Friday, July 26, 2013

Mi Casa

It's been a roller coaster since Day 1 but regardless of what is going on or where we are or where we wish we were, I always feel at home when I am with Ray. We've moved 8 times in the last 8 years. We've gotten over illnesses, racism, death, separation from our children, drug addiction, immigration bars and so much more. Sometimes it feels like we've conquered the world together. I may miss the US at times, but I never really feel homesick as long as we're together. The past couple of months have reminded me of this, big time. I know I've already blogged about this recently, but my heart is full and I have a little more to say.

Because my husband can't travel to the US and I can't afford to take 2 vacations, we always vacation separately. He goes to Parral in the summer and I spend my time in the burbs of Kansas City. Always apart. He takes his 10 hour bus trip alone. I drag my overstuffed luggage through the airport alone. He greets his family at the Central Camionera with kisses on the cheek, "Que muchas saludas de Emily." I hug my family on the curb of KCI, "Gordo says hi and he wishes he were here." I suppose it's not as lonely as I'm making it sound, but when we're not together, somethings not quite right.

I'm not a hopeless romantic and we definitely aren't the types to stroll through the streets of Juarez hand in hand, sneaking besos or anything like that, but we belong together. That's blatantly obvious to both of us whenever we're apart. We've been vacationing separately for 20 of the the last 35 days and damn it if I didn't miss that little fucker. On the 2nd weekend he was gone, I felt as though I was beginning to lose my mind. I'd gotten over the thrill of being able to have a Real Housewives marathon on Vimeo without listening to his complaints or cooking whatever I felt like for dinner. After just a few days of living like a bad ass bachelorette, I was tired of having no one to bicker with, no one to make me laugh.

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In 2007 my husband was given a voluntary departure by ICE. Given. Now that's a funny concept, isn't it? As if it were a gift or something. I knew it was bound to happen sooner or later. How long can you live in the shadows of Maricopa County under the reigns of Sheriff Joe before shit hits the fan? I should have expected it. I should have been prepared. Well, I wasn't. I actually did lose my mind that time around.

After crying hysterically on the phone with my mom and on Skype with my dad for hours and hours and having the panic attack to end all panic attacks, I went into a state of deep depression. In the months that followed I spent my days staring off into space at work and crying quietly to myself far too much. I didn't want to eat. I didn't want to talk to anyone but my closest friends and family. I didn't want to sleep. I didn't want to be. Not because I'm so dependent that I can't handle being without him for a period of time, but because I had no clue how long that time would be. Initially, I didn't know where he was, or if he was safe, or scared, or lonely, or even when I would see him again. I felt more out of control than I had ever felt in my life. And I am one hell of a control freak. He was stuck somewhere in the system and without any documentation, without a Social, he was just a ghost, just another immigrant lost in the in-between. All I could do was sit, and pace, and cry, and wait.

When he finally called me from a pay phone in Nogales, it was as if a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. He was alive. He was back on the map. He was going to be okay. I scrounged up just enough money for a bus ticket back to Parral, and for a brief moment, all was right in the world. I knew he was safe. It was in that moment that I also knew I had done the right thing and that this man was the love of my life. This is when my life was forever changed, because I knew that sooner or later, a change was gonna come.SC

I would be moving to Mexico.

I wasn't able to move right away. We had to save some money first. We realized, without a doubt, that we couldn't be apart. I think that up until this point, up until this separation, a part of me thought we might be able to do the long distance thing that so many of my friends in mixed-status marriages have been able to pull off. I would take frequent trips from Gilbert to Parral, we would Skype every day, absence makes the heart grow fonder, you get the idea. But once we were in the thick of that separation, I realized that a long-distance romance wasn't an option for us. I don't know if it's because we're not strong enough or because our love is too strong, but I knew we wouldn't last. Not like that. And so began our plans to move to the border.

