My name is Janeth Ng! I’m an international student from Venezuela, currently getting my Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design at Digital Media Arts College (DMAC). It’s my third semester at DMAC and I went back home for spring break. As rumors and the news say, Venezuela is currently going through tough situations politically and economically, but the people, culture, and nature are beautiful.
I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, a city surrounded by trees, buildings, houses on hills, tight streets, motorcycles, crazy drivers, and overpopulated underground trains. People are always saying their “good morning” greetings to each other and talking about politics or what products can be found at the grocery stores. I came back to visit my family and friends, taking a break from school. It’s the best feeling when you go back to your home country. I grew up in a Chinese family with a Venezuelan culture. I consider myself a “Third Culture Kid”, which is a term used to refer to children who were raised in a culture outside of their parents’ culture for a significant part of their development years. We speak three languages at home: Cantonese, Spanish, and English. There is a huge population of Chinese immigrants in Venezuela and now up to a fourth generation of Chinese-Venezuelans who are fluent in both Chinese and Spanish.
I came back home with no plans at all, which is something that I haven’t done for a long time. Typically in South Florida, people have schedules for every second of the day. I was caught up with so many schedules, busy with school, projects, and other activities. Coming back home has been a relief, meeting up with people I hadn’t seen since August of 2014, and just hanging out with close friends and family. As for the rest of the week, I want to visit my school, International Christian School (ICS), where I received my education from Kindergarten to 12th grade. Every time I have a chance to fly back home, I visit my school. This might sound weird for students because once they graduate, they don’t ever want to go back to their high school, but my school is different. I grew up in a very small, familiar school. We are a family, even after people graduate and move to different parts of the world, alumni and teachers still manage to meet up with each other after years. Students at “ICS” have the opportunity to receive an education from American missionary teachers who dedicate at least two years (or more) to teach overseas. Students and teachers have close relationships including mentorship and counseling, even to the point that at our annual “Spring Dance”, we would all dance together to the songs Cha Cha Slide, YMCA and the Macarena!
Food is incredible down here in Venezuela, but because of scarcity, it’s getting harder to find the basic products such as milk, eggs, chicken, beef, and corn flour, but people still manage to cook home-style foods that are delicious and memorable. There are all kinds of cultural foods and traditions here in Caracas. People come from all over the world sharing their cultures. The most incredible feeling is to come back home to people with their arms open wide. Hugs, kisses, laughs, interesting conversations, these are things that I look forward to experience once I go back home. When people meet up after years without seeing each other, the surprising moment is to pick up from where we left off. That is what I love the most about flying back to Caracas!
Thanks for reading about my experience during my Spring Break, and remember, “Always enjoy the little things in life.”
“A sketch of buildings in Caracas” Picture of “Open Arms: Caracas Collage”: “Meeting up with childhood friends” Group Picture: “Group picture of a big family at church.”