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Be You: David Li-Sik traveled 10,000 miles to find home

David Li-Sik is a Financial Analyst and CPA for Home Bank. He came to Lafayette for school and found a home he never expected. David is originally from Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean that is a cultural mix — it’s both an English and French speaking nation with a French-based Mauritian Creole spoken by many residents. Does this remind you of anywhere?

David became a U.S. citizen in January. He says the process was long, and not easy at all — but it was absolutely worth it.

David grins easily, especially when he talks about his wife, Erin. They have a rescue dog, a border collie mix called Lucy and are fixing up their house. They are building a beautiful life and I’m lucky to have them all as neighbors.

What was your first job? I worked as a clerk/errand boy doing data entry, filing, and various odd jobs. I was paid 200 MUR a day (a little over $6) and a quarter of that was used to pay for my bus fare.

Describe a typical day in your life. I’m usually the first one up, so I get breakfast started and attend to our pup. I enjoy chatting with my wife, Erin, over coffee, toast, and egg as we make a rough plan for the day. Then I head to work. I’m lucky that I can come home for lunch and see Erin again, unless she’s with a client, and an ecstatic doggy. In the evening, we work on our fixer-upper, cook dinner, and walk our dog. Finally, I rarely go to bed without reading a bit.

What advice would you give the younger you? You don’t have to treat everything so seriously.

What event in your life most shaped who you are now? When I was 10, my father passed away unexpectedly. That kind of event forced me to grow up fast, too fast, and to act tough all the time. Truth is, I was an angry kid and I just did not know it. I only started to make peace with it about nine years later. That same year he passed, my parents had taken me to Disneyworld after dropping my brother to college. We went on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride together, just like they did in the 70s. Fast forward in the future, and I had just come off the same ride with Erin while on our first vacation together. She could see that I was upset, and asked, “What’s wrong?” I burst into tears and cried very briefly in her arms. That was it, the moment this chapter closed.

What values do you live by? The Golden Rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated. Live with integrity.

What do you most appreciate? I appreciate my wife and our life together, that we are in relatively good health and are able and have the freedom to pursue our goals.

What is your favorite journey? When I set out to study in the U.S. I flew 10,000 miles, leaving family behind, everything that I have ever known, to South Louisiana. It was scary, sad, daunting, exciting, but I think it turned out to be a good decision.

Where is your favorite place to be alone? If I could be there, it would be at the beach. Otherwise, usually in my room playing the keys or at the computer.

What living figure most inspires you? My mom. A now retired teacher and school principal, she worked very hard to raise three boys and gave herself to many generations of Mauritian kids.

What was the best advice you were ever given? “Always do the right thing.”

What book would you tell everyone to read? There are just too many! Any book that makes you happy and allows you to “escape” for a while.

What is the best thing about where you live? The Southern hospitality and the culture revolving around food. I like to eat!

How do you “let the good times roll”? Traveling or hanging out with family. Busting out some silly dance moves around the house.

What did you want to be when you grew up? I think I told my mom I wanted to become a priest: I was going through Catholic school and I had read the Bible twice, once in English and once in French. It didn’t last long. It changed to becoming a doctor like my dad, to a musician. Later, after working as a tutor on campus, I thought being a professor would be a pretty sweet gig. To be determined…

What is your motto? If you do something, do it right and all the way.

How would you like to be remembered? A good person.

What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself? You will need to prepare better next time! For now, deep breaths, somebody did it, so you can probably do it too.

What three things are vital to BEing YOU? A challenge, something that gets my creative juices flowing. Always learning, and a sense of purpose.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? When I lack the words to explain how certain things work, I tell my wife “It’s physics!” That really annoys her. I also silently curse a lot in Mauritian Creole.

What is your favorite word? “Mais let’s go!” I have a lot of fun finding out how certain Cajun French words are derived from French. Sometimes they are even very close to my Mauritian Creole.

What do you collect? Mostly pictures. But also anything that helps us remember a trip we took: A frame, a rock, a T-shirt, a fridge magnet.

What food could you live on for a month? Any brothy feel-good soup and freshly baked bread. My wife thought I was going to say my infamous “fancy” instant ramen noodle (break in an egg, add green onions, garlic, some hot sauce) plus spam and kimchi if available. But it would not be good to do that for a month.

What would you change about yourself? Jump in more, don’t overthink it

What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with? I can’t think of one right now, but I would like to be more like Tony Stark: witty, carefree, minus the jerk.

Describe yourself in five words. Curious, logical, steadfast, ambitious, resourceful.

What is your idea of happiness? At the beach, a good book in hand, with ice cold drinks and grilled food within easy reach.

What is your favorite movie? There are many, but I tend to get excited about sci-fi, especially the ones involving sword fighting. So I would have to say “Lord of the Rings.”

What music defines who you are? Classical music

What do you most regret? Not giving a 100% percent in the past

What question do you wish I’d asked? “What superpower did you wish you had?”

What would the answer be? Teleportation. So I could visit family around the 4 corners of the globe, and make exploring this world a tad easier.