Flash forward 5 years to today... I was doing an interview with a reporter from the El Paso Times and the reporter asked me if I had any regrets about marrying my husband, if I had any regrets about moving to Mexico? I was almost surprised at how quickly I responded. How could I regret any of this? How could I regret that we wanted to be together so much, that we loved each other so much, we fought for what we wanted, for what we were meant to have? We did whatever we had to do to stay together. How could I regret following my heart? I can't and I never will.

We're not some super couple. Even after all these years of fighting to be together, we still fight with each other like any other couple. Even though we came home from vacation missing each other like crazy, it only took a day or so before we started arguing about who forgot to feed the dogs, or who forgot to lock the deadbolt on the front door or what movie we're going to watch on Movie Night. Sometimes I feel like we should be a bit more grateful for our love and quash the arguments before they begin, but let's be honest. We're not that mature. I'm certainly not that reasonable. He's certainly not that logical. I guess that sometimes this is what it's like when you find your media naranja, your soul mate. You become best friends. You fight big but you love bigger. I can't believe it took me so long to figure it out, but I finally realized why I love Ray so much... why I followed him to Juarez and why I'd follow him to the end of the Earth.

He is my home.

99 comments:

  1. Your story is so galvanizing and powerful. The sacrifices you've made and your patience with the process are admirable. I wish members of congress would read this blog and gain a fresh perspective. In the end, it'd about love and family. Efforts to challenge those two awesome things are a testament to the lack of humanity in those who push the agenda. I'm so touched by your acculturation and the honesty with which you describe it all. All the best to you in your southern sojourn.

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  2. I just heard you on This American Life, and was so intrigued that I wanted to stop by your blog. Two things (one about your blog, and one about TAL): 1) Blog: I really like your writing style. I don’t know if it is through craftsmanship, or if it is just natural, but you write like you talk. It’s very conversational and pleasant. I think you could have a career as a writer. 2) TAL: One thing that really struck me in the TAL piece is how much you two laugh! Laughing is as important as food and water to me, and it was such a happy thing to hear how much you two laughed.

    My best wishes to both of you.

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    1. Thank you! We're always laughing at each other. If you were with us, you'd be laughing at us too... We're nuts!! ;)

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  3. Anonymous above hit it on the head. You really seem to love life; your manner is breezy and paradoxically literary at the same time. Your genuine love for your husband seems as obvious as your strength of character. And your heartfelt natural laughter reflects a genuine love for husband and life. You seem to be a perfect match! And what a positive, proactive attitude to life. You should write, if for nothing else, as an inspiration for others! All the best!

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    1. Thank you. If Juarez has taught me anything, it's that positivity is just as infectious as negativity. When shit hits the fan, all we can do is smile and shake it off. Take care!

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  4. just stumbled upon your blog a couple of weeks ago... I totaly commend you for what you've done, it takes guts and lots of love. Years ago, after 10 months in INS hold, 1 hr drives to visit and court hearings, and thousands of dollars in attorney fees, my now ex-husband was deported to Tijuana. I was raised there until the age of 10 and still have family there, his entire family is in another state in central Mexico but he refused to go home. I live in Los Angeles & was not able to relocate. besides my job, I had a house to pay the mortgage on. We got a place to live, he worked for my brother. I drove the 150 miles there each Friday night, then the 1-2 hour wait at the border and 150 miles home each Sunday night. Fifteen months of it. We gave away everything in our little apartment and drove from Tijuana to Cd. Juarez only to be denied. A week later he was back in L.A. and eventually had a son. Unfortunately, our marriage could not survive his alcoholism and everything that goes with it.

    Anyway, just wanted to applaud you both and what you're doing about this situation that affects countless families. Good luck and God bless.

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    1. I give major props to anyone who has to deal with the TJ commute. I'd love to be near the ocean, but just couldn't handle those 3 hour wait times they have nowadays. Thank you and wish you the best!

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    2. lol, After I posted my comment, I thought, "1-2 hours at the border? who am I kidding?" yeah, that was brutal. and when "9-11" happened, I was stuck at the border for 5 hours.

