|Street in San Gil, looking toward the|
central park area. Notice cross on the
Mutterings about "hospital," "police," and "amigo" were flying like gnats above my consciousness while I was trying to sort out what kind of damage I had incurred. Someone got me a towel, sat me up, and soon the police were there to cart me off to the hospital insisting that I needed to be seen by a 'medico.' That medico was a young and efficient woman about 30 who clarified that nothing was broken - much to our mutual surprise (I was certain I had broken my nose at the very least) - and gave me medication for pain and swelling. I had actually fallen on my knee as well, possibly breaking the impact to my nose, and it was incredibly sore, more than my nose, for several days afterward.
I forgot to mention that while I was at the hospital waiting to be seen, before I could get confirmation about the situation, I immediately started doing Reiki on myself and that, at least, kept me from freaking out about everything. Curious that the medico never took my temperature or blood pressure before assessing the damage; long ago as an EMT in training I learned that a broken anything will cause a rise in the body's normal temperature.
But in a few days, the bruises on my face were all that everyone saw - and asked me about. Concerned friends and people in the places where I shop wanted to know if I had done this on my scooter, "No, with my feet..." said as I tried to smile. The vast (it seemed to me) amounts of blood on the concrete and tiled floor are typical of cuts to the head, and it scared the owners of the internet cafe near the Cathedral enough to put down some black tape on the little step that I missed so that other people may not fall, interrupting a placid day with cries from a stranger, "My nose is broken!" in even more broken Spanish.
|Taken from the hill above Barichara, looking down at the|
Cathedral, which is close to where I took my fall.
What did I learn from this? First of all, the police were quick to respond and be of assistance and riding in the back of a police van, when one is hurting, on these bumpy village roads is not at all fun. The hospital staff was very attentive and even though the building and equipment may be old, it was clean. Second, as a older traveler, I need to wear shoes that hug my feet and not put me at risk of stumbling or falling because my footwear is inadequate to the terrain. That is not why I fell this time, but I don't need to increase the risk of a second fall by not paying attention to that little detail.
|Early morning view from the western edge of Barichara, looking out over|
one arm of the Andes; hard to believe they are over 14,000 feet tall.