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Mansini77

English and Spanish for our 2 year old daughter

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I'm sure this has to been an issue with many in the VJ community, so here goes.

 

I'm American that has spoke English all my life (wow...imagine that).  My mother is from Korea met my father while he was stationed there in the military.  For us Korean/American mix breeds, it is RARE that we speak Korean. Our American fathers and family spoke English while our Korean mothers spoke English as well, or at least tried their best.  I remember having to go to all these Korean parties with everyone around me speaking Korean and not understanding what anyone was saying.  It was frustrating, but as time went along, I just accepted it was just the way it was.

 

Fast forward thirty years.  I meet my now Mexican wife and communication between us was difficult to say the least.  I had little experience speaking Spanish, only knowing some basic phrases and numbers mostly.  She spoke little English but tried her best.  She would mostly put a few English words together with a noun or pronoun here or there.  Needless to say, both my Spanish and her English have greatly improved over the six years we've been together.  Though, I would hardly consider myself fluent, and her English still need work as well.  Lets just say, we speak a good "Spanglish" variant in our home.  

 

We welcomed our daughter into the world in September of 2016.  Such a blessing.  Happy and healthy.  My wife speaks Spanish to her, while I speak primarily English to her.  My wife's family, meaning her brothers and sisters along with their spouses, speak nothing but Spanish.  So, while our daughter is with my wife's family, she's exposed to Spanish.  While our daughter is with my family, she's exposed mostly to English.  We enrolled our daughter in a part time daycare/preschool two days a week where they speak nothing but English.  Our daughter is saying small phrases, numbers and colors in both English and Spanish.  For instance.  She'll say "rojo" (red), and then point to something else and say "yellow".  

 

We want our daughter to be bilingual and I'm sure it will come naturally as toddlers absorb a lot of information.  My wife's nephews and nieces speak both languages fluently.  However, this is due to the fact both their mothers and fathers spoke only Spanish in the home and as the children got older, I'd say starting in preschool, did they start learning English.  The kids, not including my daughter, range from 4 to 15 years old.  They speak Spanish with ease, but prefer to speak English among themselves.

 

My question is, how did the VJ users here, who have more than one language spoken in the house, deal with raising their children?  My wife and I have agreed to speak as much Spanish in the house to our daughter as possible.  However, that puts a lot more pressure on me to speak and learn more Spanish.  And when I need to assert myself, like when our daughter is throwing a temper tantrum, I can't sit back and say to myself "well, I don't know how to communicate to her in Spanish, so I'll say nothing".  Wrong.  When I'm making an important point to my daughter, it's in plain English.  I'm guessing some will just simply say "Learn Spanish".  Yeah, I'm partially to blame I suppose for not taking a more active role in learning my wife's language.  It's tough though, as I'm a small business owner and at my business 70 hours a week, not to mention doing paperwork at home.  It literally leaves no time for anything else.  Eat, work, come home, eat dinner, shower, sleep, rinse, repeat.  I'm trying my best.  I've taken up putting on the earbuds and listening to Spanish tutorials on YouTube.  But that's all the time I really have for my studies.  

 

Any advice? 

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Thread is moved from the Effects of Major Changes forum to the Off Topic forum.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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I could have penned your post, and almost verbatim.

 

It's not unusual in the slightest for one parent to speak one language to the child, and the other parent to speak another language.  This yields bilingual children, we were told, and what a boon indeed.  Mini-Bone is as capable of speaking/understanding both languages as any nearly-8-year-old can be.  In fact, when he was in Kindergarten, he actually interpreted for a temporary classmate who spoke only Spanish.

 

We have done what you're doing.  The only difference is that Mrs. T-B. is apparently more fluent in English than your wife is, so she speaks both languages to Mini-Bone.  I don't worry about my lack of proficiency in Spanish except when I'm around Mrs. T-B.'s family.  (Actually, when I say anything in Spanish to any native speaker, that person looks alarmed and urgently points me to the nearest bathroom.)

 

In short, you're doing fine, and don't worry.  My 3 recommendations are for your wife to concentrate as a priority on learning English, for you to quit worrying about speaking only English to your daughter, and otherwise to keep doing what you're doing.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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7 hours ago, Mansini77 said:

I'm sure this has to been an issue with many in the VJ community, so here goes.

 

I'm American that has spoke English all my life (wow...imagine that).  My mother is from Korea met my father while he was stationed there in the military.  For us Korean/American mix breeds, it is RARE that we speak Korean. Our American fathers and family spoke English while our Korean mothers spoke English as well, or at least tried their best.  I remember having to go to all these Korean parties with everyone around me speaking Korean and not understanding what anyone was saying.  It was frustrating, but as time went along, I just accepted it was just the way it was.

