Sunday, April 19, 2009

Aloe Vera

I was intriqued by fellow blogger's post on aloe flower, titania-yesterdaytodayandtomorrow. Before I started blogging, I didn't pay much attention to the world around me. I took this flower without registering that they bloom in April. So I learn something everyday. This photo was taken indeed in April. Come to think of it, my oldest sister Rose was visiting me during ANZAC day, and we were at Western Springs Park.

This flower captiviated me because the aloes I grew in Singapore, and I grew plenty, never bloomed. titania set me thinking. I think because I used to cut the leaves for medicinal use. The plants were either punishing me for that and refusing me the joy of seeing the beautiful flowers, or the plants converted the goodness to medicine, and were rewarding enough.

In Singapore, hordes of female workers come from Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Philipines come to this, more advance city state to work as domestic helpers or just known as maids. Yes, you read it right, maids to be used and some abused.

I lived in an upper strata of society where the employers were university professors. I never employed a maid, because it just wasn't me, to keep a maid 24/7. I was a champion for many of them.

One day, by accident. one showed me her hand which was festering with pus. I asked her what had happened? 

"Aunty Ann, I was frying fish, and accidentally the oil spatter on me."

"Did you tell your employer?"

"No! I afraid?"

"What you afraid of?"

"She scold me for being careless."

My blood was boiling, but it was not in my place to interfer, so I went to my garden of aloe veras, broke a couple of leaves to tell her to apply on the burn.

"Aunty Ann, it is very good, I feel the cooling, and not so painful."

I gave her two pots of aloe vera to take back to her apartment.

"Aunty Ann, no I afraid, my boss will find out."

Exasperated, I told her then to come to help herself to my leaves. Couple of months later, the maid showed me her hand, it had fully recovered, and the scar was fading. 

Aloe vera was medicine in a leaf. I ran a gardening column and introduce everyone to this miracle plant.

1 comment:

Bitsa Lit said...

While I am not against using a WELL PAID maid once in a while, allowing her to keep her own life and family but still working,(it isnt my style though to use one though) what this poor girl went through is vile. To come to a strange country, have an injury while at work and be so terrified to tell the employer is heart wrenching for me. Im glad you were there to take care of her! Ill have to keep looking at the maid industry to see what can be done about it.