Boston: It’s freezing over here. When people go outside, they can hardly breathe. It feels like this cold is wrapped around their necks, making them choke. How’s the weather over there.
Dominican Republic: I’m sweating so much!
Boston: Oh, man. That would be a nice feeling to have right now. I’d love to go to the beach and river every day and not have to wear a heavy coat every time I leave the house.
Dominican Republic: Yeah — I guess my country is pretty special. There is a woman here who called her granddaughter and describes how every time it rains you can smell the heat coming out off the ground. In fact, I think her granddaughter lives over there in Boston.
Boston: All this cold weather has me starving to death — I need something to eat.
Dominican Republic: I would like un patelito de pollo.
Boston: What’s that?
Dominican Republic: Un patelito is fried dough stuffed with chicken, ham, cheese, fish, eggs, or vegetables. Yeah – it’s pretty sweet.
Boston: Where can I find one?
Dominican Republic: They’re pretty hard to find over there. You have to buy them hot and ready at a restaurant.
Boston: You know, my country is pretty special, too. You can go to the pool even when it’s winter. I bet you wish you could play in the snow!
Dominican Republic: That sounds like a lot of fun. Most people here get their ideas from movies they’ve watched. They picture themselves playing in the snow, making snow angels and snowmen, having a snowball fight, and just having fun!
Boston: Yeah, but do you have any idea how annoying it is when you’re playing in the snow and a piece of it just slips into your clothes? You can’t help but shiver. But it’s still nice to just grab a piece of snow in your hand. It feels like powder.
Dominican Republic: You know what I love? I love that over here, when you’re hot, you open your bedroom door and a nice cold breeze hits your face and makes you want to lay down on the soft, white, silky bed. I love that when you arrive at the airport, you whole family is waiting there, reaching their hands out to welcome you.
Boston: It seems like when people land in my airport, they aren’t that excited. They just get in the car and drive home.
Dominican Republic: There are a lot of good things to buy at the corner store, like chips and juices. That’s why every five seconds you can hear kids run to the store. You can hear the loose change in their pockets every time their feet touch the ground.
Boston: Kids here eat Cheddar Fries and drink a lot of Arizona drinks and they’re really good. So. . . there’s this girl who visits my corner store almost every morning around 7:40 a.m. She gets a pack of gum, those Cheddar Fries, and an Arizona drink.
Dominican Republic: You’re making me a little jealous there. I really love that girl. She’s the kind of girl who is always hopping from place to place and sneaks up on her grandmother in the kitchen to help her serve dinner. She really loves this place. She was born here, she grew up here, and sometimes it is hard for her to be over there where she doesn’t have many family members or people to support her whenever she needs a shoulder to lean on.
Boston: Yeah, but I hear she also dreams about you and your corner stores every night. She loves watching people go by on the street while she sits outside with her family. She even likes the sounds of car alarms. So even when she’s here, she’s dreaming of there.
Dominican Republic: Really? Well that’s really nice to hear. I just hope that one day she can finally move here and spend the rest of her life with her family and friends, because that’s what she’s always dreamed of. That would change everything.
Boston: Hey, maybe you can visit over here some time?
In this collection of "memoirs remixed," 7th graders from the Boston Teachers Union school explore stories from their lives in forms of all shapes and sizes, from a conversation between the United States and the Dominican Republic to a 7th grade survival guide. Each memoir is accompanied by student artwork.Read more from this book »