Days in general start at 06.25 I take the dog out for a walk, back in time to ensure that Joni has everything he needs for school, and to give Teen a lift to the secondary school, she walks home later, but we’d all have to get up even earlier if she walked there in the mornings, and I do find it quite beneficial to have that ten minutes together in the car.
Home again, time to wake Danny up and have some breakfast together, then take him to school on the back of the bike. This is our normal Monday-Friday getting everyone out to school routine. Beyond nine o’clock, different things happen according to whatever other commitments might be in the offing. Today I have English lessons, so having dropped Danny off, I continue on the bike to an English conversation client, who I meet in his family’s office, and then on to the next one, an elderly lady who I meet in a cafe.
English done, I continue on the bike to the other end of town to see a man about a freezer. The best use I have found for Facebook is local buying and selling pages. Second hand freezers are fast sellers here; I’ve been chasing after any that have come up for the last couple of months The guy knocks a lump off the asking price to take account of a minor repair needed, then he glances at my bike, and offers free delivery if I’m happy to wait till late afternoon. For free, anytime you like.
Swift detour to pick up fish from one shop and fruit and veg from another, and it’s home to start cooking lunch before the ravenous hoards arrive. Oven on, and I have just started rubbing together a crumble topping towards dessert when they all appear in the front garden. Danny is clutching right arm and whimpering in a possibly-broken sort of way. So lunch is temporarily abandoned in favour of an expedition to A and E.
This is going to be an interesting experience, because we have recently jettisoned the Seriously Rubbish UK-based emergency insurer (ask me privately if you want to know who to avoid) in favour of a local provider who should be covering us for all health care in Argentina, emergencies and otherwise. And this is the first time we have used them in anger. Our ongoing experience with Seriously Rubbish UK is that any attempt to access care would be initiated by several phone calls, and at least one argument each with the insurer by phone and whichever local clinic we were trying to use, followed by giving up the battle at that stage in favour of paying for treatment upfront, knowing that this would result in a protracted process later on in order to try and reclaim the expenses. For something like the last eight years I have been personally convinced that we could do better than this, but I hadn’t managed to persuade Mission UK, to allow us to try it. So today was the day when I realised that convinced as I am, we really have made a decision on the back of other peoples’ anecdotes. I presented our new, shiny, written-in-Spanish local insurance card and held my breath. And we were in. Phone calls, zero. Arguments, nil. Money changed hands, not a whiff. Couldn’t have asked for a friendlier service.
The duty doctor in A and E (in the singular – San Francisco is a small place) agreed that he was probably looking at a broken arm, but unfortunately the radiologist (also in the singular) had gone for lunch, so we could either wait or come back at 2 o’clock. I made a non-medically-qualified decision that he wasn’t going to need surgery so it would be just fine to feed him, and we went home and finished making lunch. At two thirty we were in radiography. Quote of the afternoon “I’m not a skeleton, you can’t see my bones”. The x-ray confirmed a green stick fracture, the duty doctor put a temporary bandage on and told us that the traumatologist will see us for plastering at five, after the swelling has gone down a bit. So we went home and organised Joni’s homework. At five, Danny and I went back to the clinic leaving Martin to post Joni off to swimming. The traumatologist and four nurses put the arm into a cast (“But I didn’t want that”), and we were home by six-thirty.
Quick phone call to apologise to the freezer-man that when I said we were going to be in all afternoon, I hadn’t reckoned on broken bones. No problem, he is now on his way with the freezer. I zip out to pick Joni up from swimming at seven. A round of drinks and snacks for everyone. Normally Martin would have a Bible study this evening but a fortuitous mix-up over times means that he is free, so I don’t have to take the kids to the Scout leaders’ meeting with me at eight. Martin feeds them, I hop on the bike and lead the meeting (score; one camp, two fundraising events and a parents’ workshop). Home just before ten to grab a quick bite to eat and an aluminium cup of red wine (beggars can’t be choosers). Sometimes I’m not too sure what I’m supposed to be working towards in Argentina. And then I wonder when I would ever have time to do it anyway. Today’s notable achievements; one broken arm:-
and one second hand freezer:-