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Monday, August 25, 2014

18 Surprising Things about Parenting in Chile

Thank you for being so enthusiastic about our Motherhood Around the World series. It has been an honor to share these women's personal stories, and we loved reading all your comments. We hope to do another round next year.

Our thirteenth—and final!—interview features Natasha Ngaiza. She moved from Philadelphia to Santiago, Chile, with her husband, David, and their young daughters, Mia and Sara. Here are 18 things that have surprised her about being a mom in Chile...
Natasha and David met in a graduate film program in Pennsylvania. “He was there on a Fulbright scholarship,” she explains. “After we graduated, David was required to give back two years of work to his home country—Chile—so we moved.” The family has lived in Santiago since 2012 and will return to the U.S. at the end of this year.
On first impressions: The very first thing I noticed were the Andes Mountains—the snow-capped peaks are breathtaking. Our first year, I would yell, "Whoa, the mountains!" or "Oh my god, the mountains!" and wonder how people were not as in awe as I was. Even now, whenever it rains and the smog clears away, I have that same reaction, as does everyone who lives here. There's something very humbling about being in the presence of such huge mountains.
On a creative culture: Santiago is a very art-friendly city, and you’ll always find creative people—like acrobats—in the parks. If you stop at a traffic light, jugglers will come out to perform—or ballerinas or even people throwing fire. Mainly they’re just artists trying to make a living. It’s so normal to us now that my three-year-old is like, “Oh. Huh. A flame-thrower. That’s nice.”
On food: My older daughter loves "adult" foods like olives, vinegar and capers. Whole artichokes with mayonnaise or oil are very common in Chile, and our daughter absolutely loves the ritual of tearing off the artichoke leaves, eating the little meat at the bottom and getting to the artichoke heart.

The humongous central market, "La Vega," sells all kinds of fresh food (seafood, meat, legumes, fruit, vegetables, etc.) for incredibly low prices. People eat lots of fresh foods, since the selection of produce is amazing. My favorite food in Chile is manjar, which is Chilean dulce de leche, a sweet, caramel-like substance made from condensed milk and sugar. And they have AM-A-ZING breads! (Ed note: she actually sang this part.) Every supermarket has an actual bakery inside, where they bake fresh Chilean bread all day.
On strangers with candy: Giving treats to children is seen as a sign of affection, so strangers will offer candy to kids on the street. I’ll sometimes turn around and a stranger will be handing my daughter a chocolate bar! Several months ago, we were on a bus, and a woman near us was eating cookies. She saw my daughter Mia and said “Oh, let me give you some cookies.” I said, “No, thank you.” But she kept on insisting. Then, a random stranger, who was not even connected to the first woman, chimed in, “You should give your daughter the cookies!” They were very serious about it! I was frustrated at the time, but after the fact I found it funny.
On having a bilingual daughter: When we arrived here, I didn’t know any Spanish and Mia was only a year-and-a-half, so we started in the same place. Now I’m still struggling to translate things, while she speaks perfect Spanish! Everyday I’m like, “How does she know that?” and then, “How does she know to conjugate that??” We speak to each other in English at home, so it’s the world around her that is enforcing her Spanish. We’re so grateful for that!

At this point, Mia probably knows more Spanish words than she does English ones. She has a few "Spanglish" words when she doesn't know the English translation. For example, the Spanish word for "to cover" is "tapar," so she makes that "tap" in English. "Mama, I need a tap for my cup." Sometimes she forgets how to say "brush" in English so she turns the Spanish word "peinarse"—to brush—into an English one, "pain." "Mama, can you PAIN my hair?" A very common mistake she makes is, "I want to count a song." The Spanish word for "sing" is "cantar," so she just turns that into "count." It cracks me up every time.
On colorful fashion: People aren’t afraid to wear color, like deep purples, reds and oranges. Fashion here is influenced by traditional native Chilean, Peruvian and Bolivian clothing. Harem pants, like genie pants, are VERY big here. Everyone wears them. I bought a pair! They're comfortable and look good on most people.
On pregnancy: Being pregnant in Chile is the best. Every time I boarded a crowded bus, I got a seat within seconds! People really want to help and make sure that you’re comfortable. Once, when I was around five months pregnant, I sat in the very back of a bus. Six or seven people moved around and tried to get me to change my seat because from their perspective, the back of the bus wasn’t comfortable enough for the baby.

