Friday, July 10, 2009

a day in a jungle life pt. 2

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.




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9 comments:

Amber said...

Wow. Just wow.

Coming here just opens my eyes on so many levels. To think that when I was a kid I whined because my mom wouldn't let me drink Kool-Aid. It makes me feel sheepish to think about it.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

Thank you.

I am trying to imagine cooking for that many people every day. And then washing the dishes outside.

Omaha Mama said...

So much of my time is spent in leisure. And then I don't want to clean my own house. I really need to keep a little perspective. Thanks for sharing this!

alejna said...

I'm so glad you're sharing this with us. Wow. I feel like a sloth by comparison.

painted maypole said...

fascinating

hele said...

sister. i am aching to come visit. counting the pennies and hoping for the best. flying to belize is expensive because there are no direct flights.

until then your every word dances through my heart and gives me hope for a new world.

ps. i am still searching for that ngo portal.

Kim said...

I keep awaiting the arrival of a baby.....

Kyla said...

So much work. It is very different there. Here we invent things to busy ourselves. There they are just busy.

luckyzmom said...

I remember no TV, no dishwasher, no microwave, radios the size of a loaf of bread and then, wonder of wonders, a transistor radio the size of a sandwich. The conditions this woman is talking about is even more primative than when we would go camping. And I'm sure there are places in the world where conditions are worse. Thinking about how I have complained about my circumstances is so embarassing right now.