Wednesday, May 20, 2009

He's all checked out with nowhere to go

My hubby fulfilled a dream some years ago, taking flight lessons and getting his private pilot's license. For a short time we even had money for him to fly on occasion. And take the rest of us up for rides. I'm sad for his sake that it was a very short time. Glad for me, as I am a white-knuckle flier who pretends she's on a bus whenever she's really on a plane. Which you cannot do in a little four-seat Cessna.

You know, opposites attract.

He's been trying to figure out how to get his license validated here. In a land where even the simplest of transactions (paying bills) can be made complicated and time consuming. But my husband is perseverance personified.

While in Cordoba the other day he stopped to ask what it would take. No one was around except for the receptionist and she suggested he come back early on a weekday morning before he'd eaten anything, to do the necessary lab work. So that's what he did yesterday since he had to go back to Cordoba anyway to have two new tires put on the car.

The receptionist remembered him and went to talk to the head guy who, in turn, examined my hubby's paperwork and then declared it possible for him to proceed with the tests.

My hubby first thought he was referring to a flight test and thought, "Oh no, I'm not ready for that! I need some time up with an instructor first." Because as I mentioned, it's been a few years since he had either time or money to fly. And while flying may be like riding a bike, you still wanna get a little practice in before you hit the road, or sky in this case.

But the receptionist took him back to the front desk and said, "That will be $90 pesos" at which point the hubby knew it was not a flight test because the figure would have been considerably higher. [$90 pesos is just over $24 US]

First she gave him mounds of forms to fill out and then sent him back for the lab work. He didn't have a pen but no problema, they had pens for sale. Hubby figured it would be a regular physical, as is required in the U.S. every two years to maintain your private pilot's license.

Um, not so much.

He saw ten doctors and technicians in the next four hours.

After the lab work he had his ears, nose and throat checked by an ears, nose and throat specialist. While she was looking in one ear he held up his hand by his other ear and asked, "How many fingers do you see?" She was amused.

He had a chest x-ray.

And a cardiologist gave him an EKG.

The dentist checked his teeth and made little red circles on a chart indicating which teeth had fillings or work done on them. That was good the dentist said, because blue circles would have indicated poor quality work. Do you suppose people with poor dental work are not allowed to fly?

An audiologist then measured his hearing. She asked if he'd noticed any problems and he replied that his wife said he didn't hear very well at times. She said that was a problem indicative of all males, having nothing to do with the hearing at all. But he does have some minimal hearing loss.

A clinician had him disrobe and gave him a once over. All parts in good general working order.

We're not sure what kind of doctor (neurologist?) put dabs of mud all over his head and then hooked him up to a bunch of electrodes from a thing on the wall sprouting lots of wires. He checked his brain waves (there were some) and had him breathe deeply for a long time, first with his eyes closed and then with them open. After that he was allowed to breathe normally, first with his eyes closed and then with them open. The hubby was a little distracted by the scratching pen (pencil?) and the whirring motor of the machine charting his brain waves on long streams of paper.

There was the quintessential psychiatrist (reminiscent of Monk's shrink) who questioned the hubby extensively on what he believed spiritually. Then he wanted to know why the U.S. was the birth place of so many cults.

The psychologist, a stern, no-nonsense, rather intimidating kind of woman, asked, "Why are you here?" and "What do you mean by religioso?" (that's what we write in the 'occupation' slot whenever we have to fill out forms) She asked lots and lots of questions. Some made sense, others didn't. She gave him a big pile of pictures to look through and find similarities or patterns. Later she gave him laminated cards with line drawings, and a piece of paper so he could attempt to duplicate the drawings. On the back of the paper he had to draw a person. Then she asked him what the man's name was, and how old was he? Hubby named his drawing Nestor. More questions.

Pretty intense morning.

In 20 days he can call and see if all the test results are back. We have no idea what happens after that since we don't really have the funds to actually fly. He just wants to get his license validated so that in some fuzzy, distant future, it might could be a possibility.

Meanwhile, the process is quite entertaining.


On the cooking front, we waited patiently a whole 'nother day for the corned beef! It is now in the crockpot with carrots. Potatoes and cabbage to follow later in the day. We are quite looking forward to a boiled dinner.

I spent most of yesterday doing homework for Spanish. It was one of my slow days when everything is just really hard. I can't remember words that I knew the day before. Conjugations get mixed up in my mind. Correct Spanish sentence order makes no sense at all. *sigh*

We went to look at the little house that might become our meeting place. "Little" is the key word but it would be sufficient for our purposes at this point. The lovely thing is its very close proximity to the large public playing fields along the lake which would be a huge plus for youth activities. We had merienda with the woman who owns the property, giving us the chance to get to know her. She and her hubby have been in ministry their whole married life, serving all over Argentina. Literally. From Tierra del Fuego down near Antarctica up to Misiones in the far north.

She said they have a heater they can put in the house, but last night there was no heat at all and it was COLD. Seems like most places I go these days are rather cold since central heat is not common and these block and brick buildings do an amazing job at retaining the cold. It was warmer outside than inside. I think it's time to dig out the silk long underwear and go prepared for arctic conditions when we visit people. I have a strong aversion to being cold. STRONG.

Isn't it amazing I survived twenty winters in Michigan?!


sara said...

so the moral of this story is that if you need a good and complete physical (one that rigorous is hard to get in the states).....go to argentina and tell them you want to fly a plane!!

skoots1mom said...

sounds like they really VALUE their airplane pilots. interesting. it's so bizarre. hope he wasn't really signing up for the local militia. i'm always amazed by customs in other places.
i'm headed to the chiropractor..sure hope he can calm this neck down. i'm afraid this may knock me out of going on our college visit. oh well, it will be what it will be

so enjoyed your post...stay warm! it's in the 70's here today with slight breezes...the last day of school, dd is HAPPY!!

Mari said...

Wow - they really checked hin out! I laughed at the part about being cold. I am always cold, all winter long. Except in the middle of the summer when I am too hot!

2Thinks said...

Michigan? You say Michigan? Ah. Now I see why I was relating so well w/the latter part of this post. I also have a strong dislike (growing up we could not say 'hate') of being cold. I wear longjohns well into May here in MICHIGAN (and I always sleep in socks). Just Monday it was so cold in the house, I went outside and layed down on the driveway to soak up the warmth- the sun had been shining on it and it felt grrreat. Michigan weather is exasperating, as you know- because today, two days later, it is 85 degrees by noon and we are all sweating to death.

The medical part of your post was absolutely hysterical! I do hope he gets to fly soon.

Thank you for leaving the wonderful comment on my post about Pilgrim. It was like medicine to me for an ailing heart. Thank you!