My grandniece, Manuela Ortiz joined our family on July 18, 2021, when she married my grandnephew, James Renville. Manuela is such a happy person, and she brings so much sunshine into the lives of our family. She is an excellent dancer, and James is learning to dance too. They have even done some videos of them dancing and placed them online. Not everyone has the coordination to do things like Salsa dancing, but Manuela certainly does…and I’ll have to leave that to her. It’s best that way.
Speaking fluent Spanish makes Manuela as asset to Wyoming Housing Network, where she is a housing counselor. When Manuela first came to America from Columbia, it was with the intent to study English, so that when she went back home, she could move up in her company. Things changed as time went by, and before long, she knew that she wanted to immigrate to America permanently. That was in the works, when she met her future husband, my grandnephew, James Renville. They met in 2019 and have been inseparable ever since.
Recently, Manuela decided to write an e-book called The Stages of an Immigrant: Stories of an Immigrant. In her book, she tells about her own experiences as she navigated the immigration system of the United States. We are all very proud of Manuela and her journey to become an American citizen the right way.
This past Christmas, Manuela got to go back to Columbia to visit her family for the holidays. Having been here when Covid hit, she hasn’t been able to go back home, and that has been so hard. Manuela has embraced her Wyoming family, and totally loves her Wyoming Cowboy (her husband, James), but this was a special trip and very fun for her. Aside from the climate difference, there are many different customs that go along with the holidays too. The decorations alone are very different. I’m sure that as the years go by, Manuela will incorporate some of her family’s traditions into Christmases here and maybe some of ours in future Christmases there. Today is Manuela’s birthday. Happy birthday Manuela!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
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