On birth: When we had our first child in the U.S., we wrote out a "birth plan" and were informed about every medical decision so we could ask questions or refuse it. We had our second daughter in a public hospital here, and while I was overall very happy with the experience, I was shocked by how little the doctors, nurses and midwives explained things to us. (Not because of a language barrier—they didn't say anything at all.) For example, I didn't want an epidural and didn't even feel like I needed one, but suddenly there was an anesthesiologist in the room and they were giving me an epidural. No one told me what was happening. When I had some postpartum bleeding, the room was suddenly filled with worried nurses and midwives; but they wouldn't tell me anything, even when I asked! We were in a public hospital, but our friends told us that the same thing happens in the fancier, private hospitals.

On breastfeeding: Breastfeeding is incredibly common. I've seen so many women breastfeeding in public or at parties, with no hesitation and no covers. People—from little kids to adult men—will even peek over women's shoulders while they're breastfeeding to coo at their babies. When I asked my midwife at the hospital if there were any lactation consultants, she kind of scoffed at the idea and said, “We don’t need help for something that comes naturally.” I was surprised by that response because obviously there are many issues that can come with latching, milk supply, etc. But her response, I think, was indicative of the straightforward, accepting perspective many Chileans have about breastfeeding.

On an active culture: There are lots of “sporty” people here. People climb and ski on the Andes Mountains. Joggers are everywhere, and biking is getting big. For kids, balance bikes are huge, and an organization called Macleta helps women learn how to ride bikes. My friend is in her 50’s and was nervous she’d be the oldest woman there. But there were women in their 20’s all the way to their 70’s!
On playgrounds: Playgrounds are everywhere! Often there's a vendor with a musical cart who sells bubbles, candy and balloons. Playgrounds have less safety restrictions here than in the U.S. It's rare to see rubber flooring, and in many parks the equipment can be very old, rusty or just scary-looking. Rickety seesaws go very high without any harnesses or protection, and slides can be VERY steep with very big spaces between each step and the platform.
On quiet: In Santiago, I've noticed that people are generally quiet in terms of volume. If you’re riding public transportation in New York or Philly, people speak openly, but here, people are hushed. You don’t hear people yelling or listening to loud music. Even kids don’t need to be told to be quiet in public; I guess they pick it up from their parents and the culture around them.
On celebrations: Our Chileans friends love to celebrate, especially in the summertime with barbecues, concerts and drinking. I’ve never been to concerts where people are SO enthusiastic. We went to see Stevie Wonder last year and everyone was getting up, singing, dancing, having a blast. They were going crazy, jumping up and down with enthusiasm. I was like, “WOW, they really love Stevie Wonder!” Although I’ve seen people here get just as excited at a jazz show.
On birthday parties: Birthday parties are huge here, for toddlers through eleven- and twelve-year-olds. In the warmer months, parties typically take place outside, and parents rent huge inflatable bouncy castles. The rest of the year, you’d rent a party house, which is an entire, multi-story house dedicated to kids having fun. One floor might be filled with games, the next floor would have spreads of food. You’re expected to invite all your friends and extended family. Some party houses are expensive, but others end up being pretty reasonable since you rent them by the hour.
On typical meals: The average workday is 9am to 7pm (and with traffic, people can get home much later), so weekday family dinners aren’t really a thing. But on weekends, family meals are a huge deal. We go to my mother-in-law’s house every Sunday for a big lunch. We’ll eat rice, chicken, potatoes, salad—a giant meal. It's always followed by dessert and coffee or tea.
On tightly knit families: Families are generally very close in Chile. My daughter goes to her grandma’s house three days a week and sees her aunt every Friday. Every weekend, there will be some sort of family gathering, birthday party or dinner at someone’s house. Thankfully, my husband’s family is amazing; otherwise it could be pretty tough! As with any family, you have to navigate all the nuanced relationships within the group. But my favorite thing about parenting in Chile has been the support we get. There are always extra hands to help out when needed.

