Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Messed Up Kids...

I often worried over the fact that my children were growing up in a different culture than my own. Twenty five years later I do not know why this even bothered me, but at the time it seemed they might be forever scarred and labeled as misfits of the planet. Which they may well be, but that can be a good thing in this day and age!

Growing up in the jungle among a tribal people with a completely non Western world view was bound to have some impact upon their psyche, right?

You could say that!

This would often be displayed by the innocent things they would say, or do, never suspecting it was not normal in their own 'culture'.

Like the time my 12 year old son informed me that if his wife ever behaved like 'so and so' he would spank her! After all, that was the way Ye'kwana men dealt with their wives. We had a very long discussion about that and I am sure he has never spanked his wife.

Then there was the time we were in Caracas and needed to travel across the city by using the subway. Jewel was 6 years old at the time and as we walked down the stairs leading into the underground subway system, she freaked out! I was a little freaked out myself because the subways are very dangerous in Caracas, but this child was terrorized.

Finally, we got it out of her. Did we not realize we were dragging her into the underworld? The terrible place where evil reigned and people entered but never returned! Every Ye'kwana indian above the age of 2 knew of this awful place and we were dragging her into it. That took another several hours long discussion to set straight. I think she knows it is not true now...I think...

My oldest daughter watched all her friends get married young. Very young, like 12 - 14 years old. Is it a wonder she was married at 18? Is it not logical that she would choose to have her babies be born at home with only her husband in attendance? She uses the Ye'kwana hammock method to deliver. She had one baby in a hospital in Costa Rica, but to hear her tell of it, she was tortured and will never purposely submit herself to that again.

My youngest daughter thought the village was the world. The entire universe. She thought everyone ate worms and monkeys. She knew her familial relationship to everyone in the tribe. She even thought the rainbow was her cousin for awhile...

5 comments:

-FJ said...

"Messed up" doesn't HAVE to have negative connotations. ;)

Peter and Gail Tidd said...

The ability to survice and enjoy another culture probably gave them just what they neeed to cpe in this ridiculously ever-changing world. Seeing life and death in person as a part of life and appreciating little things has probably made them more content. I remember receiving a box from the States for Christmas. Dannah was so thrilled that the gifts arrived in "real WalMart bags." That excited her almost as much as the gifts. She does have some deficiencies: she doesn't know American "dichos" which has got her into trouble from tiem to time. Overall, a multicultural background has been quite the blessing....

Carrie said...

This post had me crackin' up! While at the same time causing me to be hopeful for my own handful of "misfits".

Chris, Carole, and Clan said...

I just recently found your blog and am enjoying it so much!

Bob said...

The power of environmental influences!