      I think that not being able to get his greencard, after everything we went through, contributed to all the negative stuff that followed. I get it about those that come to collect welfare and stuff, but most come seeking a better life, never asking for charity, willing to work their ass off for a few dollars. And it was so frustrating at the consulate, the lady made decisions without even understanding and we couldn't explain anything.
      My heart aches when I read about these situations. My family was lucky, we were able to get our green cards under President Reagan.

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  5. Emily, hello there!

    Just heard your story on NPR, it was great.

    Loved your appreciation for that sunrise too. Which actually spoke a lot about your outlook. There you were, going to take a nap in your car, and you took a moment to swoon over the sunrise. SO lovely. Positive outlook abound.

    I grew up in a border town, Nogales actually (I have lived a couple hours north since I left home for college many years ago).

    So, although my situation is very different from yours, I understand border town lifestyle, and in a round about way, could understand the ambience of the world you live in now. I did a lot of my teenage growing up in Nogales, Mexico.

    Best wishes! Hope the time flies by, true love makes everything better, doesn't it? Stay safe and ever so happy. Best to you both.

    Vanessa Valencia

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    1. Thank you Vanessa! I have a deep love and appreciation for Nogales as it was my first taste of Mexico. I cannot wait to go back when time and money allow. All the best to you.

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  6. Emily,
    I almost always blog about our positive experiences here in Mexico but have had a really REALLY horrible week or so, bad enough that the tiny thought of leaving crossed my mind once or twice. Like you, I cant imagine living without my partner but this post is really helping me see what is more important than what we went through this week. Thanks so much for posting, keeping the rest of us in perspective about the reason we are here in the first place. Nuestros corazones.

    And wow, 5 years! Thanks for keeping it real, love following along on your ride :)

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    1. That's amazing! So happy to see a long-time reader comment on this post. After I wrote it I was hoping it would explain some things for new readers but I'm happy to hear you enjoyed it too. Wish you all the best love. Hugs!

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  7. Emily, in the 1970s I was in grad school in Las Cruces and spent a lot of time in Juarez. I also spent my summers doing research in Sinaloa so i lived in Mazatlan. I learned to love Mexico as you do. It is truly an extraordinarily beautiful country and even the narcotraficantes y sus sicarios cannot change that. I really enjoy reading about your experiences. Gracias y que siga tu blog. Bill, Groton Massachusetts

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  8. Your story is really powerful. It shows the power of true love..you are living your marriage vows. Wish you guys many blessings. May God help you

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  9. I heard your piece on This American Life, and immediately wanted to know more. Your story, though heartbreaking in many ways, is a testament to the power of love. I wish you and Ray all the best. Blessings, Lydia

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  10. Having been to Cd. Juarez many times and also to many other parts of the southern half of Mexico, I have to say I feel for you. You must really be in love to sacrifice so much. Juarez is a miserable, hot, desert city with almost nothing to recommend it. However, I will say the menudo at El Bombero is excellent. Good luck. You write well.

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    1. Thank you, but I beg to differ. Juarez is not a miserable city. It's a vibrant city full of culture and people who are proud to call it home. It may be hot and in the desert but so are a lot of other places in the world. If you'd like to come visit, I'd be glad to show you where you can go hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, rollerskating, swimming, bowling, gambling etc. Looks like you already know where to grab a bite to eat. :)

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  11. Just heard you on a radio station in Alabama!
    Very interesting live you have lived!
    Good luck to u and your's!

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  12. Hello, heard TAL this am, I was born and raised in El Paso and currently work on the east side. I spent plent of time in Juarez growing up and my first marriage was to a native juarense. I too lived for a time in Juaritos, bout a year and a half with my first wife. We lived in a small infonavit house near plaza de las Torres and yes I do miss Cinepolis! I commend you for your strength and fortitude during your challenging times. I have not been to Juarez since 2008 but you describe it in good detail. Thank you for the story and thank you for telling us just what the hell that big red X is across the border!!! Good luck!

