Fridays finish the week at Ecela. After morning classes, staff award certificates to those heading elsewhere. My classmate Paul wanted a photo of the two of us with our grammar teacher, Fiorella. Such a delightful person. So open and fun. Paul was also great to be with in class. He headed back to Tucson to his wife, two daughters, his two jobs as a lawyer and contractor.
This morning, as a result of Diego’s birthday, Ana served pieces of his cake for breakfast. An incredibly sweet tort with sugary lemon filling and gobs of white frosting. I couldn’t do more than a bite; especially with hot chocolate rather than coffee. Diego talked about working two jobs as he has no social security nor much health insurance. Apparently, only certain public employee get any aide but It’s complicated. My teacher Pilar tried to explain the system but I still don’t think I get it.
There’s public and private health care. The Ministry of Health (MINSA) provides basic care to about 80% of public who do not contribute to a state run health plan—they use public hospitals and clinics. It contains Es Salud, a national health coverage provided through employers, and Seguro Integral de Salud (SIS) which is like Medicaid funding about 18% of people, mostly in rural areas. About 2% have private insurance and about 10-20 % have no insurance. Because so many of Peru’s population live below the poverty line, many still can’t afford simple healthcare even when it is subsidized by the government. Income discrepancy is huge.
Back to school… At lunch the whole group and a few staff went to a hugely popular local spot, Pardos Chicken. The wait for a table precluded me from staying as I had another class in an hour. It looked fabulous and the reports were great. Hundreds of chickens roasting on spits and steaks grilling.
I stopped at a coffee spot but was so bad I couldn’t drink it. So much for that. Grabbed cheese and mango from my room.
Here, we’re having a goodbye dinner with Paul, whose flight was at midnight as are most to the States. There’s no alcohol in the home so we had tea. There’s also no dessert or bread as the meals consist of high level of starch with a salad.
I finish with a local custom. There are people who wash cars outside restaurants and homes. They carry a bucket and wipe down the cars. No spraying, no waste water on ground.
The man on the right stops at my building desk for his list. The one on the left works outside the chicken restaurant. Could use this service in my garage. Many ways to make a living.