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Just a spoonful of sugar…

September 1, 2011
Krista and Marcy share a hug on the porch. I’m not sure they aren’t related…

Bill called this morning to see if I was coming down to Monrovia about my arm. I said no and he asked me to get a second medical opinion. “There’s a good female doctor there,” he said. “They’ve taken good care of people before. Just call and let me talk to them.” Sigh.

I finished making our banana pancakes, put on my least chafing lapa suit and we walked to the hospital. The people living in that part of town hadn’t seen us much so we drew some attention. The hospital is a small cluster of white and green buildings on top of a hill. Across the street a group of women and young people sold donuts and biscuits and a boy with a wheelbarrow was selling deodorant by the door. I’ve been looking for some but this hardly seemed like the place or the time.

Inside it was as packed as when we visited in July with our principal. We looked so out f place. I approached the security guard in the corner and greeted him in Mano. “I need to see a doctor,” I said. “How do I get in line to see the doctor?” He pointed to the man to his right, “This is a doctor.” The man looked up. He was obviously seeing someone else. “Oh no,” I said, embarrassed to cut in front of everyone there while they were all watching.

I asked for the female doctor and got a bit of a run around before getting plopped in a folding chair in the hall (that showed up out of nowhere). We had barely sat down when the doctor came down the hall. She ushered us into her air conditioned office and gave me as good of care as I would expect in America. She looked at it, asked some questions, filled out a card, and gave me some antibiotics. We were in and out in less than an hour. Unbelievable. I paid nothing and everyone shook my hand on the way out.

As we walked back down the hill I started having some serious “white guilt.” I never expect special treatment, but I find myself getting it more and more. People are told to move so I can sit and lines disappear when I walk in. It’s like America before civil rights and it makes me uncomfortable. I feel like I am the outsider taking up precious space and resources. I feel like there should be a sign saying “whites to the back” or something.

After the hospital the day was partly a bust. Still not barrel. I tried to buy a coal pot so we can fix bread, but I wasn’t sure if he was trying to rip me off. Turns out probably not so I’ll go back. We bought a dozen delicious eggplants off some kids who happened to walk past ($10LD for three!) and have already eaten three. So far my cooking has been alright. I hope we don’t get sick of it! It seems like everyone is selling the same six things everyday so our ingredient options are limited.

Making pancakes the past two days has felt so much like home, though. It reminds me of weekends in the blue apartment. I’m just a smidge nostalgic, but so glad I did what I did and am where I am.

“The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” – Charles Du Bos

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 19, 2011 2:21 pm

    Hope whatever is ailing you clears up soon! So far all the food sounds so delicious, too!
    I’ve dealt with the ‘white guilt’ when visiting the Philippines. But I can only imagine when you’re living there for so long and there to help!

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