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    1. Haha, thank you! I hope you come back over sometime soon. 5 years is a long time!

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  13. I just heard you on the radio too. I usually turn off TAL because for some reason the host's voice makes me want to turn the dial, but I was lucky to happen into the middle of the account of life in Juarez, and I stayed listening.

    The city has always fascinated me since I drove along the Rio Grande and looked over to it.

    I think for a while, Juarez has been the most controversial/notorious city in North America. Now, recently, Detroit has taken (retaken?) that honor. Both places fascinate me though. But I have never been closer to Mexico than literally being 2 meters from the border.

    I collect old postcards, and have gotten one of the Jaurez jail from 100 years ago. Now I wonder what others might be available.

    To "Anonymous July 28, 2013 at 1:28 PM": I have heard that the city has a great orchestra. So there is at least one thing it has to offer!

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    1. It's an amazing city. You should visit sometime :)

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  14. Good job,you describe very well how is the life there, congratulations.

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  15. Heard your story on TAL. I was curious to know what it took for you to get permanent resident status in Mexico. Would you say the process is easier than it would have been for your amor to get legal status in the States had he been eligible?

    If you aren't legally living in Mexico (if you just have visitor status or something), do you worry about being deported or imprisoned? I've heard Mexico's immigration enforcement is even stricter than the US's.

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    1. I'm not a permanent resident. There are a lot of technicalities with immigration when you are within the "border zone." Legally, if you stay within that zone (the distance varies along the border) you don't even need a tourist visa if you are staying less than 72 hours. The process for me to gain residency here would be much easier than it would be for a Mexican immigrant in the US. Generally you just need to meet a certain income requirement from a US source.

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  16. Emily, I just listened to your segment on TAL and I've spent the last hour on your blog. I absolutely love it. Thanks so much for sharing your stories. I just moved to the lower Rio Grande Valley a year ago to teach at UT-Pan American in Edinburg. My house is about 20 miles from the border and virtually everyone I come into contact with is just a generation or two from Mexico, but Mexico itself is this big mysterious thing to me. I reading your blog (plus, I'm a sociology professor and TAL junkie, so it was right up my alley). Anyway, keep it up. You have a reader in south Texas (plus I just invited everyone I know on facebook to follow your blog).

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    1. Awesome! I'm glad you're enjoying the blog :)

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    2. Hey RGV Prof- If you are interested in a closer than CDJ version of Mexico- I am living a similar situation to Emily right across from you in Reynosa. Check out my blog at http://ersommo.wordpress.com/. It's not nearly as good as Emily's, but it's close to you!
      -Elizabeth

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    3. Elizabeth, thanks for the tip! I'll check it out!

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  17. Your courage and strength are such blessings. No borders, money or lack of it, government policies or anything else can take that from you. Best of luck to you both!

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  18. Sooooooooo boring on TAL. Normally, I don't do this, but it was so mind-numbing I had to tell you. Good luck down there.

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    1. Thanks for the well wishes Ben. My favorite thing about the radio is that if I don't like what I'm listening to, I can change the station. Problem solved!

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  19. emily amiga ya te lo e dicho antes pero te lo vuelvo a decir te admiro mucho a ti y a ray y son mi inspiracion nunca cambies tu forma de ser y mil gracias por ayudarme en esta etapa de mi vida aqui en juarez.

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    1. Ahhhh Paola! No hay de que!! It was my pleasure. Can't wait to meet the whole family :) We'll have to have a BBQ soon.

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  20. hola. Necesita medicos en la ciudad? This Love is not for Cowards es padrisimo.

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    1. I hope this is the Mike I think it is... I told you that you'd love it!! LOL Enjoy it dude! Bad ass book right there :)

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    2. Yup bad ass. How did you come across Robert?

