what I’ll take with me

 
Moms asking me for my number if they liked the care their children got. The minimalist pediatric ward at Port Antonio hospital. The doctors at Annotto Bay keeping a 900 gram 28 weeker alive with CPAP after Bustamante was unable to take him because one of their babies needed the only available ventilator. A road accident outside Port Maria with one of the victims lying in the road. Inep and naceberries. The way the sea turns pink at sunset. Running into the mom of a child I diagnosed with appendicitis in Port Maria, outside the surgical ward in Annotto Bay. Chickens in the courtyard and goats in the parking lot. Too many road accidents — nobody wears seatbelts. Reggae in the morning, reggae in the evening, reggae at nighttime, on Irie radio. A 7 year old yelling “please doctor! I beg of you!” while I was suturing a laceration on her foot, then jumping off the gurney and running screaming through A&E when I was only halfway done. A restaurant in Annotto Bay called “Juss Enuff”. My other favorite Jamaican business — Car Wash and Bar. Dr Ramos’ teaching rounds — What am I thinking of, doctor? Learning to sail the Hobie cat. An 8 year old rasta with his dreads in a tam. Ackee and saltfish. Conversations with the drivers, mostly about food. Seeing things I never see, like hemophilia, and things I always see, like asthma. Who Cook It Betta? Singing along to “Three Little Birds” on the way to Annotto Bay — Cameron, the driver, said we should all listen to it every morning of our lives — I agree. The kids of St Mary’s and Portland parishes. Soon come.

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