Before Saturday I had never been to a Bolivian hospital. Since last Saturday I have been to two different hospitals and a doctor for myself. I have learned lots of new words, and have lots of memories I won’t forget soon.
This last week when I didn’t have a shift at the girls house, I had the opportunity to stay with the children of the Booher family. The Booher family is a missionary family working with Casa de Amor, and they have six of their own children, and four Casa de Amor children. Rudi and Carla, the parents had several deaths in the family and went back to the States for a week, and so the other volunteers and I got to spend a lot of time with their kids. (It’s amazing to see the difference in kids who have loving parents that can give them the attention they need!)
As great as the week was, it wasn’t without accidents. Saturday morning I was at the girl’s house doing laundry and got a call from the oldest girl saying that we needed to take one of the younger girls to the hospital because she had fallen off of her bike. I made it in record time to their house, and realized that it wasn’t as serious as I had thought. One of the tias who wasn’t on duty offered to come with us to the hospital, so we met her and went from there. I prayed the whole way to the hospital, and we were able to walk right inside and they gave her a bed. The nurses were very nice and helpful, and did a great job. R ended up getting five stitches, and didn’t cry at all. After the 3rd stitch, the electricity went out. That isn’t unusual for Cochabamba, but I wondered why they didn’t have a back-up generator or something for emergencies. It turned out that a flashlight was the back-up and it worked just fine. R did a great job, and I was thankful it was not a serious injury. All in all it cost about $10, so I guess you get what you pay for. I think I would be willing to go without lights in the U.S!
Then yesterday I was doing the dishes at the girl’s house after lunch and talking with one of the girls, when I heard one of our girls crying. She is one of the most dramatic six year olds I have met, and so I didn’t think anything was really wrong. But I was wrong. She had been sliding down the banister and fallen the rest of the way down. We couldn’t tell how seriously she was hurt, so we decided to take her to the emergency room. The emergency room we went to on Saturday was nice, clean, and not very busy, but also one of the more expensive ones according to the tias. One of the tias daughters works at the hospital in Quillacollo, and so she said we could bring B there. The daughter was very helpful, and saved us probably an hour of waiting. The doctors were very friendly again, and decided to do an X-Ray to figure out if any bones were broken. I felt like I had gone back in time. The machine was very old, and the X-Rays were developed and then held up to the light to see “clearly”. The doctor was very talkative, (maybe too talkative) and had lots of questions about the U.S and how long I planned to stay in Bolivia. There were also lots of interesting pictures of Jesus on the wall that helped distract B from the huge machines. After seeing no less than 4 doctors they told us that she was just bruised and that she needed to rest.
The whole trip including X-Rays was less than $10, but the Tia’s daughter told me that there are many people who come in that can’t afford to pay that. She works as the receptionist and considers it her ministry to help these people whenever she can afford to. (And sometimes when she can’t.) It was a humbling experience to be reminded that what I consider inexpensive is out of the question for so many people. Not only that, but to see someone my age who is doing her job with a purpose, as an opportunity to show people God’s in a real way made me ask myself how faithful I have been with the things the Lord has put in front of me. And the answer was not very. The story in Luke 12:35-48 talks about servants that are waiting for their master. One takes good care of what he has been entrusted with and one does not. I wanted to encourage you all also to be using the opportunities God has given you to serve and share God’s love, however that might look. We have been given so much, and I believe that God expects us to use that for his Kingdom. The story ends by saying, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." How good is our God in the ways he cares for His people, and lets us be part of it!
Mostly trying to distract her, but I might have really made the face if it had been appropriate.:)