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  21. Hi. I just heard about you on FB and I have to say that I am loving your blog, because I am in a very similar situation. Except that I am still in the US and I'm moving in 2 weeks to Tijuana. GL to the both of you wherever your path leads you, and I will be frequenting your blog about your guys' lives.

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    1. Good luck to you in TJ! It was my close second lol :)

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  22. Hi Emily! I wanted to stop by to say HELLO -- I just listened to your piece on This American Life and it wasn't enough... I needed to know more of your story, so here I am to stalk you on your blog. haha :)

    I can't wait to spend hours reading your past entries and learning more about your life. Thank you for taking the time to share it with everyone! I wish you guys the best.

    Luvs,
    Annie

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  23. Fantastic segment on This American Life Emily! LIke others commenting, I had to explore your blog after hearing. I'm living abroad as well, though certainly under different circumstances. I'm in English-speaking, extremely safe Sydney Australia (much safer than my hometown Chicago), my husband and I working. Though halfway around the world, my adventures haven't been nearly as extreme or interesting as yours. While "challenges" brought you to Juarez, the perspective and opportunity for self-expression are incredible and it's fantastic that you're sharing them with the world. I now have a different context for Juarez. Look forward to reading more in the future...

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    1. Thank you! I think regardless of where we are, the adjustment can be similar. And I completely agree, the challenges we have faced here have definitely changed me for the better.

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  24. Like other commenters, I just heard and very much enjoyed the segment on This American Life. In my book, you certainly do have cojones or whatever the Spanish for ovaries is! More power to you!

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    1. LOL, thank you!! They're just baby balls though. I'd die without internet.

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  25. I also heard about your blog on This American Life. I'm so excited to read back posts and start following. Your story is very intriguing. Keep up the good work!

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  26. I just heard about your story on This American Life and I admire your determination to make your relationship work,

    Que Dios te bendiga hoy y siempre.

    Edgar Rivera

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  27. Great blog and great life-story, I hope everything works out asap for you two! I'll be following your blog!

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  28. Truly enjoyed the segment of This American Life featuring you!

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  29. I LOVED your audio on This American Life. You and Gordo's laughter said it all!

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    1. Thank you! We both have pretty obnoxious laughs, don't we? ;)

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  30. you were great on this american life emily! I've been reading your blog since I left the US to be with my husband in El Salvador, although I'm back in the US now but so much of what you say when you first get there I can relate to. keep writing!

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    1. That's awesome! Is your husband going back with you? Are congratulations in order?

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  31. I love your blog and the excerpts you read on This American Life. Your story is so inspiring to any couple and shows that love really is the most important thing. It is unfortunate that USCIS does not share this belief.

    I related to your story as my foreign nation husband and I had to wait a year an a half for USCIS to provide him with legal status in the US. It was really hard doing the whole long distance thing and only getting to only see him on holidays in West Africa. When he finally received legal status to live in the US, he had to wait six months for USCIS to do an additional background check on him and give him his work authorization. I have seen how hard it is for a talented, amazing man to feel defeated by a system that treats him as not worthy of America. It was really hard for my husband (a network engineer) to sit at home waiting for USCIS to allow him to do the type of work he had been doing for years while I was working and paying the rent. But, now that he is able to work legally things are much better and as you described in your story with your husband his masculinity has been restored.

    I am so sorry that USCIS tries to separate families such as yours, but I am so glad that you and your husband have such a strong love that even USCIS's regulations cannot deter it.

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    1. Awww, thank you. Unfortunately I am very familiar with the way your situation played out. But, thus is life right? I'm glad that everything worked out for you in the end. Take care!

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  32. Just heard your story on This American Life and came to your blog to learn more. Stay strong - love is worth it!

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  33. Just listened to your story on TAL and loved it! You have a natural talent for telling stories. I loved hearing how sweet your relationship is with your husband. Mexican men are the best ;). I am married to a Mexican man who is not here illegally but we have definitely faced our challenges here. Mexico is a beautiful country and I hope to live there one day. Maybe since you live in a boarder city you think most of Mexico is without ovens and they are all ranches but that isn't completely true. Go visit Mexico city, Guadalajara, Puebla, etc etc, when you get the chance! I could list off a 100 cities that will make you fall deeper in love with Mexico. There is a beautiful balance of colonial charm and modern life all around Mexico. I wish you the best, you and gordo have something special!

