Friday, September 21, 2012

pondering sickness

The journey continues, my friends!  I'm now lucky enough to be dealing with a cold here in Mexico.  It's only slightly irritating, but it has been interesting to see how many people in my community here think about sickness.

Now, when I think about getting a cold, I know I've picked up some bug somewhere.  I need to make sure to be getting my vitamins, getting enough sleep, drinking lots of water and hot liquids, and possibly taking some cough drops or other medicine.  My host family has been pretty worried.  They heard me coughing the other day and were worried, and I had to reassure them that I already had some medicine (thank you, prescription strength cough drops I could get without seeing a doctor!) and have been taking it as instructed.  Every day they ask me how I'm doing, and then make sure I have everything I need (not too different from any other day, actually). 

The real surprise came when I was talking to my supervisors at both ALEM and CEDISH.  Comments about how I shouldn't be sitting in front of the fan (but it was hot!), grabbing ice from the freezer (someone has to do it, right?), carry the jug of water back from the OXXO, or even be sitting in on the workshop at work, because I need to rest and not exposed to people.  Not to protect them from my germs, but to protect myself somehow.  I'm not entirely sure.  One of those things that was lost in translation.  "But it's only a cold!" I protest.  Can you tell I'm not used to being mothered in such an intense way? (as a side note: my mom is great.  But I'm not at "home" in Edmonds all that often anymore, and I think she trusts that I know how to take care of myself for the most part.)

Just another interesting cultural difference I thought I'd share...

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