Thursday, March 31, 2016

Women Making History: Laura Baena, Founder of Club de malasmadres

All March people around the globe have been celebrating women and women in history.  If you are interested in celebrating multicultural women in history you can read through the 30 amazing articles of the 2016 Women's History Series (see below) put together by the lovely bloggers of Multicultural Kid Blogs.  I have the honor of wrapping up the series, and I would like to highlight one woman that caught my attention recently who is making history.

Laura Baena, founder of Club de malasmadres (Club of Bad Mothers), dedicates her energies and passions to pioneering a new voice for modern moms.  I would even say, her fight is for the modern family as a whole.

I found Laura and the malasmadres through Instagram.  The fact that they were in Spain intrigued me (of course!); the fact that they were moms encouraged me; and their hilarious tongue-in-cheek propaganda (for lack of a better word) converted me to a follower.

So what is a malamadre?  I'll translate the following as best as I can:
"Club de #malasmadres con mucho sueño, poco tiempo, alergia a la ñoñería, con ganas de cambiar el mundo o al menos de morir en el intento… Madres imperfectas que luchan por no perder su identidad como mujeres, por seguir creciendo profesionalmente y desmitificar la maternidad. Conseguiremos acabar con el concepto de “superwoman”, ese que nos impone la sociedad y que no nos ayuda en nada. Porque no tenemos súper poderes ni queremos tenerlos." 
"A club of #Malasmadres (bad mothers) who are so sleepy, who have little time, who are allergic to whining, who have a desire to change the world or at least will die trying...Imperfect mothers that fight to not lose their identity as women, are continuing to grow professionally and demystify maternity.  We seek to get rid of the concept of "superwoman," that image the society imposes on us which doesn't help us at all.  Because we don't have superpowers, neither do we want them."

What I love about Laura Baena's work, and the work of Malasmadres, is that they know the work is not done.  They know the conversation is not over.  They are keeping the dialogue ongoing--continuing to develop and define what it looks like to be a modern, and satisfied, woman.

If you're on your smart phone, click here to watch the video above.

In an article Baena wrote on International Women's Day she says, "The only way to advance, to arrive at a social change where the word "inequality" doesn't exist, is reflecting, talking, constructing together a better future for those to come and a better present for those that don't have time to wait."

Be sure to check out their website to follow along with their current initiative: #yonorenuncio.

And their blog to hear from other mothers and get advice on all things MOM.

And remember to check out the series below to learn about other women around the globe in history!

Women's History Month Series on Multicultural Kid Blogs
Join us for our second annual Women's History Month series, celebrating the contributions and accomplishments of women around the world. Follow along all month plus link up your own posts below! Don't miss our series from last year, and find even more posts on our
  Women's History board on Pinterest
  Follow Multicultural Kid Blogs's board Women's History on Pinterest.
March 1 A Crafty Arab on Multicultural Kid Blogs: 7 Women Artists Who Changed History
March 3 The Art Curator for Kids: Songs We Can See - The Art of Peggy Lipschutz
March 4 Kid World Citizen: Children's Books about Women Scientists
March 7 Mama Smiles: Picture Books about Great Women in History Your Kids Need to Know
March 8 Hispanic Mama: 4 Latina Women Who Made It Happen
March 9 Discovering the World Through My Son's Eyes: Spanish Children's Book on the Life of Felisa Rincón de Gautier, First Female Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico Colours of Us: 28 Multicultural Picture Books about Inspiring Women & Girls
March 10 Witty Hoots: Some Awesome Women in My Life
March 11 MommyMaestra: Women in World History Trading Card Template
March 14 Crafty Moms Share: The Thinking Girl's Treasury of Real Princesses
March 15 The Jenny Evolution: Non-Fiction Books about Women for Kids
March 16 Discovering the World Through My Son's Eyes
March 17 Living Ideas
March 18 La Cité des Vents
March 21 A Crafty Arab
March 22 La Cité des Vents
March 23 Peakle Pie
March 24 All Done Monkey
March 25 The Art Curator for Kids on Multicultural Kid Blogs
March 28 Creative World of Varya
March 29 Family in Finland
March 30 The Jenny Evolution
March 31 For The Love of Spanish

Monday, March 14, 2016

Exploring Tea in Spain & Peru--Multicultural Toys & Activities for Kids

Food and drink seem to be two things that can always bring people together.  Today with my blogging friends Kay and Maria, we are connecting through tea!  After reading about tea in Spain and Peru below, head over to experience an English High Tea and to explore tea in Indonesia.

