I tried to start a conversation about not being able to sleep — and I was met with silence again.Days later, he brought me some of my favorite dark chocolate almond bark from a bakery we’ve visited since I was little. Until we learn to open up, we can still joke about politics, drink wine, trade books — and above all, we still have tongue twisters. Puerto Rico is a large Caribbean island of roughly 3,500 square miles located in the West Indies.
While the Puerto Ricans still predominantly speak Spanish, many also speak English, and both are considered official languages there.Formal enough that I couldn’t ask many questions about how my body was changing in my teen years, or how my mindset was evolving as I grew.When we drove to Trader Joe’s one evening, I tried to tell my dad that I was starting therapy — and I was met with silence.We were setting out plates of food for the mountain dogs when the sweet, elderly uncle handed me a bill and said “for ice cream.” I thanked him in Spanish, and he beamed at my dad, excited that we weren’t monolingual.He knew I’d need it in the future, and he’d sometimes ignore me if I spoke in English for too long. As a student journalist, when I was sent to cover neighborhood stories, I always had decent ideas thanks to being bilingual.They were a mostly peaceful people who had been often threatened by attacks from their enemies, the Carib (the peoples the Caribbean was named for).