Old rant I never posted during hurricane Sandy that’s been sitting in my drafts for weeks now: It’s crazy how shitty my memory is and yet I’m still able to remember a large part of this day thanks in part to hurricane Sandy which helped revive the memory. I was about 7 and a great portion of my childhood was spent with my friends and family in the Dominican Rep. up until I started elementary in NYC. In the pueblo I’m from (and many others) of Villarosa, La Vega, It’s customary for families to gather on the weekends and plan a trip to stay over at the mountainside rivers that flow through many of the mountains in this island.
We would prepare the foods, snacks, drinks and alcohol early in the morning so that all we had to do was cook when we got there. Here we all grouped together (the above pic is a crop my sis recently had tagged me in, it’s of one of those gatherings), all 14+ of us, and it’s not visible in the image here but we were all proudly surrounding the big pot full of foods to be cooked. You would think we’d have a good 3 or 4 cars in a situation like this but nope, instead we used 1 crappy pickup truck and a bunch of us would ride in the back, myself included. Yes, a bunch of kids and adults on the back of pickup truck riding by the mountain sides, which mind you have no protection like those around here.
But it was the most fun I ever had, to this day I have dreams, flashbacks and daydreams of me going back (which I did last year). It was such a thrill back then to do something as simple as hanging at the river and it was something I always took for granted until I came to the U.S. My family isn’t as close as we used to be in this picture since coming here but my cousins keep the spirit alive and we still go yearly to the same spot we used to go to when we were younger. I remember this very day I tried doing the vine swing you see in movies work so wonderfully but um.. yeah that didn’t go too well for me and I busted my ass literally. The vine broke and my ass landed on some submerged rocks :(
My dad was known in the family for being the one who taught us to swim. But his own old school way of grabbing us and tossing us into the water without our consent. He figured “Ello no van a aprender si no lo sumban pa la condiciones” (They wont learn unless you toss em into the conditions). My uncle Martin would be the dick that would sneakily go around with a can filled with ice cold water and emptying the whole thing fast on someone’s back if he saw them spending too much time outside of the river trying to dry off. My aunts trying to make the best damn locrio using carbon cooking while all of the youngins and some of the uncles would go off into the tropical forests looking for wood. Now we’re all just kind of disconnected, I miss having that kind of unity in my family. Now it’s mostly phone calls and once in a blue visits. It makes me so thankful to have lived through that at all. And it may be a little off topic but this is just a portion of my memory that accounts to why I was so infuriated with media, tumblr included, when hurricane Sandy’s damages on the Caribbeans was essentially silenced. A whole week plus of coverage on what happened in the United States and people’s reply to this was “Well this is a US based site so we can get away with it” which to me was the biggest “fuck you” you could ever hand out to someone. Because I remember all of these awesome memories and people who shaped me and how they were placed as lower class citizens when they were suffering. That people would prefer to overlook our similarities on the basis of nationality. It was, and still is, disgusting to me.