(This is my travel journal that I kept during a medical mission to Paraguay; part one can be found here)
October 1, 2015. 15:30
Havana Café, ASU Gate 2 / TAM JJ8141, Seat 24A
Recollected from September 29th & 30th surgery day.
There is a nervous excitement in the breakfast room. Even though we have all had breakfast here for the past few days, collectively we are clueless and tentative with our selections. Not quite aphasic, but not decisive either. It is an early start, despite recovery from jet lag, six thirty feels too soon to rise. Clive and I stand at the toaster conveyor, flipping bread, several times without toasting it. Our attempts prove useless; we settle for disappointing warmth. The fruit looks great, but the thought of diarrhea does not. Instead I see a few biscuit treats next to the coffee. They are calling for me.
Darcy, Bernie, Mafe, Vivi, Nina and I (part of the J&J team) decide to walk to the hospital. It is quite straight forward now, and even though the streets do not look like home, the area has been safe to us. The pavement, when present, is musically uneven, undulating and pitching. Where patches are neglected, the missing layer reveals a past of tiled or cobble stone craftsmanship; evidence that the city has been neglected for some time. Dirt, stained by oil and excrement, among other municipal secretions, tend to fill the patchwork and add a red brown hue to the ground.
Twisted metallic shards and rebar, rounded from years of traffic, project out of the pavement. Maybe a railing once stood here containing a sidewalk café. Contrasting is the oblong holes into the ground revealing knobs recessed in the depths. Comparisons are inevitable as I remember from my days living in Philadelphia; certain objects are coveted and stolen for metal recycling and the cash prize which comes with it. Such objects made from brass or copper, like flashing, rain gutters, and grounding wire, and the Iron, mainly castings for covering holes in the ground like the one missing from the oblong hole. I Read more