We interrupt this message to bring you breaking news.
On December 24, I received a message from a dear friend with whom I spent 12 days on the ship to Antarctica. She was in the hospital, and I am glad I was still in Punta Arenas to be with her as she recovered until January 1, 2016.
These are the moments that help you realize how precious life is and the people in it. And I am thankful for both.
I dedicate this post to my friend and her strength and resilience as she experienced a difficult moment in her life, in a foreign country, alone in a hospital, with a fractured vertebrae, contusions, and other injuries. She was trekking the W trail on the Torres del Paine, when a strong gust of wind blew her off course and resulted in her injuries. I think I was more scared than her watching her as she lay in her hospital bed. But she looked as sexy as ever ;)
She has now had her surgery and will be recovering over the next month while in Chile. I know I will miss her company, but I hope she does not miss mine as she still has a month to go.
Her tips for you:
- She would not have done anything differently, as she could not have prevented her fall
- A good headband is important (a joke as her head was bandaged)
- Travel insurance is absolutely mandatory! You never know the situation you may be in.
- And, most importantly, don't have an accident on Christmas Day; the insurance company is on holidays
What I learned:
- Give people space to recover from the shock of the accident
- Everyone needs privacy where certain bodily functions are concerned; leave the room
- You must overcome your own fear of not knowing the language in order to be there for others
- It takes a whole community to communicate with an insurance company about claim requests, including numerous medical reports and cost estimates
- Lazyboy couches are quite comfortable for sleeping
- It is helpful to know someone who lives in the city, to help with routine chores like laundry
What we both learned:
- You need to be careful how much you share and with whom, or you may end up in the news
- Chocolate is a must, with some dried mango slices please!
- Shower and food are welcome luxuries when you are in bed, or taking care of someone in bed
- It is necessary to get fresh air and exercise everyday
- Humour overcomes all.... (And you may not always have WiFi or a phone to communicate with loved ones back home)
- Never underestimate the value of friends far and wide, around the world, even when you are facing a problem in one small city in a country that is miles away
On that note, I want to wish my wonderful friends and family, new acquaintances and old companions a happy new year filled with love, company, and lots of good humour.