Growing up, I was always greatly influenced by my siblings. I am the youngest of seven kids. That’s right, SEVEN. If that wasn’t enough already, I was a big surprise. My mom was 43 and my dad was 47 when I was born, so I not only have older parents, but also (much) older siblings. My oldest sibling, Christy, is 45 years old (23 year age gap!), while the runner-up for youngest sibling, Timmy, is 32 years old (10 year age gap!). All that being said, I basically had nine caregivers at the same time when I was a kid. That leaves plenty of room for tight-nit relationships within my family.
Casey, Tommy, Kelly, Robbie, Christy, and Ronnie. Not pictured: Timmy.
I would have to say the sibling that I am the closest to is my sister Kelly. She is 14 years older than me and she is my biggest role model. She is an elementary school teacher in Northern Kentucky now, but for some time was an ESL teacher here in Lexington at Cardinal Valley Elementary. She decided to get her ESL certification because throughout her undergrad at UK, she studied abroad multiple times to Mexico and picked up on a lot of the Spanish language — she became basically fluent! She LOVES speaking Spanish. She taught me so many words and she is the reason why I am now a Spanish major with hopes of being a high school Spanish teacher. She has a huge heart for the Hispanic community as well, which has mirrored over into my own life because of her influence.
The summer of 2008, the summer right after graduating eighth grade, she decided she wanted to take me on a trip to Mexico with her for two weeks. Her goal with this was to attend a small language school so I could get a head-start on learning Spanish before taking it in high school. And, of course, to celebrate the end of the tireless, long, brutal years of middle school — haha!
Daniel (my intercambio), Kelly, and I in Cuernavaca
After fundraising $1,000 on my own for this trip of a lifetime, Kelly and I were off to Cuernavaca, Mexico for two weeks! I had never been out of the country and I didn’t know any Spanish except for a few words, but, boy, was I ready!
While in Mexico, we had the opportunity to try a wide variety of typical Mexican foods. My favorite, that I still, to this day, order whenever it’s available, is enchiladas suizas.
I could die at the sight of them.
The thing about this, though, is I know I love enchiladas suizas, but I have no idea whatsoever what I am putting into my body. I know there’s tortillas, chicken, green sauce, and cheese, but I don’t know what kind of tortillas, if it’s typically made with other types of meats, what the proper name for “green sauce” is and what goes in it, or what kind of cheese that is. Or even why they’re called “Enchiladas suizas”, which means “Swiss enchiladas”, if they’re from Mexico. I’m going to get to the bottom of this.
Will Dectective Case-Uh-Dilla find out what Enchiladas Suizas really are made of? Does she really want to know? Are Enchiladas Suizas from Switzerland?
Stay tuned. Detective Case-Uh-Dilla, out.