Sunday, May 21, 2006

Look Around

I was driving home yesterday after 15 hours (in Arabic khamesta3shar sa3a) of continuous work, from 5 am till 8 pm. I grabbed a quick dinner from Mcdonalds and was heading home on Friday night at 9pm. Just at the time people were getting ready to go out to enjoy their Friday night, I was returning home to sleep early.

On Saturday (a vacation) I left my apartment at 4 am and headed to work, the streets totally empty as all people were dead asleep after enjoying their night. Driving down to the hospital I was thinking of how much work I was doing for less than 8 dollars an hour, the sleepelss nights and the responsibilities I am holding and the lawsuits I am at risk of getting every single second at my work, and the fact that most people esepcially in Jordan believe I am so rich although I am struggling with my apartment's mamanger to cancel the additinal 25 dollars from rental last month. I was thinking of the horrible food poisoning I got 3 days earlier and woke up at midnight to throw up a few times and barely had time to clean up the mess because i had to head to work as soon as possible.

At that moment on Saturday morning, I felt I was unlucky.

I arrived to the hospital and started seeing the patients. I am doing a rotation in the oncology (cancer) center. I started seeing Julia, a 47 year-old lady who lost her leg to cancer. She was in the hospital getting her last dose of chemotherapy but we had to keep her in the hospital because she couldn't stop throwing up. She looked at me with her tearful eyes "When will this all end"? , I was lucky enough to get away without directly answering her and waited till my big boss come later in the day to explain it all to her.

Later I came across Samuel, a 25 yr old guy originally from Guatemala. He crossed the borders to Mexcio illegally then crossed the Mexican-US borders again illegally, and this journey took him 3 months during which he was away from his family. He was born with hemophilia, a bleeding disorder where people tend to bleed heavily. Since he was running from the border patrol all the time he kept falling off heights and walls and ended up with bleeding all over his joints until they got totally destroyed. He is 25 but he has the mobility of a 70-year dying man. He told me that all of his family members died of this disease because they got no treatment for the bleeding events they had, and he wanted to reach the US for a better life. Of course this guy will be sent to Guatemeala after he's treated.

I saw six or seven more patients all with cancer and left the hospital a while ago. Somehow, I gained all my energy back, went to the apartment manager and threw the 25 dollars in her face (in Arabic zattet-ha bi khilgetha o goltelha biddesh jmeeltek yel3an abooki) then went back home and was ready to sleep at 8 and wake up at 4 and was emotionally -yet not physcially- ready to spend the rest of my life without a day off. I made a short prayer and called my family telling them I'm Ok and waiting for them in the summer......

Best of all.... I felt very lucky.

11 comments:

chet said...

That was very good post. I know what you mean when you say less than 8 dollars an hour. Most people that live outside of the U.S. I think that they feel everybody is getting rich here. As for the man that might be sent back to his country I think that is a shame for my country. Many people do come here for a better live for themselves and their families. I have just did a post on a story of Women coming from Mexico and what they had to endure. For the most part just to be sent back. Hang in there. God Bless You.

raindrop said...

good morning..
before I read your post I was feeling bad, and feeling unlucky too, thinking about my life how its going not as i planned.. and many other things made me sad this early morning, but when i read your post i felt somehow, lucky :)

thanks for sharing yr thoughts..

Jad said...

My manager should thank you for this post, few hours ago I felt like I want to fight with myself and decided not to go to work but after reading this post i'm dressing and going to work.

Yeth3ed rabak!

hope to see you in the next meet-up 7aj

Tololy said...

Such a touching story. Ya3teek el 3afyeh :)

Khalidah said...

I just loved this post Hareega .. looking at my own misfortunes and problems I still felt luckier than your patients and a bit of hope is seeping through me as we speak

Thank you for sharing

Luai said...

You mean you're not picking money off trees!

I know exactly what you mean. I avoid calculating my hourly wage because I think the "fry guy" at Mikey D's makes more than me...at least he gets overtime :-)

But don't worry too much, your time will come when you'll be raking in the big bucks. Chin up, mate!

Hareega said...

Chet, thank you man. People think that you'll get rich in America by doing nothing and many foreigners go there and waste their lives doing nothing. However I'm still glad that America still gives the chance to people to come and live in it, I hope this will never change in the future.

raindrop... anytime :)

Jad thanx a lot khayyo i'm not returning to Jordan before summer 07 bas inshalla binshoofak bi amerka before that.

Tololy o y3afiki thanx

khalidah, you're more than welcome thanx for mentioning this post in ur blog

luai thanx man

wedad said...

waaaaaaaaaaaw ,
your post came in time :D
thnx and its a great post :D

Hareega said...

u're welcome wedad

Lina said...

You seem to be a true humanitarian! (Insani bel3arabi ;)
joking.. Bass eno your post was great, it made me think and thank God for what I have!

Will be here again, many times

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