Where I Come From, Where I Live

November 20, 2013
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My beautiful Dominican Republic, a country recognized by its beauty and culture, by the baseball and music, by the love of such charismatic people that always will make you feel like you are home. Living in the United States made me realize how much I miss my country. The United States and Dominican Republic are very different places, different cultures and traditions, different people, different ways to do things.

I grew up in the Dominican Republic and lived there until I was 14 years old. My parents decided to move to the United States, because being a resident of the United States we had to travel every 6 months or live in the United States, and my parents decided to move because it was too expensive traveling two times a year. Of course I was excited at first, but saying good bye to the place I have lived almost all my life and my friends and part of my family there was heart breaking. I imagined the United States as a perfect place to live, beautiful houses and beautiful people with amazing personalities. And Of course my imagination was not completely true.

Going to a new school was scaring, not knowing anybody, not even knowing the language, it was extremely difficult for me to get used to my new lifestyle in the United States. I have lived here now for about 2 years and I realized that the education in the United States and the Dominican Republic is very different. In the Dominican Republic of course we have middle and high school but we use a different system. Middle school usually starts at 2:30 to 5:30 in the afternoon. On the other hand High school starts in the morning at 7:30 to 12:30. It’s a shorter time than in the United States. Another difference is that students stay in the same classroom all day and the teachers are the ones that go to the different classrooms. I have to say that the United States offers a big selection of courses and opportunities to students but most of them take this for guaranteed. In Dominican Republic there are not as many opportunities for students; students have to pay for college, school and transportation. In my opinion I think Americans should appreciate more what they have and what they are offered.

There is a wide diversity of races, ethnicity and nationalities in the United States. Americans, Latinos, Asians and much more. Being a high school student in my junior year, I interact with teenagers all the time. And I can say that I am surprised with the things I see every day. Smoking, drinking, skipping school and sometimes not even going to school, adolescent pregnancies are some of the things I see every day but I can say that these things are almost considered normal here. I can say that these things also happen in Dominican Republic but not as often. Why teenagers act this way? Is the question I ask myself every day. Why they always want to fight or do something bad? These things that are considered normal here are not treated as easy in the Dominican Republic.

The United States is so much bigger than the Dominican Republic; United States offers many opportunities such as jobs and scholarships. Dominican and American cultures and traditions are very different. The United States celebrates Halloween in November where people go trick or treating and people dress up as a character or what they want. In Dominican Republic is celebrated the Dominican Carnival in February which is similar to Halloween, people dress up also as a character and they have a parade in different places. America's most famous sport is football; on the other hand Dominicans love baseball. Dominican Republic is such a beautiful place with beautiful beaches and friendly people.

I love Dominican Republic and I also love the United States. Each has their differences and similarities but they are both part of my life. I just have to get used to this new lifestyle. But I always say I am proud to be Dominican. I have met so many important people in the United States and I am glad I have them in my life.

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