Cuando se van a pinchar

Trevor Porter - Ecuador

March 30, 2012

‘Another dreary morning,’ I thought as I looked out my bedroom window to a gray sky heaving down rain that brought with it the promise of a very muddy walk to the caverns. But I was soon made aware I wasn’t the only person not quite impressed with this particular morning.

A few minutes later, now looking out a window in the kitchen, I saw three shapes blurred by the pouring rain swaddled in colorful raincoats approaching the gate to our house. When my sisters and cousin noticed the impending doom drawing closer, they immediately became quite frantic, and shouts of ‘Se van a pinchar!’ bounded from wall to wall. As the impending doom drew inevitably closer, lights flashed off, doors slammed, and within mere seconds we were locked down and ready for a nuclear explosion.

I looked from the frantic, apprehensive faces of my sisters, to my brother, who looked perturbed but otherwise unaffected by whatever danger was approaching us. Months before a similar event occurred, but no one had come to the house. I was able to guess what my sisters dreaded: a medical brigade coming to do vaccinations. I’ve seen my sisters cut their way through jungle, climb enormous trees, and play with boa constrictors. Needless to say I was a little confused why they were so afraid of a needle. I still don’t have an answer.

My two younger sisters were the first unwilling sacrifices pushed out of our kitchen sanctuary to be vaccinated. With one final look towards the locked kitchen door, they ventured forward. Within seconds it was all over…excepting the refugees still sealed inside the kitchen. My older sister quickly went to work cooking, trying to appear as if she were too busy to deal with such trivial matters such as a five second vaccination.

Frankly, I wasn’t impressed with the behavior. I know what it’s like to deal with kids, especially stubborn ones, and it’s not a fun job. Neither my brother nor I were able to convince her with logic or force to leave the kitchen. My cousin however, bravely did, and strutted her way out while she was at it. What daring! Again, five seconds later, everything was finished.

Shooting venomous looks toward my older sister who stood looking warily out the window, my sisters explained the situation to the brigade and ratted her out. My sister had all the luck in the world. She wasn’t the right age for any of the vaccines they were giving, and she was spared the needle. My sisters entered the kitchen again laughing, saying how it didn’t hurt TOO badly, but their arms were still sore.

After the ridiculous escapade, I could only think of how lucky I was not to have that job. Other thoughts have crossed my mind since, about why they were so afraid. At least however, my sisters knew what was coming and happening to them. If language barriers such as Kichwa were to be presented, and a brigade arrived at an indigenous community baring needles and no Kichwa, I would be very scared and defensive, to say the least.

Trevor Porter