We confirmed the diaper idea today. We asked three different women (one nurse, one social worker, and one administrator) if diapers were a good idea, and they all said they needed them. They do use them at night since there is only one nurse in with all 11 babies and she spends a lot of her time feeding them. It’s hard to keep all the babies dry. So we’ll be taking diapers in now; I will keep working on finding out what other baby houses in the country might need.
My friend with a driver and I took a minibus today because her driver locked his keys in the car. It was the first time she had been on one and it was quite the experience for her. Luckily we weren’t on a crowded bus, but she wasn’t used to people chatting with her on public transportation. We also stopped at a tandoor bakery on the way home- something else she’d never done. We had a good time. It was fun to ride the bus with a friend.
The law school offered me a job today to teach what they call “Diplomatic English;” it sounds like political English is what they want. They wanted me there for 10 hours a week, something that wouldn’t be an option (they wouldn’t be able to pay me enough to afford a babysitter for the 15 hours a week that would end up requiring, nor was my older son interested in my being gone that much), but then they came back and suggested 4 hours a week, which might be an option. I think it would be an interesting experience.
I spent the afternoon on Sunday with a couple of Kyrgyz families. One had two older daughters and a baby son. Babies always get lots of attention, but it was obvious that this little boy was loved more because he was a boy. I certainly saw this in the Middle East also, and it’s not considered to be a problem.
The woman I was talking to yesterday, a delightful and interesting woman, said she cried when her second daughter was born because she was a girl. I can’t even imagine thinking that, much less saying that in front of a daughter. However, her main reason for feeling that way was that she knew she had to keep on having children until a son was born.
Usually I am not concerned by cultural differences, but this is one that drives me nuts, especially because I come from a family of girls. I hate to see the way women and girls are treated by some people.
Of course not everyone here treats women and girls this way- far from it. Women are involved in politics and a variety of other things. We have friends who are delighted with their daughters. The girls at the baby house are taken care of well.
And of course this is hardly unheard of in the US. Some parents get far too caught up in whether they have boy or a girl. But it’s nothing like the general preference for boys in so many parts of the world.