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Featured Writer: Tiffany Ibanez

5007 Miles Apart - Creative Nonfiction

A baby who doesn’t know it yet but will live her first years of childhood without her dad for the first 4 years. I was born on May 27, 2004. It was a very difficult birth, with a painful look and a red face, my mom had a C-section done; She gave birth in a private clinic named “Monte de Sinai”. That day my family was there excitedly waiting, but my dad? Well. he was in Mount Vernon, WA waiting for an update about how everything went. Unfortunately, my dad wasn’t there for my birth because he was over in the U.S making money so me and my mom wouldn’t struggle. The first time my dad came to visit me after I was born was when I was one year old. I don’t remember much but my dad always tells me “Eras tan chiquita que seguro ni te acuerdas pero yo era tan feliz de verte crecer al menos por el tiempo que fui”.

After I turned one, I ended up meeting him. He wouldn’t go very often as he was trying to keep his eyes open every day from work to make money and adjust to a place where he wasn’t from.

Mi abuelita worked as a babysitter in a rich household when she was younger. “Los Duenos” as we call them were Americans who went to visit Peru for tourism. The lady offered my grandma to go to the US with them but wasn’t really sure because at the time she was pregnant with my aunt! The lady slowly told mi abuelita she would bring her with a working visa. Her eyes widened as she agreed and my aunt was born in New York. Later mi abuelita returned back to Peru with my aunt and had eight kids. Mi abuelita then later on again returned to the US with my aunt and managed to get papers for my grandpa and my dad. With a grin and watery eyes my dad told my mom he got his visa he explained he would make more money since he had papers of course it wouldn’t be easy because he didn't have a job yet or knew the language.

That is the reason being my dad was all the way in the USA and me and my mom were back in Lima Peru. I was now three, I was dull and detached from my dad because in my eyes he was a stranger. He tells me “Eras tan chiquita y no me veías tanto que no sabias quien era.” My dad once came for Christmas! With a smile as big as an elephant I opened my gifts and gave him a big hug! It was Christmas and I had my dad. It was the best day; I enjoyed the quality time with him more than anything.

The last time my dad came and visited I was little and short but this time I was four years old. It was different this time he picked us up to go live in the US. When the time came for me to leave for the airport my knees were shaking and tears fell down my face as I didn’t want to say goodbye. Peru is 5007 miles away so it took 18 hours to arrive. Two flights, one is always longer than the other. Finally, after 18 hours I arrived in Seattle; from there I don't remember much. All I remember is coming home and falling fast asleep. Ever since that day a smile has always been with me!

Tiffany Ibanez is a high school student and is currently 17 years old. She is going to turn 18 on May 27th because Tiffany was born on May 27, 2004. She was not born in the United States, She was born in Lima Peru which is located in South America and borders Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia, and Brazil. Some hobbies she really enjoys are playing soccer and hanging out with her friends. Tiffany is bilingual and can speak two languages fluently and these languages are Spanish and English, even though she has studied French and Sign language she isn't very fluent in those languages, unlike English and Spanish. Tiffany has no siblings as she is an only child and has been able to enjoy the love of her parents all to herself. Tiffany in the future is really looking forward to going to college and being able to give back everything her parents provided for her.

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