The lady on the left is my new friend, Kika, that I have written about in earlier blogs. She is the mother of my Spanish teacher, Susan, from the school I attended here in Lima. The girl next to Kika isn’t Susan, but their good friend, Carmen…and Francesca, Kika and Susan’s dog.
After my trip to the states, Kika is going to teach me Spanish. It is a “win-win” situation. Kika doesn’t have many friends and is on dialysis three times a week. Due to this, she doesn’t have much energy to get out and about. So, on her “good days” I will hop the combi and visit with her three times a week for Spanish lessons.
I am going to love this arrangement as Kika lives close to central Lima. I love going to her neighborhood, although, I am constantly warned to be careful. As a “gringa” I realize that I am a “target” for robbery, but I am careful….I don’t carry my money pouch outside, my backpack is carried in the front and I am aware of my surroundings at all times. It isn’t an unsafe neighborhood, but I am a novelty walking around there. Anyway, I love going to her neighborhood because it is more the “true Lima” than where we are in touristy Miraflores.
Last Friday, Kika had a Dr appointment and asked if I would go with her. Of course, I said yes! The appointment was in one of the main hospitals for Lima. It was very interesting. First of all, the building is something out of the 60s. On the ground floor, there were several corridors. Off of these corridors were several small offices. These were the doctor’s offices. In the center of the halls were plastic chairs for the patients to wait.
Kika had a print-out of her appointment. We found the door for her doctor’s office and she slipped the print-out in the slot. Next, it was off for some lunch since we were early.
Lunch was in a small lunch room that was specifically for the nurses. They also had a cafeteria, but Kika suggested the nurse’s lunch room. It was a good meal. For $1.50, we had soup or salad, fish or chicken, rice, a beverage and a piece of fruit.
After lunch, we made our way back to the doctor’s office. The hospital was very clean but also, very dated. The walls were a drab blue-gray and the floor tiles were black and white. The bathrooms had no toilet paper (which is common for down here, but I thought in a hospital, maybe….) and there was no soap to wash your hands…in a hospital!!!! Kika explained that it was this way because the people tend to steal whatever they can. It makes you wonder how sanitary the care is at the hospital unless they have different bathrooms for the staff.
The doctor visit was a brief affair. The office was no bigger than a closet with a couple of desk in it. The walls were a pale green tile, much like you would see in a bathroom. There was a back door that was open and looked out onto another hallway with people sitting in wheelchairs waiting for who knows what.
The doctor examined Kika…it was for her thyroid. He didn’t appear to be the most professional doctor I have ever seen. Much of the visit was spent talking about his father and is childhood of trying to learn to play the violin. In the end, he did prescribe some test and another appointment scheduled. It was an experience, to say the least.