So, here my family is, foreigners living in a "Second World" country in which we enjoy the beauty but do not support by paying taxes. Our personal wealth is far above most of the inhabitants of this country, yet we really we are not even middle class by American terms anymore. I share this story with a sense of awe and shame that my "First World" country cannot offer the same kindness to the foreigners living on her soil.
On the last day we planned to stay in the LA Bay area, we chose to anchor at La Mona, which is in a corner of the giant bay area. La Mona boasts a beautiful rock hill, which almost looks like an ancient city since the rocks have very grand geometric shapes, and look like building blocks stacked on each other. Jack was throwing Rudy's last tennis ball against one of the rocks and it lodged way up on the cliff. Jack climbed up to get it, barefoot. Of course, he fell without good footing. He fell six feet onto a small ledge and only caught himself because his foot got jammed up on some rocks. One of his toes was the only thing that kept him from falling another twenty feet onto a pile of rocks. His toe looked like it had been pulled off and put on backwards. He was in a great deal of pain.
I looked at his toe and thought that he had dislocated it, but was not sure if instead it was broken. Like I said, it was obvious that it was not put on the right way. I knew that a dislocation could be snapped back into place, but a broken bone should not be manipulated so harshly. I wasn't sure what to do. Jack did not want to be my guinea pig. We consulted a fellow cruiser with a lot of medical experience and she just said, "Take him to the clinic in BLA." So we did.
We walked into the tiny clinic. We waited about ten minutes for someone to be able to see us. They then examined Jack, got the doctor and had her examine Jack. Then the doctor said in perfect English, "This will hurt." She pulled Jack's toe out and we all heard it snap back into place. Voila! They then gave us pain medication and told us how to care for his toe. When we asked how much we owed, we were told that we owed nothing! We were stunned. We asked if we could give a donation, and were refused.
Can you tell me, how in the world a child of a foreigner who does not pay taxes can die from an ear infection in America because the family can't affort to bring him in for care, and yet my family can walk into a Mexican clinic without an appointment, without giving our name, without signing one form, without waiting hours, and receive not only free medical care but also free medication? How is that possible? It makes me feel very ashamed and sad.
5 months ago