April 14, 2014

12h45pm with my new Bic Boligrafo Stic Velocity no sabe falgar, that I bought a few hours ago in La Serena, a shopping mall in Higuey, where we also got some cash. I also bought a book by Mario Vargos Llosa, a novel about the former Dominican dictator Trujillo. After we got the money we went for a short walk around Higuey; breakfast in a “French” patisserie and visit to the cathedral and its beautiful park; I think they are the only two sites of interest in town.

1.10pm I sent Luca to buy some empanadas, 20 minutes ago already. Where has he gone? Has he found a pretty girl that invited him on his scooter like last night when we were walking together?

Oh, here he comes.

1.52pm, I’m starting La Fiesta del Chivo.

April 15, 8pm

Luca scared me! This morning he came back to the room whie I was in the swimming pool, because he was tired, he said. When I went to the room, I found him shaking with cold. I tried to warm him up, to no avail. I read in the Lonely Planet that the shakes for the cold are symptoms of heatstroke, dengue and malaria. I don’t know what is worse. The heatstroke can cause collapse and death. Well, probably this would be the worst case scenario.

Now he’s better. We went down for dinner. I ordered past with tuna. He’s hungry. He feels much better, earlier he didn’t even want to get up. He’s still a bit cold. We are at our hotel. They also cook food and there’s a couple coming from outside to eat pasta, at a table by the pool. She’s strange. I don’t mind the 12cm heel, but the nails are about 3 or 4 cm long, they turn as if they were claws. She takes her tissue as if she was using pliers. I would prefer not to look at them, but she’s sitting right in front of me. The tuna pasta is good; a bit too much garlic maybe.

El Viejo Pirata is owned by a guy from Trieste, former deep-sea diver that to celebrate the sea built this hotel that resembles a ship; now he has trouble walking, has various health issues, and he rented the place to another guy from Milan. This guy had shops in Milan, but bureaucracy in Italy is so bad that the business was more a hassle than a pleasure, so he decided to invest in the Dominican Republic instead.

April 16, 9.40am Luca is not feeling better. We don’t know if we should stay or go. Because we don’t just have to get on a car and get off at the next hotel, we have to walk and carry a backpack. We can stay here a bit longer.

Pomeriggio a Boca de Yuma, paese alla fine del mondo
Afternoon in Boca de Yuma, town at the end of the world

10h30 I hope he doesn’t have malaria, but the symptoms are the same: he keeps shaking, has fever, headache and diarrhea. If in a few hours he doesn’t feel better we’ll go to the hospital to take some exams. He has started to shake again. He seemed to feel better, but no.

2pm Now he’s sleeping, fortunately. We went to the hospital in Rafael de Yuma, 15 minutes from Boca de Yuma. Sandro was so kind to took us there with his car. They gave him a shot, I don’t know for what, and prescribed an antibiotic and a pill for fever and headache; an hidrating solution and another thing to dilute in water were given to us at the hospital for free. We had to pay the pills (750 RDS, almost 15 euro) because the hospital pharmacy was closed, otherwise we probably wouldn’t have had to pay for those neither. If tomorrow he still has fever we’ll have to go to Higuey for more blood exams, to see if it’s malaria, ameba, dengue or other.

Here if someone breaks a bone, they do the x-ray and put a cast at zero cost, even if they are foreigners. They might not have the X-ray to print the results, but they do them. Because it’s Easter, there won’t be blood experts in Rafael de Yuma tomorrow, otherwise we could have gone there.

Public schools are also free and offer lunch to the students. Because there are many children they do three turns: some kids go to school in the morning, others in the afternoon, more in the late afternoon.

Incontri mentre vado a prendere l'acqua per il moribondo
Encounters while I go to buy some water for the moribund

I must go to buy some water and force him to drink. And I must remember to give him a pill every 6 hours and another one, the antibiotic, for 5 days. They gave him a shot, he took off his shorts in the room where he was examined, which is also the room where all other patients wait, and he took the shot without saying a word, and he hates syringes! But in that moment he couldn’t understand anything, he was dumb. As soon as he feels better we will leave; maybe it’s not malaria, just something he’s eaten. Who knows?

When I told the doctor that it could be malaria because we were in Haiti (in the Dominican Republic there’s no malaria), she asked for how long we went and why. 10 days, on holiday. But is Haiti nice for a holiday? Mmmm… not really. And the doctor and the nurse said to each other “So why did they go there?”. Right, why? To see, know, discover.