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    1. Oh no, I know that Mexico is a very developed country. I was actually referring to other people I know who have moved to Mexico and done it in true pioneer style on the ranches. But I also know American women in GDL, DF, etc. Mexico is a wonderful country, but if we didn't life on the border, we most likely wouldn't be able to afford to live in those more developed areas with just a Mexican income.

      And thank you! So glad you liked the piece :)

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  34. Just heard your piece on npr podcast You are to be commended for the life you have chosen. Immigration laws suck. Even my husband who is retired from US Customs agrees. I wish you both all the luck & love in the world. Make it work. All you need is love.

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  35. Hi, Emily!
    I just heard your story on This American Life and it was pretty interesting.
    As a Mexican, particularly someone who lives in the north (Monterrey, in my case), some of the events you mention, such as the deaths and the constant fear, are very believable, since I have felt the same way on many occasions. In fact, I believe the drug war hit us "regios" much harder, because Juárez has really always been a dangerous place, while Monterrey used to brag about being the safest city in Mexico and now has a terrible reputation for its insecurity and high murder rates.
    As I read your blog, I noticed and understood those small joys that only Mexicans understand, and I laughed a little at those cultural shocks, such as the typical tardiness and men/women division in social events, which are both very true.
    However, I did rather dislike one comment in your audio diary. At one point, you mentioned that Juárez was the perfect combination between America and Mexico, and you specifically said that you didn't know if you were ready for a shot at "the real Mexico" and live in a ranch with no running water. As a Mexican, that was somewhat offensive to me. I mean, I definitely don't deny that there are many people in Mexico who indeed have no running water, but calling that the "real" Mexico is, I believe, the result of a considerably engrained stereotype, which surprises me from someone who in fact lives in Mexico and is married to a Mexican. There is no "real" Mexico. Mexico is anything between Juarez and Oaxaca, between Tijuana and Tapachula, Chiapas. Mexico is urban and it is rural, it is rich and it is poor, it is vibrant cities and small, quiet towns. It just seemed a bit offensive to say that Juárez is, as I interpreted it, "a bit like America" because it has running water and you can buy cigarettes in a convenience store.
    That's my only negative observation, though. I enjoy your story and would like to continue reading your anecdotes.
    Saludos y un fuerte abrazo de tu paisano :)
    Luis

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    1. I'm sorry if I've offended you. I'm well aware that Mexico is a developed nation and that most of the country has running water, electricity, etc. In that comment, I'm not really comparing Mexico and America as two wholes, but rather comparing a border town to where my husband and I would be able to afford to live if we weren't on the border. I was answering the question I get all the time, "Why Juarez?"

      Many of the Mexican people who are undocumented in the US came from rural areas where there were no job opportunities. And because of that, a lot of the Americans I have met who married undocumented immigrants from Mexico, married people who grew up on ranchos and lived without those things I had mentioned. And some of them have moved to Mexico with their spouses home towns and are living in conditions along those lines.

      So I was really explaining why we chose Juarez over the option of a rural city in the interior. Why I chose Juarez over some of the cities some of my other Mexpat friends live in. I explained this in further detail when I was being recorded, but you have to understand that they are cutting 20+ hours of tape down to 20 minutes so you're not always getting the entire conversation.

      Again, did not mean to offend. Abrazos to you and yours in Monterrey!

