Thursday, September 11, 2008
Get ready to crY
Sometimes it seems like it's a national sport to be horrible to each other here. People will go to extreme measures to hurt each other badly over the most ridiculous things.
My friend Margaret's husband used to beat her senseless for giving birth to girls. Even after she had a boy, he continued beating her for having the first girl. When her third child was a girl, it got so bad she had to leave him.
My friend George's brother was recently poisoned by his stepmother when he came to prepare a home at his father's place for his new wife. This isn't the first time she's used "witchcraft" on the family. There have been other siblings who've died. She doesn't want them to have their father's property, so she's been trying (with some success) to just kill them off.
There is a jealous streak in society here that's very destructive in how it plays out between people, especially at the family level (but certainly not only there). I have been hurt by it in ways that are very difficult to talk about. Everybody I know who is a part of or who has gotten very close to this culture has been hurt by it at one time or another. Sometimes I think that part of why people here stay poor is because they spend so much time pulling each other down.
I will be glad to get some distance from all that.