Monday, July 15, 2013

It's been a really nerve wracking day. When I got to the hospital this morning I went to the ER where they were doing rounds as usual. After the shift switch (they're on once a week 24-hour shifts here) we started seeing patients. About 30 min into this there was a screaming in the hallway from a psychiatric patient. Although I never found out why he was in the ER, the police had brought him in and were restraining him. He had been yelling the whole time, but when one of the doctors ushered him into a consultorio he tried to attack the doctor.

The next patient we saw was a prisoner at the penitentiary by my house -he had hepatitis C and needed to have his stomach drained. The whole time while the doctor was draining his stomach and setting up the equipment the patient was chained to the bed and there were policemen with machine guns watching him from the hallway.

Then, when I got to school two of the Brazilian girls came in the door out of breadth and looking really scared. One of them said that they'd been followed by two strange men from the area around their apartment, which is about a block and a half from mine, all the way to the school. They said that at first they just walked quickly and zig-zagged through town, but eventually they started running and tried to duck into a shoe shop. But when they came out one of the guys was standing on the other side of the street watching them. They ran full-out to the school and that's where I saw them as they came up the steps breathless.

Although I might have felt differently hearing this from someone else (like the ridiculous American brat I met last week), I don't see either of these Brazilian girls as people who would be easily scared. And, what's more, the walk from my apartment to school is about 25 minutes- it's a significant distance to follow someone. I told her about being followed last week, and mugged the Sunday before in parque Sarmiento, and I gave her directions to the gun shop I went to buy pepper spray.

After last Sunday I still didn't feel unsafe in Cordoba. But it's been a nerve wracking day and at the moment I'm feeling like a pretty flighty American myself. Really looking forward to going to Jujuy for the weekend.

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