English High Tea

Exploring Tea in Indonesia

From Iced Tea in the States...
Where I come from we drink iced tea.  From as early as I can remember, every family gathering would have iced tea, and to this day, it's not a family dinner without iced tea.  Some things have changed about the way we make it, but for the most part the ritual goes like this:  my mom boils a pitcher of water, tosses in 5-6 bags of Lipton (a black tea variety) tea bags, and lays a tea towel over the top of the pitcher for the tea to brew.  After 10-15 minutes she pours the concentrated tea into a larger glass pitcher, adds ice and water.  If you are from the states and are reading this, you can tell right away that I am not from the southern states!  We don't drink our tea with sugar.  My dad adds honey to his and one of my brothers adds sugar, but the rest of us drink it unsweet.

As I have traveled over the years, my tea experiences abroad have been quite different than home.  The two experiences I remember most are the Moroccan tea I had in Granada (Spain), and the tea from cocaine leaves I had in Cusco (Peru).

To Moroccan Tea in Spain...
During my four months in Spain, I tried to make it a point to visit as many cities besides Madrid as possible.  One such trip near the end of my stay was a speedy day-trip to Granada.  I must say, had I not studied in Madrid, Granada would have made a wonderful second choice. Islamic culture permeates the entire south and makes for a vibrant blend of food, drink, people and architecture.

My friend and I took a very early train to Granada on a weekend morning and came back that same night, so the trip was a blur, but what stands out to me most from the trip is our visit to the majestic Islamic palace, La Alhambra, and our quaint visit to a Moroccan tea house.

La Alhambra overlooks the beautiful mountain villages called las Alpujarras that nestle themselves amidst the Sierra Nevada mountain range.  Once we were done soaking in the majesty of the mountains and architecture of the palace, we stopped over at a Moroccan tea house to meet with my friend's friend who had chosen to study in Granada that semester instead of Madrid.  If you don't know, Spain borders Morocco just to the south, and so the Islamic influence is strongest in the south where we were. Surrounded by the dark woods, arched doorways, and colorful mosaics we enjoyed a steaming hot cup of mint tea. What I remember most about the tea is how hot it was, how sweet it was, and how they serve it by pouring the tea into the cups from a very high distance.  The picture below from Kid World Citizen shows the traditional way the tea is served, and you can head over there to get a recipe for making your own at home!  You can also see other pictures there of how it's poured and an explanation of why.

Learn How to Make Moroccan Tea Here
To Mate de Coca in Peru...
When traveling to the Andes mountains in Peru, you won't escape either hearing about, or experiencing altitude sickness.  One of the signature, and natural, remedies for altitude sickness is the mate de coca or tea made from cocaine leaves.  The coca plant, native to Peru, has been used throughout history for its medicinal purposes.  I must admit, upon hearing about the tea I was a little nervous to try it.  But it is served everywhere, and upon arriving at my host family's house in Cusco, a cup was immediately prepared for me along with an order to take a nap.  When someone hands you a cup of tea and says, "Drink! Nap!" you can't really argue with that.  So I obliged.  To me the tea tasted just like any other herbal tea.  Supposedly it helps speed your heart rate up to ensure that you get enough oxygen to your brain in the high altitude.  Whatever it does, it worked.  I didn't experience any sickness adjusting to the 11, 152 feet of altitude.

This photo of Hotel Cusco Plaza II is courtesy of TripAdvisor

What's your favorite kind of tea?  How do you prepare it?  Have you ever tried either of these?  Share with us in the comments!  And don't forget to click on the links at the top of this post to learn about English and Indonesian teas.