Zoe Diaz-Martin, Southside High School, Fort Wayne, IN (586 words
It is always the same when I go back. I have the same anxious and excited feelings in my stomach
on the plane ride down. The customs line is always too long, and the crowd of people waiting
outside the airport to meet loved ones still makes me feel like a movie star. The air that smells dirty,
like too much pollution or the smell you can only imagine when you look at photographs of
developing countries, fills my nostrils immediately and I am at ease. Although it not exactly a good
smell, I have learned to live it because it smells of El Salvador- it smells of my distant home.
When my family travels to El Salvador, we always stay with my
, my grandmother, since she has three extra
bedrooms. Her house on 13 Avenida Sur, which is right next to La Hospital, the public hospital. The street is
always colorful, alive and buzzing during the day. There are street vendors selling food, the majority of which is
fried. You hear the hot sizzle of the grease and meat on the searing metal, and the smoke that lazily floats up to
your nose fills it, making your eyes sting a little bit. Everyone seems to be chattering at the same time to people
who are at leave five feet away, so you can hear anyone's conversation.
always keeps her front door open during the day because she has a little
a little shop- in the front
part of her hour to ear some extra cash. There you can buy shoes, telephone cards, clothes, popsicles, toys, gum,
candy, toothpaste and toothbrushes, hair ties, diapers, and probably any other random knick-knack you can
imagine. She serves regulars who come everyday and random people who just stop by to pick something up.
The inside of the house is tranquil and quiet compared to the noisy buzz and bustle outside. There is usually a
lingering smell of something delicious.
had cooked for breakfast or lunch; she is a great cook and is known
for her cooking.
My favorite part of
house if the patio. Walled-in and tiled, it has no roof. Open to the outdoors, it serves as
the "backyard, which no house in Santa Ana has.
has an unknown number of turtles that sluggishly wander
around the patio; they come to the table at meal times to sit at your feet and beg for food and they hang out with
the chickens in the chicken coop.
The bedrooms lead right out of the patio; there are certain sounds that I treasure as patio sounds. There is the
horrible crowing of the roosters at six in the morning that seems to go on for an hour and wake me up. There's also