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  • Jane Juffer

"May God give me strength to not go crazy" inside this place

Updated: Nov 1

July 20, 2020

Hello, my friend Jane. How are you? I hope this letter finds you and your family well.


Today at breakfast, there was a very nasty argument, which made me nervous to be here, inside, where there are so many problems. Problems with the food, the microwave, the tables, the television, the tables, the showers, the bathroom. Here, there are problems with everything, with sharing and cleaning. Sometimes, I want to sleep and not wake up. All of this is a horrible reality, but nevertheless, I ask God to give me strength to not go crazy inside this place. I’m also afraid that what is happening here will affect me for the rest of my life. I am very afraid of what might happen to me here inside. I try to be a strong woman in many ways, but sometimes now I can’t. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened to me if I had stayed in El Salvador. Well, I know, more or less, what would have happened to me, but I think it would have been better to have been killed in my country because here they are killing me in a country that is not my own.


Forgive me, I am behaving in such a self-absorbed way, but no one can imagine the inferno I have lived in almost two years here. I just pray to God that I will be permitted to stay in this country, to win my liberty, I want to be free. I am a woman who likes to work. I like hard work, work like a man. I really don’t like women’s work. If I have to do it, I will, and if I don’t know how, I will ask my mother or my little sister to show me, and they will show me how.


One time, my little sister said to me, Elisabeth, tomorrow you are going to work. I said to her no, tomorrow I have a free day. My sister became very happy and told me, great, then, tomorrow we are going to clean the whole house. I said “oh no, tomorrow I have to rest,” and then my little sister gave me a sermon about how we needed to change the sheets on the bed, wash the dirty clothes, etc. The best part was when my sister told me, Elisabeth, we’re going to prepare lunch, which made me very happy. I said I wanted chicken soup, fried rice, and hot tortillas, and she told me, OK, sister, you make the chicken with rice and I will grind the corn for the tortillas. I got mad and said I’m not going to make the chicken because I can’t cook! She told me, well, then, today you are going to learn because Mama won’t always be here to cook for you. I said, well, OK, but you will have to tell me how to do it. I cleaned the chicken with lemon and left it to marinate. I prepared the salsa for the chicken with tomato, onion, green chili, and a little garlic and mixed it well. Then I put the salsa inside the chicken, along with some potatoes, oregano, and salt. I made the fried rice and added that to the pan. Then, to this casserole, I added some oil, more onion, more green chili, carrots, and cooked it all together. Then, we were ready to eat!

My mother was laughing, saying well done, chef! My little sister was also laughing. My mother laid the table and I dished the food onto the plates, and my mother brought them to the table. We all ate happily, all of us laughing. I had no more hunger.

Well, that’s enough for now!

Ciao, Juanita.


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