Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Among Colleagues… Laughing to Keep From Crying / Jeovany Jimenez Vega

Among Colleagues… Laughing to Keep From Crying / Jeovany Jimenez Vega
Jeovany J. Vega, Translator: Unstated

A few days ago I was called to cover a birthday party as the
photographer. Amused by the antics of the clown, and distracted by her
picturesque costume and makeup, it took me a while to recognize the
familiar features of her face. It turned out to be my colleague from
Artemisa, Dr. Anisia Armas, mother of a little boy, who graduated more
than seven years ago.

The readers of this blog should already know that I am on a "forced
break" since 2006, due to a long story that I related on the launch of
"Citizen Zero." You could think, "Wow! What a lot of back luck! Now
you'll have to make a living through photography…" But this happened
just a few days ago and confirms for me that I was never alone in this
"paraprofessional" career, as we in call this almost mandatory way we
Public Health professionals here sustain our families and that,
according to a funny joke, becomes our real "profession" while Medicine
becomes a "hobby."

In my personal case it's Photography, but I've also known doctors,
dentists, nurses and technicians of all specialties and from recent
graduates to workers over 30 years of service, working in their spare
time in all possible trades: as shoemakers, bakers, confectioners,
carpenters, masons, laundresses, seamstresses, peddlers of milk powder,
ham, eggs or making yogurt, pizza, cheese … in short, inventing the saga
of the Arabian Nights to survive in the black market jungle, because
their salaries aren't even enough to eat badly.

My friend — indeed, along with her husband she signed the document I
sent to minister in 2005 — in order not to turn her hardships into
resentments, not to lament in vain her little call to attention and
food, decided, like thousands of our health professionals, on a second
option. In her case she decided to make a living on the joy of children
— a beautiful way of life — and their parties, the joy of creatures as
she offers them a clean smile that soothes the soul. The innocence and
joy of the children comes home with her after the show — I'm sure,
Doctor — exhausted in body but calm in spirit, comforted by the bread
honorably earned today without begging, and without have to trade her
pride and dignity in exchange for nothing.

February 18 2012


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