Meganlee Rose Rivera Avilés

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Feelings of a Puerto Rican Girl

I feel Puertorrican and that´s why I think that my Puertorrican roots are stronger. The things that make me feel Puertorrican are the delicious food and the pretty beaches. Oh, the food of Puerto Rico is the most delicious in all the world! My hot little plate full of white rice, beans, fried chicken or bistec encebollao (lots of onions) will always be irresistible. I can´t forget to mention the crunchy tostones. That thanks to the plátano plant I can peel a plátano, cut it into rounds, then crush it and finally throw it into the frying pan.

But there is nothing more pleasurable than watching my aunt singing and dancing while she prepares the special ingredient, recao that converts the Puertorrican food into a taste of glory and makes your mouth water. It’s so pleasurable to watch because she cuts the onion, green pepper, cilantro and the cilantrillo as if she were playing the palitos (a musical instrument.) The knife makes a similar sound of the “tak, tak.” The she makes the herb dance in the blender. Finally, when all the ingredients mixed together looks like one green sauce, sofrito, she labels the recycled plastic margarine and other bowls and fills each one.

“You are going to my sister Elsie´s house and you to Cuca´s house,” my aunt says to each bowl as if they were people. Sometimes, it seems absurd to me to hear the women in my family fight to claim plastic bowls from the garbage to reuse for such purposes, but then you understand that these bowls are much more practical that an expensive ones.

When my grandmother cooks, that’s where my mouth turns to water. My intestines growl like a lion. Sometimes it is disappointing when I jump from my bed and land in the kitchen and I ask her if the food is ready and she answers me that she has just started to cook. But in the same way, it is also pleasurable to watch her cook. She moves side to side in the kitchen opening and closing the cabinets looking up for the seasoning. Then she bends down for another pot like she’s playing the game enano gigante (giant dwarf). Then she hits the pot with the big spoon and screams the names of my cousin and me.

“Josephineee! Meganleee!” She shouts almost singing a decrescendo note. And then, like always, my cousin ask, “¿qué hay?” (What´s on the menu?), as if to annoy my grandmother.

Comida. ¿Qué más va a ser?” (Food. What else?), answers my grandmother which is a common family saying. So, for me the taste of my Puertorrican food is strongly related to the dedication and love that is used to prepare the food.

The other thing that makes me feel Puertorrican is to visit Boquerón beach. Being at the beach is like being in heaven. It is so refreshing to walk on the beach and feel the sand between my toes while the small waves touch me. The beach for me is the place where my friends and I have fun and we can be free to do whatever we want. Like when we waste all day taking photos like if we were models from “American Next Top Model.” We also enjoy nature and do yoga on the old cement bridge, the one that announces us our triumphal arrival to the entrance of the beach. There is no better prize than the satisfaction and the feeling of freedom of jumping off the bridge.

But more than all the pretty things at the beach, I prefer to watch the shining horizon until my eyes hurt. I enjoy how timidly the sun touches the horizon and slowly drowns, leaving pinks clouds and finally a most special sunset. The sunset is like a wonderful painting exhibit that last so briefly. Maybe the sun will go down at the same time, but it is always different. I have the same thoughts about my Puertorrican roots, because maybe this new age that I am living is different from the past ages where my grandparents lived, but for me, I will always love and be dazzled by my island, Puerto Rico.

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