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The way my family in Ecuador live life is completely different from the way I live my life here. I’ve been blessed with opportunities and possibilities that most of my cousins will unfortunately most likely never have. Going to Ecuador every two years to visit my family has always been a surreal experience for me. It’s like a different world. When I was younger, I used to wish that I lived in Ecuador rather than the United States. I would have been closer to my family, spoken Spanish perfectly, and at the time I thought that I’d be happier. Life in Ecuador just seemed simpler. My family didn’t have the majority of the luxuries that I grew up with thinking were necessities, so for entertainment my family just talked to each other. Although, my most recent trip to Ecuador showed me that they don’t always talk about everything.

I was 19 years old the last time I had the opportunity to go to Ecuador with my mother. For the first time, I saw a glimpse beyond all of Ecuador’s natural beauty and the idea of my family being completely open with one another. Every family has its secrets, including mine. I guess I just didn’t expect the amount of secrets that I discovered on this trip. One lighthearted story of this reality check happened with my Uncle Oswaldo, my mother’s brother. Him and I have always been close in the sense that he has always really respected me for caring about my education and going to college. It was a big deal for my family in Ecuador; I’m going to be the first woman in three generations to graduate from college.

When my mother and I go to Ecuador we bring a suitcase solely dedicated to presents. We have a very large family who we haven’t seen in years, which equates to an insane amount of gifts. So when my aunts and cousins were trying on all of the cute clothes we’d brought them, I heard my aunt (Oswaldo’s wife) say that she couldn’t fit into the clothes due to the baby. I immediately turned my head and asked her if she was pregnant, because I love babies and that’s exciting news! She had a hesitant pause before she reluctantly confirmed that she was in fact pregnant. I should’ve known then that something was weird.

The next day, my mother, my Uncle Oswaldo, and I went to the bank. My mother went to go speak to an employee and while my uncle and I waited for her, I remembered the news about him expecting a third child. I excitedly congratulated him, wanting to hear the details about the gender and what names he was considering. He looked at me like I had three heads. Apparently, no one had told him the news yet. He immediately said, “What are you talking about? I’m definitely not having a third baby! Your aunt and I aren’t ready for another child yet! No, no and no!” All I could think was, “f***…”

When my mother came back, my uncle went to go talk to an employee about his own bank account. I pulled my mother aside and explained to her the situation. I definitely knew he was going to have a third baby because the baby momma had confirmed it herself. I’d already let it slip so I was afraid that if I didn’t break it to my uncle now, then when he eventually did find out he would remember this moment and realize that I knew the whole time and didn’t say anything! My mom is pretty much a get to the point type of person so she said she would just tell him herself.

Once we walk out of the bank, my mom just nonchalantly puts an arm around her brother and said, “Congratulations on your third baby Oswaldo! Your wife told us the exciting news yesterday!” He almost died from shock. My mom had to repeat it a couple of times before it really sank in for him. Needless to say, he was livid and rightly so. I’m pretty sure he was one of the last people in the family to find out! He mumbled a lot about how he needed to go home and talk to his wife.. I’m sure the talk wasn’t pleasant. My mother, my uncle and I laugh about this moment now, and I have a beautiful baby cousin that’s been added to the family, but my aunt definitely gave me a lot of dirty looks for the remainder of my trip. I hope she learned a good lesson though, any life-changing news that affects her and my uncle…he should probably be the first to know.

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