Thursday, January 15, 2009

Me, Myself, and I

My daughter, Jewel, wrote this yesterday. I thought I would share it here with all of you.

No, I do not have dual personalities but I do have mulitple cultures to be more exact ,I have American, Venezuelan and Indian (Ye'kwana) cultures.

People like me are called TCK (third culture kid) or ATCK (adult third culture kid) I am also called a chameleon because I can blend in to almost any culture. It's pretty simple once you know but to do it correctly it takes practice and understanding of cultures. So now that I have given you the 101 on what I am called. Now I will tell you what my cultures are.

Riding on a dug out in the jungle.

Indian me
As an Indian I know how to plant a garden .I know how to catch a boa constrictor and come out alive (if all goes to plan) but more importantly, I know that I do not leave my house by my self. I will only go with my father or brother or another woman.
When I am talking on a complicated or uncomfortable topic or just confronting some one, I will not look them in the eyes!! I also will not show my father any affection out side of the house ,such as holding his hand or giving him hugs. I will walk slightly behind him, I will be quite if men are talking.
When it is time to eat I will serve the men first, oldest to youngest, then I will serve the children and old women and then I will eat with the other women.
I know there are only two ways to punish a man for any thing he has wrongly done to me. If I am not married to him, I will get a couple of my friends to help me and I will get the largest bucket I can find and fill it with water and a cereal type of grain .Then I will offer it to him and he will have to drink it all!!!!! If I am married to him, I will wait till he is asleep in his hammock with his head over the smoldering cooking fire, and I will take the machete and cut the hammock strings so he lands head first in the fire ( which is so much more enjoyable if he is still drunk from the three day party down at the churwata)
If a man wishes to propose to me, he will hang his hammock in my house and if the next morning it is not thrown out side in a heap it means I have accepted . He will then move in with me and my family and then we will go to the village elders where they will study are family tree to see if we may marry. In one case, a couple was told they could not marry because the girl and the boy were both directly descended from two very powerful witchdoctors and if they should have children, it could be dangerous. So they were both married to different people.
And there is much more. I could go in to, but I don't want to sooo ,continuing on...

Cheering for Venezuela's futbol (soccer) team playing in AsunciĆ³n.

My Venezuelan Self
As a Venezuelan woman I know my physical appearance is very important. If I call a friend up on the phone to ask a favor, I must first spend 15 minutes chit chatting, ask how their family is? Have they found their lost dog? and so on, and then I may get to the real reason for the call. If a baby has hiccups I will put a wet cotton ball on his chest to get rid of the hiccups....why? I don't know.
The relationship between a mother and her son is very strong because many times there is no father figure and hence some times this makes the wife and husband relationship hard.
I love colorful clothes and big earring's and high heels and I all ways drink coffee any time of day or night. I had my first cup of coffee in a bottle (mom and dad didn't know) I had my ears pierced by the doctors when I was three days old
At Christmas I will buy new clothes and will wear it to a big party where I will have all the Christmas foods and drinks. Then me and my family will go to the beach for a couple of days
A strike or protest is not a strike or protest if there is no tear gas or the National Guard come out all dressed up. You must flip buses, burn tires ,and scream and yell with the other hundreds of people there. At 12pm we go home and eat lunch, take a nap, take a shower and go back to the strike.
Shorts are only for the beach or pool or at your house. Always iron you cloths, make sure your feet are clean, and if you can't smell the soap and shampoo and perfume or cologne on some one, they are dirty.Flip Flops are for the shower only!
Baseball is bigger then futbol in Venezuela ( but futbol is still very big) the top teams are 1- Cardenales de Lara ,2- Leones de Caracas, 3 -Magellanes de CARABOBO!!, and right now the Cardenales are in the lead and they are the best,they are also my home town team!

Registering to vote for the US Presidential Elections.

I am American
As an American I am very proud and strong I do not back down from a fight ( sorry mom and dad) I support the war in Irak, I love the Marines but that might have to do with the fact that my dad is a third generation Marine. I like country music,and I love the American dollar! I love Wal-Mart. I love celebrating Thanksgiving. And my favorite candy is Reece Cups. Since I have lived there less than anywhere else, I have already run out of things to write about the American culture.

