I am sitting and waiting for an Ubuntu LiveCD to finish doing its wubbly thing. I was working on a system that was so trashed Windows wouldn’t even reinstall, so my only option was to reimage the thing. Ubuntu to the rescue to copy all of the girl’s music and documents off of her computer before I reimage
We had to be ready to leave at 6 that morning. Johnny thought it was about a three-hour drive from Mexico City to Chapultapec, where we were going. After a slightly late start (Dr Noé’s brother and sister-in-law, who was a nurse, showed up late), we were off, in a 12-passenger van that was chock-full of medical supplies. The highways were pretty good, and soon I saw mountains. We stopped after about 2 and a half hours. Not bad at all! Oh wait, this was just for breakfast. Not being a morning person, I don’t enjoy breakfast usually, so I got a 1.5-liter water bottle to last me while we were up in the mountains, and watched the others eat.
Back into the van for another 4 hours. We climbed, climbed, climbed, on roads that were sometimes no wider than the van. I would look out the window— oh, hello 1000-foot drop inches away from the van’s tires, you look quite nice— and look back. We narrowly avoided several goats. The goats were laughing at us as we creaked by, inching up the incline. But all was well, and we got into the mountain village around noon. We were so high that we were actually IN the clouds, which was pretty cool. We set up the clinic in the three rooms of a house there in the center of the village. In the first room, the nurse gave vitamin shots. In the second, the people talked to Dr. Noé about their symptoms, and in the third we set up a tiny pharmacy of sorts. This village was so remote that even ibuprofen was a miracle. I would say 90% of what we gave out was either ibuprofen, cough syrup, or vitamins.
I got to give my first shot! Mexicans, however, don’t like shots in the arm… they prefer them in the rear. So what would normally be a 1 1/4″ needle embedded 1/4″ into the arm, ends up having all 1 1/4″ of it shoved into the backside. Fun stuff, but Mexicans are tough! Nobody made a sound. For proper… placement… of the needle, you must hold it like a dart, and practically toss it into the… target area. It doesn’t look fun. But it was fun to do
During a lull, I went to the van and got out a bag I had brought. In it were about 3 dozen of those miniature Beanie Babies that McDonalds gave out in Happy Meals awhile back. Mom had picked them up at a garage sale or something. When I brought them out, you would’ve thought I was better than the doctor. Kids were jostling in line to be the first to pick one of the colorful toys. We had to keep saying solamente una— only one— because they wanted them all. It was pretty touching.
We ran the clinic from 1 to about 9. I was feeling really tired and a little shaky by that time, but figured it was fatigue and the altitude. Little did I know.