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    2. Thank you for the reply and clarification. I didn't think someone like you, who actually has had the opportunity to get to know Mexico and Mexicans, would have that apparent bias towards Mexico. I'm glad to know that i misinterpreted the message due to an audio editing decision instead of a stereotype.
      I really enjoyed listening to your story. I have heard a lot of stories of Mexicans living through the Drug War, but it's interesting to hear an American's opinion on the issue. Not only were you new to the Drug War, you were new to the country as well, so part of me laughs and says "yeah, that's so Mexican" when you talk about impunctuality or gender division in parties, and another part of me shares the shock of seeing dead bodies every day on the news (and sometimes in person), hearing gunshots and checking Twitter to find out where the shootout happened, to see if it's safe to go out.
      Again, great blog and great story. Abrazos :)

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  36. Another listener from TAL.. Great show and great blog. I grew up in Juarez until was 7, and I returned ( as an undercover chilango, pretending to be juarense again) to work in maquila when i was 16.. close to 30 years ago So this show really brought a lot of memories, more than the shows and news reports about all the women getting murdered. I was laughing so much while i listening to you because you speak spanish with very strong Juarez accent... like my cousins..:))
    Anyhow, hope you stay safe and keep enjoying the real burritos from el compa ( de picadillo y chile relleno) and el menudo.. Y los tacos tenanmpa.. That's what i miss the most from Juarez, but I don't think ill ever go back.. Just like you said, Juarez and Mexico are both rural and urban, miserable and rich... For me the bad parts of the war on drugs, women murdered, some stupid members of my family, are too much to endure..
    So ill keep reading your blog, talking to some of my cousins ( who all live in el paso now) to keep hearing about Juarez.. and Warez.. :)

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    1. I'm glad I was able to jog your memory a bit. That's funny, no one has ever told me I have a Juarez accent. Lol. We have a piece coming out on Radio Ambulante soon and it's entirely in Spanish. I was losing my voice a little during the recording but you'll have to tell me if you can still hear the accent :) Take care!

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    2. I agree, you do have a pretty strong, northern accent haha.
      I'm glad to know you'll be on Radio Ambulante as well. I've loved that show ever since I discovered it, because I had always wanted to listen to a TAL-type show in Spanish. In fact, while I was listening to your story on TAL, I thought "her Spanish is very good, she should make a story for Radio Ambulante as well". Glad you beat me to it :)

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    3. Well here's the promo if you're interested:

      https://soundcloud.com/radioambulante/promo-juarez

      Try to ignore the obvious fact that I'm losing my voice ;)

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    4. I didn't know about Radio Ambulante but sounds very interesting. I can still hear the accent in the promo :) but less than in the TAL show, maybe because you were not talking to your husband :).. do you ever call him bato :).. probably the slang in Juarez is so different now .. or do they still say.. simon esse :)...
      Anyhow, keep up the good work and if you ever need anything from San Jose CA, from someone working in a networking company.. let me know :).. As you can see from the last anonymous, there still a long way to educate the ignorants in this country but we'll get there..

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    5. Thank Daniel... No I don't call him vato or say simon ese but I use my fair share of swearing slangs LOL.

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  37. Hi Emily! I heard you on TAL and loved the story. As others have mentioned, the laughs you share with your husband and the happiness you seem to have in spite of the situation were heartwarming. Can't wait to read through your blog.

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  38. I heard your story on TAL. All I can say is...your husband must be hung like a stallion or something for you to be going through this for him. And yes, for HIM. Not for you. Maybe it was the show & how it was edited but he did not come off well He seems quite inferior to you. HE broke the law and you're paying the price with him living in an unsafe town, leaving for work before 6 and doing the cooking, shopping, while your husband drinks with his friends. You either get a prize for biggest martyr or masochist.

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    1. It's unfortunate that that's what you took away from the show. My husband is an amazing man, an amazing husband, son, friend, brother and father. He did not want to go back to Mexico but he accepted the consequences for his actions and knew that we had to if we wanted to stay together. If you read my blog, you'll learn that my husband met me at the lowest point of my life. Yet somehow he was able to look past the bad and love me.

      I love to cook, which is about my only responsibility in my house. My husband does all the cleaning and upkeep of our home, even after working a long shift on his feet at the maquila.

