friends, this is what i know of witches.
completely formed by hollywood and... most specifically, the wizard of oz.
in fact, this green lady helped my parents scare me into no longer sucking my thumb.
witches flying on brooms are frightening to small children.
but. i have never encountered people who really, truly believe in witches flying on broomsticks, doing curses and selling love potion number 9.
i'm familiar with voodoo. and i'm even familiar with the dominican brand of voodoo/santeria/brujeria/witchcraft. but maybe because i'm an outsider, or because i send off that "i don't believe in this" vibe, nobody has ever really approached me with witchcraft "problems".
until the other day.
i sat at my desk, going through some paperwork when a local woman came in "to talk." she wanted to close the door, and i thought that was odd, because i haven't really been in the neighborhood long enough to have gained this type of confidence - people ask for "stuff" all the time, but never actually giving me enough information to help. this woman was determined.
we sat down at the table and she asked if i knew a specific little child.
well, did i know that her aunt is not a christian? and that said little child lives with her aunt.
well. yes, we are a christian institution but we don't accept or deny anyone based on their religious preferences, i told her. she could believe that her children were the products of alien abduction and we'd still accept the children.
well. did i know that not only is she not a christian, but that she's a witch?
i've heard this. a few times, but like i said, no one has ever really approached me on the witchcraft beliefs, so i just brushed it off.
so i ask. is she a good witch or a bad witch? there's two words in spanish, cura or curandero that usually refers to a "witch" that works with natural medicines, or a bruja which is a witch who works with spells and such.
she's a bruja. and she flies.
friends, i almost lost it. i sucked up all i had inside so i wouldn't laugh in her face. she was so serious.
en que? en una escoba? on what? a broom?
of course. what else would a witch use to fly?
i stood up. she was serious. not a trace of sarcasm in her voice. witches obviously fly on brooms and i should know that. so, i politely explain that my knowledge of witches comes from movies, green witches who fly and melt when water touches them.
well. she says, i thought you should know that this woman is putting curses on the school. she's flying around in the middle of the night, sending down spells.
i asked. well, what were you doing awake in the middle of the night?
she woke us up. she was jumping from roof to roof to get a kick-start for flying.
that was it. i had to leave. really? i walked to the bathroom, laughed really hard and went back in.
i told her i wasn't really sure what provoked her to tell me this (though i'm pretty sure it's jealousy that the witch's family has received a lot of "help" from foreigners and she wants to prevent them from getting more) but that i would pray for them and hope that none of her spells stick.
she left. i laughed. but i don't think we've heard the end of this one