some unfiltered thoughts

Katherine Brooke-Davidson - Ecuador


February 25, 2016

Some days are difficult. The other day it was hard to find
the motivation to wake up and get out of bed in the morning and go to the
school. The 6 year olds wanted to sing explicit reggaeton songs about female
masturbation. I asked the 4th graders to stand in a line outside of
the classroom and maintain ten seconds of silence. 30 minutes passed by and
they couldn’t do it. I went home exhausted and frustrated.

I enjoyed that night sitting in front of the tienda with my
family, we sat and laughed until 10 o’clock. I also felt sad, knowing that
another day was ending and my last month here was quickly approaching.

I watched a documentary the other morning about British
colonial genocide, ironically from the BBC. It was interesting to hear a British
voice speak so disdainfully about their own dark history, though the systems
built by colonialism are the ones that give that voice the power to tell the
stories of the people they previously oppressed. It made me think of
conversations we’ve had here in Ecuador, especially during our second training
seminar, about indigenous groups (both Ecuadorian and in general) and how they
are often robbed of the ability to define their own identity.

I have the flu and have stayed in bed for 2 days. At first,
my abuela was sympathetic and brought hot tea and chicken soup to my room.
Right now, though, I am at work downing Gatorade because at lunch she went on
for half an hour about how I had to go out and work, that it’s only the flu, that
staying in bed makes it worse, that women here never stay in bed because “hay
que trabajar”, that she never stays in bed when she’s sick because the “bed is
her enemy” – she just takes a shower and a pill and sits for 30 minutes and is
fine. I was annoyed at her for beating it to death and felt guilty for feeling
weak and wanting to sleep because I don’t technically have to work, I’m not a
single mom with kids like my host mom who’s also sick but didn’t spend a single
day in bed. So I got on the bus and went and the secretaries laughed when I
said “la abuela me habló.” And I worked.

But I can’t deny the fact that I’m tired and cold and my
body hurts. At least it’s the weekend and I can sleep all day and abuelita won’t
say anything. 

Katherine Brooke-Davidson