28 de marzo de 2013

Hermana Angélica, en Cita en la Diagonales. desde Burundí Africa.

Hermana Angélica, en Cita en la Diagonales Traducción al Inglés por Felicitas Soria.
Buyengero – 30th November 2012
It’s not usual to meet Sister Angélica in a diagonal. Born in Argentina as Teresa, from Burundi, where she lives since 1977, she communicated with us, by phone and e-mail, to tell us about the peculiar circumstances of her Vocation: being a nun.
She says: “Here my story begins. I’m the daughter of a large family. The seventh child, born on the seventh day, of the seventh month, 1941. The first memories of my life begin at the age of four: when “mamita”, as we all called her, took me to the funeral of my paternal grandmother. That memory is vivid even today.
“I grew up in the country, doing domestic chores: fetch water, pick up wood, milk the goats. And when I grew up, milk the cows. When the fruit season arrived, pick and peel peaches. When I started school, I was very happy, because she wouldn’t control me. She was very strict, and I, a rebel. When she was very old she would tell people: ‘this girl gave me a lot of trouble’. I can’t even say how many times she whipped me. But from dad, only once. He was very easy-going, and as he was away a lot due to his job as a construction worker, every time he came back, it was a party for all of us.
“It was a very Christian family. Going to Mass, saying the Rosary every day, doing charity work, even though we were poor; but there were others who were poorer than us. Mamita cared fanatically for them.
“When I finished my third year, they sent me to a school of the Slaves of the Sacred Heart of Brochero. There I was really happy. With other girls, we played to our hearts’ content. Particularly cestoball. I had to retake my fourth year, but I continued up to the second year of my professional studies. The third year was done back home.
“I think I was nine years old when dad took me to the school as an intern. He was holding my hand, when he rang the bell, and the door opened. A sister greeted us: Sister Rivero. When I saw her, I felt in my chest a shock that always remained with me. Something strange that wouldn’t leave me and that made me be pious, and make sacrifices. At times, it bothered me, because I wanted to be free and wild. Play, laugh, and even go to steal fruits from the Sister’s patch. Do a thousand and one pranks.
“When I grew up, around fourteen or fifteen years old, boys entered my life. I really liked them, I wanted to see them dancing, chat with them, kiss them. Since my family was so large, every once in a while, a relative would get married. Sometimes, when I begged, mamita would let me attend the wedding. Sometimes, she wouldn’t. The old lady kept a tight leash on us. I lived those moments with Marta, who is older than me. I enjoyed those parties like crazy. But when I returned home, in my bed, there was a struggle that wouldn’t let me sleep. Something that said in me: ‘No, I’m not made for this’. And I would get angry at myself. What to do?
“I spent a lot of year in this struggle, until I started rejecting that voice.  I had a lot of male friends. And I met one that wanted to marry me. He did the military service, and then remained in Córdoba working. We wrote to each other regularly. One day, we met at the wedding of one my cousins. He pressured me for a positive answer. What a dilemma! I, who was always filled by insecurities! I told him I would think about it, and that I would give him my reply by letter. After a few days, I wrote a nice letter, even with drawings in blue: very pretty flowers. I like drawing and painting. I knew that we were going to town, so I would then send the letter. I was super happy. When I went for an envelope, there were none. So I thought that I would buy and one sent the letter. And when I started to write the address... The number... what was it? I wrote a number and sent the letter. When I returned home, I almost died. It wasn’t that number! Well... patience. We’ll see. I waited and waited, and there was no reply. It never came. I started to think that this was a sign, it cannot be misfortune. Sometime later, some young women came to the church, from the Secular Institute. I loved what they did. I visited them every time I went to church to meetings. And thus, the inner call began. Stronger and more clear”.