On doctors: Like a number of kids we know here, my daughter sees an anthroposophic pediatrician, who treats both the body and the mind. Our doctor practices modern medicine, but she doesn’t just ask, “What are your symptoms?” she’ll also ask, “What’s going on in your family right now?” Depending on the issue, she might tell you to change your diet or prescribe homeopathic drops; or, if it’s more serious, she'll pursue standard tests and antibiotics. I believe in modern medicine and think it’s good; but I like how our doctor here treats the whole person, not just the symptoms.

On moving back: When we move back to the U.S. next year, we will be moving to a very small town, so I will miss all of the wonderful things that come with living in a big city—access to concerts, performances, etc. I'll really miss the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables and seafood we have here! What do I miss about the U.S.? Brunch! Also: Target and Trader Joe's. :)
Thank you so much, Natasha! And thank you so much to all the wonderful mothers in our series for sharing their fascinating personal stories and perspectives. xoxo

P.S. Motherhood in Japan, Norway, Mexico, Northern Ireland, China, England, India, Abu Dhabi, Congo, Germany, Australia and Turkey.

(Interview by Caroline Donofrio; teenagers on the street photo via Conde Nast Traveler; skyline photos via Budget Travel; juggler photo via BBC; musicians in the park photo from Dave Schumacher; public art photo by AFAR, market photos by Brooke Warren and MGarciago and The Daily Meal; all other photos courtesy of Natasha Ngaiza)

88 comments:

sumslay said...

Thanks for sharing your experience - it looks lovely! And I would be the exact same way about the mountains. ;)

Jessica Matthews said...

So funny, we were at Sea World yesterday with our 2 year old son and a large family of Latin American/Spanish speaking people next to us just gave him a whole package of cookies. I though it was strange at first, but I could tell even with the language barrier that they were just showing a bit of affection towards him. He loved it of course. :)

Aubrey said...

I just wanted to thank you for doing this series. I loved it! It's been fascinating to learn about parenting around the world.

Marta García said...

What a lovely interview. I love it when she says “Oh. Huh. A flame-thrower. That’s nice.” These posts are so interesting!
Best regards from Barcelona,
Marta
http://abilingualbb.blogspot.com.es/

Nina Leung said...

Such a beautiful family. The candy giving would drive me crazy! My boys are wild enough! Santiago looks so beautiful. I love her reaction to the mountains. I bet it does feel like that every day.

Carrie said...

I'm so sad this series is over! I love it so much and share it with everyone I know! It's educational and inspirational. Perfect combo!

I also share her feelings about Target. I keep waiting for Detroit to get one!

www.carriedawaydetroit.com

Karina Greenberg said...

Thanks for this post. I am Chilean American and my husband is a southerner. We've been talking about an eventual move to Chile for the first years of our baby's life and material like this certainly helps.
http://karinagreenberg.wordpress.com/

Alexa said...

The mountains are incredible. I can imagine it would be peaceful to have them so near!

I have loved this series and am sad it's over - it was my Monday afternoon treat! Already looking forward to next year :)

megan said...

I have really enjoyed this series! It has been such a treat to learn about parenting around the world. I will miss it and hopefully it will be back next year.

Michelle Panting said...

Great post and an amazing series! It's been wonderful hearing all the perspectives of these amazing women. It's so interesting to learn about beliefs around child rearing in other countries. Thanks for expanding our minds!

http://www.fullbellywornsoles.com

nellagrace said...

I love Motherhood Mondays! I always look forward to where it'll take me around the globe. It amazes me how around the world you can have SUCH DIFFERENT views of motherhood, pregnancy, and parenting and yet when we all end up someplace as an adult, you might not realize who was breastfed/co-slept/vaccinated etc.

