I have not been feeling well. For about a week my stomach has been teetering between wanting to throw up, and, what was best described by Baltezar with a circular hand motion and some word that I took to mean churning. It might have been Guido’s unbelievable food that sent my queasy estomago over the edge, but today was no bueno. Still, we had plans to check out the lunar festival, and if this town is having a fiesta, you go. Luckily, the lunar get-together and the medical clinic are both in Ancahuasi.



The festival was pretty cool and was held on Incan ruins — agricultural tiers — embedded in the mountainside. High schoolers had the whole scene choreographed. The boys spun yellow flags and trotted in sandals, and the girls walked stoically in purple dresses with traditional blankets tied around their shoulders. But, with another motive to check out Ancahuasi, we eventually headed back toward the town center.

The clinic is extensive, but was kind of a ghost-town today with mostly everyone at the festival. Still, a nice obstetrician noticed our aimlessness and asked us to follow her into the consultations building. I described my symptoms, she took my temperature, recorded my weight (59 kg, yikes!) and then wrote me a script for antibiotics. Just like that. Total cost — 2.40 soles. Let me put that into context. That’s less than a one-way carro to Cusco! That’s the same as a liter of bottled water, or 13 bananas! Insane! I have no idea what a Z-pack costs in the US, but I’ve got to believe it’s more than 13 bananas. My stomach personally thanks Peru’s socialized medicine.

September 1, 2013