At the end of last year, I decided to return home to the Dominican Republic for the first time in close to 5 years. I was able to surprise my family members, including my mom for Christmas. It was a memorable moment. It was a feeling like never before in my life. I wanted to see my family so much that days before arriving I didn’t feel hungry. It was as if I was immortal and that man was not a problem or a priority. When I surprised my mom, I cried a lot. My tears were not of suffering, they were of so much emotion accompanied by these five Christmases and three years away from my family. Listening to the Dominican cars, motorcycles, engines, and horns was like living once again.
Denying that I felt strange at the moment is something impossible, and people did not perceive me the same as before, not even the boyfriends or past adventures that I had saw me the same as before. The only ones who did not change were friends and family. Because of COVID, I could not enjoy my travel plans as I wanted, but in the Dominican Republic, there was always a way to smile and be happy. The important thing was that I was in the country, in a difficult time but I was close to those who made me feel important. My mom, my grandmothers, and my great-grandmother were what gave me the strongest emotions. I couldn’t bear to look at them, my heart felt like it doubled with so much emotion when I was around them. I would like to divide myself in two, so as not to miss those from the United States and there. While in the DR I missed my kittens, but in the DR I missed my friends that would go out to bars, but right now we are in a pandemic and it is impossible.
These are just a few of the experiences I had while briefly visiting home. I can’t believe that I left my country at 23 years old. I had no clue that one day I would just leave without knowing that I would return at 27 years old. As long as I live far from DR I will be missing even its worst moments.
Francix • He/Him
La Vega, Dominican Republic
Interviewed & Photographed by: Armonté Butler