LD Off-Season: Loving Lynn
You're listening to long distance. I'm Paula Mardo so hi. Hello Nice to talk to you again. I know we wrapped our very. I season of long distance a few months ago but I wanted to update you on what's going on right now because quite a bit has happened and I want to try something new first of all you might already know that team long distance is deep into production on season two. Yes my fellow producer voice actor videomaker partner whatever Patrika Piano and I have been in the field recording and filming interviews I can't say too much touch about the stories were working on just yet but no were very very very excited about each and every one of them plus Patrick's working on some pretty amazing short documentary videos for Long Distance T._v.. That will make next season extra extra-special so please stay tuned and stay subscribe to this podcast while you wait for the new season why not catch up on all our previous episodes. 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It's from Kernan cultures a podcast that tells stories trees from the Middle East and the spaces in between and this story you're about to here is called Loving Lynn. Yes y'all know winged love a good love story on long distance. Lynn is enough W or overseas Filipino worker if you recall a few episodes back the episode Long Distance Love Story was about high school sweethearts turned off ws reconnected connected forty years later on facebook. It's one of my favorite long distance stories so if you haven't heard it yet please go back sometime and take a listen in Linz case. She left behind her hometown village in the Philippines for housekeeping job in Lebanon at the age of twenty three it was meant to be temporary gig until she met Boutros her employers nephew and they fell in love but for Lyn staying with Boutros has meant choosing to settled down in a country where she's treated as an outsider from Kernan cultures and producer Dana Balut. Here's loving Lynn we we met linen. Her husband Boutros in their home in the country Chevallier northern Lebanon. It's about a two hour drive out of Beirut way up in the mountains by around ten A._M.. We got to the village. The main square boutrous was waiting to guide us to his home and when we got there we met Lynn who was waiting on their front patio when we arrived Dade picks oranges from trees in the valley which we very quickly as as we sat down around the table there was one throw in particular actually that was like a lemon on the outside but super sweet like in Orange on the inside. I won over forget how good that tasted anyway pretty quickly. We got into why we were there to begin with. You should know that the House that we were sitting in was the one puts his had grown up and and while we were drinking coffee and peeling through and having a good time this wasn't always a happy place but just childhood was really hard. He told us that the first time his mom but shoes on his feet he was seven and at nineteen he had never met his father didn't know what he looked like what he sounded. Good like her what a hug from him might have felt like after his dad left. His mother worked in the olive fields in the Kadisha Valley to support the family but it was never enough. I'm GonNa play you about about a minute of tape in Arabic here. We'll do this a few times in the story. Even if you don't understand the words just hold on and I'll translate but I want you to here but this voice telling me these stories few SZETO that I didn't get Williams if it'd be America sorry about Mc what kick off Alabel E._M._c. mean. What did you say Yelich Balasore jeep commit fairly predictable see if the tube ish way? Shwe's wave their shoe for district. Sorry we shouldn't dash before he gets up his uncle's in the U._S.. Would send money to their family and pitchers for members desperately running to the postman each time he would bring a letter because the Letterman's they might have some money to eat so in nineteen seventy five purchase. Was a young teenager and the war in Lebanon broke out the first time but just ever called his estranged dot who by then like many Lebanese during that time had made his way to Venezuela but I told him either you let may come and join you over there or I'm going to have to stay here and fight. His Dad agreed to host him what all of Israel though so very over the first time he got to know his dad was when he got Venezuela in Nineteen seventy-six and when he arrived his dad us for his forgiveness. Did you forgive him. I asked yes I forgave him but life in Venezuela wasn't the better life he anticipated. His Dad lives in remote village and did it have a job. We just didn't succeed. He told me so for many years. He moves around a lot working different jobs and Canada than Australia. Eventually eventually he found himself back in Lebanon and his small village of style in the house he grew up in not much had changed except there a couple of new faces in town. You know the family were I work was his uncle his