Work-Required Medical Check-Up

When you live and work in Peru, your company/ organization has the legal obligation to check your health every two years.  It is rather ridiculous.

This morning I arrived Jockey Salud at about 6:50AM and checked in.  The clerk at the counter on the second floor told me to sit down because they were not attending yet.  I sat down.  About five minutes later a different employee told me to go stand in line because they were attending now.  I returned to the first clerk who seemed to not remember telling me to sit down.

First they sent me to get my blood drawn on floor two.  Then they sent me to the sixth floor to have my eyes checked.  The attendant/ doctor/ nurse told me that my glasses are fine for my needs.  I knew this.  What I didn’t know is the name nor title of the person attending me.

Then, still on the 6th floor, I went to be weighed and have my height measured.  This attendant/ doctor/ nurse told me to take off my shoes (very light weight) but keep on the two jackets that I was wearing this chilly morning.  I was told a weight that I have never weighed in my life.  Blood pressure and oxygen saturation also measured, I went to wait in the hall.

The next attendant/ doctor/ nurse listened to my lungs and heart, pressed my stomach, and had me touch my nose with my arms extended.  She made sure I could move my arms and legs.  Then, only looking at the numbers she was handed, told me that my numbers were with in all of the normal ranges.  So far, the only person who looked at me was the eye attendant/ doctor/ nurse.  Ironic?

Then down to the 5th floor to see the psychologist.  I was asked to draw a human figure and copy some figures from another page without erasing.  Before coming to this appointment someone told me to make sure I drew a line for the ground in my picture. Odd.  The psychologist did not tell me his name or title either.  The door said “Psychology.”  When he asked me if I feel stress at work I laughed and said, “I work with 6th graders; it’s part of the job.” He seemed concerned.  We agreed that it was not excessive nor something to be concerned about.

They sent me back to the second floor for a chest X-Ray and told me I could go home.

No names, no titles, very limited eye contact, no explanations about what was going to happen or why we were doing this.

I need to see if I can have my own doctor do this work, look at me, pay attention to me and inform me.   I would be willing to do this on my own time with my own money to not feel like a widget on an assembly line.

The results will be sent to the school.  Will anyone besides me look at the results?  What if I am overweight or need new glasses?  I’m not and I don’t, but what if?  What are the consequences?  Can they fire me for saying no to the tests?  What about for having a fast pulse?  This has never been explained to me.

Maybe we are just going through an assembly line, a legal requirement.

When I returned to school I received an email telling me that I signed in late to work using the fingerprint scanner.  Although that email felt like a real slap in the face from the folks who sent me to this appointment, at least they notice me and noticed I was gone,  unlike the attendants/ doctors/ nurses at Jockey Salud.

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Becoming Peruvian Part 9

IMG_3007(1)At the naturalization ceremony about three weeks ago, they told us that our resident ID cards would no longer be valid in one month.  They told us to go get our DNIs right away.  So, I started the process.

The folks at the RENIEC, the ones who process the DNI (documento nacional de identidad), told me it would take about two months and I could expect to have it on October 1, 2018, about one month after my resident ID card expired.  None of my family and friends thought it would take so long.

The family and friends were correct: on August 20, 2018 I picked up my DNI.  It took less than three weeks! Well done, RENIEC! How about that wanted-dead-or-alive face in the picture?!?!

Next steps: get a passport and change the documents associated with my bank accounts.

Becoming Peruvian Part 8

Well, it finally happened- I became Peruvian today at an 11:00 AM ceremony!

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We were asked to arrive at 10:00 AM for the rehearsal… and probably to make sure that everyone arrived on time for the ceremony (they said that there will be pictures and a video available this afternoon and I will add a link to this post when that happens: Link).  The ceremony did not start on time which, we were told, is extremely unusual but the official who was in charge had to take a “high level phone call.”

