At first, not being able to read much Spanish, we thought the email was spam. But we could understand enough to wonder if it could possibly be intended for us personally. But who would write us from Cuba? People at the high school where Mike gave some copies of our Spring issue? Then Mike thought to check the contact information that our young rescuer had given us. Sure enough, the email address is Gisela’s, the young woman who led us to her grandparents’ house, went running half a km in the midday blistering sun to phone for an ambulance, and then spent two hours entertaining us with flowers and chickens! If you missed reading about this, see our first blog post about this.
Thanks to Ursula Vielkind, a German translator who knows Martha Ruben, a Spanish translator, we were able to read the letter. Thanks, Ursula and Martha, you’ve helped with international relations! Here is what Gisela wrote:
Hello, how are you? I am fine. I would like to know how Gloria continued with her leg. Sometimes I look at the photo on the magazine. I hope that we continue being friends and that you do not have a bad opinion of my country because of what happened. Here we (the Cubans) are very helpful. I am well, my grandparents are well. Recently I finished the English course that I was taking. I like this language. I am working on the same job, but soon I am planning to work on Silla Gibara camping site because it is close to my home and I like to work as a waitress. Please, answer soon, greetings for both. The journal for which you work is very nice. Greetings.
How kind is Gisela’s follow up and concern? She’s even worried that we might not like Cuba! We replied to her that my leg has healed completely and that the Cuban doctor did a great job. All the Canadian doctors I saw, and there were three as I shuttled between my GP and the Emergency Department a few times when there was concern over infection, agreed that the Cubans had fixed me up well. A note about infection of the knee: apparently, if the joint becomes infected, surgery is required. Hence the uncertainty over the inflammation at the wound. Yikes! But all went well. As I said recently, I am now ready to resume my career as a leg model.
The only negative in this whole adventure was Sunwing’s inability to find a way for me to elevate or even stretch out my stitched, weeping knee on the flight home. I was jammed into a tiny seat space which forced my knee into a sharp right angle for four hours. A stewardess gave me pillows to cushion my knee against the sudden reclining position of the person in front of me. He, however, was kind enough to keep his chair still after I told him I had an injured knee. You’d think Sunwing could have found space for me somewhere, even a stewardess’s jump seat, so I could have rested my leg.
But all is well now, and we’re pleased to be e-penpals (e-pals?) with our new Cuban friend Gisella. And I’m happy that she said she likes our magazine. She’s generous and has great taste, as well!