mother's brother and he comes through everyday visit his uncle. You know when he comes. I make coffee for him. We sit together with talk together. We sit with his caffeine's and we staff Weenie sometimes sometimes nonsense staff sometimes anything this is Lynn who you heard earlier Lynn who was from the Philippines worked for butchers his uncle as a housekeeper who she says was a good employer after she'd had long string of bad ones Lynn also grew up poor and in a small village in the Philippines slyke here. It's a bill age my parents <hes> plant rise but then when type one comes yes there is will go all by the water where the typhoon it's hard. It's very hard in Philippians also but I don't like our bill as when I grow up about in my in Asia I said this bill this. There's no future in here. It's like died village. You know there's nothing in there. She went to school in her village. Then studied for an engineering degree in nearby city. Her Dad got sick before she finished and she had to find a job to support herself with so when an agent from a domestic workers agency came to visit her village to offer people jobs in Dubai or Lebanon she accepted because I want to finish my studies and my bitterness get support me no more so I said I have goal earn some money and then come back the Philippine and finished my studies but the she moved to Lebanon at one of her earlier jobs she was taking care of three kids who she says would regularly shout at her and beat her. This was in Baidu. It's she later found her way to a new home and northern Lebanon in the town of Said Isleworth Russ's from there. She said things were different. She felt like she was a part of a family rather than just an employee and then she met Boutros inside and Patricia spent afternoons at his uncle's house where she worked he comes every day. We see it. Ask about me. How are you and sometimes they all? You're you're addressing good lean or lack that you're you look so beautiful today they something like that and then killed after about six months they started to notice something between them. Just a spark something in the way that they laughed at each other's jokes or caught glimpses of the other staring their way or the way their our hearts be a little bit faster before they sign each other never come to my mind that one day I like my beloved. No it was just you know. I'm working with them. On his uncle. They started a routine. They'd wait until so the rest of the village had gone to sleep around ten or eleven P._M.. And sneak out of their houses to meet up they wouldn't do anything special. They couldn't this hot to be a secret mostly. They'd sit on the front step of one of their houses and talk. Sometimes they dr ten minutes out of the village to a secret spot that overlooked the Casino Valley. You can't see it from the road. That's where they had their first timber lessons. Do you remember the first time you told her you loved her. The the one secretary will be macaulay but it was lates tanner eleven pm outside buttresses uncle's house and they couldn't go inside aside because everybody was sleeping so they sat on the stairs at the entrance and he told her listen. I came to see you. I can't sleep without seeing you. I love you and she said I love you to public. Yeah I remember we we said in the stairs by the building in their essay dog me I can't Steve. I have to come and see you me too. I can stay by was in my bed. I was thinking of you and then we said there. We Talk Uh and then. He told me he loves middle. I love you can leave without without seeing you know more so here I wanNA pause for a moment and say something in Lebanon or anywhere really in the Arab Arab world we have a serious racism problem. There's racism towards Arabs against people who are African Asian and racism towards domestic workers institutional and social racism in Lebanon our Labor labor laws that dictate the rights of foreign domestic workers allow for employees largely from the Philippines Sri Lanka if European Bangladesh to have close to no rights compared to other foreign workers employers take their passports control their phones make them mark excessive hours without breaks. Lot of these workers. oftentimes women are sometimes abuse emotionally physically sexually a great resource to learn more about this is human rights watcher Lebanon Scotto so in this context romantic Dick Relationships between Lebanese and domestic workers are uncommon and very often look down upon you will see Beta Beta sheet Rossi regime apodaca Kyoji Shajarian away. He was hesitant one day. He wanted to marry her in the next he'd say to himself no he couldn't society was too restrictive yeah. I said maybe he's his lying in his you know his lying to me. He doesn't want me steadying. We WanNA marry me said no I won't I won't believe him but then my heart say no his he loves you hear really. Wants you to say go ahead. You have to trust him of your family side. This is producer Alex attack me feel about deciding well the first thing they