 

Fast forward thirty years.  I meet my now Mexican wife and communication between us was difficult to say the least.  I had little experience speaking Spanish, only knowing some basic phrases and numbers mostly.  She spoke little English but tried her best.  She would mostly put a few English words together with a noun or pronoun here or there.  Needless to say, both my Spanish and her English have greatly improved over the six years we've been together.  Though, I would hardly consider myself fluent, and her English still need work as well.  Lets just say, we speak a good "Spanglish" variant in our home.  

 

We welcomed our daughter into the world in September of 2016.  Such a blessing.  Happy and healthy.  My wife speaks Spanish to her, while I speak primarily English to her.  My wife's family, meaning her brothers and sisters along with their spouses, speak nothing but Spanish.  So, while our daughter is with my wife's family, she's exposed to Spanish.  While our daughter is with my family, she's exposed mostly to English.  We enrolled our daughter in a part time daycare/preschool two days a week where they speak nothing but English.  Our daughter is saying small phrases, numbers and colors in both English and Spanish.  For instance.  She'll say "rojo" (red), and then point to something else and say "yellow".  

 

We want our daughter to be bilingual and I'm sure it will come naturally as toddlers absorb a lot of information.  My wife's nephews and nieces speak both languages fluently.  However, this is due to the fact both their mothers and fathers spoke only Spanish in the home and as the children got older, I'd say starting in preschool, did they start learning English.  The kids, not including my daughter, range from 4 to 15 years old.  They speak Spanish with ease, but prefer to speak English among themselves.

 

My question is, how did the VJ users here, who have more than one language spoken in the house, deal with raising their children?  My wife and I have agreed to speak as much Spanish in the house to our daughter as possible.  However, that puts a lot more pressure on me to speak and learn more Spanish.  And when I need to assert myself, like when our daughter is throwing a temper tantrum, I can't sit back and say to myself "well, I don't know how to communicate to her in Spanish, so I'll say nothing".  Wrong.  When I'm making an important point to my daughter, it's in plain English.  I'm guessing some will just simply say "Learn Spanish".  Yeah, I'm partially to blame I suppose for not taking a more active role in learning my wife's language.  It's tough though, as I'm a small business owner and at my business 70 hours a week, not to mention doing paperwork at home.  It literally leaves no time for anything else.  Eat, work, come home, eat dinner, shower, sleep, rinse, repeat.  I'm trying my best.  I've taken up putting on the earbuds and listening to Spanish tutorials on YouTube.  But that's all the time I really have for my studies.  

 

Any advice? 

This is all well and good so kudos to you both. It is great to bring a child up being bilingual. We are bringing our children up to speak English and Tagalog at home because my wife is Filipino. 

 

When we lived in California, we became good friends with our neighbors across the street because they have a little girl that's my son's age so they began to play together. The wife is a USC but her family was from Mexico while the Husband's family immigrated legally from Peru back in late 60's. So talk about rivalry between the who was better the Aztecs or the Inca and those debates were harsh.... But anyway the Abuela who spoke heavily accented English helped raise Stefany until she was old enough to go to school. She taught her Spanish so she would talk to Stefany in Spanish and then Stefany would respond back in English. They are teaching her now how to actually speak Spanish and not just understand it because they travel back to Mexico pretty routinely to visit family members. 

 

BTW I feel your pain because I can understand Tagalog for the most part due to living/working in the MENA region. Even then it is hard for me to follow along the news sometime because it is so fast. Even worse is where my wife lives at they don't even speak Tagalog but they do speak Cebuano. The difference between the two is like Spanish and Portuguese so some words are the same but a majority of them are different.  

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i could write a lot about how it's important, but i think you got a great grasp of that already. 

 

So i'll focus on one small thing you can do, daily. 

you drive a car to work and back, yes?  put in a CD or TAPE or even some mp3 thing, for spanish tutorial.  when you get tired of that, listen to a spanish-only radio station on your ride in .  Daily Exposure is a big thing, when it's missing. 


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Something I did to improve my Spanish when I was first picking it up was I would watch movies in Spanish with Spanish subtitles. I bet you have a lot of Disney movies at home? I also listened to music that had been translated into Spanish (there's a lot of Christian music out there that exist in both languages). Part of the struggle when first learning any language is being able to distinguish the wordssoitdoesn'tseemlikeonegiantrunonsentencecuzthatcanbefrustrating.

