What do you do when a young, talented musician needs heart surgery that is prohibitively expensive? Well, if you are Seán Hennessy, you organize a benefit to raise money, invite bands to volunteer their time, ask for support and start that support by donating all the costs plus 10,000 pesos. The benefit was spectacularly successful. Several exceptionally talented musicians performed to a packed house. People came from all over the state to attend and to contribute to this very worthy cause. A raffle run by Sergio Valle, a manager at Hennessy’s, brought in over 7,000 pesos and made the four prize winners very happy. The total raised was 125,000 pesos, which will be a big help in paying for the surgery. It was inspiring to be part of this benefit. It made me think that so many of us are willing to participate in doing something that is good for others when we are asked. But it takes one of us to stand up and lead, one to say: “I will make this happen.” Mérida is fortunate to have a caring soul in Seán.
The most joyous part of the evening
Rubén Arias and Seán Hennessy. Rubén hails from Villahermosa in the state of Tabasco and is a fabulous guitar player and lead singer
The musicians get together at the end of the evening with Seán Hennessy. Missing from the photo is Colin Gow, a songwriter, singer and guitarist who earlier performed three of his own compositions and delighted the audience.
A friend recently asked me how she could get her birth control shot in Mérida. I looked at her like she had a carrot growing out of her forehead and said: “Do you not realize that I am 60 years old? There are few benefits that menopause brings but, THANK GOD, not having to worry about birth control is one!” But the question needed an answer and I thought it may be important information for some readers of this blog. My friend was charged with the mission of figuring out how to do this. First, you must find a pharmacy that sells the birth control medicine and buy it. The shot must be administered by a doctor, so the next order of business is to find a licensed medical facility to inject you. Once an appointment has been made, show up, get a prescription from the onsite doctor in the hospital or clinic you chose, hand over the medicine to the doctor who promptly stabs you in the arm with it, pay your bill and go on your merry way! Mission accomplished and birth control is in place for three months. My friend used the medicine Depo Provera, went to the Mérida Clinic and paid 55 pesos for the procedure.
We arrived in Mérida with a 90-day supply of our medications. That meant that we had a little less than three months to find the medicines that we needed. Thankfully, many drugs that require a prescription in the USA are available over the counter in Mexico.
I compiled a list of the drugs we needed (brand and generic names) and their dosage and we set off the visit pharmacies. The first one we visited had only two of the drugs we needed and suggested that we visit a second for the rest. We traipsed all over the city in 98 degree F (about 37 degrees C) to the recommended pharmacy. They were able to provide only one more and suggested we go somewhere else. We quickly figured out that this quest for medication had potential to be exhausting. We had to find a better way.
Thankfully, that better way came when I discovered Botica de Barrio and, oh how I wish I had discovered it sooner. I happened upon it on Facebook where it was stated that all you needed to do was email them. I was skeptical when I sent the email in english listing the medications we needed. I received a response within a few hours indicating that they would research my question and would get back to me. In another few hours, they had emailed me to tell me that they had one of the drugs and would order the other for me. Wow! This was amazing service! I was picking up both drugs within 48 hours of discovering Botica de Barrio. Since then, I have continued to be amazed with their service and was determined to find out more about the company.
The store was opened by Andy Ristau, a Canadian transplant to Mérida from Winnipeg, Manitoba and his friend, a local doctor. Andy witnessed the struggle of expats to find their medications and recognized the need for a bilingual pharmacy. He decided he would do something about it and Botica del Barrio was born. Andy has a wonderful manger in the store named Pepe. Pepe does what only the best staff do – he runs it like he owns it! He emulates Andy’s desire to provide the best service to the clients and to make sure that they have the medication they need. If somebody needs something urgently that they do not keep in stock, they will send a courier to get it. They even deliver to the home. While Botica del Barrio has some local customers, its primary clientele are expats who enjoy the convenience of getting medications that are, in some cases, life-sustaining. You can contact the staff on Facebook, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 52-999-923-4855. Check out their website at http://www.boticadelbarrio.com.
Botica del Barrio on Paseo de Montejo