Sunday, September 18, 2011

Conversation with Nena

Diana's grandmother (abuela) is Nena. She's a great lady who takes care of an extended family. Lately she's taken to coming over for visits. She was here for about an hour today, and here are some things I found out.

Diana's mother does live there, but I've never met her. She has seen me, but hasn't met me. I'll have to take pains to be introduced.

Her husband, Diana's father, is "un mal hombre", a bad man, who drinks and doesn't send anything for Diana's upkeep. Her brothers, Christian and Lalo, are maybe from the same father, maybe from a different one, but he's not in the picture either. Cheche, or Andreas, is also her brother.

Lalo is starting school tomorrow, and Christian is starting kindergarten. They're both excited.



Diana likes to eat expensive things, and won't eat beans or eggs anymore. I'm not sure what Nena's going to do about that one. Diana even likes to eat at the most expensive chicken place in town. We don't go there (Pollo Lucas) because it's too expensive.

Nena's husband died 17 years ago tomorrow, when he was 42 and she was 37. It was his heart. You can tell she misses him still.

Julia and Sylvia are her daughters, (I think). The newest kid over there, Pablo, is Julia's. She is sick, has been back and forth to doctors in Hermosillo. She has attacks of some kind (maybe epilepsy?), and now she takes pills every night that control it pretty well. But if the free dispensary doesn't have the drug, she needs to buy it, and it's expensive.

Sylvia is married, but her husband was riding his bike last year and got hit by a car. He was in the hospital for a month and is getting better now. I think he's the older guy who smiles and waves at us every day.

In the house to the right that butts up to our garage, live Sylvia, her husband, Julia, Pablo and Ivon, the cousin. Ivon comes over to wash the car quite often. In the other house live Nena, Diana, Laura (Diana's mom), Andreas, Lalo and Christian.

Nena has kids all over the place in the US, none of them legally I don't think, so I won't say much more. One works in a recycling plant in a city close to Canada. He hasn't been back in 20 years.

One of her sons works here, in a restaurant near Calle 13, I think maybe Balboas. His wife is one of the pharmacists at Guadalupana, and she knows me well.

Nena has a friend named Juanita who has a place in Las Conchas, an American lady. She has been good to the family, one time they came by and Nena's place was full of water because it had rained, and the next day Januita's husband and some friends showed up and built Nena a new roof.

But Nena doesn't know where Juanita is; she hasn't seen her in over a year, doesn't know if she's here or in the US. She has her number, and I told her she can call th US from here if she wants.

I think that's about it, but I'm pretty proud of my comprehension. She's great at using simple words and mime.


  1. I'm proud of you too! Good job!!

  2. Thanks, Cheryl! I had a few frustrating moments when I wanted to share a story but didn't have the palabras. But I did hold up a bit of the other side of the conversation.

  3. Well done!!! Missing you guys and beautiful Mexico!


  4. Buen trabajo de Mel. Usted puede obtener una gran cantidad a través de la mímica, pero usted tiene que saber un poco de español para hacerlo bien. Suena como un árbol de familia típica mexicana. Hola a los dos.

  5. I wish I really could do it. I have so many friends in Mexico and so many of the kids that we worked with on Facebook with me that I use the Google translator. Sorry for kidding you but I just wanted to look smart. Good for you and Carl for working so hard to learn the language. Love you both.