Our family curse?
Flags from the countries where the family has lived (in alphabetical order)
I have already written a hub about part of my life, which was entitled I am from Peru! and some of you hubbers have even made comments about it. But I’m afraid that my life is a little bit more complicated than what it might have appeared at first! My sisters and I have given it a name and we call it the Family Curse!
Let me first introduce you to my family members:
PD & Cecile
Tomás & Elena
Jean Alice & Jorge
Brothers & sisters (with children):
Sylvia – Gisela & Christopher
Susie – Danny, Alberto & Nico
Sonia - Miguel
Ariel – Remi, Jorge-Ariel & Eduardo
None of us ever chose to be part of the curse, we were just born into it I guess. And then when we had children, they also seem to have inherited it, but there does not seem to be anything we can do to get out of it. I don’t know whether it has something to do with our family make up, our personalities, or if it is just our karma, or destiny.
I have our family tree, which was prepared by a relative in Buenos Aires, in March 1950, when I had not even been born yet. In the tree it states that in 1832, one of my grandfather’s ancestors migrated with his wife and four children, from Utrecht, Holland, to South America. My grandfather, who was born in Rosario, Argentina, is part of that tree and he is the one who begins this story.
PD (short for Percival van Domselaar) married Cecile, an American and they settled in Montevideo, Uruguay, where my mother was born in 1930. In 1950 she married my father Jorge, who was originally from Peru and then the two moved to live in Lima, where a year later I was born. With two year intervals, my sisters Susie and Sonia came to the world, then my brother Ariel, followed 4 years later by Will, the youngest of the family.
In 1969 the family crossed the Pacific and went to live in Australia, settling in Hobart, Tasmania first and a year later they escaped the cold and moved north to Brisbane, in Queensland. We all went to school, or university there and also worked and then in 1976, either singly, or two by two, the whole family left Australia for good and moved again, but this time to Santo Domingo, in the Caribbean!
Will finished high school in Santo Domingo and soon after left the country to go to study in the USA, where he has lived ever since. By that time my parents had divorced and my mother had gone to live La Romana, a city two hours away from the capital. While working in Casa de Campo, she met Bill, a Canadian journalist and the two got married and moved to live in Florida. A few years later, Bill decided to move back to the country of his birth, so they made Ontario their home.
After a few years of living in Midland, my mother and Bill moved to British Columbia on the west coast, settling in Salmon Arm first, then in Kelowna. In 2003 Bill died of cancer, leaving my mother alone in Canada. In 2006 she decided to go and visit her home country Uruguay, where she still had some school friends and she liked it so much that she decided to move there permanently. She returned to Canada briefly to sell her car and then shipped all her belongings to Montevideo, where she lived for the next four years. She will be turning 80 in October and on June 3 she flew with, all the way from Montevideo to Buenos Aires, then over the Pole to Sydney and finally Brisbane. She plans to settle there permanently with her two daughters Sonia, who has already been in Australia for 18 years and Sylvia, who is planning to move back there in 2012, when her husband retires.
Sylvia was the first of her brothers and sisters to leave Santo Domingo in 1989, but then she married Gernot, an Austrian, and the two went to live in Brisbane after their 1990 wedding. Soon after Sylvia’s departure from the Dominican Rep, Sonia and her son Miguel also left the country and went to live in Florida for about a year.
When Sylvia’s daughter Gisela was a few months old, Sonia and Miguel followed her to Australia. About a year later, Sylvia’s son Christopher was born and when he was 4 months old, the family had to move too, as her husband had accepted a good position in Austria and they had to leave Sonia and MIguel behind in Brisbane.
In 2002, Susie’s second son Alberto decided to leave the Dominican to go to study in Spain, as it was his father’s home country and a few months later he was followed by his oldest brother Danny and then by the youngest Nico. As he is a very good student, Alberto decided in 2009 to do a history doctorate in England, so he is now living in Durham.
Unlike my family where it was my parents who decided to move, in Susie’s case, it was her three sons who had the initiative and she was the last one to leave the country where her sons were born and where she had been living for more than 20 years!
Danny was the first of his brothers to get married and soon after the wedding he moved with his new wife Natalia to Malaysia, to start an online travel agency. Unfortunately, the financial crisis started soon after and their business never really took off, so they had to turn back and return to Spain.
Will has travelled to Canada, Europe and Nigeria, but except for a couple of years in California, the rest of the time he has lived in New York City. Ariel, on the other hand, has gone on many business trips to the USA, but has mostly lived in Santo Domingo with his three sons all of the time.
Last, but not least, I must also mention that my paternal grandparents always lived in Lima and never went anywhere, except for my grandfather Tomas, who decided to go to Santo Domingo to visit us, when he was already in his late eighties, even though he had never flown in his life before! I really admire him for what he did and also for taking the initiative to visit the Panama Canal on his way back!
We call it the Family Curse, as we are spread in the following countries: Spain, Austria, USA, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Australia and Britain, so it would be nearly impossible to get us all together for a family reunion now. As I am updating this in June 2010, I can now delete Uruguay from the list, as my mother is not living there anymore!
Our visits are governed by circumstance, finance and opportunity. We have been lucky, I suppose, as throughout the years we have been able to see each other once in a while and to keep in touch by email, blogs and calls, all thanks to the Internet!