Saturday, May 07, 2005

I don't know if you remember

I got an e-mail a couple of days ago containing "las noticias de SPS," the news from San Pedro Sula. I spent the summer there, working with a couple of different programs focused on HIV positive patients. It was a wild ride, emotionally, and while I feel like I worked through a lot of things while I was there, though, clearly, I'll be working with it for quite a while. That's not the point of this post, however... The news that I got was really just a quick sentence to let me know that two of the patients I had worked with had recently died, and that the daughter of a third had hemorrhagic dengue. She introduced the news with "I don't know if you'll remember [patients' names]". My initial reaction was exactly the one I had prepared for myself: "Oh, that's too bad... I guess this is what happens when you work with AIDS patients in a third world country."

I guess I still haven't really grasped what it all means. (I didn't really think that I had figured it all out while I was there...) I don't really have any words to make it all make sense. I love reading others' posts where they seem to have it all figured out, or at least have some semblance of clarity. I guess that my final insight, the one that seems to fit for me, is that it doesn't all make sense: that people die in Honduras while we live here in the US, and that the system here and there reinforces the acceptability of this dichotomy. So while I'll be back to work on Monday, busily publishing my women's health newsletter in Spanish as I try to save the world, my friend's baby will die. C'est la vie?

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