My family is large. HUGE, which is a requirement for any good, self-respecting Latin family. We, Hispanics/Latinos, don’t differentiate between immediate and extended family. Are you kidding? We don’t even have to share the same bloodline! It’s not unusual to have ‘Tias y Tios’ (aunts and uncles) everywhere. The lady at the school cafeteria line, a parent’s childhood friend, basically anyone you see on a regular basis becomes part of your family.
My mom has 10 siblings, there’s a 20 year+ gap between the eldest and youngest. Her siblings had an average of 3 kids each, some of their kids have aunts who are younger than them. And when they all come together in one space, it really is an experience. The Hubbz was fascinated by how many conversations go on at once and people don’t have to be standing next to each other to be part of it.
My aunt Linda was explaining all the family idiosyncrasies to The Hubbz. All about the age difference between them, why my youngest aunt said ‘she didn’t know her oldest brother’. Linda and Lidia explained that the older siblings (my mom is as close to the middle as you can get) generally speak to each other in English, but the younger lot prefers Spanish. There were stories about my grandfather who passed away when I was 7, stories about me growing up, stories about my grandmother’s antics–she’s a real pistol, that one. Stories about life and family, the young and the old.
Who knows what the Uncles were talking about, but they were gabbing it up.
Just like my mom’s family, there’s a nice age gap between myself and my siblings. My sister Magali is 5 years older, while my brother Almet is 15 years younger than me! He was only 7 when I moved to Houston, so he grew up and I didn’t witness much of it.
My sis has 3 girls: Kamaris, Karina and Katherine and 2 grandkids. That’s Anthony, giving me the angry face in the picture. Isn’t he sweet? The next picture is my brother Almet and his wife Vicki, they’re still newlyweds.
And these are my 2 youngest nieces, Katherine (blue top) and Karina. Top Model material, both of them. If there’s a camera within a 2 mile radius, they’ll be ready for it.
This is just part of what I consider my immediate family. On this visit I only saw 2 of my cousins when my mom threw a breakfast filled with Panamanian goodies. That was fun, made me think of Sunday dinners. Now you’ve met some of my peeps. My loved ones in far away lands. A piece of my heart.
Speaking of Sunday dinners. We ate A LOT of really good fun in Panama. Lots of it. All kinds of it. Check out the foodstream, it will make you hungry, I promise. I will post about specific dishes as I recreate them, but for now, a picture really is better than 1,000 words.
Tortillas y chicharron!