Back less than three minutes from an overnight camping trip, I wanted nothing more than to have the bathroom to myself.
I stepped in, closed the door to my oversized pink sanctuary, and sighed with pleasure. YES. I would emerge - in due time - clean, refreshed, and recharged.
Before I could peel even one dusty layer of clothing, a knock on the door.
What the f***?
"Some ladies are at the gate and they want to talk with you."
I sensed that it was going to be easier to go tell them myself - whomever they were - that I was not interested - in whatever they were offering - than to send a message over a wooden door and two languages.
"Hola, buenas tardes!" they said cheerfully. They were dressed identically, both wearing a green sweater (a sweater??) and white pants, clipboards in hand. They looked oddly fresh as though they had been dropped at my gate, which is pretty much in the middle of nowhere - from the sky as opposed to walking through three riverbeds and a dusty road.
"We are here from the health department, and wanted to ask you a few questions."
The health department.
Nearly a decade of running a bakery had my Lizard opening both of his tiny eyes at the mention of the health department.
A quick inside check reminded me that I did not have a bakery. My Lizard closed one eye.
"We are here for the census," they added.
I was not thrilled. Barely home, I wanted a shower. I wanted privacy, I wanted me-time a whole lot more than I wanted to participate in a census. Also, how the heck did they get here?
How was I going to get out of this?
Then one of them said: "Once we are done you will have free health care."
Deciding that the shower could wait, I invited them in. One of the señoras was worried about Lila and I had to promise her twice that Lila would not bite her. I offered them a glass of water and we all sat down at the dining room table where they asked me 5-6 questions. Then I was told that in two months I would get a phone call from the village hospital to set up a time to go pick up my card. But that as of the next day, I would be covered for any visit, medication, exam, or ... wait for it: surgery. I just had to give my name and would be covered for any government hospital in the state.
That was it. I escorted them to the gate, thanked them, feeling a little embarrassed by my initial lack of hospitality.
As they walked away, I shook my head in disbelief. These ladies had walked up to my home - no small feat - on a hot Sunday afternoon, to register me for free health care.
I have shaken my head a lot, these past two and a half years.
SCARED OF THE SACRED