 

We are expecting our first cipote/chavalo/chigüín/chatel (aka child, so many ways to say it in slang!) February next year. One thing we decided to do as parents is Spanish exclusively at home since they will be inundated with English everywhere else.

 

Just think though. Your daughter is 2ish years old. You can both kind of learn to speak together. Pointing at things and saying what it is in Spanish. Hey you know what, even if your Spanish is not great practice with your wife's family. They'll appreciate the effort even if you slaughter the language at first ^_^


A Tale of Two Dakotaraguans

K1 Journey - 78 Days

 

Sent I-129F - 11/16/15 [Day 1]
NOA1 - 11/18 (Hard copy: 11/24) [Day 2, Day 8]
NOA2 - 12/18 (Hard copy: 12/26) [Day 32, Day 40]
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Obtained NVC invoice number, paid visa fee, filled out DS-160: 1/06 [Day 51]
Fiancé's medical: 1/12 9:00am [Day 57]
Interview: 1/22 9:30am, Approved! [67 days] (F)
Visa status = "AP": 1/25, "Issued":01/27, "In Transit: 2/02"
Visa packet in hand: 2/03 [Day 78]
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Married (civil): 2/05/16 (L)

AOS - 55 Days

 

I-485, AP, EAD sent : 3/03/2016 [Day 1]

Delivered: 3/04 [Day 2]

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Biometric Notification snail-mail: 3/26 [Day 23]

Biometrics Appt: 4/06 in Fargo, ND [Day 33]

Notification(s): "Your new card is being produced" (Green Card) 4/23 [Day 48]

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"Your card was mailed on 4/27" 4/28 [Day 53]

Green Card in Hand: 4/30 [Day 55]

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Actually a some experts recommend one parent, one language, to force the child to compartmentalize and be able to express themselves, and not just understand, in both languages.   So while it's great for you to learn Spanish for a lot of reasons, including speaking to your in-laws, I don't think you should feel bad about using English with your daughter.

 

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Thanks to everyone who took time to reply.

 

As long as our daughter is exposed and taught in both languages at a young age, she'll be fine.  We try and keep activities such as English/Spanish movies, English/Spanish music and my wife's family and my family as even as possible.  I personally like to listen to classic rock and 80's new wave while my wife likes bachata and banda.  I do enjoy watching foreign movies, and the ones in Spanish are no exception.  My wife likes TV shows like Game of Thrones and Lost, but prefers to watch them dubbed in Spanish...until I grab the remote and change it to English with Spanish subtitles.  We've also been using a small dry erase board to improve the vocabulary.  Writing down common phrases and expressions that would normally be used in everyday conversation.  I guess there is no "one correct way".  I've found that while using language software like Rosetta Stone improves my vocabulary, it doesn't do much to explain sentence structure and present and past tense.  It's funny how my family always tells my wife to practice English more, while her family always says "Why doesn't your gringo husband speak Spanish?"...ironic since neither side is bilingual at all (except my mother Korean and English).  Everybody seems to want others to change for the better, but do little to improve themselves.  Sometimes we have to put ourselves in vulnerable spots and make fools out of ourselves in order to learn.  I've done it many times with my wife's family, much to my dismay.  But then there are times where my wife will introduce me to an older distant relative at a party and after shaking his/her hand, I ask without hesitation "Como esta usted?".  The reaction I get is quite rewarding.  That not only did I ask the correct question, but also in the formal tense showing respect.  

 

Nevertheless, it is encouraging from others here in VJ who have been through the same situation to say in a nutshell "keep doing what you're doing, it will be fine".  I always just had that nagging question lingering in the back of my head: "Is this the right direction we are taking our daughter?".  I believe I can rest a little easier now.  Thanks again, everyone.

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We need more threads like this. :) 

The dry-erase board is a great idea that I wish we'd thought of, far earlier!


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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I think it's important (especially for the kid) if you speak either English and Spanish as opposed to Spanglish, my wife and I tried to maintain my son's fluency in Tagalog while learning English, we ended up with a hybrid (Taglish) that satisfies the rules of neither language. We are working now to have him maintain his fluency in both so that he can interact with his extended family. We watch Filipino TV in Tagalog, we talk in Tagalog (to the best of my ability) she gives him directions in both. It is important to cultural development to be aware of and able to interact effectively in both sides of a multi-cultural relationship. 


 

 

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I plan to do this when I have kids. I speak both spanish and english, and my future husband only speaks english (he knows a few spanish words like "Gracias" "La cuenta por favor" and "otra cerveza". 

