Julia Barbadillo, 90 years young


1. What is your earliest memory?
I remember when I started school around 4 years old. I had a very strict German lady principal when going to school on the big island of Hawaii. I remember learning to sit up straight and watching my posture.

2. What was your first job?
In high school I worked in a pineapple cannery to earn money for school clothes. I worked there for about three years, trimming pineapples and doing my part.

3. What is an interesting memory you have?
I still haven’t told anyone in my family this story, but I got lost in the cane field one day coming home. There were 11 kids in my family.

4. What life advice would you like to pass along?
I think that diet is very important and has a lot to do with your immune system. It’s also very important to spend time with family. It’s important to have a sharp mind and body, so I read a lot of books.

5. What moments in your life are you most proud of?
I started dancing at 52 years old and haven’t stopped since. I even entered and won my first dance competition and love to dance ALL of the Latin dances, my favorite is the Samba.

6. What do you remember most about your grandparents? What were they like?
My family lived in the countryside of Hawaii. My grandmother on my mothers’ side lived to be 103 years old!

7. What is your magic potion for staying healthy? What would you attribute your longevity to?
I don’t eat fried foods, I make my own bread and I always eat some fruit with breakfast. Getting good sleep is important too, I go to bed around 8pm and I wake up early around 5am.

8. If you could go back in time to be any age again, what would it be and why?
I loved being 30-60 years old because it was still easy to get up and be active. I could do the things I wanted to do, I was capable.

9. Who influenced you the most?
My older sister and I have a very close relationship and still talk often. She is 93 years old! She is the older sister and still bosses me around, but I boss her right back.

10. What are the most rewarding things about getting older?
I’m grateful that at my age I still have my health, I can care for myself, I do all of my own cooking and cleaning. I am still mobile, I can run my own errands, etc. Most people don’t believe me when I tell them that I am almost 91 years old because I can still do a lot for myself.

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