Anecdotes by Carmen Julia Romero Borray
THE STORY OF THE HOLSTEIN BULL
“Miss Carmen Julia, allow me to give you a hug because the cattle breed in this region is the best of Colombia thanks to your women farmers.”
These were the words of a man who lived in the village.
“It happened in Pailitas. We were training a group of women farmers,” relates Carmen Julia Romero. “They decided to buy a bull of the Holstein breed for their cattle project. When their application was approved, the men of the village tried to dissuade them, telling them to buy a bull of a different breed, but they answered,
“No sir. We want the Holstein bull.”
This is how they started the import process for the animal. While it arrived, they prepared its living place. They cleared some land, raised fences, organized the stable, and everything was ready for its arrival. Then the expected day came, and all the women received the bull with joy.
The days went by and the bull would not stand up. There was a whirl of women around it. What was wrong with the animal? They called Carmen Julia. She remember that these women had established turns to care for the bull. They cleaned it, washed it, fed it by hand, and would not let it be alone day or night.
It was a hot climate, about 113 degrees Farenheit (45 degrees Celcius) in the shadow, and nothing made the animal move. So these women were for three months, fighting by the bull’s side. Until one day, suddenly, the bull got up. And what a scandal!
Nothing is impossible for a group of women!
THE STORY OF THE WIRE
She also tells that one day, in this same Program, these women lost a piece of wire that they were going to use to fence off some land. They were investigating the situation, and they realized that one of the husbands had stolen the piece of wire.
The women got together and started working. One of the women approached the House of the Mayor and said, “Mr. Mayor, please lend me a policeman.” Reluctantly, the Mayor had to agree to this petition, and this is how Mrs. Rosita, along with a policeman, arrived at the house of the villain and knocked on the door. “Sir, I come for the piece of wire that you hid under your bed.” Before the presence of the authority, this character had no other choice than delivering the bounty, and going to the office or Mr. Mayor for his bad deed.
“With women like this, this country will be saved!” Said Carmen Julia.
THE STORY OF THE ITALIAN
From her office in Bogotá, Carmen Julia was in charge of reviewing and approving the Projects that had to do with women.
“There were lots of men that used to take advantage of women, and they would come here and talk for them. But I would always say, have them come themselves to talk. Have the women come.”
She remembers the anecdote about the Italian. “They brought an Italian that was supposedly going to teach the women how to plant asparagus… Asparragus?” Asked Carmen Julia. “But they are experts at making purses and shoes!” She said.
This man had had a credit approved for this Project with women, and he was going back to the institute to get authorized for more credit. The officials sent him to Carmen Julia. “Please come into Mrs. Carmen Julia’s office,” they told him.
“I come to ask you to put a good word for me for this credit for my women’s Project,” the Italian said.
“Oh really?” Said Carmen Julia. “And where are the women? This credit should be given to the women. Have them come themselves!”
And she did not approve his credit.
Like these, there are many anecdotes that Carmen Julia keeps in her memory, fresh as if they had happened yesterday. And when telling her stories, at the end of each story she adds a serious comment about the pertinence of the Program, or the difficulty that the women faced, or the obstacles and barriers that were necessary to bring down to achieve the insertion of the woman farmer.