Was not planning on posting so early. (Originally I am supposed to post each Sunday). But. Sh*t is happening. Real sh*t.
So. I’ll start with the a positive note. I got a really nasty cold earlier this week (sounds like I’ve had a real tough week HAHAJA), & my sweet host mama Ceci made me hot soup & hot lemonade with rum? Super effective! But… a little too effective though cause I should have drank it after doing homework and working on my oral presentation, but the remedy worked!
Tuesday, we got to watch the Ecuador vs Perú game live in Quito & I don’t know what was more exciting the actual game or the fans watching the game. (Probably watching the exchange of words between the Peruanos & Ecuadorianos since we sat right smack in between them). Let’s just say that my vocab of curse words & phrases has expanded tremendously.
Anyway. In class, I love learning about the diversity in culture of the Indigenous communities here & their different names, clothing styles, languages, etc. And about the strong Afro-Ecuatoriano community presence here in Quito, Guayaquil & all around the coast. So excited to continue learning!
But. Along with this, we are also learning about the tremendous inequality that exists today as a result of Latin America’s history of colonialism & slavery.
My professor recalled riding a bus with his Afro-ecuadorian community & being forced to give up their seats when the “mestizos” came on. I shudder.
Sounds familiar, America?
Speaking of America, the Trump Administration’s decision to rescind DACA has me so exhausted for members of the undocumented community back home. Ugh. It is really hard to keep positive & keep fighting, but we are all in it together.
Back to my stadium epiphany. Well as I sat down watching the game I started to notice & question why everyone who was selling/serving beer, fried lima beans (they love that stuff here & it’s actually pretty good), & stadium food was dark in complexion. It was not only a sun-bronzed look, but phenotypically these people were more “indigenous-looking” than those of us being served. Well. This disturbed the living heck out of me because I just felt so uncomfortable seeing the young girl serve all these beer-drinking white(r) men. Like she could have been at school! She could have been hanging out with her girlfriends. Instead she was serving US and we just stared right THROUGH her like she was INVISIBLE as she scurried along running bringing booze to everyone. We USED her labor to make ourselves feel good.
I wonder. Is slavery really dead?
Like, why is this happening?
I am out here, able to choose to continue my education, travel & learn & I am honestly so grateful, but sitting in my seat at that game, I was disgusted with society, the fans’ shouts of “pinches negros” at the Ecuadorian soccer team, and most importantly with myself.
To add on to this self-disgust, I learned in class that the largest slave-owning Ecuadorian entity were the Jesuits. Not only did they “own” slaves but they used them in the slave trade for profit!
Honestly, I have been thinking so much about this, that I literally get home & have to go on a run/workout out in the park to get some fresh air.
This shit gets tiring and I don’t even actually have to live through it.
Being Catholic myself & a student at a Jesuit university founded on “care, compassion, & conscience” it sickens me to know that my own faith was used to give way to such disgusting and dehumanizing practices. To the point that I lost my appetite today & trust me that never happens.
I am glad I am here. I am glad that I am disturbed. I just hope that one day you all will be just as disturbed & that I will be guided to do something about it. About me & about us. Because we are the problem.
*Pictures will come up soon. Sorry
I took the city bus to & from school for the first time with a friend, but without our host mothers! (they had been kind enough to drop us off & even go on with us last week)
Survived my first soccer game (as a spectator of course) in Latin America
Started questioning my existence, unearned privileges, & my positioning in a xenophobic society
Chulo=handsome in Mex Spanish but pimp in Ecu Spanish (another interesting conversation with my host family)
Ponte=Por ejemplo= For example
Que Bestia=ay ay ay?=?