Joanna Goddard said...

that's so sweet, jessica!

Bethanne said...

She seems a great woman immersed in a great culture! Love this post.

Becca said...

This series has been wonderful! I love reading about parenting in different cultures.
I totally get what she is saying about seeing the Andes mountains and being in awe of them. We moved to TN from FL 8 years ago and I still get excited when I see the Smoky Mountains every day!

Kim said...

I loved the little story about the 20-70 year old biker ladies - so awesome. It would have been fascinating to hear more about her experience as a black woman raising bi-racial children in South America, but that could be a whole post on its own. Thank you for this fantastic series, and to Natasha for sharing your experience!

mandy said...

A party house?! What a fun idea for a child's birthday party!! : )

ale norris said...

i'm so sad this series is over for the year, but this was a good one to end with! i would love to live near mountains like that, how beautiful & inspiring.

Sol del Sur / Creasol said...

I'm kind of excited the last one comes from my homecountry. The pictures are beautiful and although I'm not a mother, the comments about the culture sound really fair.

But most importantly, Los Andes. I miss those mountains almost every single day since I left, 7 years ago. And everyone there loves them, too. We feel blessed we have them and look forward to see them all snowy after the rain in winter.

Kiana said...

This is my mom's country! I'm so excited to see beautiful Chile here. I haven't been in Santiago for more than 7 years but I felt as I was reading this like I was just there. I love reading about a place I know from a foreigner's perspective. Btw, yummy pic of pan con palta.

Nina said...

Fascinating as always. When my son was 2 we were at a laundramat and this hispanic woman opened her bag of closed cookies and forced me to accept them for him. I was so embarrassed...of course my son was thrilled. Since I speak no spanish I couldnt understand why she seemed so compelled to give them to him. I live in Utah but grew up in Philly and yes, the mountaisn are gorgeous - whenever family comes to visit they are awed and amazed.

Rochelle Zamani said...

I'm sad to see this series end, I really enjoy it. I'm from California and now live in Munich and 7 months pregnant. It's been great to read all the different experiences other woman have while living abroad.

Hannah Hosh said...

This series has made me want to pack up my family and move to another country! I'd love for my children to experience another culture and realize the world is much bigger than their little minds can fathom.
Buuut, I live in southeast Alaska and it's gorgeous here and almost another culture to many. ;)

Angela said...

This series is the one that attracted me to your blog in the first place. I've gotten hooked on other/basically all posts you do, but these I find incredibly fascinating.

If my husband and I are unable to raise our son abroad for a time, we would love to at least travel a lot with him. So much to learn in this world!

Clementine Buttercup said...

I've really loved this series. I'm an expat living in the UK and I love how the women in this series are so open to the cultures they find themselves in. Immersion is fantastic.

NinaBeana said...

Best blog series ever!

How about exploring other aspects of motherhood? Foster mothers, adoptive mothers, step-mothers? Perhaps even a post on women who have chosen not to have children/do not want to have children?

Sarah said...

Manjar is AMAZING! I've spent about 5 months (total) in Chile and still miss the gooey deliciousness!

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Ah no, I thought this was a permanent feature on the blog. Someone linked to a post in the series a few weeks ago and I've been a huge fan ever since. I've read ALL of them, including comments :o

Can't wait for the next batch!

sunflower seedz said...

Joanna, have loved and looked forward to the, motherhood series every week.
Would you also consider a series of native mothers around the world.

Ana said...

I´d look the same way to those mountains! They have to be incredible to see in person.

I don´t have any kids, but I love traveling so I really love this series, it just shows tiny bits of those countries cultures that are normally not shown anywhere.

Thanks for all the posts to you both! :)

Liz Grogan said...

I think I may just move to Chile! I love this series, another one I think would be interesting; mums from other cultures raising their children in the States.

Carlyn Brody said...

