Climbing up a gigantic mountain,on a dirt path that seemed to go on forever, I tried to avoid those sneaky little branches hiding under the leaves that could “accidentally” trip me and cause me to fall down.Hearing the crunch of the leaves and the voices of my family members talking about memories long ago,I was struggling to catch my breath while wondering when we were going to reach the place already.I kept hearing my sibling’s cries,“Are we there yet?”An hour and a half later,we finally reached our destination:our grandparent’s old home up in the mountaintops known as El Cajete.
This Spring of 2008,I went to Mexico for the first time in 13 years.I had gone when I was four years old,but all I remembered was holding and giving milk to a baby goat and a huge bull towering over me.So I was determined to suck in the sights and sounds of Mexico this time around.I didn’t want to miss a thing.I enjoyed every minute of it,from the time I boarded the plane to when I scraped my arm going down the “mango haven”.My family boarded the plane for spring break,and we were off to Morelia,Michoacan.
Morelia is a beautiful city.We stayed for a week and a half at a town called San Juanito.I loved the excitement and the rush.I have never gone on a public bus before.The first time we had to catch “la flecha” to take us to “el centro” (where all the shopping is done!),we had to run so it wouldn’t leave us behind.I learned that you have to hold on to the rails real tight because the roads were bumpy,or else you were sent tumbling into someone’s lap,as my mom almost found out.We went to many places in Morelia, but what I enjoyed most was the celebration they had on a weekend at a place called “El Catedral.” I don’t remember what it was for,but I like to think it was because we had arrived!There was so much entertainment and crowds of people gathered everywhere.There were men posing as statues, kids singing their hearts out, masked men dancing and buildings that were so architecturally beautiful, I was left in awe.
Next,we left for a week to San Diego,where my dad’s parents live.San Diego is a little village that is located under the mountains.We went to a lot of places,but what I considered important throughout the whole trip was going back to my grandparent’s old home up in the mountains.I hadn’t been there in 13 years, and going back there was surreal.Just climbing up the path to reach there was amazing enough.But when I saw the pile of dried corn there on the corner of the house,and the kitchen where I fed the baby goats and the room I had stayed in,I felt like this trip was so worth it.
But all good things must come to an end,and the next thing I knew, we were boarding the plane back to the U.S. I learned a lot from staying in Mexico:everything is different,but not in a bad way.For instance,for the first time, I went to the bathroom outside.It was a weird experience but there’s always a first time for everything!It is an experience that opens your mind and lets you see how other cultures work.I don’t know when I will be able to go to Mexico again,maybe in the next 13 years,but if I have a chance to go and experience it all over again,I would do it in a heartbeat.Meanwhile,I will be dreaming of eating green mangoes from my “mango haven” on a huge rock.
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