The Reality Institute

Autonomia Carajo! by Rachel Lynn Trotta

Hi. This is actually a post from my friend Rachel’s blog, which will now be linked on the site. She is the current coordinator of my family’s medical clinic in Bolivia and her blog is a better representation of what I did as coordinator than my blog was in that it deals less with Blog jokes and more with real events that happened. Here is a blog entry that she sent to me because she knows I don’t really read blogs so that I would actually read it:

Friday, May 9, 2008

Autonomia carajo!

Now it is May and what has happened? hello friends and families. some say time flies. i say it bursts like a synapse with many bright colors, some strong smells and vivid flash backs-forwards-sides, with no communication between the explosions.

4th of May 2008
ahhh the date that will be forever known as Bolivian un-independence. In your CNN and NYTimes surfing of late, you’ve probably gotten a good glimpse of the Bolivian red yellow green flag. You may have heard that Bolivia is a poor lil country, robbed of a coastline and reigned by 173 presidents in 193 years.On Sunday I would say the rich whitish urban elite (meaning few) made their modern concrete move to smash and conquer the pobrecito indian rural campesino majority (meaning many). Evo tried to start the revolution from the bottom up… flipping over the bottom of the last 150 years of oppression. Unfortunately his indigenous social movement doesn’t have any money nor business sense. On Sunday Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the region with ALL the natural resources and foreign investment, voted themselves Autonomia. The YES votes tallied more than a 87% margin. All the ‘No’ voters had two choices: get beat in the streets or get fooled by churrasco chancito (pig feast) dinners. Let’s just say one can suspect not too many “No” voting potentials made it to the polling booths.

So that was the big day. Founder Woman Super added on a few days to her trip to stay as an International Observer. Have people heard that foreginers do this during contested elections as a citizen’s kindness and as a fill in for Jimmy Carter when he can’t make a personal appearance? All remained more or less calm inside the city. The news and the stories from friends were pretty horrendous: blockades, clashes, giant sticks with nails on the ends, stones, fists and feet, Guinda our nurse from Yapacani calling to tell us “The houses are burning.” They really, really were. That all happened night before to day of. By night fall the Autonomistas took over the main plaza to have a gigantic celebratory drink dance and music filled celebration. We were there. In the gringo Irish Pub we drank some Bock and ate some Pique Macho. I may have been quiet about it but I did remember to recognize the contrasts.

the Friday before before:
One of these Thursdays before this Friday I spent in the jungle. I feel I may have dangerously messed with the hands of God. The sense it makes is nonsensical. Basically there is this young39 yr old man with Mitral St,enosis. Mitral Stenosis is a valvular heart disease that narrows the orifice of the mitral valve which day by day narrows ones possibilities for continued oxygen, blood flow, and life. The Solidarity Bridge is this non-profit organization that popped out of the wood work to offer free hearts, widen lives, and all that jazz. Anyways I got the green light from Solidarity Bridge on day Wed, took a field trip to the middle of the jungle to find the patient on Thursday, went to the city and waited and waited and waited on Friday. Javier de San Juan de Palometillas was a no-show. I never actually got to talk to him. I found his tiny hut, met his really dirty really tiny children and talked with his really sweet really innocent wife. “Ya ya doctora” is how she responded to my flash explanation of 1. valvular heart disease 2. importance of operation 3. immediate plan to get her husband evaluted, scanned, units of blood collected and SYNAPSE into surgery the following Monday or Tuesday. Her “ya ya doctora”s got increasingly less believable as her physical reaction became more and more real, heart-breaking, reality slapping by the minute. Javier works out in the Chaco to support his 4 young girls and 1 wife. They have nothing. He works when his heart feels ok. The wife was glad this week he was feeling ok and was working and will bring home something. We didn’t talk about recovery time or how the family was gonna survive when their father went through the recuperation period of don’t walk, don’t talk, don’t cough, don’t lift more than 3 pounds. We also didn’t talk about what will happen when this family doesn’t have a father at all. I gotta hand it to ya God…. you have some tough work.

Ohhh yeah and the other heart patient, 61 yr old mitral stinosis A-Fib currently coagulated by us… is in pending surgery tambien. Every time she sees me all she can think of to say is “Miiiissss Raaaaaaaachhhelll. Mi angelita.” Man man man, I wish I had never seen that Touched by and Angel CBS show where the presence of an angel didn’t necessarily mean a life saved.

One Monday-Wednesday, Thursday May Day and then Fri Sat jungle clinic
And then this part their is really no way to start. The end will be when I see you next. Hmmm clinic drama is as follows: We met this 8 year old patient with the first name Bill Clinton Last name Sebollas Roca. His dad liked the way it sounds. And then Susan(Founder Super Woman) called the “contact Al Gore” number when we learned of the inconveniencing truth that these autonimista possibly racist land owners are trying to buy out the clinic land (26 acres of 150 acres of preservation) to cut down the forest, eliminate the clinic and start planting and farming a whole lot of pesticide laden sugar cane. Kinda nutz I know. They offered our clinic founders new land and the promise to rebuild our clinic anew, as is, but in a different location. This is all we talked about for a good 5 days. Susan wanted to go to the press, call the environmentalists, chain us and all of our patients to the trees. The contract was to be signed on Tuesday. It’s now Friday and some exciting dramatic news stories have no follow-up. Oh yeah I also think this is not some random accident. It’s too hard to explain Autonomia and Coilla Camba but I think this is an extremely strong and blatant racist move… that fights the Evo bottom up social revolution.. and displays a smack-down come back of serious oppression.

Oh yeah and we dont’ have any money. Like seriously, NO money. We=the foundation. Yeettttt the founders were here so we started $280 a day dialysis to save a kidney failure diabetic, discussed buying a new lawn mower (right now our care taker maintains the clearing of 3 acres of jungle with a ELECTRIC POWERED lawn mower with tiny tiny cutting blade and a really long extension chord) for $500, shopped for printers/fax to total $600, met with our Knee Guy who needs an $8,000 operation so if TAL VEZ, maybbbeeeeeeeeee, someone can save his leg.

Yeahhhh maybe I’ll become a business consultant. It sounds horrible but I’m starting think that’s the only way to save the world. Money is the problem, when u have it, when u don’t have it, when u think u might want it. When your rich you get blind-sided and can’t pay for enough breast augmentations or when your rich and you get blind-sided and don’t realize no matter how much you earn you’ll never have enough to save and help all the people in the world whose needs meet your attention. If the rich are blind and the poor are too seeing, what does that make me?

Silly doctors. I hope they help me diagnose my synapses when I get enough distance from this intense, non-stop, incomprehensible, heightened comprehensive, experience. I think if I were really a nut-job and really untrustworthy, I would understand less and maybe not feel at all.


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