Another prominent topic worthy of discussing here is the matter of domestic violence.
I first encountered this issue during my 2nd week at school. Jasmin, an 8 year old little girl confessed to Samara and me that her uncle often beat his wife and kids with a metal pipe at home. It was difficult to comprehend this information, because I thought it was just so bizarre. I even thought she might be exaggerating, but later I was told that domestic abuse is common here in Peru.
Just a few days ago, Samara told me that as she and Josy were saying good bye to some of the older girls after school, they jokingly teased the girls, "Bye, muchachas, going off to see your boyfriends, hmm?"
Kely, one of the older girls, replied, "No, Miss, I'm never having a boyfriend because boyfriends always beat their girlfriends," in all seriousness.
And that, folks, is the kind of impression that young teenage girls have on relationships.
Furthermore, today, Adele told us the story of Danilo. Danilo is one of the brightest, happiest, and most intelligent kinders at school. He only started coming a few months ago, but within his first few weeks at school, he picked up as much English as any of the other children in the kindergarten, and he is now one of the top students in his class.
His mother brought him to school one day, asking if he could get an education at Tinkuy Peru Mountain School. With a blank and almost suicidal look on her face, she explained that they had just run away from her abusive husband, had no where to stay or sleep, but she wanted Danilo to be able to go to school, at least. She also has at least 2 other children, but we don't know much about them. They came without any paperwork, because her husband wouldn't let her take them, so she and all of the children were document-less and basically, homeless. Of course the school accepted Danilo, and later we found out that the Ministry of Women had taken Danilo's family in, and provided them with mattresses to sleep on.
Domestic violence directly correlates with alcoholism. Adele, Samara, and I worry that our older boys will end up this way, like most of the male population here. We plan on having talks with all of the older kids about responsibility, drug and alcohol awareness, respect, and behavior on Facebook.
7:36 PM update:
One of our mid-aged girls, Yenny, came to school today with a bruise under her eye. It's obvious that someone had hit her, and she tried to hide it while coming into school and while washing her face. When asked who hit her, she claimed to have fallen while playing. Chica, you don't get bruises on your eye when you fall. Not a likely story. I wonder what really happened...
10:42 PM update:
Samara and I went to go get Tres Leches cake and orange juice and totally got stalked AGAIN on the way home. Except this time it was freakier because it wasn't a kid; it was a short, shady-looking man. He started following us from really far away; before the bridge that's before Real Plaza, and we stopped twice to let him pass by, ran stupidly across the street, and kept checking behind us before we realized he was RIGHT behind us again. We stalled a random nice-looking man to make him talk with us and walk a little with us until we got to our neighborhood street to turn in, and the whole time, the creepy man was a few feet away from us. Creepiest feeling ever. It was obvious that he knew we knew he was stalking us. Just like with the other kid. But anyways, when we finally turned into our little street, he stopped following us (thank god) and joined a group of boys. It was so weird. Samara has been here for less than 3 weeks, and this was her 3rd time getting stalked. Great.