|Since I didn't get in the South Atlantic, here's a picture from our 2008|
picnic that ended up with all of us in the Gulf of Finland. One major
difference? It was summer then.
I checked in with the museum on Monday, but Leona was out so I was on my own with transcription again. I did, however, get to test the National Health Service with a trip to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital. My first surprise was finding Vanessa working the front desk. The swelling had gone down in my eye, but I knew from experience that the infection had spread to my other eye and I would need eye drops if it turned out to be bacterial in origin. I got to see the casualty nurse within about 15 minutes. She took a look at my eyes and entered me into the system, but unfortunately she couldn't prescribe the eye drops for me. She could, however, get me in to see a doctor in about an hour, but I would have to pay out of pocket for the appointment. Apparently overseas insurance companies have spent the past decade trying not to pay their bills in the Falklands, leading to the hospital's current policy of not accepting foreign medical insurance. During my 5 minute consultation with the doctor, he confirmed my diagnosis, prescribed the eye drops, revealed that he was a member of the Legislative Assembly, learned that I was an unpaid intern who had begged to come to the museum, and then he ripped up my paperwork. I'm not making this up. Apparently he decided that I shouldn't have to pay 90 pounds for a 5 minute appointment in which he told me something I already knew. How was I supposed to argue with that? I picked up my eye drops at the pharmacy, but I knew I couldn't leave without saying goodbye to Vanessa. Since she was supposed to process my payment information, she was just as confused by the doctor's actions.
While I did not spend all week in bed, I was still quite under the weather, what with the cold/flu bug and the conjunctivitis. I did get some transcription done, but I didn't have any interviews until Wednesday. Not my best work. The first one suffered from almost everything that can go wrong with oral history. I had almost no information on my subject and I was supposed to interview him while he was at work in the security hut at FIPASS.
|FIPASS - the Floating Interim Port and Storage System built in 1982.|
I felt pretty sheepish slinking back into the hospital on Thursday morning, when I found that the woman who takes care of billing had recovered my torn-up paperwork and pieced it back together. She was very nice about the whole situation, explained that she had scolded the doctor, and even thanked me for coming back in. I now have a bill and a letter I get to file with the insurance company when I get back. Oh, joy. Lunch on Thursday was a treat. Every time someone has a birthday at the museum, everyone gets together and goes to the Malvina for lunch. The Malvina is the only place in town that could really be called a restaurant and I knew I had to try it at least once before I left. I had also been told that I needed to eat the squid rings as the local squid was the best in the world. Wow. I'm not really a seafood person, but the squid rings with sweet chili sauce were delicious. And then I had the pumpkin, spinach, and mozzarella cannelloni. Now that was a good lunch. Fortunately someone had thought ahead and scheduled my interview for the day a bit later than usual. I think this one made up for Wednesday's mistakes. We talked for two hours, covering topics of education, history, the Falkland Islands Government, and even dance. I think this was one of my most successful interviews of the whole trip.