Wednesday, February 5, 2014
I mentioned that travel is possibly in the future for me. This has caused some mixed emotions among my crowd, mostly with the uncertainty of whether or not this is going to happen and if it does happen, when, exactly that might be. As it involves going out of the country, it also necessitates immunizations. This is another one of those things that is challenging to accomplish in the middle of nowhere. One would think that the Palm Springs area would have a travel clinic, and it does. The proprietor of said clinic’s answering machine message stated, “Due to a medical procedure, the office will be closed until February 17. Call us back then and we will take care of your travel needs.” My “needs” needed to be taken care of sooner rather than later, so I found the next best thing, which was the Imperial County Health Department in El Centro, California. That was today’s destination.
I had made my appointment a week earlier, and during that time, the clinic called and rescheduled. This made me nervous. These vaccinations need time to work themselves into some sort of immunity, and time is quickly getting away from me. The entire process of going to a health department, which, I will add, much of the population of this country does, is a study in what health care for those who do not have health insurance looks like. It is waiting, not in a chair, but standing in line. Standing in line to be processed, waiting in a hallway to see a doctor/nurse, waiting for shots, standing in a line to pay…….. My one typhoid shot took me a grand total of 90 minutes wading through the aforementioned steps. Those were the same 90 minutes that Craig, Dad, and Wiley also waited back in the car. Yes, I have experienced lengthy waiting times at the hands of my previous doctor, and numerous specialists. I had expected a much shorter……as in 30 minute……..visit. Obviously, that was not to be. So, we all waited, in one way or another.
Dad has been very interested in the Salton Sea and the series of canals that surround our area. He has read the limited handouts he could glean from FOY and several articles I found online, but he still had questions. Craig found the Imperial County museum located in El Centro, so the boys left me to shop at a small mall, and went off in search of information on the formation of the Salton Sea. In case you were wondering, the area we are camping in, was once all underwater, via the Sea of Cortez. This was about 45 million years ago. When things changed, about 25 million years ago, this water went away. It is still possible to find shells in the ground, and the torrential rains tend to wash the earth and bring things to the surface.
This trip is a glimpse of life as a local. It is not a pretty picture. In fact, the distance between the seasonal folks and those who have made this place their home, is immense. When you stop to look closely, it is heart wrenching. I have been told that the residents of this area are happy to be here, and enjoy a much less burdened life than the rest of us. I think this might have been true 20 years ago, but I’m not sure this is still the case. It is an area of extreme poverty, in a very hostile climate. Judging from the disrepair of the local housing, which, at best, consists of 30+ year-old singlewide trailers, life is not always good.
Highlight of the day: A grateful heart and a life filled with blessings both seen and unseen. (dear children of mine, please read and repeat this last sentence)