I never knew Chile was such a wonderful place. I would love to go sometime.

*** KITSCH *** said...

Love those post abut parenting around the world!

A mother of 2 from Spain, always learning here ; )

www.mykitschworld.blogspot.com

Melissa Carroll said...

These posts have been so fantastic! My husband and I have always dreamed of living abroad but for some reason thought our choices were live abroad or have children. This series has made me realize how silly of a thought that was and has encouraged us to do both!! Well, hopefully - if we can just pick a country :)

Flo said...

Glad to see my country portrayed in such an upbeat, colorful way!

Kaitlyn said...

Thank you for this series. It has been fascinating to read. I would love to hear about non-American women's perspective on raising children here. Maybe for next time? ;)

ramblingcolors said...

Great post, as usual. It was nice to see some of the similarities and differences between parenting in Chile and Argentina! I'm not a parent yet, but I know that there are lactancy specialists here, at least in private clinics. Sadly, breastfeeding in public is not as common as in Chile, and sometimes pregnant women won't immediately get a seat on buses or the metro.

Larissa Champeau said...

if you wrote a book of just Motherhood Around the World posts, I would definitely buy/read it! Such a wonderful and informative series.

Erin W. said...

The food looks amazing! I love this series and am so sad it's over. Really hope it will be back next year!

Sara said...

This series is actually how I found your blog last year and is definitely one of my favorites. I appreciate all of the women sharing their experiences about living in other parts of the world. My husband and I live in the beautiful city of Charleston, SC, but are constantly talking about moving abroad for a few years to allow our daughter to experience all that the world can offer her. Only time will tell if we will take that chance, but in the meantime, I love reading these perspectives!

Mommy, Papa and the 'Nuts said...

I thought I accidentally saw an Italy post a long time ago, may have even been last year, so I know it existed.... where did that go?

tara said...

How cool! I've loved this series and it has been really interesting to see all the differences in each country and the small (or big!) changes you see.

Those mountains are breathtaking and I'd have a hard time moving away from those!

Dana Matsu said...

I've so enjoyed reading this series and hope you do continue on next year! I would be interested in seeing a non-American woman's perspective on motherhood here in the US.

Dana Matsu said...

I've so enjoyed reading this series and hope you do continue on next year! I would be interested in seeing a non-American woman's perspective on motherhood here in the US.

bloomiet@gmail.com said...

I love this series! I am sad it's come to a close. I hope you do another one soon!

Alyssa said...

Wow! They used to be my neighbors here on Saint Bernard st in philly. So fun to see their journey here. I love the quiet on the bus aspect and holistic doctors. Where are you moving back too? Congrats on new babe!!!

Ann said...

Next year? Now! Haha...love these posts. Can't wait for more. Maybe this is a future book idea?! Thanks for having a wonderful blog.

Jennifer said...

One thing that has jumped out at me during this series is how unfriendly Americans are toward other people's children by comparison. How sad.

Scarlett said...

Oh, sad! I hope that this becomes a regular part of the blog! I currently live in Bogota, and with the exception of harem pants, it's much the same as in Chile. I also experienced the royal treatment pregnant women receive here. What a nice change of pace than what I was used to in the States.

Great article! Thank you for highlighting such amazing families!

dancingontheground.weebly.com

Riley Justesen said...

I have loved this series and I'm so sad to see it end!

Merrette said...

Around the world posts are brilliant Joanna, I look forward to reading every Monday and typically reread several others after I finish the newest country. I lived in Chile right after I graduated from college and this post was like visiting an old friend with the pan con palta and the excitement of the Chilean people... seriously, they love to party! Natasha, you did a great job and clearly have immersed yourself in the culture with toddlers none-the-less! I hope you have a wonderful primavera

Cassandra Hendriks said...

Wonderful series Joanna and Caroline. I'm not a mother but I've enjoyed reading about the culture of some of the places I'd love to visit.

Cassandra

Alej said...

