Wednesday, March 4, 2009

In Santa Tecla

A good, busy day, with many pieces of our coming cataract surgical mission falling into place. I went out to Hospital San Rafael in Santa Tecla, where our Comasagua patients will go for their cataract surgeries. With the help of Cristy, a staff member at CIS who translated for me, I had a good conversation with Licenciada Guardado, the head of nursing, about all the arrangements (Licenciado/a is the term of respectful address for those who've completed University degrees). I look forward in hope to the day when I can have a full and complete conversation about important matters in adequate Spanish - but I'm not there yet. A side benefit of the trip was getting to talk to Cristy - en español - on the way there and back again about her work, life and political passions.

Hospital San Rafael
is the middle of a vast transformation - new surgery suites and wards have been built; an area that was a dustbowl two weeks ago has been transformed into a parking lot. The site is still full of workmen and full of polvo, dust, blowing around in the swift March winds. This is the season of dust: Salvadorans I've talked to think of March and April as the hardest months, when it gets hotter and hotter, and dustier and dustier, and there's no rain to cool things down. We've been lucky this year, catching the tail-end of the cold weather further north in the Americas, to have lots of wind and cooler than usual weather. The Salvadorans think it's cold. I think it's pretty nice. Except for the polvo.

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