The bus pulls up and we see Tata (Daniel’s grandad) pacing back and forth at the entrance of the bus station. He’s worried because the bus ride was longer than expected and we are now over an hour late. When we arrive at the house, Tata opens the door and we are immediately hit with the smell of Nana’s cooking. It’s good to be home.
In our days in Valle Hermoso (a region in La Ligua), Nana and Tata take us to meet all the family in the area and share with us many stories during our walks and drives around town. They point out all of the significant places to them – to the church where they were married, the restaurant where they celebrated their 50 year wedding anniversary this year, the school that Daniel’s mum attended and the houses of their many family members. They take us to their local shops, their favourite place that sells the best dulces de La Ligua (sweet pastries) and to the only Chinese restaurant in town. They proudly tell us that they have had their house since 1972 and Tata shows us his big backyard where he is growing corn, tomatoes, lemons, melons and grapes. They know all their neighbours and every few steps is accompanied with a friendly smile and hello. So even though La Ligua is a place we have never been, it immediately feels like home, especially with Nana and Tata. It’s not hard to understand why they don’t want to leave this place and why we don’t want to leave them.
© Daniel & Amanda Tran (2016)