asked me how all these he I tell the fifty to one if too but he's too big for his to all big for your degrees say no. That's okay but he's nice. His his very good to me. Is here risk the first time they ask me. It's rich because we know when there's age Tagab that big of maybe he's read. That's why he's she's marrying him. I said no she is now but I love him and he loves me and we were. We're going to get married hate. It's me again or take a quick break from the story and I wanted to fill you on something received a lot of great messages from people saying how much they really love the stories they listen to on long distance. Some people have even asked how can I help. How can I support and there are a couple of great ways to do this? I you can join our Long Distance Radio Club on Patriot the monthly contribution equivalent to a cup of coffee a couple of Kansas spam or a piece of avocado toast. You can help keep long-distance going and growing plus. You'll get a budget coal rewards in return like Super Smash Long Distance Sticker Swag early access to assode livestream. 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Tell your friends fam- neighbors coworkers Tito's Titas et Cetera to listen to long distance roaming slumming now back to the show <music> back in Lebanon Blitzer was finding it difficult to get over what everybody else might think one point he thought about moving back to Venezuela with Lynn so that they could get married without having to care about everyone houses reactions to solve the early shuttle Beta to job an evidence awash been at Philippi calling an epidural. I love Israel. He doesn't show wasn't need enough on Joe was they will head of knee on about the Hellier. You'll have the ability of off. Immigrants demanded chassis into Zonta battle a heyday but they'll have been hired lecture dominate the Joe was he went to a friend friend for advice. This was somebody trusted one of the few people who knew about Lynn and when he brought up the Venezuela idea his friend said. Are you crazy. If you run from this you'll be running your entire life. Grow Up. Tell you relatives and Mary her at a church can sit on so he proposed and she said yes a few days later then tried to bring it up with buttresses uncle who she so worked I did. I start telling him I think <hes> I want to get married here. In Lebanon said really who somebody here in the relays who is that. Can you tell me who said said the your nephew. My nephew said Said Yeah. Why are you talking? You're you love him to say I said the yeah no no no. No you have to go back to your country. You had the robot the your mom said No. They're planning to get married and it's all done said no you you. Can you have to go back to your mother there so my bad it's been trouble now I can. I can't get married with him. They said <hes> you know what you have to finish your your contract with me and then go back to your mom forget about what Ruth Finish your work here and then you go back to your mother. That's all I want forget him. Some of buttresses friends tried to change his mind they said why don't you marry girl from your own neighborhood from your own country. There's plenty of them but he told them listen. I'm not ashamed of my wife. I see her as the most beautiful woman elected be good. Tell what so why I'm sure free before the serve nor bizarre on me she yeah maybe a little bit of admit them sick Leshan and the Polish gave the job was really or if they wanted to get married in secret because they were scared of buttresses. Mom's uh-huh reaction and their fears were justified when they told her she grabbed by the hair and beat her saying. Why does my son WanNA marry a Filipina girl who works for us? They both cringe and kind of go silent when they talk about this moment. It's it's clearly not when they want to remember but by then they had made their decision and weren't going back on him. They got married on a Monday in the church right in the middle of the village. You can see it from their front door. They didn't have any money to fly Lynn's family out so invites went out mostly to push his family and friends in total they invited forty. People only one show buttresses friend from earlier in the story as buttress put it nobody nobody else had the guts to show up in their wedding album which they showed us. There are these pictures of the three of them standing in an empty church. The priests had to take the photos because nobody else was there to do it after the wedding. The two of them couldn't afford to move into a place of their own so lynn moved into buttresses mother's house where he was living and where he had grown up when we got mad at nine. I have the more in their house. He told me we have to you. We have to live with my mom. You have <hes> <hes> you can do not have to deal with hair who said okay. There's no choice. I have to live with him with his mother. The first day it was so hard he she keeps staring at me following me forever. I go so what I WANNA do. If I it something or