Sunday, August 7, 2016

Motherless in the Mountains

Doesn't quite have the same ring as Sleepless in Seattle but hey ho.

It is amazing how many children here are brought up without their mothers. I cannot imagine life without my mother, and we talk every day on Skype.

Danilo was brought up without his mother, she found another man and his father took Danilo and his older brother Biembo to live in the mountains above Barahona. Danilo was aged 4. It is tradition in this country that if parents split up, the boys usually go with the father and the girls with the mother. However, if the father has the boys and he finds another woman, she often does not want another woman's child so they go to the father's parents - as in the case of Chivirico being brought up by his grandparents since his mother left when he was a few weeks old.

Chivirico and his grandmother



And Danilo's first two sons were also left by their mother when the youngest was 3 weeks old, as she found another man. Danilo's mother brought them up until she died a couple of years later, and then it was down to him. Even his third child, with another woman, was left by his mum with Danilo for a couple of years until she came back to collect him and take him to Spain.

Danilo and the three boys 2002



Mind you they have changed a bit now




We now have Albert living with us. Yet again, his mother does not want him, and his father isn't able to look after him, although he lived with him until he was 7. Often if the father cannot pay child support, the mother simply hands over the child, which is what happened in this case, and the father is Danilo's half brother but since he had a stroke he cannot manage Albert.



All of those boys without mothers looking after them. And when I see what a delight these boys are and what they have done and will do with their lives, I feel sorry for their mothers who do not know what pleasure and pride they have missed out on. And I really do not understand how they could do what they did.

It even happens to chickens. One of our hens died, leaving a load of chicks, and others look after the first few which hatch, but then if the more eggs hatch  a couple of days later they don't want to know them, so we have to take them away before the mother kills them. So we now have loads of motherless chicks - but at least they all keep each other warm at night in a plastic container.


I felt like I was looking at a picture of four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie last night.

The pups have all gone apart from one so the house is relatively free of poo and pee. We ended up keeping one - as she hid when the others left so she obviously wants to stay. She spends all day long finding things to take and hide - so methinks she could be trouble - Miss Brown Nose.


And finally, I sometimes come across other blogs which I enjoy and this is one I recommend you look at. It is written by an American lady who lives in SosĂșa on the north coast, who describes herself as a nice Jewish girl. I think she is a lot more than that, and she too documents her experiences in the country - some of which bear remarkable resemblance to mine - including exploding Dominican Pyrex in the oven. Enjoy 

20 comments:

  1. How sad, just like you I can't understand Mothers leaving their kids! I can just imagine that the children would be feel very sad and unwanted. Alberto and Chivirico are lucky you've taken them in.
    Your pup is gorgeous.

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    1. Thanks Sami. Glad you like the pup - she is very cute.

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  2. Well, maybe it is like this in some rural communities but for me and also to my dominican husband this all sounds absurd... I asked him to read this and his response was "that's bullshit"... But then again, we have lived a veru different reality mostly in Santo Domingo.

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  3. But don't het me wrong - it's really interesting to read about your experiences in a quite different dominican reality

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  4. Y perdon por tantos cometarios separados - este celular mio no me deja ni corregir los errores ortograficos, se tranca y no me deja escribir mas en el mismo texto... Jejej, bueno, gracias por un blog muy interesante!!

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    1. Hi Evelina. Here is an article which states that 52% of Dominican children live in single parent homes and of those 4% live with their father - it doesn't say how many live with grandparents. I am not convinced it is "bullshit" haha, but yes, it is probably the poorer people who experience it. http://www.diariolibre.com/noticias/la-union-libre-se-arraiga-en-la-familia-dominicana-EJ1957161. Another article in the press today - http://almomento.net/la-tasa-de-pobreza-en-rd-se-redujo-de-36-4-en-2014-a-32-3-en-2015/232160 states that there are now "only"3.4 million people suffering from poverty in the country out of a population of 10 million - so that is still an awful lot of people. Glad you enjoy the blog!

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  5. It is a very common practice actually. My grandmother who was living in a small town left her children to be raised by relatives while she sought work in the city. I also know of may other undocumented examples in my own village where children are raised by other families which probably don't show up in national statistics. Essentially this is all down to resources and as with everything else difficult to understand from an external perspective. One of my uncles was basically given away by his dad to a couple he knew because they didn't have children!

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  6. It takes a village to raise a child regardless of where one is situated.

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    1. And that happens a lot here which is lovely

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  7. I too stayed apart from my mom since I was nine years old. It was painful.

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  8. I too stayed apart from my mom since I was nine years old. It was painful.

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  9. Just to let you know I am now your newest follower. Thank you.

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    1. That's sad Nancy and welcome aboard!

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  10. Just to let you know I am now your newest follower. Thank you.

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  11. I can't imagine the life without my mom. In every my happiest or sad times my mom will be with me. Danilo's case is very heart touching but it is a usual thing in that place.

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    1. No it is very sad indeed and very common here

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