Friday, May 16, 2014

Flats and Handwashing Challenge 2014 Day 6 - Honoring Eva

Eva works for my parents. She has done so for more than 20 years. She is uneducated but very smart and extremely hardworking.

When we met her, she had just given birth to her 9th child!! I know I shouldn't be surprised, since my dad has 11 siblings, but it was a different era in Mexico when he grew up, and his dad could afford a cook, 3 nannies and 2 or 3 cleaning ladies. Eva, on the other hand, was raising her family mostly by herself, with an abusive and alcoholic husband that would only provide what would be now about $20 a week.

So, for her, cloth diapering, more specifically flats and handwashing was not a choice, or a week's challenge: it was the only way of diapering. And she would do that after a full day's work, with more than one baby at a time.

The thing is, it never occurred to me how women would diaper their children in Mexico until I went to the mountains and stayed in one of the typical country native communities: poverty like US has never seen. And why do I say the US has never seen it? because even when they didn't have money, their clothes were wasted down and a lot of times they would go without shoes, the basic food is always available, and they live in small houses made with bricks and wood, with tin roofs.

Being there, I saw babies crawling, undiapered. If they peed, they would just get into the floor and absorbed there. I felt these people were totally free from the burden that city people has to face.

But that's not Eva's background. She is from the city, and poverty is way tougher. When I went last year to visit my folks, she was only too happy to help with my diapering duties. She says her daughters won't do it, they are just using disposables for their little ones and spending fortunes on it. She says they are lazy, but I can't blame them.

Washing diapers for a week in a tiny apartment, when they are only rags, when neighbors won't be spying to see if I have a spot, and doing it in the shower with little helpers that take it as a game doesn't seem like a burden, or even a challenge, when you realize that, for some, that is not a choice, but the norm.

1 comment:

  1. So powerful. This is what the challenge is all about. Thanks for sharing!!