Dirty Laundry

Gema Benavides Jimenez


February 16, 2019

When you don’t have a washing machine in your house and you don’t want to
wash all of your clothes by hand, you are forced to look for an alternative
– in other words, you better find yourself some friends that do have a
washing machine in their house.

The day of the accident, Libbie and I were walking to her house to do my
laundry, but Robin (Libbie’s host family Rottweiler) had other plans in
mind. With not even a foot inside the house, the dog started to fiercely
bark at me and within seconds my left arm was trapped inside his huge
mouth. Everyone was trying to pull the dog away from me, I was in shock and
I could barely understand what was going on. After what felt like an
eternity, Robin released my limb and I could finally evaluate the damage.
Tooth marks were all over my forearm, but the deepest ones were only two —
on the edge of my hand and on my wrist.

Libbie contacted the GCY emergency hotline and a few neighbours who
witnessed the whole scene offered their help. Since there was no one at
Libbie’s, a neighbour who neither of us has ever seen in our lives, offered
to drive us to the nearest hospital.

We visited three different hospitals. My team leader and Libbie were always
there by my side (lucky me). I got my wound cleaned up, the shots required
and all the pills that I needed to avoid infection.

I was supposed to go on independent travel the day after, at night –
obviously, it didn’t happen, so I was pretty crashed. Add to that, the fear
of not knowing how long would the bite take to heal and if I had the risk
of getting the wound infected, as well as the concern of telling this whole
situation to my parents without worrying them too much.

Now, looking back, I could say that I found myself a little bit in the
panic zone — for reasons that I would have never expected it to be.

3 weeks later, one last rabies shot to go (FYI, for a successful prevention
of rabies, you are supposed to take 5 of them) , a couple of nightmares
featuring dogs biting me, a new developed fear towards Rottweilers (I still
love other types of dogs though) and a few scars in a healing process
(luckily I have a pretty tough skin), I can say that now it is all good!

Besides, it is true, that every experience is a learning experience. From
learning to sometimes blindly trust on random acts of kindness from
strangers (trusting an unknown neighbour to drive to young foreigners to
the hospital), to reflecting on the concept of inequity and how if maybe I
was from a low-income Indian family, the fast and efficient assistance and
treatment I received at the hospital, would most likely have been denied
due to the incapability to pay for it.

Last but not least, what I take from this experience is the importance to
constantly remind myself to firmly believe that if something happens is
always within a good reason (even though sometimes it may seem hard to
realise it in the beginning). Moreover, if something doesn’t happen (for
example my trip) it is because it was not meant to happen because most
likely it was not going to lead to any good – and even though this
statement can sometimes be hard to come into terms with, it is as real as
that I got bit by a dog.

Ps: For those who were wondering what happened to my laundry, a couple of
days later when my laundry was cleaned and ready to be picked up, I went to
Libbie’s house. This time I didn’t even try to go inside. Instead, Libbie
picked it up and brought it outside the house– where I was waiting safe and
sound, away from the demon dog (as Libbie likes to call him).

Sorry Robin, but nothing gotta stop me from doing my laundry in a washing
machine.

Gema Benavides Jimenez