While thinking about how well the kids have adapted to Caracas, I asked myself how I’ve been doing in terms of continuing to instill Haitian and American values in their lives. The answer is: not so good.
I knew that this was going to be tough considering that the move here added another culture and I was already having a hard time handling two. But, I was up for the challenge because I didn’t want them to lose that part of themselves because of the new environment.
The first reason I think this has slipped so much is that there are a lot of similarities between the Haitian and Venezuelan culture (i.e. greeting with a kiss on the cheek). The second is that aside from school, the kids are constantly seeing people who are brown like them. For my seven year-old, that means that I don’t get a lot of questions from her about physical differences. I don’t assume to fully understand race relations here, but they are definitely different than the U.S.
I know those are not really good excuses, but at least I recognize the problem. I am definitely going to make a more concerted effort in the months to come.