A man carrying his things in San Juan del Obispo
It's been a difficult year for alot of people. Many of my friends and family have either lost their jobs or are barely holding on in suffering industries. Some have moved to part-time work and others are working so many hours in order to hold down the fort with less people. On top of that, even if you have health insurance, some can't afford to go to the doctors. That's what I hear about in my country.
Life is difficult!
And it is. Yesterday, Paige and I went to visit a small town outside of Antigua called San Juan del Obispo. We traveled on the local bus (typical transportation called a chicken bus) which is a decorated old school bus where people sit three to a seat.
On the seat across the aisle from me was a woman who was holding onto a man while he had what looked like a slight siezure. When we arrived at our destination, one of the young men from the bus, along with Paige and I, helped her get him to his home. Someone needed to carry her things and at times we needed two people besides this woman, his sister, to literally drag him as he resisted leaving the bus.
He has epilepsy. I asked why she couldn't get medicine at the hospital. A recent med student who lived in our house had previously explained to me that medicine was available very cheaply in the hospitals as compared to the pharmacies. The young man who helped us explained that when you have a chronic condition that comes from birth, the hospitals don't support it. If I understood him right, the philosophy is that they keep giving and giving and you won't get better so they can't continue to give. Epilepsy medication falls into this category.
For three pills per day, at Q9.5 per pill (a little over a dollar) it costs more than $3 per day for him to get his medicine. She doesn't have the money. We gave her enough for two days, knowing that it wasn't enough, and wished her much success in finding what she needs for the remaining days.
Another bandaid - I am bothered by the bandaid and the boxes empty quickly. I like to support projects focused on developing the child and helping to secure a better future, thereby reducing the number of bandaids that we need. But wellness is a process and it takes time. I'm not sure that one can exist without the other in a humane way.