Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Welcome to Santa Fe!
What a welcome! After traveling over 2,000 miles from Pennsylvania and checking into our beautiful home (thanks to Eric's cousin Sharon), we get back in the car again and drive to the ER of the local hospital. After umpteen tests, I was diagnosed with a kidney stone infection. The hospital stay was my first chance to meet some local residents - the hospital caregivers. All were friendly, skilled, well trained and provided for my excellent care during my illness. My only regret during my three days at the hospital was having to watch the Super Bowl on a very small screened RCA suspended from the ceiling and even worse, MISSING DOWNTON ABBEY! One of the most memorable individuals I met in the hospital was my roommate whom I shall call Valencia for privacy reasons. I am not sure why she was there, but that was secondary to the story she told me about her family and her place in the diverse culture of Santa Fe. Valencia is a proud Native American, now in her late '70s, who was eager to tell me her family history. She related that her ancestors had originally come from Spain. Her father had been a cattle driver on horse back his entire life. The family ended up living on a reservation on the outskirts of Albuquerque. Her parents died and she had no siblings, so she continued to live alone in a tiny house on the reservation. She said about 8 years ago, the government discovered uranium on the reservation. Each member of the community was offered a million dollars and then ordered to leave the land. Valencia took her million, paid cash for a small home in Santa Fe, and put the rest in the bank. I felt a sense of sadness leaving her to go to my home. Valencia cannot go home and has no family. Was relocating her from a community she knew her whole life worth a million dollars?