Skip to content

Happy Books Day!

I forgot yesterday was Happy Books Day. How could that be? I simply forgot it. Let me post about it today, independently of our Volvo Ocean Race 2017-2018 journey.

I am a book lover. Books are awesome. Books were my refuge when I was a little girl. Let me tell you why?Reading-Relay1

colegio sarado corazon.jpgBefore I started my secondary education at the Jesuit school in town, I studied the first 6 years of primary education at another Catholic School in San Salvador called Colegio Sagrado Corazón (Sacred Heart School). At that time it was not a Coed school. It was a single-sex school just for girls. I was the youngest of all my classmates (I started 1st grade with 5 years old), and it happened I had a sickness in my eyes: Chronic allergic conjunctivitis. I got this illness when playing with dirty sand and I touched my eyes one day. This indisposition was not healing despite the several doctors my parents consulted in town.  I had to use big dark eyeglasses for several years, in order to protect my eyes from the sunlight, and because I was allergic to pollen from trees and grass,  to dust, to mold spores, household dust, and other chemical materials.

clinica barraquer

Clinica Barraquer, Bogotá, Colombia

For those of you who don´t know what is Chronic allergic conjunctivitis, let me explain in detail:  It is a milder response to allergens like food, dust, and animal dander. Common symptoms come and go but include burning and itching of the eyes and light sensitivity. Despite all the doctors we visited, the inside of my eyelids and the covering my eyeballs was not improving. It was all the time swelling, with inflammation. Finally, after 4 years of suffering at school, my parents got an ophthalmic appointment at the Clinica Barraquer, located in Bogotá, Colombia. We traveled to Bogotá, to their hospital, and Doctor José Barraquer did a corrective surgery of the membrane called the conjunctiva,  and I was healed completely since then. I am so thankful to Doctor Barraquer, he healed my eyes when I was 10 years old. I thought he was the coolest doctor on earth!. But to have such eye sickness for 4 years, caused me so much pain not just physically, but also emotionally.

book sacred heartBecause of my eye sickness, I was the object of bullying. My classmates, were all the time making fun of my eyelids, and the inflammation. They did not want to play or talk to me over the recess or daily breaks, and I was always alone. My classmates did not want to study with me either. Some of them insulted me telling me rude phrases such as “Blind girl”, or “We don´t want to play with you, choca!”. Choca means blind in El Salvador jargon. Sometimes the bullying was worst with other students of superior levels,  they yelled at me over the corridors of the school,  telling me “Marta la choca!” (my first name is Marta, and I hate my first name, I don´t use my first name  because it brings memories of that stage of bullying in my life). I grew up with the perception that my eyes were horrible, that no one will like my eyes, and I used for many years bangs to cover them.  Don´t get me wrong, the Sagrado Corazón School is a wonderful institution, but bullying happens everywhere. In public and private schools. 

dahl mathilda 4With that bullying scenario of my primary school, and being the youngest of my classmates, I simply decided to look for sources of beautifulness. And I found my refuge in books. I was a bookworm. I visited the library every other day, and I started to read passionately about sciences, fiction, drama, novels, historical books, biographies, romantic stories, satire, mystery, travel, poetry, anthologies,  and detective tales. I found those books were giving me so much knowledge, information and imaginative experiences that were beyond the cruel environment I had to bear at school. battlement elleFor me, books were a treasure at that time. After the surgery at Clinica Barraquer, things changed. I did not have to wear black eyeglasses anymore, and I started to make a few friends. Friends which accepted me as I was at that time, and when I was finally being recognized as one member of the class, my parents decided it was time to switch schools, and for 7th grade, I went to study to Colegio Externado San José, the Jesuit school in town. The switch from schools was a blessing. My life was transformed because all the childhood bullying about my eyes, was left behind.

A-child-is-bullied-in-school-every-7-minutes.Looking back, I am so thankful for the chronic allergic conjunctivitis stage of my life. Probably without those years,  I wouldn´t have appreciated the meaning of reading.  About the bullying, I simply don´t wish it on anyone. It is time for public and private school authorities, professors and parents to recognize the existence of bullying. It is painful. It is not good either. Particularly now, when social media is also used for it. And what is worst is the fact that the bullying continues happening during adult years at our jobs or professional surroundings, and sometimes it is caused by “weird people” who want to harm us.  After we finish the VOR 2017-2018 I will share several posts about bullying because I have lived that experience personally and is something we can´t tolerate in our societies.

Happy Books day! For you Alejandro Guillermo Lozano Artolachipi, my beloved book lover too!.

stop bullying

We have to stop bullying!

Disclaimer: All the presentation slides shown on this blog are prepared by Eleonora Escalante MBA-MEng. Nevertheless, all the pictures or videos shown on this blog are not mine.  I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated. Some pictures of today´s post come from the Dutch blog and the Illustrations belong to Roald Dahl books.




1 Comment »

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s