I've spent the last few days staying with my friend in hospital and keeping her company. I know what it's like to be in there, with no wifi, disgusting food and stuck on a drip and it's absolutely hell!
She got sent to hospital at 6am in the morning, and didn't have treatment or get sent to a private room until 11pm. Why? Because our payment from the insurance company hadn't come through yet. I know I've mentioned this before, but it still amazes at no matter how much pain the patient is in, they want the money first. Watching her in the emergency room for hours, waiting for treatment was a frustrating procedure.
I spoke to my host family about this and they said it happens a lot. It's normal. People die because they have no money.
"A lot of people get frustrated because doctors are not giving them treatment due to the lack of money, so a member of the family usually goes home, gets a gun, and threatens to kill the doctor."
I thought he was joking at first.
"No I'm serious. A lot of doctors die from that."
The politicians and the government are so corrupt here. I explained that our taxes go towards things like the NHS and education. Why can't it be like that in the Philippines, it's unfair that some children miss out on education because their family have no money. It's unfair that children die because their family can't afford medical treatment. Where does the money go?
"In their pockets."
He explained that they were so corrupt. Here in the Philippines, they do have a lot of money but it's not being spent correctly.
It just makes me realise that in countries like the Philippines, not everything is broadcasted on the media. For example, crime. Incidents barely get reported here. And people back in the UK, if they read the world news, they're not getting the full picture of what the country really is like. You have to go and live there first to see for yourself. I don't think I'd be able to explain to anybody back at home what the Philippines is like, how different it is, how messed up and crazy it is because they haven't seen it. Only I will know, and the people who have been here too, of course. And that's going to be frustrating because I would want the whole world to know what it's like over here, but that's not going to happen.
Of course, a lot of other countries suffer too. But I'm not going to say that I know what it's like over there because I don't. I would love to, but the only way to find out is to go there. Not to read the news, or see a documentary on TV - they're all biased.
I read something the other day, and it said -
"The best way to appreciate something is to be without it for a while."
This is very true. But, I know for a fact once I get back to that something, I will feel guilty. I'd feel guilty about having the things that they don't have over here.
But Filipinos are always happy. They're happy because they don't fully know what they're missing out on, but I know. But all that matters is that they're happy.
Back at home I would refuse to eat something that's been left there over 1 or 2 days - I'm very fussy with those sort of things. But because the family cooked spaghetti for my birthday, and no one has been eating it but me, I've been replacing it with rice all the time. When dinner/lunch/breakfast is laid out on the table, I'm often going to the fridge and getting the spaghetti out.
But the family are complaining that it's old, and am I sure that I should be eating that, etc.
And today they've thrown it away. I then realised I was trying to avoid rice so much, that I would be happy to eat some old spaghetti. My mum would be shocked with me by reading this! Back in the UK, I'm forever complaining and throwing food away when it's been there too long!
5 weeks to go!