Leonela and Yeni Arrived, and We Went to Cusco

I feel like I have spent my whole week in Cusco though I think that isn’t fully accurate. I don’t remember what happened on Monday, so it must have been a quiet day. On Tuesday, the ladies arrived from Lima.

Steph and I went into Cusco together, collecting the girls at the airport and taking them directly to a bus. We shipped them off to Izcuchaca alone because Steph needed to do some shopping, and I needed to do some bank work. My plan was to open an account for the church here, but I ended up not being able to. They said that because my account had been opened using a passport, I couldn’t open a second account until I had migrated the first one to my residency carnet. They did that, but I would need to wait twenty-four hours until trying again.

Steph did her shopping while I made a deposit and tried to update one of my devices on wifi. The updating didn’t work, but it was a valiant effort. We headed home after lunch.

At home, we did some discussion about the upcoming trip to Costa Rica—that’s what I did Monday! I bought tickets for China and Leonela. They are planning to go to some teachers’ meetings the first week of June in Costa Rica. But in order for them to enter Costa Rica, they need a yellow fever vaccine. China already had hers, but Leonela didn’t. Thus, we made plans to go back to Cusco the next day.

Thankfully, I knew where to get the vaccine because I had gotten mine in Cusco a couple years ago. We went to the Hospital Regional, the largest hospital in Cusco, and found the man at the payment desk. He said that yes, we could pay for the vaccine and then go al fondo to receive it. “Al fondo” is a Peruvian’s way of saying, “I really can’t be bothered to help you; please go figure it out yourself.” The literal translation is “at the back,” but never mind that.

We did eventually find the vaccination building al fondo, but they said that it was foolish of us to have paid for the vaccine without first coming and asking if they had any—which they didn’t. They said we could go to a health center nearby and buy the vaccine ourselves, then come back to them, and they would gladly administer it and give us the international travel card needed. But not today. They would be taking lunch soon and didn’t know if they would be back in the afternoon.

We went to the other health center and asked where to ask about the vaccine. Guess where they sent us. Yep, al fondo. The lady we were to talk to was in an operating room, folding gauze in preparation for upcoming surgeries. I closed my eyes to the fact that she was doing it at her desk with bare hands and asked about the vaccine. They were out, but she told me to go to another place that was very close. I didn’t know how to find that place, so her coworker laid down the surgical instruments he was cleaning—with his bare hands—and picked up his phone to show me on Google Maps. I thanked him and made a mental note to never have surgery there.

We caught our third taxi of the morning because being very close meant that it was about a half-hour walk. The third place was a hospital. The receptionist told us to go al fondo to find the vaccination room. We laughed becasue it was now a bit of a joke; this caught her attention, so she helpfully added that the room was the very last room. It wasn’t. But a lady there told us they did do yellow fever vaccines on Fridays, but only for babies. However, she would make an exception for us if we would come back on Friday.

We left and went to a fourth hospital, but they were closed for lunch. I am always mildly astonished at how large institutions here just close down for a couple of hours in the afternoon. At that point, I called Rafael Roca to ask for advice. He did not tell me to go al fondo, but gave me a number for a place that actually had the vaccine.

Leonela made an appointment there for Friday afternoon, so we get to go back yet again. Such joy! After all that walking and taxi-ing (Is that a word?), we stopped for lunch. We then went back to the bank, and I was able to open the account for the church. The girls walked around on the streets because they couldn’t wait in the bank because Yeni is not vaccinated.

After the bank work, I went to Olva to send some residency documents to the attorney in Lima. They did not have envelopes at the shipping center, so I had to go find a store that sold envelopes. I guess I wasn’t surprised: If a hospital doesn’t have vaccines, why would a shipping center have shipping containers?

That done, I contacted the ladies, and we met at Plaza Santiago to catch a bus to Izcuchaca—13,000 steps later, and we were headed home for the day! I have no plans of getting fluffy anytime soon.

Jumping off the van so we could go to Cusco. I don’t know why it was dead.
The children are glad to have more friends to play with.
Busing to Cusco
In line at one hospital
My lunch yesterday, orange chicken
Busy streets