Santiago Chile, February 19, 2020
Nineteen days! How?? We left home on January 31 and now the calendar says it is February 19!
We are truly getting settled in. We are learning our way around and feeling more and more comfortable. Stan is a little perturbed at me, though - to say the least - that I invite almost everyone who cheerfully introduces themselves to us to have dinner at our house! Now, to defend myself he, on the other hand, passes out our card showing our home and beach addresses, phone numbers and email addresses to almost any friendly face he meets. ----- I'd like to leave here on April 15 or so with a small handful of friends.... I mean true friends that we might make over the next 6 to 7 weeks. And if it's a home-cooked dinner for neighbors or favorite waiters, I'm cooking! That is . . Only if Stan gets on board. But, of course, he will.
We had that crab last night. Bright red and spiny these crabs are very similar to Alaskan King crabs, but I'm sorry to say, I like the Alaskan's a bit better or perhaps it was simply the way the restaurant we chose selected their crabs and prepared them. It looked luscious and was served with butter literally bubbling in a sizzling hot pot. Our server, Mike, used kitchen shears to expertly cut our crab apart into long legs and claws and trimmed the body so that we could get every single morsel. We chatted as best we could with his limited English and our extremely limited Spanish but got along well. I invited him and his guest over for wine someday. Oh boy, not such a good idea! That was when I discovered Stan was not comfortable with my friend-making. Not angry, but certainly perturbed. Just like as it is with all those cards we pass out, we will probably never hear from Mike again. Still we passed that restaurant again today and the proprietor saw us, came outside and personally greeted us, energetically invited us back again and promised complimentary pisco sours.
Our mission today was meet a physician who could confirm Stan is doing better. Actually, the process was not hard at all. We had stopped by the Clinica Santa Maria yesterday and established an appointment with Dr. Maria Gambra for 12:40 pm today. The amazing thing is . . . the hospital, the clinica and our school are within blocks of each other and within blocks to the entrance to the Parque Metropolitana. So every day since our arrival, we have walked the same path to school, to the clinica, or to the Parque. We plan to go in the other direction tomorrow.
Here's an important thing I must point out. These medical facitlies are big and ultra-modern. They are spot-less, efficient but congenial and the experience here is much what we would find at home. We feel very confident in being treated here.
We heard from Pastor Dave today. He reminded us as with our encounter with the ship's dorctor and medical staff, God sends angels to us. Thank you, Dave! We met more angels today. Again, we were treated with utmost care and respect at the efficiently-run clinca. Dr. Gambra was thorough and attentive. We discussed Stan's condition and exchanged information with her using our limited language skills and with heavy use of Google Translate. We all even exchanged information about our personal live, like where we live, how many kids, their ages and where they live. She was a seasoned practitioner; she said she was an old mama - her kids are only 4 and 8. (She is not THAT old.) She and her family love to travel too. They are spending two weeks in Paris in Mayo. She was impressed that we are staying 2 months and attending Spanish language school. The ship's doctor had given us written documentation of Stan's condition, test results, his diagnosis and medical prescription applications— which she thoroughly reviewed. We were hoping for additional blood and urine tests to determine and confirm progress toward Stan's complete recovery. Stan fasted that morning anticipating that he might get the tests in this same visit. He did.
Stan has a follow-up appointment with Dr. Gambra on Tuesday when lab results are available.
Meanwhile, Stan's feeling better but certainly not 100%. We are beginning to suspect a possible slow-moving kidney stone. He has a history of kidney stones but he's not having the typical pain. Other signs, however, indicate kidney stones may be possible. Again, by early next week we expect to know for sure.
Stan's such a good sport. Even though he doesn't feel just like his usual self, he surges on. While we don't try any marathon days, we manage to make the most of each day. After the doctor's exam we went to a roof-top outdoor restaurant we had passed yesterday on our way to the Parque. We thought then, we must visit this place! It's called Matilde's. Heaven! The atmosphere was wonderful. The air was dry but breezy. The light of the day was just right and the view of the city was broad and wide. The food was delicious, the best since our arrival.
Afterwards, we strolled home and relaxed. By then it was nearly 5 pm. The days merely evaporate.