I was born in San Francisco, but I lived there for only two days when my parents took me home to Auckland.
Oakland, the city across the Gulf, will always be in the shadow of San Francisco. It will be my hometown in the next seven years when my family moves to Los Angeles.
Because I was a child when I lived in Auckland, my memory was very vague and incoherent.
But to this day, I still have a very vivid feeling that I grew up in a world that now seems idyllic.
The street where we live, Karmar Street, is located on the ridge north of Lake Merritt.
The house is large, but not magnificent.
The streets are quiet and dense. -lined.
It sounds a bit cliche, but people do know their neighbors and don't lock their doors.
For more on the Home series, watch World News tonight with Diane Sawyer and click here. My best friend is a child named Ossie Henderson, who lives across the street from us with his mother and two brothers.
His father died at the age of three.
It was a comprehensive street in the 1950s, and I realized later that it was unusual.
Downhill from where we live is Lakeside Avenue and Main Street. The business district near us consists of small shops and a small number of restaurants.
The place where the lakeside and Grand meet is the magnificent Grand Lake Theatre, next to which is a hamburger stand.
My brother Keith is one year older than me. I saw our first film in Lake Grand.
Back in Auckland always feels like home.
Last week, I was sent home to the World News to report on changes in my life in Auckland, especially during the latest recession.
I also had the opportunity to visit the Great Lakes, where managers allowed us to shoot before a day's performance.
We brought with us a DVD copy of one of the first movies I remember: "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad", filmed in 1958, when I was five years old.
When I sat in the middle of the cavernous old theatre with a bag of popcorn, Sinbad was projected onto the screen.
I seem to be back in the past.
Of course, the film is ridiculous.
The acting skills are good, but the costumes, story lines and special effects are good. --
Especially the giant one-eyed giant drilled out of the cave（
When I was a child, it scared me. --were comical.
It's not funny what I learned during my trip to East Auckland.
The neat little house on the side street masked a grim reality.
Most of them are African. -
America's neighbors are scarred by long-term unemployment. --
According to local officials, 27 percent--
And so many violent crimes that they have the nickname "killer corridor".
"We stopped at the East Oakland Youth Development Center, a community service organization that provides shelter for anarchy around us.
The Centre provides free educational assistance, job training, counseling and recreational facilities for anyone who wants to stay.
We met Sinead Anderson, who dropped out of school at the age of 16, but later came to the center to seek help from GED.
"It's amazing," she said. "Everything [was]
Layout, Mathematics Package, Science. I passed [the exam]the first time.
Today, she is an undergraduate at Merritt University, majoring in mathematics.
"I'm going to teach," she said.
"I'm going back to my community to teach.
Last year, Victor Oliver, 20, was released from prison after serving two months for stealing audio equipment.
He had worked at Home Depot, and he would not re-hire him, nor could he find a job.
At the urging of his girlfriend, he went to the center.
He began to receive counseling to help restore order, but it was the birth of the child that convinced him that he had to change his life.
Regina Jackson, the vibrant executive director of the center, seized Oliver's opportunity to become a consultant for young children.
"Miss Regina taught me that children could look up to me.
They don't have to look up to gangs and other people, "he said.
He did a good job as a consultant. When Jackson learned that a local jam and ice shop was open, she persuaded the manager to hire Oliver.
"Miss Regina, she's the most popular," he said.
"Everyone is her favorite.
"Jackson, 48, spent 25 years in the center. --
It's been going on for the past 16 years.
"We try to help them become better people, better attitudes, more education, and more access to real opportunities that exist in their hearts. " --
If they believe they can.
We try to develop this and then point them in the right direction so that they can become reality, "she told me.
The unemployment rate in Auckland is over 17%, almost double the national unemployment rate.
To let you know how much the recent recession has hit the city of more than 400,000 people, the number of unemployment before the collapse of the national economy in August 2007 was 7. 7 percent.
This should not mean that the local economy was in good condition before the recession.
Auckland's economy has been in recession for half a century, but the recent recession has been staggering.
On Camar Avenue, in the street of my home where I grew up, I met Michael Elliot, an automobile repairman, and his father, John, a retired professor of Theology at San Francisco University.
Eliot, who's in the middle of him? -
In the 1940s, he owned a garage, but before the recession, the building was sold and lost.
His next store went bankrupt, and he could never find a job again.
He is now doing this at their home by serving any client he can find.
He said that more and more people are abandoning routine maintenance to save money.
"Last year was the worst year ever," he said, sitting on the steps of his parents'house.
"I really can't find a job.
"Things got so bad that he moved back to his parents'house.
"If I don't have my parents to rely on, I may be homeless," he said.
When I asked his father about a recent report, government economists said that the recession technically ended last year.
"Oh, I don't believe it at all," said John Elliot.
"I don't know how they measure it, but I mean, for people on the street?
We can't see it.
Against this background of economic darkness, a bright "green" light is on in Auckland. --
"Green" is like green work in the construction industry. At 8 a. m.
On a Wednesday, about a dozen young men and women were doing a punitive aerobics exercise.
This is the Oakland Green Employment Service.
People who do push-ups on the floor are trainees, and they are whipped into the right shape so that they can adapt to the rigorous physical requirements of the construction industry.
The trainees also learned from carpentry to blueprint reading, from advanced mathematics to how to install solar panels on roofs.
Emily Courtney, Green Employment Training Coordinator at Laney College, said: "What we are doing here is good for both the economy and the environment. " --
One of the two Green Task Force Training Centres.
"This is the most expensive one. -
Effective ways to reduce greenhouse gases at the highest cost-
An effective way to get people back to work.
"The program offers 16 weeks of free training, with about 130 graduates a year.
According to Art Shanks, executive director of Cyprus Mandela Training Center, most of them can find jobs even in a weak economy.
"We got about 75% of the votes in the entire graduation class," Shanks said.
"That's the best thing we can do right now.
Before the recession, we were fighting for 90% of every class's jobs.
"Shanks introduced us to Mary Vanek, 39. -year-
The five-year-old mother graduated from the Mandela Project in Cyprus last year.
Before the program started, she had almost no part-time jobs.
Now she works for Turner Architecture to help build a new hospital in Berlingham.
"I look forward to working every day.
I don't think I've done anything like that in my life, "Vannek said.
We also went to Dali, south of San Francisco, to meet Angela Davis, who graduated from the Green Employment Program at Lenny Community College earlier this year.
She's taking a break to install energy. -
Income housing development.
Before being trained earlier this year, Davis lost his job and lived in a homeless shelter.
"I can't buy a dollar hamburger," she said.
"I don't even have the cost of finding a job.
Davis loved his job and became an environmental enthusiast by working for a community energy service company.
A non-profit organization responsible for improving the housing of local residents.
She now rents an apartment and has been working steadily since she completed her training program in July.
She said her life had changed completely.
"This program has provided me with stable employment opportunities, career opportunities and self-reliance," she said. "It's amazing.