 

One thing that you might have in consideration for the future, is to try to get her involved with grammar and spelling. It's very common to see people who where exposed to 2 or more languages and they know how to speak but not how to writte them, and once you learn things "as it comes" it's very difficult to correct those mistakes. I'm not saying she has to be perfect in spanish, but I think it's a good opportunity to get her involved with the language the right way and I like that you and your wife and both commited to it.

 

On 12/12/2018 at 11:49 PM, Mansini77 said:

Sometimes we have to put ourselves in vulnerable spots and make fools out of ourselves in order to learn

I learned to speak English on my own, watching movies without subtitles and translating lyrics. There is no way to learn another language without making a fool of yourself,. Without wanting to, my mind always tries to put plurals in English where they do not go (I assume it's because the association with Spanish) so sometimes and even knowing the right way, I say things like "popcorns/childs/deers/shrimps". It is inevitable not to laugh when that happens.

 

 


Nice to meet you: Dec 27, 2016 Mexico

1st Visit: March, 2017 Mexico

2nd Visit: May, 2017 Mexico

3rd Visit: October, 2017. Mexico

4th Visit: January, 2018 Mexico

NOA 1 *NEW* USCIS website: March 01, 2018

5th Visit: May, 2018 Mexico.

RFE USCIS website: September 26, 2018

RFE Hard copy: October 01, 2018

RFE Response Sent:  October 10, 2018

RFE Received by USCIS:  October 16, 2018

NOA2!!!!! *NEW* USCIS website: November 2, 2018

NOA2 Hardcopy: November 7, 2018

NVC Received: November 14, 2018

NVC Case Number: November 29, 2018

NVC In Transit: December 11, 2018

NVC Ready: December 13, 2018

Interview: February 26, 2018

 

6th Visit: ----------> January 25, 2019. Mexico

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25 minutes ago, Daniela M_______ said:

I plan to do this when I have kids. I speak both spanish and english, and my future husband only speaks english (he knows a few spanish words like "Gracias" "La cuenta por favor" and "otra cerveza". 

 

One thing that you might have in consideration for the future, is to try to get her involved with grammar and spelling. It's very common to see people who where exposed to 2 or more languages and they know how to speak but not how to writte them, and once you learn things "as it comes" it's very difficult to correct those mistakes. I'm not saying she has to be perfect in spanish, but I think it's a good opportunity to get her involved with the language the right way and I like that you and your wife and both commited to it.

 

I learned to speak English on my own, watching movies without subtitles and translating lyrics. There is no way to learn another language without making a fool of yourself,. Without wanting to, my mind always tries to put plurals in English where they do not go (I assume it's because the association with Spanish) so sometimes and even knowing the right way, I say things like "popcorns/childs/deers/shrimps". It is inevitable not to laugh when that happens.

 

 

If an extra s is your issue you are good to go, I am bad in assigning gender to things the difference between A and O I only notice after I speak it lol... Good luck and I bet you are more critical of your speech than others, I love my wife's inperfections in English


 

 

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Randyandyuni said:

If an extra s is your issue you are good to go, I am bad in assigning gender to things the difference between A and O I only notice after I speak it lol... Good luck and I bet you are more critical of your speech than others, I love my wife's inperfections in English

I have a lot of other issues lol, for example I'm always mixing him/he and /she/her when telling a story (I want to speak as fast as I think and I can't follow myself) .. I basically feel like Sofia Vergara on the TV show "modern family", making sounds to describe things when I forget a word... I used to be more shy until I discovered my future husband loves my accent and the way I speak, so now we just make fun of me together, BUT we have a deal: He must always corrects me no matter how "cute" he thinks those mistakes are.

 

Edited by Daniela M_______
typo

Nice to meet you: Dec 27, 2016 Mexico

1st Visit: March, 2017 Mexico

2nd Visit: May, 2017 Mexico

3rd Visit: October, 2017. Mexico

4th Visit: January, 2018 Mexico

NOA 1 *NEW* USCIS website: March 01, 2018

5th Visit: May, 2018 Mexico.

RFE USCIS website: September 26, 2018

RFE Hard copy: October 01, 2018

RFE Response Sent:  October 10, 2018

RFE Received by USCIS:  October 16, 2018

NOA2!!!!! *NEW* USCIS website: November 2, 2018

NOA2 Hardcopy: November 7, 2018

NVC Received: November 14, 2018

NVC Case Number: November 29, 2018

NVC In Transit: December 11, 2018

NVC Ready: December 13, 2018

Interview: February 26, 2018

 

6th Visit: ----------> January 25, 2019. Mexico

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