Friday, November 05, 2004

singing surgeons

People often ask me what the healthcare system is like in Belize. Well, I have to say that I have nothing but good experiences. I mean, some hospitals are lacking in equipment and for certain treatments you'll have to leave the country and go to Mexico or Guatemala. But the good thing here is that you get so much personal attention. Back in London, I often felt that doctors just didn't have the time to listen. Here doctors will easily spend an hour with you in a consultation. Often they start the "session" by introducing themselves in the most elaborate way; they'll tell you where they're from, where they studied, etc. All very nice. And if they don't know what's wrong with you, they'll call in their collegues to help with the assesment. This personal attention is more assuring to me than any piece of equipment can ever be.

Belmopan hospital, where I gave birth to Lucas, is one of the smallest and most basic hospitals in Belize (at least, from the ones I've seen). At this hospital you have to bring your own pillow cases, sheets, toilet paper, etc. Still, Lucas' birth was an absolutely perfect experience. Again, because of the personal care I received from Dr. Raju (he's a hero in our family). Anyway, I won't go into that whole story.

What's much funnier is what happened to me in La Loma Luz hospital in San Ignacio. It's a 7th day Adventist or Baptist hospital, I believe (not sure what the difference is between the two). Anyway, I had an operation there about 5 months ago and had to spend the night there as well. We paid an extra $45 and booked a private room with AC, television and two beds (so Andy could stay in the other bed).

Anyway, the next morning we woke up as all the hospital staff crowded into our room with a guitar and started singing to us. It was the most bizare thing I have ever experienced. Here was my surgeon from the day before standing in front of me with a huge grin on his face, singing "Every day with Jesus is better than the day before". After about 3 songs (beautifully sung, I have to say) they all bowed their heads and thanked the Lord for a succesful operation. Isn't that just the sweetest?

Andy and I exchanged many surprised glances at eachother throughout the whole thing, but both thouroughly enjoyed it. It was just another one of those strange Belize moments.