30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 18

Please refer back to my earlier posts and read what this challenge is about so that the later posts make sense. :)

Day 18 Question # 18: What is the earliest lesson you can remember learning as a child that you have followed throughout your life?

Answer: I just had a talk with my kids about embracing their Latin roots and  my answer comes from this talk. I was explaining to my kids that I love the Latin culture because we always seem to find the positive in the negative. That way of thinking permeates everything including our music. One day when my second daughter was younger I was listening to a ” EL NIAGARA EN BICICLETA“, a merengue by Dominican born star Juan Luis Guerra. She asked me to translate the words for her and when I did she was amazed and she said, ” Wow! Such happy music but the words are so sad.” I told her that our Latin music is a lot like that because we stay joyful even when things aren’t all that hot.

When I was in the 4th grade Sister Mary Valentine, my teacher was reading to us about some of the miracles of Jesus. One day she read to us how Jesus healed 10 lepers and out of the 10 only one came back to thank Him for his miracle. I remember thinking.’ WOW! I want to be like that guy! I want to say thank you all the time.’ And that’s what I’ve done my whole life. I go out of my way to say thank you to God, family, even the cashier at the grocery store who rang up my groceries.

I believe that when you have a thankful attitude, it shows up in all you do. That is what I wanted to impress upon my kids the other day regarding their Latin roots. Latin music is happy because no matter what the lyrics say, no matter what you’re going through in life, we always find something to be thankful for and we sing and dance about it!

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30 Day Music Challenge: Day 11

Juan Luis Guerra en Acceso Total
Image by Lunchbox LP via Flickr

This is another song I remember from my childhood; Juan Luis Guerra‘s “Ojal Que Llueva Cafe”. This song evokes a strong sentiment in me for my days growing up in Colombia. I love this man’s voice because it reminds me of my own papi’s voice. I told my sister that one time; when she came to visit me several years ago and she couldn’t believe I would remember his voice, since I was younger than she was when we lost him. Well, Papi where ever you are, I dedicate this song to you!!

Music Brings Back Memories

When I was six years old I was living in Colombia.My parents had passed away and I was living in the home of a family that was assisting me in acquiring the proper papers so that I could come to the Unites States legally. The lady of the house had grown up children who attended college. They enjoyed listening to American rock and roll music on a short wave radio that transmitted from a station in the U.S. The first American song I ever heard was Simon and Garfunkle‘s,”The Sounds of Silence“. I didn’t know any English so the words didn’t mean much to me. The haunting melody of the song grabbed my attention because it served to comfort me,reminding me that I wasn’t suffering alone.Just the other day,I heard that song again,and it took me back to that time when I first heard it. I could even picture exactly what I was doing that day. The family was re-upholstering some chairs in a luxurious red brocade tapestry . I even remember running my small fingers along the ornate design of the fabric to the sound of the music as I tried to sing along.

listening to this sort of personal anthem, and it brings me great satisfaction to see the personal growth I’ve done in the twenty years of the song’s release. Mr. Springsteen,thank you so much for that inspiring song that has become ingrained in the grooves of my soul!

Music is immensely integrated in our lives. My husband and I encourage our four children to listen to many types of music genres. They all play an assortment of musical instruments. In order to play great music you have to first be exposed to great music. I see much of today’s young people becoming narrow minded especially when it comes to music. I have a young friend who only wants to listen to rap music,that’s where its at for him. My children on the other hand find his point of view rather dull and uninspired. I thank God that my uncle exposed me to a vast array of classical music, because I am doing the same with my children.

God,thank you for giving us the gift of beautiful music.We can worship God in so many ways,but when we run out of words,music is there to bridge that gap between our limited earthly realm and that of God’s Kingdom.
Eva Santiago Copyright 2011