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Becoming a Mexican-American

            The year is 1996, and I am a five year old girl in Mexico who cannot speak English. I'm apart from my mother - and it's seems like she's been gone for an eternity. My Mom traveled to the United States to obtain work in the hopes of starting a new life and ultimately getting her children to eventually come as well. The following recounts what I remember from my long, scary, and transformative move from Mexico to the United States.
             It all started in the early hours one typical beautiful day in Tepic, Nayarit Mexico. I was nervous and excited. For what, I don't know, but what I do know is that I was going to be reunited with my Mom. It felt like forever since I had seen her, felt her touch, and embraced her hug. I longed for her attention and just to hear her say "Karen?! Desayuno esta listo!" Oh how I missed her breakfast, she didn't quite make certain things like my grandmother, but I would never tell her that. And hopefully you won't either. And so my trek began. .
             My sister, her husband, and me all piled in a car with three other people of whom I did not know. We drove to Tijuana and I thought, "that wasn't so bad referring to the drive. But that was only the beginning." That night I had one of the most frightening experiences a child would endure. After we got to Tijuana, my sister and brother in law left me at a house with a complete stranger with no clue as to what was happening, where they were going, and when or even if they would return. I cried all night as my worst fears were realized. "They left me here!"," I thought. I cried myself to sleep that night and the next day as still I was with this stranger with no word on my family or what was going to happen to me. Finally on the third day, my sister returned with her husband and a car, along with two other people of whom I did not know. But I didn't care one bit, I hugged my sister like never before and I was not going to let go, for fear of her leaving me again.

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