October 18, 2003
Greetings from North of the Equator:
I am back to normal this week - at least to my normal. I was officially examined by everyone who saw me out and about, including housekeeping. They all checked my eye; even if I told them that I already had been cleared by a doc. I was going to complain but then I realized I had complained about the opposite at HHS. You could be there for years and no one would know you, and certainly not what you were doing there. I think that it might be better here. but I still can complain about both. It is probably the reverse of "Both can be true."
Thursday was Anne's birthday and I thought about how I would celebrate it away from her. So I went to a museum!
No actually, I did go to the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology, but I had planned to take my nurses to look at the lives of the Amerindian population here and the sociological problems connected with trying to improve their health. They all liked it. Another universal student axiom: "Road trips are always better than classes!" Like Canada, and maybe everywhere, the Amerindian Populations receive much more rhetoric than improvements. Most of the illnesses are basic sanitation issues of insufficient housing, no electricity, unclean water and unsanitary waste management.
Later, to celebrate Anne's birthday, I got a haircut. [For my brother, Peter, this will be a scary story.] I now have more hair on my chest that on my head. I distinctly remember asking the barber to cut it "not too short". Unfortunately, he and everyone else in the shop were watching the cricket match of Guyana beating Jamaica in a big upset. I can't imagine what "short" would look like. I won't need my comb for a month. It reminds me of the peach fuzz that some newborns have. Good thing I kept my rat tail!
Walking back from the barber's, and still a little in shock, I noticed this young man examining some silk scarves that were hanging in the front of a alleyway shop. I thought that maybe he was looking to buy something for his wife's birthday. Then, he quickly disappeared into the alley and as quickly emerged right in front of me. He had ripped the necklace off a woman who was just a few feet down in the alley. I want you to know that I gave chase.. It did take some time for my cat-like reflexes to spring into action. Actually, he was already across the street. God knows what the hell I was going to do if I caught him. Maybe I could have used some Alternate Dispute Resolution techniques on him or an old sermon to make him sleepy. However, after a few steps [really it was quite a few], I realized that I was not going to apprehend him. And no one else even noticed him running through the crowded street. I did have a really good
description of him for the police. What was I thinking! When I returned to the young woman whose necklace was stolen, she was being consoled by many; however, no one thought about reporting the incident. I felt at home, it was just like the South Bronx. It was just an unfortunate fact of living here.
Today, Saturday, I am going to head west and see how far I get on the dreaded minibuses. I saw parts of the east coast last year and so I'll try and see if I go as far as the road goes west. which isn't that far really. Most of the west coast has never been developed because of an old dispute
with Venezuela about who owns that portion. And my opinion after having read extensively in one short Guyanese history book is that, of course, Guyana has rightful claim to it. and besides it is almost half the country!
I have to go now; I need to tell the kitchen that I won't be here for meals today. Otherwise, they worry about me. And I will have to lie because they wouldn't want me to go. Anyhow, I'll write about the trip next time.
Take Care, John
Take Care, John
York. But one of the students had brought me one… Ugh. Next year I may have to bring a Sabrette’s wagon with me… especially the brown mustard.