Its really strange being back here, really nice, but I thought that it would seem just as if I weren’t gone. Its hard imagining that I spent 5 months living here.
Life here is so hard. I expected that many of my friends, neighbors and family would be dead, because it happens. But they are all still alive!! Its wonderful! Even Abner’s mom, who was old when I met her! She is still alive. A few people have moved up in the world, and the children that I knew and lived with, they have become adults now. I didn’t even recongnize them. They have become adults – with no means to do anything with their lives. I asked one of them, Geordanie, why he wasn’t going to church this morning. no shoes. Miguel is 21 and has four more years in high school to go, and then what? no university. Then there is Tigas, who went to university and studied, and now he back home because he couldn’t find a job. Geordanie is 20 and has three more years in high school to go. depending. the reason why they are so old in school is because they usually can’t afford to go, because they are private schools, and so he misses the years of school since he cant afford it. his mom died in 2005, and his dad died this year.
Again, there are so many people around the family’s house I am staying at, and i don’t know how they are related, or if they are. they eat there with us, and take care of the house, but i have no idea who they are, in relation to the family. but thats the thing, they dont need to. they could be neighbors that need food, or distant cousins. anyway,
So its hard to explain what it is like here, without showing you. its life on a small, isolated island, in the country, amidst big green mountains everywhere. To get to the market to buy anything, a snack, food, clothes, it takes 2 hours to get there and you go on tuesday, friday and saturday. if not, you don’t have anywhere to buy anything here. Youre very isolated from many things. It is really the basic which you have, friends, family. you have roosters and goats to wake you up in the morning, and small bucket to wash yourself with, and you play dominoes with your grandparents, friends, cousins at night when it gets dark under your kerosine lamp. there aren’t opportunities for you to do anything else, to get out of this type of life. even if you try. theres nothing. I still get the, how are you – oh i am sick, hes been sick for years. he cant walk. and then you think, if only he lived in england, where he could get better. because you know the reason why he is sick is more often treatable. thats the thing, most of what people die from here is treatable – it can be prevented, and it can be stopped.