That was such an interesting article. My parents are Chilean but I was born and raised in Paris... it's funny to read about their country's traditions and how some of them translated in my upbringing!

Adam, Belinda & Rondo said...

love this series. There are still a lot of other countries in the world.. I hope the series will be continued again...

Happyinny said...

Thank you for such an interesting series. I'm not a mom, but I've found each story fascinating and full of adventure. I can't wait to read more next year!

Keep up the good work!

dramamama said...

Love this post, love this series. Thank you for this and can't wait to read more!

Jessica Harris Telligman said...

PLEASE keep up this series next year. It is my favorite!

www.deathiswhat.com said...

I agree with another comment, we could us a little shaping up as far as our attitude towards children in the States goes. We can help each other and accept each other and love each other's children. How wonderful if Joanna's blog could change us for the better as well as to entertain and educate us!

Nancy Schlicher said...

I love this series and am sad this was the last....please reconsider!

PS - I love your blog in general.

Sophia Casas said...

Such a lovely series! Looking forward to next season's :)

PSLL said...

Dear Joanna, though I love this series of posts,this is the first time Im able to really relate since my husband is Chilean and I have been living there for the last 2 years (Im from Spain). I just wanted to tell you the post felt very real and accurate, specially the part in which she explains the doctors' stuff. Anyway I love your blog and look forward to next year's edition, maybe you could contact an expat in my homecountry? That should be fun to read!

okorolev said...

This series is AMA-Z-ING!!! Please do more!

Patricia Rosato said...

I love this series! I am so sad this was the last one. Please continue?? Thank you to Natasha for sharing her story, to all the other lovely moms, and to Jo for putting this together!

Abigail said...

This series is so much fun to read, I never miss a post.

Nicole Lieberman said...

I'm so curious what type of birthday cake that is?

EllaY said...

We don't have kids (yet), but this series always makes me even more excited for when we do! I love reading about the common themes and the differences. What a great series!

Samantha H. said...

I have to admit I was surprised to see how giving a pregnant woman a seat on the bus was a special thing. I'm from Dominican Republic, and older people, pregnant women or anyone with a disability will be given a seat right away, from women and men, and it's even stated on the buses with signs. I guess I live in a much nicer place than I thought, ha!

MelanieKPrice said...

Such a lovely perspective. My husbands wish is to move to Chile. Thanks for the insight!

Francisca Robles said...

Thank you for this post!
I am from Santiago de Chile, here I live with my little daugther and husband and we love our city. I am so glad to read such nice things about our way of living.

:)

em said...

I am moving to Valdivia, Chile in two weeks where my husband and I plan to start a family. Thanks for the thoughts!

tatum said...

Loved this! So cute how her older daughter mixes the two languages together.

icklemariposa said...

This is so brilliant, I was in the shower this morning thinking about these postings and was going to suggest my friend who is British and lives in New York, a kind of flip side to this series.
And lo and behold, CHILE! I was born in Chile but we (mum and dad) moved to London in the mid 70s. I call myself British Chilean. Its beyond important to me, my roots. All my family and lots of family friends live there. I am married to a Londoner, but for the both if us it is important that Paloma, our one and half year old girl knows and grows with her Chilean roots,
It was really interesting for me to read what was said about Santiago and the Chilean culture and of course motherhood.

Thank you for these series, really good read. Especially also the London one too.

Katerina said...

I'm always looking forward to these posts! And i cannot wait for a post about parenting in Greece!

The Balls! said...

I'm not a mom but I'm absolutely fascinated by this series. Would love to see it return next year!

Silvia Burwell said...

I absolutely loved your post on parenting in Chile. I am an immigrant from Chile and your post touched on so many of the things that even after 40 years of being here still make me homesick.
I am also a blogger and a psychologist and I would love to have you visit my blog
http://healing-the-immigrant-family.com
It's all about parent-child separation because of immigration. I know... it is not such a happy theme as yours but, it is something I care deeply about. Best to you, Silvia

katy klein said...

