Sandra Jeanine Ortellado

H4TW Volunteer

The night before my visit to the Hospital de Clínicas in San Lorenzo, Paraguay, I sat in my aunt’s house, warding off mosquitoes with an electric fly swatter and taking refuge from a flash thunderstorm. With humidity and electricity in the air, mosquitos passed through an electric web and lit up in a purple firework. Leafing through pages and pages of family photos, microbiology textbooks, and Guaraní to Spanish and Spanish to English dictionaries, I could feel the potent elements of family, culture, history, and medicine interacting to build up a frictional electricity of its own. Meanwhile, hot moisture rose and cool rain fell in a thunderstorm cell outside my window, the energy in the atmosphere amplifying the sound of mosquitoes b