      Oh and for the record, I drink far more than my husband does. If my memory serves me right, I was doing tequila shots while I was cooking that chicken.

      Maybe you should check out this post?

      http://therealhousewifeofciudadjuarez.blogspot.mx/2011/07/25-things-i-love-about-my-ham-sandwich.html

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  39. I'm sure it's been mentioned somewhere in the comments, but I have to say you must be one of the most loving, cherishing, giving, thankful, generous, appreciative, sacrificing wives I have ever heard about. It's true that the interview kind of makes you sound like a patsy, but I want to hold out hope that had we had a chance to hear your husband's narrative, we would have heard the same sentiment coming from him. I'd like to learn more about what he brings to your life. You are the embodiment of sacrifice.

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    1. I don't feel like I've made some big sacrifice. Sure I miss my country from time to time but I love the life I live and will be forever grateful to my husband for everything he adds to that life. He is the most wonderful man I have ever met and my life is better because of him. If you speak Spanish you can listen to our upcoming piece on Radio Ambulante. I don't know what will air of course but I would assume he will come out more in it because it is a Spanish piece.

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    2. Oh and if you're still curious as to why I love my husband... http://therealhousewifeofciudadjuarez.blogspot.mx/2011/07/25-things-i-love-about-my-ham-sandwich.html

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  40. Your story on This American Life reminded me how important it is to imagine living in someone else's shoes before commenting on their situation.

    Listening to you talk and reading your blog, I know that you are living the new version of the American Dream. This dream always involves sacrifice, determination and passion! You have all of this in abundance plus intelligence, excellent verbal and written skills, and a disarming sense of humor.

    I am looking forward to hearing great things about your progress. Know that you have people out there that believe in you and admire you greatly for doing the right thing by being true to what believe.

    I am full of hope for the human spirit from what you have shared. I also know that I cannot continue to be silent in terms of the issues regarding immigration. I have so much to learn, and then I have to share. The impacts of not acting are so expansive!

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  41. This was beautiful! I teared up.. but I'm a baby lol.

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    1. I'm a baby too. I cry when I watch awards shows so no need to explain ;) And thank you!

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  42. Thank you so much for bringing this issue to light! My husband was "removed" in 2011 and I'm considering moving to Mexico City to start our lives together. I thought I could tough out the distance but I'm so lonely without him. The success that I've made for myself in the US means nothing if I can't enjoy it with him. It seems like my life is out of a movie, so effing crazy!! I'm glad I'm not the only one going through this. And I feel like I can relate to you...except Bubulubu didn't make your junk food list, what's up with that?! :-)

    Thanks,
    Wendy

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    1. Bubulubu didn't make the list because EWWWW, what's wrong with you Wendy?! Lol. And I totally understand what you're going through. You're not alone. Take a look and my blog roll to the right and you'll see tons of other women who took the plunge. Best of luck to you and yours!

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  43. I love this, Emily! You hit the nail right on the head... love always wins in the end and stretches across all divides. I'm very glad to have stumbled across your blog. And I'm looking forward to reading your future posts!

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  44. I just read this. You hit home girl. I moved back to the States in July so the kids could go to an American school again. We Skype everyday, but problems are starting. I know we will not make it like this. If this goes on for too much longer, the word divorce will become a reality. I just told him last night that I doubt we will make it to the end of the school year.

    I think we are going back very soon. I just need to save the money to go first. I have missed reading your posts. I just listened to you story from the link on the immigration site. It was awesome. I love how you are such an advocate for all of us in this difficult situation. Hugs

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    1. Steph, I didn't realize! I really need to keep up with my blog roll, obviously. I'm sorry you guys are going through this rocky time. I have no doubts that we wouldn't last if we tried to do the long distance thing so you have my respect for trying to make that work. I know sometimes you just don't have a choice. I really hope you guys can find a solution that works out for your family. Hugs amiga, and please drop me a line if you ever need to talk.

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