Non-Governmental Imagination

Sleepy Seth
November 28, 2006, 6:45 am
Filed under: Ecuador

Sleepy Seth, originally uploaded by interplast.

On the bus ride back from the hospital tonight I nodded off. This picture, one of 98316498746316546463 taken by the rest of the doctors and nurses who thought that me falling asleep was HILARIOUS, shows me in full nod. Days are long here but really gratifying. Since today was the first day we got off to a slow start and had to figure out which anesthesia machine to use, who would operate in which room, etc. But then we got our groove on.

I was interviewing a father of one of the patients who had scabs covering his entire body. He covered his mouth when he talked, and after a while (we were seated next to each other) he told me that he has this really intense disease that was contagious.


The translators and I went back to the medical theater where we asked some of the Ecuadorian docs what the guy had. One of them made a very grave face and said he had to leave the hospital grounds immediately. I asked if I should not go back in the OR due to my exposure and he cautioned me to stay away. I asked him what could be done (I dont speak Spanish, btw) and he simply made the sign of the cross. At this point he finally broke a smile, and I realized that he was just screwing with me. He said that he is only contagious if he was picking at the sores, which would allow the virus to escape. So for the rest of the day whenever I would walk by him he would make the sign of the cross and I would scratch intensely. It was funny, and its nice to play these little games that allow for communication without understanding a mutual language.


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