I got the inspiration to write this letter to you whilst sitting with my host family here in Quito. Here in Ecuador, a huge emphasis is placed on family, as in, they see each other every week, always call and check in on eachother etc. you and I throughout the years have lived in the same house, yes, but that hasn't quite brought us together. We are 7 years apart, and that is literal distance between us, but I don't want to let that stand in the way of you and I having a strong and close relationship. You know I love you, I love you so much, and I will always look out for you as your older brother and make sure you're ok. But being around so many people who value family over everything, and especially over their own independent endeavors, has made me re-evaluate myself as a brother. I want so badly to be good influence on you in your life. I am confident in my ability to positively affect those close to me, whether it be by listening to them talk, sharing my own insights, going out and doing things together, I know I'm capable of being an accepting and friendly presence. I believe I have so much to give you that I've kept in because, well, I don't know why. You are already an extremely smart and independent young girl (you remind me so much of mommy), and seeing you on a good path makes me want even more to be a part of your growth. I am your brother. Your loving, caring, quiet brother, and I don't want you to know me as just your brother, I want you to know me as Gabe. I hope that makes sense, it makes sense in my head. I remember feeding you apple sauce as a 3 year old in the back of our car. I used to tickle you so much, and my god you would go crazy. It would be that kind of laughter where you're laughing but no sound is coming out of your mouth. Now you're an 11 year old girl who in some aspects is more mature than some of the 18 year old girls I know. Your quiet attentiveness is a strength of yours, as well as your work ethic, which is impressive at such a young age. I admire you even though you're younger than me. You're a wonderful person Nina, and again, I love you so frickin much. I always will.
I hope this finds you well.
Take care nini