Saturday, July 12, 2008
As promised, here is a photo of the newest members of our family, Ginger and Pepper. They are still alive and thriving on our negligible garden produce of prickly Chinese cabbage and baby overgrown carrots. Esmé loves offering them food, though sometimes she grabs it back for a bite herself. I’ve never seen her so interested in eating cabbage until this week!
Last week I posted about our gardener Antonio and the dilemma of beans. The post ended with Antonio in the hospital, so I wanted to give you an update. To start, though, I’ll backtrack a little.
Antonio came to work one day last year with the news that his wife had gone crazy. He had taken her to the hospital, where they told him there was nothing they could do, so he should try a traditional healer (aka witch doctor).
We offered to take her to another doctor, but he didn’t see the purpose in that. He took off work for a month and took her north to her family, where sadly she died. So he has been on his own since then.
Then the dilemma of beans I described last week. My husband left Antonio in the hospital on Saturday, and he did not show up for work on Monday. Later that day I learned that our landlord was picking him up from the hospital that afternoon.
Being naturally curious, I have been trying to figure out what was wrong with him and asking everyone I could think of. I can’t call Antonio directly, since he does not speak English.
Here’s how the most fruitful conversation went:
Me: “Do you know what was wrong with Antonio?”
E: “His stomach was like he was pregnant.”
Me: “No, I mean what caused his stomach to be like that?”
E: “Well, he had this dream that he was digging his wife’s grave alongside his brother-in-law. His father-in-law came to him and told him he had a younger daughter and would like Antonio to marry her. And then Antonio woke up and couldn’t move his face.”
I was way out of my comfort zone on this, so didn’t pursue the conversation further.
Finally on Friday I had E call the landlord, who told us Antonio had been instructed not to eat maize anymore and to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. At least I know it wasn’t the lentils!
It seems he will be okay and will be at work on Monday, but just needs to watch what he eats.
It does boggle my mind that there really are people who have no clue what a good diet consists of, and what types of foods you need to eat to get all your vitamins and fiber and everything else in. We are so bombarded with this info in the US that I have completely taken it for granted.