I want to do something in the house she keeps following me steerings at the end. She murmurs words like that by herself. She started telling her son her son. You have to to keep her things by herself. And you have to keep your things by your don't use her things and don't let her use your things. It was a difficult site to the marriage as well as the problems at home with with Russa's mom they had to deal with strangers staring them in restaurants. Frantz people came up to try and asked what is wrong with you. People from the village tried to convince Lynn not pushers was lying to her that he didn't really want to be with her. This was their life for a few years but then lynn got pregnant and suddenly things change quickly at least at home with buttresses mom when I got pregnant Amira she was happy said Oh my God that's grew and that's the time she starts nice to me. Start Skating asking me staff like what do you want to eat today. The what do you want. You want to do something today but before no never she won't ask me what I WANNA eat what I want to do. Maybe because I'm giving grandchild for hair. Amira was their first this child's. They named her after Boutrous Grandmother. She is so adorable and so smart by the way she showed us all her copybook. Since she has the most beautiful handwriting I've ever seen anyway later on they had another daughter Amanda and a son. They named him Antonio you after buttresses dad but their kids look different than everyone else in their class. They look like they could be from somewhere else so but through senlen still worry about them robot from my dad brackish she murphy should be how society will treat my daughter's when they grow up and get closer to marriage. Maybe nobody will ask to marry my daughter's. It's really hard to imagine that but we don't raise our children's to feel that their defense hello there is racist here but it's not everywhere they're good people in Lebanon to. He says today their biggest challenges figuring out how to raise mixed race children in a society. That's still doesn't totally accept them for the keys. It's a bit hard to hear. I asked to Flynn feels that there's any part of the Philippines that she wants her children to hold onto because it's where their mother comes from no no because they don't need it. We're here in the believes in the country. They will go to the school here. I said they don't need it Amira. When she was small? I used to talk to her integral but then my mother innocent no he doesn't need the language for what and don't talk to her life. Dad On like this that it's nonsense. She doesn't need it. I stop it. I start talking with her in Arabic English. None of the kids spent any significant -nificant time in the Philippines they don't have the privilege to raise them as by cultural kids and they still have problems sometimes at restaurants the waiter will ask everybody for their order except Lynn who they likely think is the made and therefore unworthy of being spoken to we're sitting in the Dave all we wanted something my kids with Mommy look at people. They're looking at US and they're talking. I don't WanNa tell her because you're half Filipino or this because you're beautiful. That's why they're looking at you. Then had wanted to leave the Philippines a young girl she knew her future was elsewhere and despite their love story facing challenges isolation from larger communities side comments from strangers. Lynn says her family is the most important thing to her. I forget everything for my kids and phone on. I feel guilty. The guilt that he feels is that Lynn came to Lebanon at twenty three years old so she had had a life before for she had a family she had loved ones and he's not able to give her that kind of life back and now that they have three kids he tells her that they have to sacrifice together and that he sorry that he deprived her of this kind of life but I'm not asking asking anything. I'm satisfied and I'm I'm happy here about Bush has Dr Activism Dip can buffy the eighty. I WanNa see you smiling then. I'll go and said okay. I'm okay now. Muslims this might be victory will be. I knew I see her. Smiling life is better in general. I don't want to anyone angrier upset especially the mother of my children the new show so I was deprived of several things until I was nineteen face a lot of troubles so everything I've learned in this life. You like to pass onto my kids. In saw this story was produced by Dana believed along with Natalie Rosa Buca and Alex Attack With editorial support from EPA Fisher stem designed by Muhammad Crisan. Their marketing manager is Bella Brahim. You can listen to more stories like this on Kernan cultures a podcast that tell stories from the Middle East in the spaces in between find it on any podcast APP or long distance radio DOT com only link on in the episode page. This is off season episode of Long Distance or music is by blue dot sessions and Deanne key. Theme Song is by C light and the presumes. I'm Paula Mardo until next time.