Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Piojos that bind us

The other day my head was itching. Assuming it was just dry scalp, I bought some head and shoulders and stopped washing it everyday. However, the itching didnt get better, it only got worse, and worse and worse.

Knowing that there are kids with piojos (lice) in my community, I asked my fellow PC Volunteer, Joanna, to check my head out. She looked, and said, Nope, youre good. You dont have lice. (But then again since we really dont get lice in the US, we really dont know what it looks like either)

So the next day I had my host sister, Mona, look through my hair. When she parted my hair she said, Xuacala! Su cabeza es llena de piojos!! (Shoot, your head is full of lice).

What happened next showed my how much the women in the community care for me. Me being the single, white, female...without a man, and without babies, Im odd in my community to say the least.

Two woman sat me down and searched, and combed and scratched and turned my head raw from all the work. Then my host sister washed my hair twice, scrubbed it even more raw, and combed it over and over and over agian.

Throughout the whole week, anywhere I stopped the women would look through my head over and over again.

Now it might sound gross. Because it kinda is. But when it happened, I saw how much they care and how much I am a part of the community.

My counterpart said it best, he said, Chame, youre no longer a gringa, youre an indian, just like the rest of us.


Elleah said...

I got lice from being a camp counselor one summer...not pleasant but thankfully it was easy to rid of with special lice shampoo.

Keith said...

Isn't it interesting what shows us the depth of our acceptance in our new culture. I passed out twice at a public bath with my friends in Japan and they had to drag me back to the car in the freezing cold. Not something I would have asked for. But something that could have seemed bad or annoying actually became an eye opening experience of the love around me.

Welcome to the club :)

William said...

Hi Jamie:

Mom was just in and mentioned the dictionary need - I'm sure we can do - I have a conter-part in Panama that I will contact to make this a joint project. Good to hear the report from Mom (they're not quite as anxious as before!) I'll check out the pictures and then have your folks come to our Rotary Club for a presentation.

Love and prayers, Bill Ballou

Gary and Peg Kirkpatrick said...

You are a trooper! We are being foolish enough to join the PC in Panama. Maybe we'll meet up! gary and peg

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