Hermana Angélica, en Cita en la Diagonales (2/2)
Buyengero – 30th November 2012
“When my parents realised where I wanted to go with my life, they went crazy. I could hear them talking at night: ‘This girls, who is a handful... If she goes with these women, she’ll go the wrong way’. One of my mother’s cousins, a nun, came to spend her holidays nearby, and they met her one Sunday at Mass. There, my parents told the nun their concerns. What will we do with this girl? The nun had no better idea than say to them: ‘Take her to Alta Gracia. There’s a nunnery for aspirants’. When they returned home, they told me about this, and I accepted the idea quickly. I saw in this the means to be free from my house. I had already begun to buy things, so when I turned twenty-one I could leave home. Well, a few weeks later, dad took me there. When the old Mother Superior walked me to the room I was to sleep in I said: ‘Look, I’m here only to obey my parents, the moment I turn twenty-one I’m out of there’.  There I helped with chores. There were three nuns: two young ones, and the Mother Superior. Sometime later, a strange allergy attacked my left hand, on my knuckles. I used a lot of medicines, but there was no use. I couldn’t even wash my own clothes, because everything hurt me. Although I was happy there, I counted the days until my liberation.
“One October day, the Mother Superior told me: ‘Guillermina, I’ll give you and advice. Pray during the month of Saint Joseph, so he can shed light on you’. I accepted. It wasn’t hard for me to do it. I gave St Joseph a condition: if I am to enter life as a nun, I want my hand to heal a month before the date of the Postulancy, eighth of December. On the third of November, dad came to visit me. I had a bandage in my hand, to protect the wound from dust. Surprise! On the eight of November, my hand was healed. So I said to myself: ‘this is a sign. I must not doubt’. Thrilled, I went to tell all this to the sisters. They were also surprised. So, on the eight of December 1963, I entered the Convent. I did the postulancy for eight months, and then, I became a nun. As a novice, studying the works of the Congregation, I realised I would never go to Africa, which was a dream since childhood. So I spoke to my confessor and said: ‘Father, I want to leave this place. These sisters do not do work in Africa, and I want to be a missionary’. The Father replied that this couldn’t be, and that God would show me the road. And I believed him.
“Years passed; until news arrived saying that and African bishop had asked religious sisters of the Mercy to work in his diocese. I jumped in joy. This was my chance! I sent my request, was accepted, and here I am. I came to Burundi on the seventeenth of December of 1977. In this particular mission I’ve been since 1995. We went through a war, suffered with the old, with the children, and now I belong to an association called ASENABU, this means Association for the Non-Accompanied Children of Burundi. We take care to promote them, to educate them, of their health. Two young adults have finished university and they are now working. Another one finishes it this year. Another four are in their second year. 

Secretaría de Cultura de Presidencia de la Nación

Cita en las Diagonales acaba de ser declarada de Interés Cultural por la Secretaría de Cultura de Presidencia de la Nación.

27 de marzo de 2013

24 de marzo de 2013

24 de Marzo Día Nacional de la Memoria por la Verdad y la Justicia

NUNCA MÁS ES NUNCA MÁS. 24 de Marzo de 2013 Día  Nacional de la Memoria por la Verdad y la Justicia

This is a bit of the story of our Studio.

This is a bit of the story of our Studio.
Traducción: Felicitas Soria.

Dear Friends: we know you don’t have a lot of time available... This is a bit of the story of our Studio. Can you read it?

History of The Study of the Arts and Crafts

The area of “Chacarita, (from the quechua: chacrita, little farm) of the Schoolboys”, belonging to the Jesuits, became property of the State in 1767, and since then was the holiday destiny for the schoolboys of the Colegio Nacional, up until 1871. That year, yellow fever devastates Buenos Aires, and a tenth of its population. For that reason, the Cemetery of the West is created on that territory.

In 1878, President Nicolás Avellaneda seeks shelter at the First Regiment of Cavalry at Chacarita, under Col Campos command, after the attempted coup by Carlos Tejedor, governor of the Province of Buenos Aires. From there, he goes to Belgrano, provisional sit of the national Govenment. It was an area of farms, dirt roads; where according to contemporary sources “there was an absolute calm, broken, occasionally, by the galloping of horses”. A close relationship develops between President Avellaneda, his Minister of War Carlos Pellegrini, Col Campos and Ludovica Barragan, whose secret work as patron and muse remains unknown.
What we do know are the results of the fights between the loyal forces and the rebels. We won’t delve deeper into this.

