The picture below brings a smile to my face every time I see it. So many good memories come back to mind. It was taken in 2006, almost 10 years ago. There was a costume contest at my university. I didn’t have a costume and didn’t want to pay for a brand new one to use it only one time. So I asked my sister in law if I could borrow one of hers. She went into her closet and pull this amazing captain of the pirates costume along with some others. But the captain was the one for me, what an easy choice.
I dressed up the day of the contest and drove to the school in my costume, I didn’t bring a change of clothes as I was planning to stay in my costume the whole day. To my surprise the theme for that year was “Cougars of the Caribbean”. The movie: “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead man’s chest” came out that summer. I was a pirate what a fortunate coincidence!!! They asked what our costume’s name was and I proudly stated: “I am Jackie Sparrow” making reference to the lead character in the movies: Jack Sparrow. When I said my name out loud and and walked the crowd went crazy screaming and applauding. It all tied down so well with the theme that I won the first place. The prize was a $50 visa gift card along with a once in a life time experience.
I asked my Argentinian friend to dress up with me, but she came really late to school. However I was glad she didn’t make it to the contest because she had an amazing costume.


Later on that day, in the engineering college one of my classmates asked me what had I won, and I told him that I got a $50 visa card and he said “oh cool and you spent $40 on the costume?”, what a bitter comment to make but it was expected from someone like him. I didn’t mentioned to him that the costume was borrowed, and he never found out that a year later I won another contest: a round trip with everything paid for, for two people. Destination: the International forum of culture in Monterrey. Say what??? Did I forget to mentioned something???


In the contest at the University there was a group of girls dressed up as pirates. They were part of the school’s dance group and they performed before the costume contest. Given the theme they decided to dress up as pirates. When they saw me they called me: “Captain!! Captain!!” I was their captain and they were my crew. An all girls pirate ship…how empowering! We took a whole lot of pictures together. One year later one of those pictures won me a contest on the radio. Here’s that story: I was sitting at home listening to the radio in Spanish, when they asked the audience to send out pictures of their past costumes. The prize was a round trip for two people to the city of Monterrey in Mexico, three nights in a hotel included. The international forum of culture was happening in Monterrey that year. This forum is a global event that takes place every four years in a different city around the world.
Since I didn’t have anything to lose I participated. I looked through my pictures when I found out one from a year before: the captain with her pirates, I sent it out. I never imagined it was going to be the winner. Later that day I received a call from the radio station, they told me that I had won the trip, and I couldn’t believe it!! Even if I was the only one who sent the picture, I didn’t care! I had one a round trip with everything paid for!!!


When I picked up the prize at the radio station I was still in disbelief. I called the travel agency to set up my trip. I decided to travel the weekend of my birthday, this was going to be a celebration to remember.
Right after I booked the trip, I found out that the national ballet of my country was doing a presentation that same weekend in Monterrey, a good friend of mine dances in that ballet and I hadn’t seen him in 3 or 4 years. Added on bonus?? Oh definitely!! I decided to take my dad with me. This was my second time in Monterrey, but it was his first time.
We saw the national ballet performing, and it brought tears to ours eyes. We hadn’t seen the typical dances from our country in many years. We met up with my friend whom in one of the presentations force me to go on the stage to dance with the group!! I made a new friend while we were in Monterrey….another Alex and up to this day we’re still friends.


This was an award wining costume that brings back so many memories and now you can understand why it brings a smile to my face. I have so many good memories. It feels like everything happened yesterday but it has been almost a decade ago, but like they say: “To remember is to live again”.


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