This will be my third post that relates to my daughter and son-in-law, in and then out of Guatemala. They are home, now. Ivy has a job and Jeff is thinking and working overtime to get one. I am amazed at how far he has come with his English language just in the last month! He grabs every learning opportunity he can get.
I have been encouraging Ivy to blog here on WordPress and she has begun with a piece she wrote several months ago. I had asked her if I could publish this post, and she was going to let me, but then she did it for herself and would have let me republish, but I would rather she get the views for her work :).
This post lays bare all her thoughts and feelings regarding being a stranger in a strange land and will surprise some readers to learn about life in a third world country.
Jan 7 prompt: Helpless Helplessness: that dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins. When did you last feel like that –- and what did you do about it?
My youngest daughter is in Guatemala. She went down there for an internship and while she was there, she finished up her classes and graduated from the university with degrees in Sociology and Spanish. During that time, she met a handsome young man and they were married one year later.
She has been living down there for nearly 3 years now. They have been working through the immigration process so they can move back home together. The problem is that every time they turn around, they find out there are more papers to file and more money to pay out. They simply do not have the money to pay for it all.
Money from donations they have received has gone into the process, but it still is not enough for them to get through it. While her father and I have been sending as much as we can, it is not much. Thankfully, it does help them live. A few family members and friends have looked into sponsoring him, but the income amount needed to sponsor is high and the culpability for any need they have once they get here keeps them from either qualifying or feeling secure enough to follow through with filing.
He has many skills and she has completed a double major toward a career that should keep them financially secure when they arrive. It is his lack of sponsorship that is the major reason for their slow progress.
Although he works and she has worked, they barely scrape by with just the cost of living. They are both feeling hopeless and she is sinking into depression. She not only misses her family, she has been stripped of the comforts of home.
Our family has always struggled to get by, but she is still used to having enough food, warm water, refrigeration, and the ability to walk down the street without having to worry about being harassed, attacked, or even killed. So far, she has been harassed on at least three different occasions, with one of them being at the place she used to work.
The laws are different in Guatemala and sexual harassment claims are hard to file and prove. Besides, the laws do not cover someone who is living there temporarily under a work visa.
She called a few weeks ago and she cried for several minutes before she was able to talk to me. I was feeling helpless before, but that phone call keeps running through my heart and mind. She is drifting into grief and hopelessness and this mama can’t do anything but tell her how much she loves her and listen when she wants to talk.
We want her home where she will be more secure and happy — where we feel secure that she is safe and healthy.
I am not at the reins and there is nothing I can do about it. When it comes to a child, no matter how old they are, that is the worst feeling in the world.