Our dear Rene, who works so hard for us two days a week, was working a week ago when he collapsed. He's been weedeating. We heard a faint cry and Art dashed out to see what had happened. Rene was on the ground. He hurt all over, but mostly in his stomach and head. We got him in our truck and Art took him to the government hospital, stopping off at Rene's to get a couple of his sons. They stayed with him while they ran tests and checked him over. Now this hospital is new, but nearly worthless. The service is free, but you get what you pay for. Rene went back home, but felt awful over the weekend, so they took him to a private Dr, who diagnosed him as having Dengue and possibly malaria at the same time. There have been lots of mosquitos everywhere, with all our rain, so hard to pinpoint where he got it. We don't have any standing water, but the bush does harbor dampness. Anyway, after a week, he's doing much better and he's determined to try to return to work on Monday. We do pay his social security, which is a combination of retirement and workmen's comp insurance. He'll collect 80% of what his reported earnings are. The trouble is, so many people don't pay the insurance, so many workers end up with nothing. They work so hard for so little anyway, that it makes you angry. Dengue is a real threat here. We've had other friends who have contracted it and it's taken them months to get back to normal. Besides being weak, you have a horrible headache.
I'm so glad that Rene is doing better and we're praying we escape it, but it's hard to escape those little devil mosquitos.