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More time for family and friends

By Andres Ramirez
Latino Y Urbano

Today I was thinking about the differences in cultures between Latin American countries and the US. I was born in Colombia and lived there until the age of 9 when we then moved to America. I remember that things were very different there compare to how I live my life here in the US.

I don’t mean the obvious differences like the infrastructure such as highways and the like, nor the differences in technology like computers and the internet, but I mean the differences in how people treated each other and how they communicate and interact with family.

I now have lived in the US for over 20 years and consider myself an American. However, I cannot stop thinking about how different things were when I was in Colombia compare to how I live here and my interaction with my family. Sometimes I wonder if it is because we live in an environment of high achievers and therefore our time is more closely guarded.

I work full time, go to school full time, I am a member of several organizations at school, write a blog, and have to keep up my duties at home. This leaves little time for anything else. Nevertheless, I try to make the effort to keep in touch with some close friends and some of my family. Unfortunately, this time is limited and hard to come by nowadays.

I don’t know how these people in Latin America do it. I can still remember all the family reunions, all the parties, all the visits, all the family dinners. Where did all this family activity go? How did they find all the time to spend with each other?

I can honestly say that it is now May and I have only seen my father three times this year. The excuse is simple: I am very busy and when things slow down a little I will make more time. I have said this every year since I left home to the Military in 1996. My time has never slowed down and in fact is getting busier with every passing year.

I don’t know about you but I have to make the time to see my parents more often before it is too late. I have to squeeze in more café con leches with my pop and more time listening to my mother’s stories and enjoying her wonderful cooking.

I don’t know how I am going to come up with more time, but I will make the effort to close the distance and increase my time with them. I will start with more calls and shorter visits. I think this will be a good start; Rome was built one brick at a time.

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