Grove/ Essay 1
February 24, 2015
Near the end of November, we got a phone call from my mother’s parents. It was about grandfather; he had a heart stroke and now was in the hospital, paralyzed. Days later, we had planned our trip to Bolivia, just my mother and I. Although I never saw my grandparents from my mother’s side before this trip, I learned about the importance of family throughout this trip. My experience in Bolivia has been eye opening for me and made me more goal-oriented because it introduce me to a different environment, allowed me to meet my relatives once again, and made me realize that I have to work hard for a better life.
My three weeks in Bolivia introduced me to a different environment than I was used to.
When I got off the plane, the atmosphere felt like a Louisiana swamp. After my uncle and grandma pick my mom and me from the airport, we went straight to hospital to visit grandfather. I realized that the hospitals there were nothing like the hospitals in America. The hospital lacked technology and resources to help my grandfather with his illness. The conditions of which the hospital was kept in, was not up to the standards that I was used to in America and the staff were rather rough and inconsiderate. Although the nature of my trip was to see my grandfather and support my mother and grandma, I did also experience the culture there. Every time my aunt would cook, she would make me take notes mainly because my mother did not
know how to cook traditional Bolivian meals. Anytime we went sightseeing or a restaurant, we would have to take a taxi or even ride on motorcycles. I noticed when we were traveling that there were no stoplights, or any road sign regulating the traffic flow. After this experience in
Bolivia, I learned more about my heritage.
Before this experience I have only met my relatives once and that was about eight years ago. So when I got there, I thought I would be uncomfortable, but I did not and neither were they. At the airport, it was Grandma and Uncle Mario who picked us up. After the hospital, we went to Grandma’s house and met with the rest of the family. At the house, I met once again my aunt Babi, and her son. My grandparent’s house was very different from mine in America.
Their beds were on a dirt floor, the bathrooms were located outside and so was the shower; there was also no air conditioning or tile in the rooms. It was very unusual for me, but for my mother it was as if she never left, although she would forget to speak Spanish and start speaking to Grandma in English. I spent some of the evenings taking care of my nephew and I met my Aunt’s in-laws. They lived in a house that was very different to typical American houses.
Their lifestyle was busy as their house was also a restaurant. After this, I felt more close to my relatives now that I have learned about their way of life.
The three weeks spent in Bolivia, watching over my grandfather, getting to know my relatives, made me realize the importance of togetherness and money. I learned that money does play an immensely important role in life. Although I