The Beautiful and the Ugly

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I am very brave. I am single parenting since Esteban is traveling and both Jade and Siena have friends sleeping over. That’s five girls in the house! A lot of noise for an only child like me.

We actually had a good time. The girls are really into Mama Mia and had a great time dancing and singing the songs. Their Colombian friends have never heard any of these songs but they seemed to have fun nonetheless.

In other news, the first-ever-suggested-by-me fundraiser for my daughters’ school to cover the cost of the hand-dryers I insisted upon in my gringa state of being grossed out by germs is finally coming together. I will spare you the details of the amount of time and energy it has taken to put this event together. Everybody involved had champagne taste and a cheap beer budget. It was frustrating but we finally managed to put together a really fun and economical event. A very popular local band, a nice venue, and lots of drinks! It should be fun and community building and hopefully we will make some money for the school too! If we are lucky, we will make $1,500 to $2,000 which isn’t much given how many hours of work we have put into it (and how much is left to do) but it covers the cost of the hand dryers three to four times over, so I guess mission accomplished. Plus, a fun party is worth something in its own right.

The other thing going on in my life is that as I continue to explore job possibilities, I keep coming back to wanting to do something about the family violence in this country. It just gets to me and I find that I can’t just sit still as it happens all around us. Just this week, Jade came home talking about a classmate who misbehaves in class and then begs the teacher not to tell his parents because his parents beat him with the end of a broomstick if he misbehaves.

Then my housekeeper told me yesterday that her six year old daughter’s teacher called her in for a meeting and told her in front of her daughter that she should beat her because she is not reading well. She is six! It’s too early to tell if she has learning difficulties. Plus, who beats a child for having learning difficulties?!! When my housekeeper told the teacher that she didn’t think she should hit her daughter, the teacher accused her of being a bad mother!!?!

And remember the two year old boy who was following Saige, our toddler, in nursery school and constantly pushing her and hitting her? Well, I met the boy’s father at a school parents’ meeting and now it all makes sense. The man literally grunts at his wife and son, instead of speaking. He spoke so roughly to his little son for doing absolutely normal things like asking for a snack that I couldn’t help but butt in and tell him that his son’s behavior is normal. His wife, the boy’s mother, just sat there meekly and submissively. The energy of the whole scene was so awful that I could only imagine what goes on at home. I came home from that meeting sick to my stomach at the thought of what this little boy and that woman live with at home.

I know I write about the issues of family violence a lot on this blog. I worry about it becoming repetitive and boring, but I can’t help it. I see it all around me and it makes me sick. I feel like I have to do something about it, but just what it is that I need to do is not quite clear yet.

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