eventually she found work as a radio DJ for a station broadcasting in both Japanese and English. Being able to do something she enjoyed helped Susan, and she stayed in Japan until she was 35. At that time, she and Kou had their second child, which made living in Japan difficult. The family moved to the United States, where Susan once again faced a difficult transition, taking on responsibilities in America that she had been unused to before. At a loss for what to do to support the family, and not wanting to pursue radio, Susan decided to put her skills at talking and speaking other languages to work. She studied and applied for a real estate license, and got herself sponsored by a broker. For awhile, she was lost, not knowing what to do, and struggling to find any deals. After her first big break, however, she managed to find a niche in the market for Japanese immigrants coming in to America and needing more help than just finding a place to live. Her company evolved to fill that role, providing assistance to confused immigrants who struggled with many of the same issues that she herself once faced.