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The Fallen Women of San Miguel

Oh shit! I should have listened to me when i said be careful when you’re walking on these cobblestone streets. We were having a fantastic time with our friends , Andrea and Paul Kane, who were visiting from Frederick. Three amazing days showing off our city, sampling favorite restaurants, talking. One day we visited a mind-blowing church known as the Sistine Chapel of Latin America outside the city in Atotonilco. After craning our necks to look up at the extraordinary frescoes and learning about the history and pilgrimage the faithful poor make to the church yearly from San Miguel to pray and flagelate themselves as penance before proceeding home. From the church our driver took us to a folk art gallery with the finest collection of Latin American folk art in the world where I had made an appointment for our visit. The gallery owner and collector, not a humble guy, but an extraordinarily knowledgeable source of information about the pieces in the gallery and the subject of folk art in Latin America, spent 2 hours with us, showing us the collection and his magnificent home. It was pretty overwhelming, and far more than any of us expected, but we all ended up making purchases that we were excited about.

That night Andrea and Paul were going to treat us to a dinner at a highly rated Peruvian restaurant in town that we were very much looking forward to. There were no taxis around so we decided to walk. I should have known better than to walk and talk at the same time on these uneven sidewalks, especially in the dark. But I was gabbing and missed a step and down I went onto the unforgiving cobblestones. The damage was done. I knew pretty quickly that I’d probably broken a bone in my right wrist, but held out hope that it was just a sprain. We went to dinner anyway, even though I had lost my appetite completely. We got a taxi home after we finished dinner, everyone trying to think positively.

Fortunately we were already signed up with a physician in town who set me up with an appointment with an orthopedist in the morning. X-rays confirmed my fear—a break in the bone of the wrist joint that will require surgery—a plate and a screw. That night I fasted from midnight in preparation for the pre-op tests the surgeon ordered. My doc sent a lab tech to our house in the morning to get my blood samples and in the afternoon the EKG at the hospital was fast, with no waiting. Today I see the doc who reviews my test results with me. I imagine surgery will be tomorrow. I am going to learn a lot more about Mexican healthcare from the inside before this is all over, lessons I didnt want to learn experientially and I am learning to keyboard with one finger of my left hand. But the good news is that Jack is being a saint, doing everything for me without a word of ‘you shoulda been looking’ ever crossing his lips. I think he was secretly relieved that he got out of doing the art project I had scheduled for us. It was to be an 8 hour workshop given by a woman who speaks neither English nor Spanish, but speaks Otomi, her native language. Jack had said he’d do the workshop with me and Andrea and Paul, but it was going to be the worst day of his life. Turns out, it was mine.

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