Dear Marlene,


I’m writing you because, like I said earlier, I could really use some help paying for my tuition this semester. Also, since it’s been so long since we’ve spoken in person I thought it was time for an in depth update on what’s been going on with my family and I. I don’t think of you guys as a bank. You and your family have been such a blessing to me and my family, and I really do love you guys like my family!  Only God knows where I’d be now without the Villavicencios.


            First off, my mom is doing well. She’s still working the same job, still going out with her boyfriend Abe, who is a good guy from what I can tell. She helps me tremendously, and makes lots of sacrifices for me. She helps me pay my rent, and other bills that I can’t pay yet. She has gotten the money that financial aid wasn’t able to cover. She also helps out my sister Rosaly and her husband a lot, because they’re always jumping from job to job, and sometimes have no job. She’s one of the main reasons I need to get my ass in gear and finish. She’s never once said I would have to pay her back. She truly just wants was best for me. But I owe her big time.


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Mom & Abe visiting me last year



Both my sisters have moved out of the house. Actually, they both live in the same apartment complex close to home.  Rosaly lives with her husband and my nephew. She was pregnant last year, but in November she had a miscarriage. It was very sad for her and the family. The way it happened wasn’t too nice. She’s well. It must be hard for her though, considering my other sister is pregnant too. Katrisia has been pregnant for almost seven months now. You won’t believe this though. The guy who got her pregnant is the brother of my other sister’s husband. Read that again if you have to. My mom was really flippin’ out over this whole thing. My sisters are crazy. That guy has since gone off to the military leaving my sister alone. I don’t know if they made any kind of commitment together or what. Things are calmer now though, y, si dios quiere, we’ll be welcoming a new member to the family soon.


My nephew LeRhonie


            My brother is still living at home with my mom. He drives her up the wall. Every time I call home they’re bickering about something. He was working at a bookstore, Books-A-Million, and is now also working at some BioTech company doing some kind of office work. The only thing he is really motivated about is music. He really wants to go back to school to study music and become a music teacher. Hopefully, if I’m blessed in the future, I can help him with this.


            My Aunt and cousins are also doing well. For a  while my Aunt was living in the old trailer home we used to live in, but has since moved out to a town home. Hopefully this is better for her and my cousin Madelyn, because I think they were miserable living in that trailer. I can relate. It was in really bad shape. That trailer home has been completely blown away by one of those hurricanes last year. Thankfully no one has to live in there anymore. My cousin Bimbi got his masters degree in accounting and is getting married to a nice Egyptian woman who has two kids. My cousin Sammy is a leader in some youth church (he’s no longer into drugs and gangs). My cousin Jacquina lives with her boyfriend and has a baby.


My cousin Bimbi with his fiancée


            Thanks so much for supporting Andres on his visit up here last summer.  Oh yeah, and for helping us get that air conditioner (I loved that thing). I had such a great time hanging out.  We talked more about our goals, and plans to do something creative and productive together. We hope these projects we’re planning will help us each grow individually and bring us closer as friends.  This has been something we’ve wanted to do since we were younger. Remember the video game creation kit you bought us, and all the art supplies? It wasn’t a waste. Even though we failed to focus and finish what we started so many times, we’ve learned so much, and we’re not planning on giving up anytime soon.


Andres resting on the hike down Rachel Lake.