Many people that have never gone through the American immigration process aren't privy to the kind of huddles people have to jump through. It's a long and emotional process that often takes years to complete, years in which often times you are not allowed to leave the country. It was about 10 years before my Dad and I were able to return to Colombia to reunite with our family, and in those ten years his mother had passed away, his sister had gotten married, my grandpa had grown old and many of my cousins had grown up and had children and lives of their own. This carriel is a very traditional part of the Colombian national attire that is worn by men. When we finally returned to Colombia after so many years, one of my dad's cousins whom he had not see in over a decade gave it to him as a welcome home gift. It is so beautiful, made by hand with cow hides that are dyed and stitched by the communities that have been making them for centuries. That was almost twenty years ago. This weekend when I went home for Mother's Day, my dad handed it over to me as a college graduation gift. This meant so much because it's typically worn by men but I am his daughter, in a way it felt like the turning of a new, modern leaf. Wearing it makes me feel proud of who I am and where I come from, and it's such a popular sight in Colombia that any Colombians that see it here in the states immediately recognize it and know who you are and where you come from, it serves as a bond between you and all other Colombians trying to make it here in America and it reminds me that no matter what, I'm not alone.