Personal Narrative: Growing Up In The Dominican Republic

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There were rice plants on my left and farm animals on my right. I grew up in New York City, so you can imagine the millions of questions that were running through my head. I’d never been to the countryside of the Dominican Republic before, but when I finally did, I couldn’t be more ecstatic, despite the scorching Caribbean sun burning down on my brown skin. I hadn’t visited the Dominican Republic since I was four years old. All I had was vague memories of my grandmother’s boisterous laugh and the chickens in the backyard I loved chasing after. I was constantly asking my father to take me over the summer, but he was either too busy working or money was tight. When my mother told me that my neighbor needed someone to babysit her daughter for…show more content…
I was in an unfamiliar country and yet I’d never felt more at home. For that single week I spent in my country, I met cousins I didn’t know I had, I learned how to cook, and I learned to value the fact that the city always has electricity. I was also able to see where my parents had inherited the strength and resilience they so carefully taught me to have. They exhibited these qualities as I was growing up, when they struggled to pay bills and learn the American way of life. We didn’t know where our next meal was coming from, but, similar to my grandparents, their laughter never ceased and the sounds of merengue never died down.
That week was where a lot of things about myself began to make sense. I understood why I was a spirited introvert, why I valued family so much, and why I was so in touch with my heritage. I was raised hearing mixtures of English and Spanish all around my house, seeing Dominican flags adorning bedroom walls and miniature American ones stuffed inside cabinets. Admittedly, I spent most of my childhood trying to balance two cultures that were both out of my grasp. My life has always been in the city, but there was a whole other world on a little island in the Caribbean, one that I made sure to bring back home with
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