I was asked to be one of the speakers at the ceremony and I agreed.  I have no idea why I was asked to speak-  perhaps because others said no, perhaps because I was sitting in an aisle seat. There was also a woman from Dominican Republic who spoke; one man, one woman.

During the ceremony, the new citizens sat on the left side of the room while the guests sat on the right side of the room.  On the left side, the women sat in the first rows and the men sat toward the back.  Odd.  This separated some couples.

The ceremony ended by 11:45 AM.  It included an oath-taking, singing of the national anthem, a roll call of names where we received our new document and a rousing speech by the, um, head of migraciones?  I am not sure of his name.  Very Patriotic!

Now I will apply for my DNI (the national ID card) and then my Peruvian Passport.

A very good day!  It was also the first day of school here in Lima so I needed a substitute on the first day.

A big thanks to Ana Maria, my extended family, my school family and Peru for this opportunity and all of the support during this process.  ¡Viva Peru!

Becoming Peruvian Part 7.1

That part about Tuesday or Wednesday?  Nope.  It’s Thursday.  This Thursday.  This first-day-of-the-new-school-year Thursday.  The day after tomorrow, August 2, 2018, I will become Peruvian.  I offer apologies to my students and colleagues for my absence but I do not dare ask to go on a different day and put at risk this ten month odyssey; in 25 years of teaching I have never missed the first day.

I will bring a voucher from the Banco de la Nación for S/. 15.80 (that’s about $5.00), Form F002, and my ID card.  I will arrive before the 10:00 AM ceremony in formal attire (coat and tie?) with my one guest, my wife, and go to windows 38 and 39 in Room 5 on the first floor (those are the details from the email that I received).

Watch for pictures in just a few days!  Yep, I’m pretty excited.

Becoming Peruvian Part 7

The phone call never came… but the email did on July 20, 2018.  It said that Migraciones was ready to make me a Peruvian citizen and that I should contact them when I returned to Peru (I was visiting family in Minnesota).  So, I did.  (In all fairness, it is possible that they called but I could not receive the call when I was out of the country.)

Today, I contacted Migraciones and was told that my name would be added for the next ceremony.  The ceremonies usually happen Tuesdays or Wednesdays at 10:00 AM.  In the next few days (after Fiestas Patrias here in Peru) I will receive an email with all of the details.

I await the next step.

The Road We Walk

When I wake up in the morning, sometimes I think, “Today will be the day!”

Today will be the day when the president of the United States says, “See how easy it was? See how easy it was to take a nation and lead its citizens down a path of fear and scapegoating? To prey on your insecurities? See how easy it was to take a nation, desperate for a hero in the age of Marvel Comics movies, and get you to follow me, look up to me, be afraid of me? Did you see how I quickly made our friends into enemies and our enemies into friends? Now do you understand how other countries allow despots to rise to and stay in power?

“Vilifying the other is easy. I showed you that, and you need reflect on your response. Now for the hard part- loving our neighbor. Now that I’ve got your attention, let us work together to find common sense solutions that will bring us together. Let us remember the values that make us who we are. Let us remember our common humanity, knowing that by working together, with and through our differences, we can find common ground for the common good. That is what my leadership is all about.  Life is not a zero-sum game where there are only winners and losers. Life is about becoming, becoming better tomorrow than we were yesterday, seeing the other as ourselves, and walking together.

“I invite you to walk with me down this bumpy road. We make this road by walking, just as we create the world every day by what we say, what we do, and how we treat each other. The power is in our hands to become, to grow together, to share our common humanity.”

Unfortunately, today is not that day.  Maybe tomorrow.

Becoming Peruvian Part 6

Here’s a quick update on my process here in Peru.

During the last installment of Becoming Peruvian I mentioned that Migraciones would call me during the first week of May.  No one called.  It is now the second week of June and I have yet to receive a call.  Ana Maria contacted the folks at Migraciones and they told her that the call will come.  They also said not to worry if we will be traveling out of the country- if no one answers the phone, they will call back.

Good to know.  I continue to wait.