Upon waking up Later than normal today at 7:30am (we got to sleep in this morning because April’s school has a holiday - the birthday of Mother Mary. - back to the story) we learn from our nanny that April has a fever and has just began vomiting . Rose immediately checks April, and we decide to take her to the medical doctor in town.
‘April, what seems to be the problem?’ asks her doctor. April replies her symptoms to the doc. The doc then looks at Rose and I and informs us that Zika is not a player, but typhoid and dengue are possibilities - a low probabliliy - but it is a possibility. The doc then completes his examination, gives us medication and instructions, plus reschedules us for a follow-up appointment.
So throughout the day, Rose (being a nurse) dispenses the medicine, charts April’s symptoms, and ensures she is eating and resting. All is going well, but before April’s bedtime, Rose looks extremely concerned. So I ask Rose, ‘Is April doing ok, or is there something wrong?’
‘I know the medication is doing its job because her temperature is down, she’s no longer vomiting and she is resting well. But I feel that she needs to see a hee-law-tee-ler.’
‘She needs to see a hee-law-tee-ler? What in the world is that?’
‘Not a hee-law-tee-ler. (and the pronunciation becomes more distinct). A Hilot Healer. They are medical massage therapists that rub the sickness from your body. My grandfather, the witch doctor, used to do that for our tribe when I lived in the jungle. I heard there is a Hilot Healer in the valley below us. Can we have her massage April?’ Rose’s pleading eyes flutter to hold back the concerned tears, ‘I think it will make her better.’
I nod. Immediately Rose fires off a quick text message, and tells me we need to go get the healer. Minutes later I find myself sitting in the passenger seat while Rose is bounding down a bumpy dirt road into the valley below. ‘It’s a good thing we have our 4x4 truck so I can get to the healer’s village. I would hate to drive this at night on a motorcycle.’ I look over smile at Rose while she sits on her booster seat and expertly navigates the 4x4 truck through coconut trees to a small grass house called a ‘buhay kubo’ - a native house. ‘I think we are here.’
Rose get’s out, walks past a small tiki torch, knocks on the bamboo door of the buhay kubo, and is greeted by a tiny, white haired, older woman. No pointy hat or nose warts, so it’s not as bewitching as I expected. But the feeling of surrealness is overpowering. Rose helps the lady climb into the truck and we are about to go when I joke, ‘Do we have everything we need? I mean, does she need to bring any chicken bones, shrunken heads or special herbs?’
‘No, she has her Hilot Healer potion. It’s in the bottle she’s carrying.’
I look back, and the little lady gives me a semi-toothed smile while showing me her bottle. I don’t ask, and we head for home.
An hour passes, and Rose and the old lady come out of April’s bedroom. ‘She’s sleeping now, and the healer says she will make a full recovery.’
‘I am glad to hear you say this, but I already have confidence in the modern medicine she is taking’.
‘You do know that modern medicine comes from products derived from the jungle? And don’t forget… My grandmother saved YOUR life one night. So don’t doubt the benefits of our healers.’
Rose is right. Over 70% of our medicine is derived from plants and products from the jungle. If you doubt me, consult your local witch doctor.
Island Life is Awesome… It’s Like Winning the Lottery.
Enjoy the Hilarious Adventures of my Move to the Philippines
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