I spent this afternoon at Cusco's (only) private hospital with my family, paying a visit to my unwell host father, Mario. The rest of the family has been there every day, since he was admitted on Thursday — my host mother, Flora, has been virtually living there — but today was my first opportunity to go and spend some time there. Mario's in fairly good condition, and he's being well taken care of — both by the nurses, and by his family — but he's still going to need more time, before he's ready to return home.
I went to the hospital after lunch today, with the family's eldest son, Manolo, and his wife Patty. The place is Cusco's only private hospital (i.e. for those with private health insurance), and it's quite big and quite nice. Certainly not the kind of place that makes you think "third world". Of course, I'm not a doctor (and I don't speak fluent Spanish), so I can't give a qualified comment as to the standards of care and medicine that they maintain. But the superficial impression that I got what that the hospital is good in both regards.
Mario's not in emergency or ICU anymore — they've got him in the recovery ward — and everyone there seems to be on the mend and in good spirits. Mario himself was happy to see me when I arrived, and he was talking and interacting with us for most of the time that I was there. However, he's still getting over the pneumonia, and he's still on IV (plus solids), as well as requiring oxygen at regular intervals.
I sat with Mario and the family for a fair bit, and I also wandered around, and chatted outside with some of the family members. I also went a few doors down (in the same ward) to visit Patty's neice, a very friendly 15-year-old girl, who is sadly recovering from anorexia. She had some friends there as well, and it was nice to talk with these kids for a bit. One of them spoke some English, but most of the conversation was in Spanish.
It used up my whole afternoon — when I could have been doing other things, such as visiting ruins — but I'm glad I went to visit Mario. He's a really nice man, and every extra friendly face he sees right now lifts his spirits. And the whole lot of them have really made me feel like part of the family, especially when I came with them today. Hopefully, Mario will be better soon, and we can do other things as a family, apart from visiting the hospital.