Pablo - the father (Padre)
Pablo is a science and technology teacher. He loves music and technology, and is always working on things - 3D printers, Drones, synthesizers, etc.
We share the same favorite artist - Stevie Wonder.
He loves Star Wars and owns 7 pairs of Star Wars shoes. (Geek) He also loses his keys daily.
Vanesa - the mother (Madre)
Vanesa is a pre-school teacher. (Like Miss Nan) She is extraordinarily funny, a wonderful cook and very artistic.
She loves her three (now four) boys and we want for nothing.
She is painfully funny, and might have the best Instagram account I have ever seen. She also speaks with a lot of expression, which makes her a captivating storyteller.
They are some of the wealthiest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, and they acquired it through experiences around the world (US, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan, Morocco, Iceland, Argentina, Italy, etc.) and through the wonderful relationships they share with friends.
Additionally, both of them love their chosen vocations (teachers) - a big influence on the happy lives they lead, I believe. They are outstanding as a couple and as parents, and they make me laugh every day.
Pablo teases Vanesa for being unable to speak English, despite studying it for years and living in the US for a year. (She can’t… yet!)
She teases him for dressing like he is still in the 90s. (He does.)
Carlos - eldest son (hijo)
Caros is 6 years old. He speaks English very well, and we are making strides on reading the language.
He is very bright and has played a major role in my acclimation process to the Spanish language and to the city. I am forever grateful!
He is obsessed with Star Wars like his father, and leads us in epic battles through the city park. His aim with a finger gun (Credit: Nick Lambert) is impeccable.
Dani - youngest son (hijo)
Dani is 4 years old. He is too sweet for his own good, which means he can often charm his way out of trouble. He loves to laugh and kiss, eat lots of treats and make silly faces.
He admires Carlos a great deal, and despite being two years younger, does a great job of keeping up.
He spills his cup of water at every meal -- every meal. He loves to play hide-and-seek, but refuses to hide alone, so each round ends just as soon as it begins. We are working on it.
Moving across the globe from anything and anyone I knew without the native language would be a challenge, but this family and their friends made me feel at home in a matter of hours. We tease, play, kiss, hug, dream, eat, party and laugh together, embracing each day with optimism, tackling whatever challenges await us.
Like my family back home, I believe they appreciate my energy and attitude. And, like my family back home, they are less than impressed with my eating habits -- smashing endlessly one day, only to (unintentionally) fast for the majority of the next.
Carlos, Dani and I, the three sons, are some of the most blessed kids on the planet. I will spend the rest of my life seeking avenues to repay them for this opportunity.
“An Open Letter to a Dear Friend #3”
“An Open Christmas Letter to my Dear Friends”
“Good Enough Work”
“I’m Goin’ Country”