I want to see a picture of Natasha in her harem pants and how she styled them! Let's bring this universally attractive, comfortable style to the US!

Allyson Messina said...

I was so shocked and happy to see this post relating to my home country!! Sometimes we tend to forget what we have around us, and it was so refreshing to see my country reflected in such a colorful and posiive way! I'm only a uni student, but this series is so open minded and it´s amazing to read about all these different cultures :)

P.S. @Samantha H. we also have signs on buses that we should give up our seat to pregnant women, the elderly and people with disabilities. :)

Maria in Maine said...

thank you for another great interview. My favorite series of all time. Please do more

Unknown said...

I lived in Chile last year and its so funny reading about someone else's experience there! And the cake is made out of a cookie like substance filled with dulce de leche.

Donna Yates said...

I absolutely love this series. It's how I became familiar with your blog last year. We were living in Munich at the time. We're back in the States now but my husband wants to move to Singapore at some point in the future. So I would love to see a post about Singapore next year. :)

Naomi said...

Thanks so much for this series, it's been fascinating! I'm a mom and North American living in Chilean Patagonia so this last post was icing on the cake. My husband is from Santiago but we love raising our son here. Big difference between our small town way of life and the hustle and bustle of the capital but one thing that I think is true throughout Chile is that children are surrounded by love here, from in laws to extended family to the random people offering candy or kind words. And the landscape! Natasha's photos are lovely, capturing both Santiago and her gorgeous family. By the way, the cake in the photo is made of cuchufli. Individual dulce de leche filled cigar style cookies are tied together and presented as a cake for children's parties then instead of cutting the cake, it's untied and each kid gets their own cuchufli. No muss no fuss. A genius idea actually!!!

Lyndsea Cherkasky said...

I loved this series so much. So sad to see it go!

Layne Dettor said...

Oh thank you so much for this lovely article about Santiago! I just spent 3 weeks there by myself in May and I had trouble describing exactly what it was like. You did it perfectly. Enjoy your time down there, there's something magical about being away from home for a long time. Thanks for taking the time to write this!

Lemony Smile said...

I've really enjoyed this series! Very interesting and unique!! Please do more!

Kalikwendwa said...

It's been so nice to read all of these comments! Thank you for the kind words, and thank you Joanne and Caroline for a great interview and allowing me to share our life in Santiago. Yes, as Naomi pointed out, cuchufli - a wafer filled with caramel like cream- is what that birthday cake is made of, and it's such a great idea for kids. No mess, no fuss. I also want to join in on the "no, not the end of Motherhood Around the Globe!" chorus. It's been fascinating and illuminating to read about other American mother's experiences. I'll be looking forward to the next series. :)

Sweet European Dreams said...

We're an American family living in Fiji these days, and one of my Aussie moms told me about this series. I'm just hopping on to read, but so far it's wonderful! I'll be sure to tune in again for next round of the Mum Diaries! -Diane

Nico said...

This is a fascinating series -- I've read two full interviews so far, and browsed the others. I was startled to see the white-only faces on the Congo page, and then, scrolling through, I realized that this is not "motherhood around the world," but "motherhood through the eyes of (mostly)american expats." It's still interesting, certainly. And that angle gives Americans a familiar and comfortable lens through which to look.
So, it's useful and easier to read, but also not very challenging.
I am not getting a sense of motherhood around the world, because I am not getting the voices of mothers around the world. I'm hearing the voices of mothers who happen to live outside the US for a limited time.
Now that I've head this perspective, I'd love this to be expanded to include those other voices and stories. Then it would be more truly motherhood around the world.
Thanks!

Anna Ivey said...

I've just gone back and read this whole series. I loved it! I don't have children, but found all of it fascinating. Thank you!

Daphna said...

Thank you so much for this series. I came across it through a link in elise-blaha's blog. It's been fascinating. I find it so interesting and educating to read about raising babies & kids in other cultures, sometimes so different from mine (even though I'm not from the US).
I'd be very happy to read more post like these, if you ever chose to continue it.

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