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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2010-07-05 08:45:53
Subject: Donating Blood

At the outset I want to state that I am not complaining, though it may sound that way. If you've met me, you probably know that my humor is almost as dry as my personality, which is about like Summer in Arizona.

At the moment I am in a 20x15 room, along with 120+ Hondurans either waiting to give blood or get some kind of lab work. Gerardo and I started the day at 12:50 AM for our 1 AM departure. You see, to give blood at the hospital you need to be one of the first 50 donors to show up at the hospital. In order to be in the first 50, you need to get here in line before 4 AM. We arrived at 3:30 AM and I was number 13 in line (although after a few intrusions into the front of the line, I am now #25).

The booth you wait to open up is outside without any kind of covering  for  rain. So you stand in line, in the rain, until the right employees show up, which is supposed to happen at 5 AM, but today occurred at 6:30. Then the rush is on. You patiently wait in line while people ask if they can go in front of you. I simply tell them it would not be fair to the people behind me that have been waiting for hours. When you reach the booth you give your identification as well as a short form indicating who the donation is for. They take that information, tell you to step aside and write it in their notebooks (two women, two separate notebooks). Then they give you the paper and ID back along with another paper that indicates which donor you are.

Then, using your sixth-sense in the third world while half awake, you fumble your way through the hospital complex until you find the donation area, which is shared with the lab patients. There you join one of two lines. Unfortunately the donation line is on the other side of the lab patient line, which is full of irratable people that have been waiting as long as you and have been awake just as long. When you try to cross over into the correct (donor) line, a formidable wall of red-rover champions is formed by the lab patients whom despise your attempted intrusion. In my case a woman finally asked where I was going and I told her to give blood. She told me I needed to go to the other line (no kidding?).

So here I sit and I've done this before so I knew it would be journal-worthy.We'll wait again for another set of employees to show up. Next comes the finger prick which they use to not only test, but also to gauge if you are going to faint on the donation table (any sign of weakness and you are expelled from the whole process). I came before with Antonio, Rolman and a young man named Roberto. Rolman was the first to be expelled because he was expressing himself too much (he had just moved out of our house the 2nd time and decided to don ear rings). Roberto looked a little woozy after the finger prick so he was excused. Antonio and I made it all the way through donation, no small victory.

Gerardo, as always, feels bad that we have to spend money and time on him. I wish I could get him over that because I really love the kid and this is the least we can do.

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