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Monday, May 13, 2013

My Faraway Latin-American Mother

 Mamá Adelina Ballumbrosio

With the passing of my real mother years ago, I could only call on a woman thousands of miles away who treats me like just another one of her 12 adult children whenever I'm in her town of El Carmen in Perú's Southern province of Chincha. During my second trip, I attempted to hand over $85 in Peruvian currency for my home stay and and two meals per day, and she pushed the money away and walked away laughing. The common Spanish expression mi casa es tu casa (my house is your house) is a fact of life with Adelina Ballumbrosio, the widow of the late, great maestro Amador Ballumbrosio, the godfather of Afro-Peruvian music and dance, and her relationship to me.


After my very first visit to El Carmen, Perú, Adelina told me that if I ever come back that I will have a family, and she meant every word of it. When I call to say hello, she refers to me as hijo or mijo (son or my son). One year, I got very ill and ended up in a Peruvian hospital. When I got out she and her daughters helped to nurse me back to the strength where I can continue my travels. As an honorary son of hers, I do wire money from time to time, especially on her birthday. However, when mothers day came around. I had to call her and wish her Feliz (Happy) Día de las Madres.