Becoming Latina…

My bebita had her first taste of travel! More importantly, she had her first semi-immersion into another culture: Miami. I think she fit right in, too. When we arrived to Cuba Nostalgia, a annual event to celebrate Cuban culture in Miami, she fell asleep. I thought for sure all of the loud music would wake her up. There were several genres of music playing that I couldn’t even repeat the names of because I already forgot them. There were a lot of people speaking Spanish and a mix of English and Spanish left and right.

When my bebita awoke she instantly looked around and smiled when she heard the music and saw all the colorful people (at least that’s how I interpreted her expressions). At one point, a booth was giving away maracas and people rushed to grab some so that they could play along with the salsa music. It was loud (no exaggeration there)! Sabrina LOVED it. My mom gave her a maraca and she held on to it and rattled it like everyone else! Her papa was dancing with her and her abuelita was dancing in circles around them. It was beautiful!

I think what my mom said about Sabrina’s experience at Cuba Nostalgia pretty much sums up her immersion to Latino culture, “It was like she knew exactly what her mama & papa like (everything and anything Latino),” which is who she is becoming, a little Latina,  “and went right along with their celebration!”

Cuba Nostalgia

Cuba Nostalgia. It’s the name of an event we are going to this weekend with my mom during our visit in Miami. Everytime I visit this vibrant and colorful city I exclaim to those around me that all of my senses are reawakened! The sound of Latin, tropical music from the radio stations make my body break out in convulsions for the urge to dance, dance, dance. The beautiful south Florida beaches entice my eyes and smell to imagine myself living here one day (which I know will never happen), and the taste of everything Cuban here from the pastelitos de guayaba to the typical Cuban dish of ropa vieja mmm mmm mmm make my mouth water.I was thinking about the numerous times I have visited Miami. I lost count years ago, but I also realized that I have been to this beautiful place at very different points in my adult life, therefore I have had the opportunity to experience it from multiple perspectives (e.g., single-twnty-year-old, engaged, married, to a new mommy with baby in tow). One day I’ll share how each has shaped my time here.I know that when I return to my home in Central Texas I will once again repeat the same thoughts and desires of which Brazilians call saudade (and for what the rest of the world refers to as nostalgia even though it isn’t a literal translation) for wanting to be in the heart of Miami. Until my next visit I will indulge in Miami (a.k.a Cuba) nostalgia.