Friday, July 10, 2009
For Jennifer, because she asked.
It used to be different when I was small. There were 12 of us kids and we worked, we worked from when we were little all day to night. We grew everything, mon. Everything! Beans and corn, I'd have to take the corn and grind it and grind it till my arms wanted to fall off and then I'd make tortillas from it and the boys would eat, they would eat so much! My dad he grew everything, he grew everything we ate and hunted for our meat. And we had no electricity, only kerosene, the whole village had no power. Only 20 years ago did we get power here.
But now, things have changed. I wake up at 5am every day (in the same house she's lived all her life) and I sweep and I clean and I take care of whatever dirt has happened in the night and then I cook breakfast. I feed everyone in my house (8 family members spanning 4 generations) and I make fryjacks or johnnycakes or tortillas with some fried egg. After breakfast I wash, I clean the dishes (they do not having running water in their kitchen so they wash dishes outside) and mop and clean the bathroom and then I put beans on, beans are in the pot all day long. I wash them three times to take out the stones and put them on the fire with some garlic and onion and sweet pepper and if we have enough money we have meat too and I feed everyone for lunch, this is our biggest meal. I make a nice rice and beans mon, you know that. Dinner is leftovers from lunch and if they don't want it they have to cook for themselves.
In between I iron and wash clothes, when I was a girl I washed in the river but not anymore. Then I go to work some days (housekeeping and cooking for lodges or expats in the area) and I go to sleep early. I go to sleep early because I am tired! When I was a child we would sit and read stories and listen to a radio that had a battery but now, now we have a TV.
We have no cable but the kids they come with movies and we watch movies some nights or we go and watch futbol. TV, I can't say if it's good or bad in some ways it is good, it opens the kids minds from what is only here but bad because it makes them want. It makes them want. But I think it's better now mon, I think life is better now.
This day in the jungle life as told to me by my friend N, a woman who lives down the road from me.