This Is Who I Am – A Tortilla & Cachupa!

Mom & Dad’s  Wedding Day!

Growing up I went to all white schools, I’m the daughter of a strong, intelligent, smart Mexican woman who made leaps and bounds as a professional in her short 29 years. When I pass the FBI building not far from my own office, I imagine  what it was like while she was an intern there long before I was a twinkle in her eye…I’m the daughter of a Cape Verdean man,  a real mans man who became a gentle giant when I was born.  He’s a jokester, a former college football player and sensitive, and gives comically bad advice and most importantly, raised me on his own. He saw to it that I was fearless and aggressive while still maintaining poise, class and grace (I still put my feet on chairs and tables in restaurants so I guess that didn’t stick).

None of my four grandparents spoke English as their first language. It was Spanish, French and Kriolu. I never saw race or attempted to define it or myself growing up. I was a girl who made tortillas from scratch in my abuela’s kitchen and cooked cachupa and jagasid with my great aunties. I grew up celebrating Cinco de Mayo and St. John the Baptist.  I grew up with a solid foundation in two distinctly different cultures, yet still having many parallels.

I have fond childhood memories…Weekends I went to dance class every Saturday for 12 years, took horse back riding lessons, did yard work, and went hiking and fishing with dad, even put live worms on the hook, wiped my hands on my pants and had a crush on my ski instructor (I was only 7 haha). I hated soccer, loved to play with my barbie dolls and play in the dirt. I picked the legs off daddy long legs, and trapped fireflies in empty jars. As I got older, my polar opposites became more opposite. I always wanted new lotion from Bath and Body works, and wanted to be the best track captain and best athlete I could be…I suppose my random life experiences and self discovery have been tremendously humbling. In the end, I turned out to be tomboy girly girl. I like getting my hair and nails done (nothing beats that great scalp massage) but love to hit the gym and get sweaty and still don’t mind baiting a live worm (okay the last ones a lie). The people who came before me, my friends, my family, my village, have made me the woman I am today, quirky, random, eccentric, and for them, I am forever thankful…

~ by tortillacachupa on January 6, 2010.

One Response to “This Is Who I Am – A Tortilla & Cachupa!”

  1. Love this Heather! Thank you so much for sharing. As someone who also enjoys bi-cultural experience, I can truly relate. Hats off to you my sister and keep on shining for all of us to see! 🙂

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