We arrive by airplane into this humid world. It smells like an earthy scent and it’s extremely crowded.  Everyone is trying to get our attention while we try to walk to our car. I remember pulling my small luggage and holding my mom’s hand tight. This was the time that I knew I didn’t want to let go, I was only ten years old.

We drove hours. I’m looking out the windows and I could see a bunch of kids my age selling fruits at every stop light.  We came to a stop and I see a bus ahead of us with soldiers surrounding it.  The soldiers had guns that were even bigger than them.  I became frightened because I had a bad experience the last time a saw men in uniform. I see the people get out of the bus and they get into a single line outside while these soldiers go inside the bus.  What were they doing? Soon the soldiers get off and the people get back on.  It’s our turn, and I was afraid if they were going to do the same. They asked my mom something in Spanish and they wave us to continue going.

We finally get to mom’s old house. I mean, it was more like four walls which held one big bedroom in the middle and a corridor going around half of it. The walls are made out of clay and the roof had ceramic tiles. Light would shine into that one room through the tiles.  When we arrive there I remember asking my mom where was I going to sleep and she told me that on the hammock. There were hammocks hanging along the corridor of the house. I was so excited to go to sleep, because I wanted to experience sleeping in this big swing.

We had chickens and ducks just walking around the corridor. The chickens had baby chickens. I remember picking one up. The baby chicken  begins to cry and I’m trying to comfort him. All of a sudden, I see the momma chicken running towards me. I start running while holding the baby chicken. I start screaming because I can see the momma chasing me. My mom screams and tells me to put the baby chicken down. I finally do and the chase is over. My mom explains to me that I need to be careful because the mom chicken will attack me if she hears her babies cry.

The next day my “Abueli”, who is my grandma decides to take me to visit one of her sisters. We went walking down this dirt trail into the woods.  I was wearing a floral dress and sandals she had bought me to blend in with the locals. We were walking and I see these giant trees alongside our trail and I’m just enjoying the view. I’ve never been so close to trees so green and so tall in my life.

We get to her sister’s house and this lady begins to hug me and kiss me and tell me in Spanish how beautiful I am. I just keep telling her thank you. My grandma goes and sits with her to drink some coffee with bread while I go meet her children. We are all family but I’ve never met them so her girls begin to ask me questions about the United States.  They want to know how it looks.

It’s time to go now and my grandma and I leave her house and we walk back the same trail we came from. Out of nowhere, I hear a very strong noise.  I became frightened.  My grandma explains that it’s thunder, not to worry. I’ve heard thunder in the United States and it’s never sounded so loud. This sound was ten times louder. We begin to walk faster because I just want to get home. It begins to rain. At first, I was upset that I was getting wet but it felt so refreshing.  It was so hot and humid and now with this water falling all over me, it felt to good.  I begin to embrace it  and start laughing with my grandma that I’m getting wet.

It begins to rain harder and it begins to rain mangos. All the trees that I had seen alongside the trail were mango trees. I go nuts trying to pick up the mangos. There were so many mangos that I couldn’t hold in my hands so I decided to use my floral dress to hold them. My grandma is laughing at me because I was a little girl dancing in the rain trying to catch the mangos that were falling off the trees. I kept picking up all the mangos while some kept falling off my dress.