mardi 7 janvier 2014
DOCTORING IN RAPA NUI
I was mulling over an email while walking towards the Church, at the end of the street.
My friend in Miami was talking about Shlomo Carlebach whose name had been mentioned in the Study group led by Rabbi Mitch Chevitz.
Had I met him in Copenhagen or in Lund? Is it possible? I had heard so many stories about him. That triggered a whole lot of thought about
A dental student from New Jersey
Rabbi Mitch Chevitz
Irena Glaser and all the occasions related to them.
That we are being mindful
Not directed by desires
But appreciating the beauty of each moment and the moments shared with people around you.
I was thinking all these, while I walked towards the Church in the village of Hanga Roa, in Rapa Nui.
The services had already finished; an older couple were walking towards me.
She was limping a bit, holding on to her husband’s shoulder
Hello, I greeted them.
Iorana, they replied, the typical Rapa Nui greeting of welcome
Are you well, senora, I asked her.
Not very well, my son, my knees are hurting
Thus began my first medical consultation in Rapa Nui on this visit.
She wanted to sit down, we entered a shop with two chairs, and we sat down.
She is a grandchild of a French Sailor who left her grandmother pregnant many years ago
He is pure Rapa Nui, she says pointing to her husband, the dignity of the island deeply etched on his face
We talked about her illness, sounded a combination of osteoarthritis of the left knee, which was swollen, making her movements a little difficult
Plenty of sunshine and Vitamin D
They have lost almost all the knowledge about the natural remedies
Medical is just basic
The preserved food that comes from the Continent may not be good for us, she stated.
We talked about cooking with oil
I promised that I will send her some natural teas, some thing in the order of Chamomile for soothing her evenings.
Her husband in the meantime had slipped into the shop, comes out with two shell necklaces and put them around my neck
How lovely are these people!
A lesson to be learned, be friendly, not only with the people you know, but every one that comes across your path
Each and every one
She told me about her family, two daughters, two grand daughters studying in Chile, one wants to be an actress in theatre and wants to go to the USA.
Her daughter, who was walking on the other side of the street, joined us. She is the mother of the two daughters studying in Santiago de Chile.
She wrote down on a piece of paper their address so that I can send her some tea as promised
I noticed that their surnames all bore the proud history of this island
Of course, there are no addresses, just Post Office, Isla de Pascua, Chile
After saying good-bye to them, I stopped by the church; the worshippers had already vacated it.
Next door is the Artisanal market, geared for the tourists, with extravagantly highly priced local chotchkes!
I saw a lady sitting on a chair with obviously swollen legs
How are you doing? I asked
Regular, she replies, the Latin way of saying, I am just okay.
She has hypertension, has swollen legs
She is dissatisfied with the rotating doctors from Chile
She is taking medications for Hypertension and it is under control, she says
I talked to her for a while; it was obvious that more than kidney function, sitting in the chair long hours waiting for the tourists to sell her wares may be the reason for the oedema.
I will bring my stethoscope and check you tomorrow, I said
Okay, I will be here, waiting for you, she said
(I did come back with my stethoscope the next day!)
In a matter of minutes you can reach out and touch so many people
Only because you are open
And you let others in
People don't want to be friendly with you
When you are shut within yourself
That is why the tourists, don't return my smiles, while walking on the main street in Hanga Roa
But not the more innocent Rapa Nui
I felt that the tourists are here physically, to see the sights, but they remained chained to wherever they are chained to.
Felt good to be here among the Rapa Nui.