I'm standing on the grass. Sun rays fall on the little skin that I have exposed. I take a deep breath. I'm still wearing a jacket over my uniform because the hospital its very cold and outside it is not so hot as to take the jacket off when I go out. In front of me, some impressive mountains, with green and leafy trees. At its base small colored houses that make up the beautiful capital "La Asuncion" I live in a paradise -I think- Green mountains surrounded by the Caribbean Sea. Just what I dreamed. I admire nature, it seems imposing and in it I find inspiration. I stayed there for a while admiring the landscape, birds tilt the mountains and a cold breeze accompanies me.
I decide it's time to go back to the hospital that is a few meters up the hill. On my return, I pass by a grazing horse, on my left some abandoned ambulances. I walk around the puddles that form in the holes in the old asphalt. When I arrive at the emergency the nurses are no longer sitting outside. I do not know where they have gone. I decide to sit out there for a while- on the stools where the patients should wait- while I sip from the second bottle of water that I brought from home because there´s no drinking water in the hospital. It's 4.30 pm, I had lunch as late as I could and I already ate the cookie I brought for the afternoon. When to eat, it is an important decision, since my meals become the highlights of my shifts. A noise diverted my attention and through the glass doors Maria, a very nice and smiley nurse of about 60 years of age, appears. -Doctor, the boys send me to ask you if you want to play dominoes- she says.
-No Maria, thanks. I'm not very good at dominoes.
I arrived at 7 in the morning and I have only seen 4 patients. It's my third 24hour shift in this hospital, the sanitary district decided to transfer me (and a bunch of other doctors) from our small centers to bigger hospitals because they needed the positions for the MICs (doctors trained by Cuban Doctors in a parallel system the government created). The specialist calls me from time to time to make sure I'm okay, he's in the on-call room on the top floor. I sit with my eyes fixed in the mountains but I still think about the last patient I had seen until that moment.
A lady, carrying a girl of about 4 years old, goes out the door of the emergency (must have entered through the front door, I think)
- Are you the doctor? Are you still taking patients?¨
To be continued...