More Equinotherapia

 Posted by Delia Downes at 12:34 pm  Argentina
Jul 222014

It has been many days since I have written.  I was overcome with grief for my friend and the tragedy of her son’s situation.  The situation has not changed much but I have at least had a chance to speak with her and punctuate my daily activities with prayers for each of them.

We did have some very busy days at Equinotherapia with many children showing up at the same time primarily in the afternoons.  One horse, Poli, has a bad habit of nipping, usually when you are cinching up the girth. I’ve learned to tie his head close to the post so he can’t reach me.  He is really tolerant of the children and will even carry two people on his back very well.  But one day he really gave me a surprise.  Many of the children bring carrots to give the horses after they ride. We monitor this process very carefully especially with Poli.  Everything was going well, until I was holding Poli at the bit while one of the kids was on the mounting ramp. I was completely focused on the safety of the child getting on the horse that I didn’t even see Poli, bare his teeth and go for my arm.  Not a bad bite, but painful nonetheless and it did draw blood and result in a bruise. I really think he was looking for more carrots. I did not make a big deal of it at the time because I did not want any of the children or their caregivers to get alarmed. I poured a bunch of antiseptic hand cleaner I had on it to avoid infection and kept on working.  Thankfully, I am a good healer and if it scars I will consider it a very unique souvenir.

Poli Love Bite

Poli with two ridersPoli with two riders

I also got to ride along with Guillermo the gentleman, who comes three times a week for therapy.  He had polio as a child and does not appear to be majorly effected by the disease although I know he has done a lot of work to get to this point.  He has been studying English for some time and will be taking a major exam in December which he is very concerned about.  The exam is oral and he must speak on a subject for 6 minutes.  So to assist him with his English we ride together, not on the same horse but on the same trail.  He speaks in English and I correct him and I speak in Spanish and he corrects me.  He speaks a lot with very little correction required.  I speak a little and require a lot of help.  But is fun and we both enjoy it.

It’s old news now but Argentina came in second in the World Cup competition.  It was a great final game, and I really thought they would pull it off, especially if the game had gone to penalty kicks.  I think that Argentina dominated the whole time, but it only takes one goal to win and the Germans got one in just in the nick of time.  I had been seated in a hotel right on the Patio Olmos, the meeting spot, following all the games for the celebration, so was really upset that they did not win.  I wanted to be there as history was made.  There were some minor celebrations as second place is still pretty good, but none of the madness and jubilation of the previous wins.  I walked for a long time after that trying to locate a bus line that was running to return home but there were none so I finally took a cab.






The next day all returned to normal and I made my way to work.  If you recall I mentioned that there are many bus lines, with different numbers which all seem to stop in the same places.  I was sure there must be a difference but could not determine what it was.  Well on this day, it became clear as I mistakenly got on the wrong numbered bus.  I needed either 13 or 19 and got on 18 by accident.  It was an easy mistake to make as I was tired from the night before and the bus stop is the same for all.  My hopes for a quick trip to work clouded my vision and I saw the number I wanted to see.  Anyway, after a certain point it was clear we had made a departure from the regular route and after a while I got off.  Now what?  Well, I am happy to say that my Spanish was good enough for me to ask questions and reverse my trip taking yet another bus to my destination.  Although I can manage some of the vocabulary and the grammar and my teachers have told me my pronunciation is good, my accent is a dead giveaway that I’m not from around here.  As soon as I open my mouth I can see the surprise and then some helpful individuals ask where I am from.  At least they don’t always know I’m from the US.  I was kind of pleased one day when someone asked if I was from Brazil.  That at least mistakes me as a native of the continent.  Any way this problem solved was only repeated the next day when I got lost again.  Not that I was lost this time but I was not where I wanted to be.  I was trying to go to work from the city center where I had been applying for my Visa to visit Brazil.  I took the right bus, #19, but it was going in the wrong direction.  I thought well I’ll just ride it around until it gets going in my direction but you can’t do that.  So finally being the only passenger left I was asked to get off at the terminal and wait for the next bus going in the right direction.  Live and learn, that’s what this is all about.  It took me a long time to get there but I had built in plenty of time so I wasn’t even late and got to see the entire city.


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