Monday, June 15, 2009

A visitor

Yesterday and this morning I had a great visit with Sheila McShane, CSJP Associate, and Director of the Clinica Maxeñia in Santo Tomas la Union, Guatemala. Sheila was accompanying some clinic volunteers on their way to the airport, and managed to stay overnight for a visit in Antigua. We walked, and talked, and walked and ate and talked our way through Antigua, where we discovered a common (and dangerous) delight in bookstores. I came away with books on the 1998 assassination of Bishop Gerardi, on Mayan spirituality, and on the Guatemalan Civil War, all in Spanish. It's a great joy to spend time with a friend from home!

Then this morning, we walked through the market in search of manzanilla and other herbs that will be used at the Clinica Maxeñia to make a tea that's supposed to confer immunity from the H1N1 flu sweeping through Guatemala. Schools have been closed a week early here, and today I saw people wearing masks for the first time. I've read that older adults (that would include me) seem to have some immunity from this flu, probably because we participated in earlier epidemics (I remember vividly the 1968 epidemic, which I managed to come down with on a very miserable New Year's Eve). I hope it's true.

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