Since I didn't write very much about my American culture, I will write a little about the mk culture

Questions we hate the most:
Where are you from? What country do you love best? These are frequently asked questions from non-mk's. When mk's meet each other, we have several questions we ask each other, such as
Where were you born? How long did you live there? How many languages do you speak? How many countries have you lived in? Are you a first generation mk or several generations? How long have you been on the mission field? Where do you consider home to be?

We all so learn how to stand at a display table in the church lobby.We smile and answer the same questions over and over because we know the churches are our supporters. We also learn to cut off our emotions, especially when we say good bye because we have to!
Woto#ojo! Hasta luego! See you later!


redneck preacher said...

Good post, Thank you for the education.


The Localmalcontent said...

Dear Jewel,

That was an awesome blog/comment, very personal, and inspirational, here.

I envy you, Jewel, for your parents and your experiences~!

A Note From Theresa said...

That was a sweet post!

Anonymous said...

Great post!

Your daughter is a great writer!

Christopher Hamilton
The Right Opinion, for the Right Wing

Sarah Joy said...

This is our first furlough, and my daughters are just coming to the age when they understand what goodbye really means.

Brenda said...

That was wonderful. And may I just add that Jewel is one of the nicest, most helpful young ladies I have ever met? From my vantage point, it looks like she mostly took on the good from all of those cultures.

Liz said...

Jewel dear, Magallaneros all over are gonna kill you for mistaking their state! It's Carabobo!!! Maracay's team is Los Tigres de Aragua.

Hehehe.. this is how feisty we Venezuelan are about our baseball teams! And I think Jewell is the most Venezuelan of JM's children.

Jane said...

This was a fabulous post. Very well said and extremely interesting!

Thursday's Child said...

Great post!

I'm so glad we're raising our kids in different cultures. Keeps you from getting stuck in just one.

Most Rev. Gregori said...

Jewel, you sound like a very well adjusted individual. You can be proud of the fact that you can "hold your own" with the best of them. I know your parents are extremely proud of you.

God bless.


Remind me not to sleep in a hammock with my head hanging over the edge near the fire. lol

Brooke said...

Fantastic essay by your daughter; it really gives a lot of insight into the MK!

Subvet said...

So, how do we get more Indian women to move to the USA? They're sorely needed (I especially like the "be silent when men are speaking and serve them first" parts.)

Anonymous said...

Go Tiburones!

Starla said...

Very interesting, thanks for sharing!!!

Betty said...

She is so smart! Just like her mother! Great post Jewel!

Jackie said...

I think it's funny that the American paragraph is the shortest.

Shane Rios said...

Great Post!=)Oh WHatever BEST POST EVER!(So Far)

Shane Rios said...


Kathy said...

Jewel, Thanks for the insights! I love Reece's Cups too! Would you like a recipe for something very similar???

Z said...

"stand at a display in the church lobby" .... I don't know why that touched me.

What a wonderful post, JM. I have to admit I smiled when I read the Venezuelan stepdaughter travels there a LOT on business, Caracas, and she says they like...a more 'rounded' part of the, there. Very different figures rule! Who knew that desired figures in women would be so different from country to country!??

Dawn said...

This was great. I have some of those multi-cultural nieces and nephews who have a hard time settling down anywhere.

Mountain Mama said...

What a touching and insightful post. Thanks so much for sharing this.

Pam said...

She did a great job expressing herself in this. I really like the addition of the photos! I remember that cute little girl pictured there in the canoe!! I called her "Tigger" from the first day I met her. Her smile and energy made me feel very happy! Still does but she's all grown up and so much more lady like!

Julie said...

I really appreciated your post, Jewel. We can totally relate to you and TCK characteristics. I continually thank God that we have the rich blend of many cultures in our blood!

Joy in the Burbs... said...

What a well rounded young woman!
You can't put a price on that kind of education and experience.

I learned one thing from her post...If I were a man I would never make an Indian woman mad at me. Yikes.


p'slifegoeson said...

Jewel como te quiero!

Selma in Canada said...

Jewel, that was fantastic, so, so interesting! I would love to hear more about your Indian self. I find all the entries about Ye'kwana extremely interesting, but your take, told from perspective of a child raised among them, even more fascinating. I'd really, really love to read more about your experiences...
Thank you again for the wonderful post!