September 7 Update on Minga

Minga is entering her new life as an ongoing dialysis patient. At this point, that means spending way more time in Panama City than would be her choice. The city is big, noisy, congested … and she knows only family there. In the village, everyone knows her. There simply aren’t that many of them who’ve lived as long as she has.

September, October and November are the peak months of rainy season. That means she’s inside, with rain drumming on a zinc roof at her daughter Ita’s home. The air is thick and muggy, the mosquitoes buzzing around like a small army. Water pools in the streets as the drainage system backs up under the sheer volume of what’s coming down from the sky. Clothes never fully dry — most people have washing machines but not dryers, because of the extra expense for the electricity. The TV is on all day long, as a distraction. If someone gets a cold, they all get it — too many people in close proximity for too long.

They wait for December, when the sun shines again and things begin to dry out. December, for Minga, seems a long way away.

 

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