There is a beautiful thing in the air today. It´s my friend Lesley, on her jet plane back to the USA.
Not only is Lesley super beautiful but the fact that she was even able to get on that plane is nothing short of a miracle. We have spent the last five days puking among other things I will not describe. "Is it the water, is it from food?" you ask. No, this is something that only has afflicted only seven white women in San Pedro. These ladies and I became sick at different times, we do not eat together, live together or work together. Its a freak thing. No Mayans or men have been afflicted, nor Israeli women(a significant percentage of tourists in San Pedro).
Yesterday, after days of not being able to move, except to the baño, Lesley and I got our asses in a tuk tuk and went to the Centro de Salud(health center)between San Pedro and our neighboring town San Juan. I was amazed, first of all, that there was a doctors office open on a Sunday. We both went into the exam room and chatted with the doctor about our affliction. She suspected a bacterial infection in the digestive system. She gave us salts to put in water for rehydration, antibiotics and an antihistamine for Lesley since all of the other medicines she had taken in an attempt to soothe the pain and cease the mass exodus from her body, caused her entire body to break out in hives. This is not an exaggeration.
Then we left. No charge. No discussion even of any type of payment for services or medications.
What we found entertaining and slightly disturbing however is that the rehydration salts were from UNICEF, a branch of the UN. What this means to us is that as Americans we can go to other countries and recieve free health care sponsored, in part, by our government, but that our government can´t give us a damn thing for free on our own soil. Something here doesn´t add up.
Ultimately what it means for me is that my reasons for never returning to the Untited States to live are continuing to increase. Why would I go there when I can get free health care from the US down here and not up there?
Foreign words to Americans, three words that do not go together in American English, free health care.