THE LIFE STORY OF A FOREIGN STUDENT – CHAPTER 1 – Jesus and Jose

By Adriana Garcia

Let’s start with my uncles, Jesús and José, but first you might need a bit of background information.

My family, how shall I describe them?

Well, my mum’s family lives, and has always lived in a teeny tiny village carrying the unpronounceable name to the English population of Megeces, next to Valladolid, slightly to the north of Madrid, Spain.

My dad’s family however, has always lived quite far away from my mum’s, 5 minutes by car, or 8 km walk crossing through the hill. I forgot to mention that my dad’s village is called Íscar, which is quite hard to type especially if you try to put a capital I and an accent altogether.

Back in the day, 49 years ago, my grandmother was pregnant. She already had a little daughter with the age of 1, my mum, whose name was María del Rocío (literally translating to mary of the dew) My grandmother however forgot to write her full name in the register when she was born and her name ended up being Rocío (translating to dew). This, however, is beside the point. My grandmother María de los Angeles (with the translation of Mary of the Angels), known by everyone as Nines, was ready to pop. In a teeny tiny village such as Megeces which is now inhabitated by 250 people during the winter and double the amount during the summer, 50 years ago they had never heard of an invention called the ultrasound scan.

At this point, 9 months pregnant and ready to give birth, she goes into labour. To get a doctor is a hassle, however a doctor comes to assist in her birth anyways. My grandma had no idea if her baby would be a boy or a girl, she waited 9 months to find out. Imagine the surprise in her face when the doctor tells my grandmother after popping out one child, Jesús, that another one is on the way. Can we spot a problem here? I bet you can’t, but I can. As you have probably observed, every name of every person mentioned so far has something to do with religion, more specifically Catholicism. I was born into a Catholic family. My grandma; Mary of the angels, my mum; Dew (which is a name we give to the virgin Mary in the South of Spain), my newborn uncle at the time was named after Jesus. So, what is the problem? They run out of holy names, so they had no choice but to give my other uncle the name of José. This name translates to Joseph, and for those of you who are not religious he was the partner of the Virgin Mary (although they never had sex, Jesus was conceived).

It is fine that my grandmother named her 3 children after the holy family, however it is not fine that I only realised this at the age of 11.

Another thing that really bugs me about this is that because Jesus and Joseph are the same age as they are identical twins, if they were to represent the holy family it wouldn’t quite work, as a father cannot be the same age as their child.

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