Do you also bring your doctor some of your garden’s crop?
Saturday morning; I hear a knock on my office door. One of our nurses calls: “An Indian lady is downstairs and wants to give Dra Martina a present!” But as my wife is currently on the road in an ambulance I have the great honour of speaking to this Quechua-lady.
She lives in Concacha alta – the village is 40 minutes away and is in the same District as Curahuasi. She hands me a bag of potatoes and starts speaking to me in Quechua; the nurse translates our conversation. The old woman wants a doctor’s appointment with my wife and again we are faced with a dilemma that we know all too well.
To reject the present would be unfriendly, but for me to accept the gift that is for my wife, indirectly coerces us to allow the lady to jump the queue and enter the treatment room almost immediately. Thus I give an answer that Solomon might have given: I cordially thank the lady and tell her that I will give these potatoes to our kitchen so that our staff and patients can enjoy them while secretly hoping and praying at the same time that when the lady comes next week she will not have to wait that long. /KDJ