It’s 6:07am, and the driver just came to pick up Estela. An unexpected perk of being here at the clinic is that I have gotten to spend some extra quality time with some friends from various parts of my past – Dinah Shore ex-girlfriends, old teaching comrades, coworker-buddies, and (in Estela’s case) college friends. These visits have allowed me to remember pieces of myself that I had long stopped consciously thinking about. It’s actually been an interesting part of my reflection periods while I have been here, to have old pieces of Tarah come popping back into the spotlight, to remind me of who I am today compared to whom I used to be 3, 6, 11, 14, and 20 years ago.
I had two poignant memories from this weekend that I wanted to share.
The first was dinner on Saturday. From the moment Estela arrived, she was talking about getting tacos. We asked the staff here for a recommendation, and the next thing we knew, Dr. Godinez was driving us to a taqueria 25 minutes away. We were just going to take a cab, but he insisted. He became our tour guide, pointing out features of the old Tijuana compared to the urbanizing new developments happening and sharing tidbits of information about the city’s history. He then dropped us off to eat and came back for us half an hour later, after our bellies were stuffed with tacos, gorditas, and horchata. What doctor does something like that for his patients? A doctor at Rubio Cancer Center, that’s who.
The second was lunchtime on Sunday. An old teaching colleague drove down to spend a few hours with me. I always get a little nervous, blending different parts of my world together… But I don’t know why I was even concerned. The beautiful, genuine souls of both Estela and Julieanne instantly vibed with one another, and we spent the afternoon talking about politics, relationships, fond memories, and personal goals. They even made friends with a sculptor/soccer coach/business owner when Estela took me to a barber shop to address the burgeoning mullet that was sprouting in the back of my head. Sometimes I feel like a broken record on this blog, but I really do have the most amazing group of friends. I fully recognize many people in this world are not as blessed with such an extensive collection of pure spirits who make conscious decisions based on love, compassion, and collective consciousness. Sitting back for an afternoon and watching that, yet again, unfold in front of me filled me with a degree of pride and gratitude that I can’t even fully describe with mere words.
Poor Estela did have to rough it a little with me this weekend, though. Tijuana was not ready for all the rain that hit it, unfortunately; a number of water and sewer leaks occurred from the multiple storms, causing parts of the entire city to lose access to running water. Our toilets still flush, but we haven’t had sink, shower, or laundry water since Saturday morning. (The water officially turned off right in the middle of my shower, actually!) It’s about to get real funky in the common areas. I don’t think Amish and Mennonite clothing use the most breathable fabrics… Plus, we are encouraged here to use lime or lemon only as a natural deodorant so that we’re not adding toxins into our bodies at the same time that they’re trying to detox us. Yup, aside from my morning walk, I’ll be hiding in my room until Tijuana can get this water situation back on track.