March 7, 2016
We have been in Quito, Ecuador for 11 days.
By now, I had imagined that this page would be filled with 11 or more posts of the exciting cultural experiences, exotic cuisines, and charming Ecuadorian people that had captivated our days.
But… life just doesn’t always play out in the manner that we have imagined. Very little of these experiences have occurred for us because we have been too ill to do little more than pour a cup of tea and stand in line at the pharmacy. Actually, I haven’t even entered the pharmacy myself. My husband has entered about a half a dozen times while I have sat in the car or at the apartment with 2 crying, coughing, lethargic, or vomiting toddlers.
The highlights of our experiences have mostly been through the window of our city apartment: people watching, car watching, umbrella watching. Playing with the kids “Guess what might be inside that truck… push cart.. or corner stand?”
Oh yeah.. we have been to the city park once on a good day, and to the open air market twice.. to desperately collect any and all “super fruit” that will give us an instant cure. And we have been to the Pediatrician, too. Yep, that’s it!
Thank the heavens that my husband is fluent in Spanish because I didn’t understand 1 word of the exams for the kids, couldn’t read one word on their prescriptions, or one word on any of the various medicines we bought over the counter!
But…I can now tell you what you should buy here for: a headache, fever, cough, vomiting, ear infection, and altitude sickness!
I can also tell you that, if you “know the right person”, and pay the right (and very reasonable) ammount….a specified physician will see you for an exclusive appointment at his otherwise closed medical office with little notice on a SATURDAY.
This said Physician (or Pediatrician in our case) will give your children a more efficient exam than any you’ve ever had in the USA with better equipment and the biggest, cleanest, most modern exam room you have ever seen. He will also send you home with a medicine “gift”! Yes. … you read that right. FREE medicine.
He will fill out ALL of the paperwork for you and escort you to and from his office.
You will then either pay with cash in his hand.. or by making a deposit into his bank account!
The whole event, from waiting room to completed exam.. will take barely an hour (for 2 kids).
Oh, and let us not forget the hospitality we have experienced in our illness. The countless bowls of soup and rice brought right to our doorstep. The generous offers of others to let us use their water(when we didn’t have enough water pressure), to wash the dishes in my sink, and to collect/wash/deliver our laundry! Never in my life have I ever experienced such compassion from anyone at anytime especially from people that I have, myself, only known for a few days and of some that I can’t even speak to.
Gracias! Gracias! Gracias! And a peck on each check or a simple “Besos” from across the room. That my friends, is all that is required in response to the overwhelming display of community here.
After all, not such a bad experience.. even for a family of “sickies” 😀
Our medicine cabinet! Filled with more medication than we have EVER had!