Every year, most of the PC volunteers get together to celebrate this American holiday with people who actually are aware it's a holiday. I stayed in my batey, partly to stay with my projects and friends here, partly to save money, and partly because I'm just an introverted weirdo.
My day has been less than cheerful...I woke up to the news that my host cousin, a 3rd grader whom I'd helped practice reading, died early this morning. First reports blamed cholera, but it turns out that wasn't the case. Even though she died of dehydration, her only symptom was a pain in her stomach that got worse all night, and she died on the way to the hospital. They buried her today, and, true to the mood, it rained all day.
Eerily, a few days ago, I had a strange pain in my stomach, and I urinated so much that night that I actually worried my body wasn't processing water. It's probably just a coincidence, but thanks anyway to everybody back home who's praying for my health and safety. Also, thanks to everyone who saw my facebook status and prayed for the girl and her family.
Her teenage sister was also taken to the hospital, but appears to be making a recovery. Since it's not cholera, they're encouraging the family to bring her home.
Anyway, just a friendly holiday reminder that life is short and fragile!
Not wanting the day to pass by with nothing but gloom, I visited the family of some friends who are not related to the deceased girl, and passed out apple slices. Sixteen of us shared 4 apples (costing about $1 total), and the 5-year-old who had her birthday last month led the chorus in singing feliz cumpleaños to our country!
Tomorrow is my host nephew's birthday, so I can pass out the rest of my apples then and spread some more happy thoughts for America around the batey. I'm such a good government employee!