Friday, January 23, 2015

Mexican Hospitals

January 23, 2015

We have two Elders in the hospital right now.  As I told their mothers, you could hear the fear in their voices as they thought of “Mexican Hospitals.”

While no mother ever wants a child in the hospital, having them in a hospital in a foreign third world country brings extra anxiety.  Not only are they not close enough to help, they can’t even talk to the doctor about their child’s medical condition unless they speak “medical Spanish.”

We have used three different hospitals while here for the last almost 7 months.  The most common one used is Cami Hospital.  It’s a ten minute drive (unless it’s a particularly loco driving day) from the mission office.  We have had missionaries there for dehydration, appendectomies, and severe indigestion problems.  It’s a small hospital.  As you drive up, with limited parking, a “valet” comes to park your car.  They always joke with us and tell us it will be “cien pesos” (about $8 US).  It really is only 1/3 of that.  The main valet has lived in Georgia and only came back home to take care of his parents.  He would move back in an instant if that were possible.  He and his men have helped us so many times that they know our names. They park the cars in two very small lots and usually have to move cars to get yours out when you are leaving.

We walk up to the door and are greeted by an armed, bullet proof vested, security guard. I have spotted four of them and they rotate duties. They also know us and always open the doors for us.  At the reception desk, we talk to Nancy.  She signs us in and gives us little placards.  We then take the elevator to the third floor.  There are four floors but I’ve never made it to the other two.  We have had patients in almost every one of their 10 rooms on the 3rd floor.

The doctors and nurses are very courteous and attentive.  Many of the doctors have studied in the US and know English. The rooms are sparkling clean with no smell whatsoever.  Each room has only one patient and has its own bathroom. The food is good, although they don’t distinguish much between meals and so you may get a sandwich for breakfast.

We always leave a companion with our sick ones.  We pay the extra $40 so they can have a blanket and pillow for their less than comfortable couch, or they can sleep in a recliner.  We “check” out a remote so they can use the TV.  We leave money in the drawer so they can go and get food at the small restaurant on the first floor.  The companions have permission to leave their “sick” companion behind to go and get food.

The small restaurant sits on the first floor.  The kitchen is open for view of everyone.  It has a refrigerator, microwave, a hot plate, and a fry pan.  From these simple appliances, they can fix you 20 different items for dining pleasure.

We have had several Elders that need to return to the states following their visit to Cami.  These Elders need more specialized treatment – and the love and care of their parents!   The doctors in the US report back that the care given at Cami was excellent.  The tests run were the same tests they would have chosen to run.

Our Cami Hospital is not what you would have imagined – thankfully!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Is it worth it?

January 21, 2015
During a recent interview, Keith had one of the Elders ask the question: “Is this all worth it?”  That question has stuck in my mind, and I wondered if I had been sitting there, what I would have said.

Often to know if something is “worth” it, you have to know the results.  Would I have given so many years of my life, tears, and hard work, to have the children that I now have surrounding and supporting me?  I came out on top on that purchase without even counting the 18 grandchildren and terrific spouses that my children married.

Would I give up my career, leave my home and friends, and reside in a place where I don’t even know the language, if I didn’t believe this mission would be “worth” it?  We were promised that this mission would set up a legacy of faith in our family.  Is that worth it?  How much would I give to have my family surround me forever?  How much did Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ give for that?  Selfishly I say “yes” it’s worth it.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Day Of the Holy Kings

January 6, 2015
Today is the “Day of the Holy Kings” in Mexico.  This day celebrates the arrival of the three kings who came to visit the Baby Jesus.  It is this day that the children receive gifts – and they are placed under the Christmas tree during the night.  It is the Kings that bring the gifts – Santa has nothing to do with it.

The night before the sky was filled with lanterns.  If you saw the movie “Tangled”, you saw the paper lanterns that were lifted into the air by a small candle that was lighted beneath the lantern.  These lanterns have been on sale by street vendors for several months.  It’s a great blessing that the houses are made of cement and can survive these lighted celebrations!

One of the fun things is the “Rosca de Reyes” bread.  It’s a large circle of bread that feeds many.  Hidden within is the Christ child.  If you get the piece with the baby in it, you are responsible for hosting a party on February 2nd.  You are supposed to take the little Christ child to church, and then host a party of tamales and atole. 

We bought one of the breads and took it to the mission office.  I wanted to see what these little figures looked like in the bread.  Our bread feed about 15 missionaries – and we had 4 figures in ours.  I did not get one – although I kept trying!  However, two kind missionaries shared their figures with me so now I have then as a keepsake of Mexico.  I don’t think anyone will want my tamales.....

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Just Call Me a Nerd!

January 1, 2015

It’s a new year – the nerd in me has to admit that I have been keeping “statistics” as I work in this mission every day.  Forgive me for reporting that since July 1, 2014 we have had:
·         8 Elders hospitalized, 3 of those had to have surgery
·         7 car “incidents” (enough said)
·         10 deaths of family members of missionaries
·         21 Elders return home early – 2 by choice, and 8 for medical reasons
·         61 trips to the airport

Feliz Ano Nuevo everyone!  (That means Happy Year New to my American friends!)