So, when we got to the hospital, they checked the Vietnamese girl, and there didn't seem to be anything major except some back pain- so I think they gave her some kind of pain reliever. Then they took me over to lay on a bed next to this "Me Tao" (Old Grandma) who had a deep gaping wound being stitched up. Meanwhile, I was wincing and holding my breath as they cleaned my minor scrapes/burns... I felt like such a baby until Sarah told me they'd numbed Granny!
My very good looking doctor said "Saep" as he cleaned my wounds. That word sounds exactly like the word for delicious, but I thought for sure it couldn't be. Well, turns out the words for "delicious" and "sting" are the same sound- but one word starts with a low S and the other with a high S. I think I'll always remember the word for sting though! I love learning language in real life context :)
Anyway, we gave the girl some money to cover the hospital visit (which she was charged about 30,000 Kip for, or about $3.50) and getting the back of her bike repaired plus some extra. However, when I went to check out, the cashier looked at me and started making comments about how I am a "Filang" (foreigner). Then he scratched out my original total and told me I had to pay something like 160,000 Kip (or closer to $20). Sarah began to talk with him and ask him why my total was so much higher than the other girl's- and he said it was because I am a foreigner. Then she pointed out that the other girl was Vietnamese- technically also a foreigner. He argued that she was more like an "alien" but finally saw the ridiculousness of it all and only made us pay about 40,000 in the end. Crazy- eh?
It's interesting how different our Western concept is of 'going to the hospital.' I would have never gone to the hospital in the States for the road rash on my arm and scraped up knees, but in Laos, people will go to the hospital for a headache it seems. Fascinating.
As far as lessons learned- I am definitely driving a bit more slowly and cautiously. But PTL I was able to drive for the first time the Tuesday following my Sunday accident. He has not allowed fear to overcome.
For as minor as the cuts were, the daily cleaning of them stung horribly! The Monday after the accident, I was tearing up while cleaning them... and looked at how incredibly small the amount of damage was to my body- and really I didn't bleed much at all! And it made me think about J's broken body and blood spilled for me. I couldn't stop thinking about how much pain He went through on our behalf... thank you Father.
I also thought a lot about "healing" in general. There's something amazingly cool about how the body heals. Right now, over a week later, I am walking without pain and my scabs are coming off! But the healing process takes time, and it is painful. Just as it is with our hearts and when the Father chooses to heal us from hurts and issues- it takes time, constant attention, and is usually painful. But the beauty is the newness He brings when He heals us- just like my new skin- gotta love it when that old nasty scab finally comes off :)
Thankful for His healing physically and otherwise, and thankful for your continued thoughts for protection as I drive Wanda the Honda around Vientiane!
(PS- My students have informed me that there most people here don't come to help those in accidents because they are afraid they will then be accused for causing the accident... so everyone stands back to make sure they are not wrongly blamed.)