Yesterday Vicky had an operation to remove her gallbladder. Vicky is a school teacher, with students who are seven to twelve years old. Vicky is a single mom with a fifteen-year-old son who is still learning to drive and will be getting his license when he turns sixteen later this year.
Vicky traveled here to Retalhuleu by bus from her village, which is about an hour and a half away, with her friend Susana, who also is here having an operation. Vicky had been in pain and found it difficult to walk or ride her motor scooter to get to her teaching job. Vicky said that a co-worker had his gallbladder removed. That operation cost about 12,000 quetzales (about US $1,566 ). Her co-worker also has a large scar from his operation about halfway around his stomach. Vicky said that her incision is much much smaller, 'minúsculo' (miniscule, tiny).
Vicky says that she very much appreciates the generous and compassionate care provided by the hospital staff and volunteers, which she says has not been her experience at other hospitals. She is very thankful to Faith In Practice for the work it does here.
Vicky says that she is lucky, and owns her house, which she inherited from her parents, but of course, she still has housing expenses like property taxes, which she says are about 280 quetzales (US $36) a year. So 12,000 quetzales is a *lot* of money.