Well you may know from “The Sick Room” that I might be a little upset with a certain cook/housekeeper named Juana. I can’t say I had fond feelings for her before the whole “spread the sickness” incident, but after… after was the time when pleasantries were thrown out the window. It felt like war: Brooke vs. Juana.
It was made clear that I did not speak a word of Spanish. Juana made it clear that she did not speak a word of English. Any communication was done with the help of someone translating, much in the way when she found out I had caught her stomach virus. I was lying in bed, nearing death, when she came in to talk to Sarah. She realized I was sick and proceeded to say, “You probably have what I had… but I’m better now.” Oh, great, thanks. I’m so freaking glad you’re OK now, and even gladder you didn’t have the decency to stay home instead of spreading your illness to me. That was the day I decided I couldn’t stand her.
Tensions continued to rise as I spent the next several days at home while everyone else was at the dig site. The first thing she would do is come in and open the door to my bedroom while I was trying to sleep away my sickness. I would close the door, and she would come back and re-prop it open! What is wrong with this lady?!
The second day I was home was absolutely a nightmare. I was enjoying some cheese and crackers when Juana made her entrance. The first thing she did was run to the bathroom, hacking up a lung or vomiting (I’m not sure which). “Oh, great,” I thought to myself. I immediately went into my bedroom to get away from the drama, but next thing I know, Juana was in my room with a broom hacking all over everything. It went on like this the entire day, and I drew the line when she approached me after vomiting – snot running down her face, pale as a ghost. I was so sick still, but had to leave the building just to rid myself of any other throw-up stimuli! (I won’t even get into the fact that she proceeded to cook lunch and dinner while hacking. No one ate that night. We called the director to have him make her leave, but he said that if she was sick she would call him. She wouldn’t leave! This was my one main drawback of the program!)
A few days passed. I got better – went on an excursion – and was looking forward to lunch again. As luck would have it, I was walking to the back bathroom when curiosity had me look into the kitchen window to see what was cooking. I see Juana plating some lasagna and then proceed to stick her finger full in her mouth… and then plate some more lasagna. YUCK! I stopped and made an “oh my god!” expression on my face when she looked up and saw me shaking my head in disbelief. No freaking wonder I got the stomach flu! She knew I wasn’t happy. It was out there now in full force – Brooke vs. Juana.
Juana retaliated the following week when I was waiting for the shower. She told me to wait a minute while she put clothes in the washer. She walked out the other entrance and said something in Spanish in the distance. I walked in, dropped my clothes, but just wasn’t sure if it was OK yet to start my shower. I had to track her down, point to the bathroom and mime somehow if she was finished. Juana turned to me from what she was doing with the dirtiest, most annoyed look on her face I have ever seen (as if I should have understood whatever she said in Spanish from the other room). Well sorry lady! You know I don’t speak Spanish and I needed to be sure I could start my shower without anyone trying to get in while doing so.
The following day I was telling the group about how Juana gave me that nasty look, and I got a response I wasn’t quite expecting from Adam.
“Yeah, I don’t think Juana likes you. I’ve seen her give you some looks.”
The entire group chuckles as I confirm to myself this is war.
Adam continues, “But you do the same to her, so…”
Full-blown laughter explodes from everyone there. Yes, yes I do give her dirty looks, and rightfully so. As I explained before, her indecency cost me several days of my trip – licking her fingers and coughing on my food. WAR!
There were many more incidents until the end of the month – including the movie interruptions and the communal basket clothes argument – but I can’t say for sure who won the war. Juana did get me good with that stomach flu, after all.