The Importance of Family

Noah Applebaum - Ecuador


June 8, 2015

Written November 2014 —- My host family picked me up from my program today. I was nervous at first but mi mami, Rosanna, came up to me, smiled, and said ‰ÛÏmijo!‰Û (my son). She hugged me as if I was her own. We arrived back at the apartment and my brain was already so tired from having to speak Spanish, but Rosanna‰Ûªs patience was incredible. After I finished unpacking, I met my new host brother, Jose. Jose is in college, studying psychology. Luckily for me, he speaks English pretty well, along with German. We head out to Cumbaya to get some lunch. Something about this family made me fall in love with them. I realized how close they were and it made me jealous. It wasn‰Ûªt that my family from America isn‰Ûªt close, it‰Ûªs that I had never allowed myself to be close with them. I have 3 sisters and they‰Ûªre all older than me enough that it renders a generational gap between us. Because of this, growing up with them was tough because naturally, they looked down upon me. It makes sense, who would listen to what their little brother had to say? I can‰Ûªt hold that against them but it did push me away from them, as I grew older. Eventually they all left for college and then for work. Slowly I started to not only feel emotionally by myself, but physically by myself. The next year, I was sent to boarding school in Greensboro, North Carolina. At first it was a bit tough because I had a tough time merging from my shell. I spent the first week sleeping through the ‰ÛÏice-breaker‰Û activities and watching 2 seasons of the show Friends. As time went on, I made friends, but something I noticed was that they all called their families almost every day‰Û_ or at least a few times a week. I couldn‰Ûªt even fathom why they would need to‰Û_ aren‰Ûªt their parents the ones who sent them away to boarding school? Throughout the rest of high school, I went weeks without even so much as a text from or to a family member. I just didn‰Ûªt see the importance. I always put my friends first and my family last. I thought to myself, ‰ÛÏMy family will always be there, so why do I need to try?‰Û I WAS right about one thing, my family WILL always be there, but it wasn‰Ûªt until now that I realized that this is the exact reason why I DO need to try. My father always told me that friends will come and go, but family will always be there for you. He‰Ûªs right. Family will always be there for you and that is why family should always come first. I miss my family a lot already and I have 8 months to go.

Noah Applebaum