Entry 203: March 27, 1982

These last few months have been very trying for me, both economically and emotionally. I believe the last time I wrote in my diary I was so excited about moving into Santiago, away from the family farm, into the big city. I had figured that it would be easy to find work. I had my teaching license and experience as a waitress but nobody seemed to be hiring and if they were there would be ten applications for one position. I could never compete for a job as twenty-two year old women with little prior work experience and no connections to people in Santiago. Until recently I had considered moving back into the outskirts to work on my parents farm. I was scared that the inevitable had come, that I would become just like my parents, making a good living without much excitement or influencing change in the world. Living off of two slices of bread a day does that to you, makes you want to give up on your ambitions. I am so thankful that I can continue to live in Santiago because of my membership in a cooperative soup kitchen. Just a few weeks ago I was talking to Maria, a woman in my apartment building, who could not find work either. She mentioned how she had been getting her meals at a soup kitchen and that I should do so too, as it was cheaper than a grocery store. The atmosphere there was lovely, and the food, even better. Everyone at the soup kitchen is struggling in some way or another, most are out of work. Still, people talk and laugh and have the most engaging conversations, mostly about politics. A lot of them blame Pinochet for the economic issues they have been facing. In general I agree with them, although sometimes it is hard for me to keep up as they speak so passionately and aggressively. One man at the soup kitchen, I believe his name is Juan, speaks of the need for the populace to take to the streets in protest of Pinochet. I feel as if he has a point but I also feel that I could never actually do such a thing. I have heard too many horror stories about people being tortured and disappeared by the military. Sometimes I fear that will happen to Jorge.

I have not written about Jorge, mostly because I did not know what to think about him. He is a charming, handsome man with long flowing black hair. But he is so secretive. He often runs off to meetings in strange parts of town and won’t let me meet any of his friends. I know what he does is political because he is so secretive about it. People are always very hush-hush about those sorts of things. But I have fallen in love with him, he sleeps over at my apartment more then he does his and we will talk on the phone for hours the days that we cannot see each other. We both know we love each other but it is something we are both scared to say out loud. He is a poblador and I am a farmer’s daughter. I am sure neither of our parents would approve. That does not matter to me now, I am young and in love.

2 thoughts on “Entry 203: March 27, 1982

  1. ssvolk says:

    Well, Catalina. So, you’ve got a pololo. Cúentame todo. Tell me all. How exciting for you. And this is an exciting moment. I have this sense that people are getting very tired of the control and of the economy going sour again. The last time we went through this, back in 1975, everybody said that this would help the country get along. But we’re right back in it. When will people say enough is enough?

    1. catalinacamposherrera says:

      You sound so much like the people in the soup kitchen. Jorge is fantastic, seeing him is always the highlight of my day with his think black hair and hazelnut eyes. He is so gentle, yet strong in his convictions.

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