Slipping into the tempo

Trip Start Jan 16, 2007
Trip End Mar 01, 2007

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Flag of Cuba  ,
Sunday, January 21, 2007

I start out Sunday in what I hope will be the routine of the day: up at 6:00, swing open the small door above our metal patio doors, and let the cool approaching day flow away the stale, air-conned atmosphere of our dim room. It´s still dark out. The sun behaves tropically here, rising and setting with little warning.

I feed Lucy her first dose of drugs through a syringe (no needle!). She´s well trained in this and sucks out the 5ml of thick, pink fluid  in her sleep, drawing the plunger away from my thumb.

Roosters call from wherever the hell roosters abide in a city of 2.5 million. I fire up the reluctant fluorescent light on the patio, jot down yesterday´s happenings and work through some Spanish lessons. The city wakes around me -- few cars on our street, but voices clear through doors and windows of the tight tenements around us.

Both kids have false starts, ending up asleep again with Julie in the big bed. The mattress springs prod my bulk all night, but the three of them all sleep comfortably until 9 a.m. or so. We´ve brought a jar of peanut butter and dozens of fruit leathers. These, with whatever juice and bread we´ve purchased, constitutes breakfast.

On our trip to the South Pacific with Lucy as a baby, it was easy to forget she was even there sometimes. Not so here. Beyond the obvious attention her illness has demanded, Lucy is the barometer for our day, and her interests form the focus. So, the padlock on the gate to the rooftop beyond our rebarred patio must be unlocked before breakfast, and chalk drawing must take place before she goes to the toilet or brushes her teeth. And then, the day proper can begin.
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