We can’t help to associate the neighbourhood of Chacharita de los Colegiales with Federico Lacroze (1838-1894), a pioneer in train and tramcar transportation. Reports of the time say that the first tramcar caused so much fear, that a rider had to announce its arrival at every corner. As time went by, people got used to them, and thus the first collisions happened, like that of a tramcar from the Anglo-Argentino with another from Lacroze, in the intersection of Av. Alvarez Thomas and Federico Lacroze, on the 3rd of May, 1913, according to a photograph of magazine “PBT”, which didn’t specify any name. Tramcars were used during the 1871 epidemic to transport victims and their families to the Cemetery, where three kinds of funerals were available, one of them for free.

On 26th January 1901 “Caras y Caretas”, we are told that Santiago Temple won an authorization for transportation on narrow gauge railroad: “To give more solemnity to the opening ceremony, the President of the Nation, and the Governors of Buenos Aires, Santa Fé y Cordoba were invited”. According to Irina Taschenschrank, a contributor at the Study of the Arts and Crafts, her maternal great-grandfather Juan Mannimohr, also assisted to the ceremony, and used the occasion, mounted on the green Lacroze tramcar, to showcase his oratory with the ladies, earning himself no few slaps. His cousin, José Dickopf, acted as an ambassador, with heartbreaking results for the ladies’ companions, according to Irina’s great-aunt enthusiastic comments. Through the same source, we learnt that her great-grandfather told proudly how he had met josé Hernández several times, the author of “Martín Fierro”, who had bought a large country house in the area. He also assured people, most emphatically, and mysteriously, that the poet had not used him as inspiration for his work.

Regarding the house that today is the place of the Study of the Arts and Crafts, due to the disastrous records; we can’t possibly say when it was built. What we can say is that it was sold by the owners in 1917, to people with the same surname, which tells us little. We can also assure that in the ‘60s, more precisely in 1969, it was bought by the Hoffmann family, whose member, Mr Werner, inventor and toy maker, creator with Father Gardella of “Children’s Day”, had the fortune of running into his daughter-in-law, Dr Susana, and she convinced him, after no few arguments, to donate the house for the Study of the Arts and Crafts.

On a more serious note, today, 130 years after that terrible epidemic that destroyed part of our population, we are suffering another “yellow fever”: a fever that, taking advantage of the circumstances of cheap labour forces and the unstoppable technological advances, produces men sick of stupidly enjoying “gadgets”, and men sick with unemployment. The standing of the Study of the Arts and Crafts is to collaborate, with concern, enthusiasm and perseverance in the creation, invention and   of possible remedies.

Nicolás Avellaneda, José Hernández, Federico Lacroze, Carlos Pellegrini, Mietek Bekerman, master watchmaker, Julio Sosa, tango singer, Sofía Bruellenwunder, opera singer, Guillermo Pirotte, master of fire, Frank Brown, the clown of Buenos Aires, Werner Hoffmann, toy maker... In different ways they walked through these streets. Our homage to them.
January 2001

Tomás Hoffmann.

Traducción: Felicitas Soria.


22 de marzo de 2013

La Vocación del Dr Alberto Rancati en inglés parte 1 y 2

Dr Alberto Rancatti: “From a Surgeon Father to Adolescent Trauma” (1/3)
Traducción: Felicitas Soria 
Cita en las Diagonales: Revista audiovisual de Psicoanálisis y Cultura. 

SH: Today in Cita en las Diagonales we have Dr Alberto Rancatti, surgeon, oncologist, breast reconstruction specialist, with a firm story with his vocation for Medicine. You studied at Hospital de Clínicas, right?
AR: yes. I did my residency as a General Surgeon, there, and also, plastic surgery. So, all my studies were there.
SH: Alberto, we were discussing with Tomás how to begin this interview, in order to search the construction of your vocation. And we thought about beginning with something we never ask this way: how was your relationship with doctors when you were a child?
AR: I had a family history related to Medicine. My father is a surgeon, still working at 86 years old, with me. And I never thought about other profession. As a child I travelled with him. I anxiously waited every weekend to go travelling with him. I went with him, went to the clinic, entered the OR.
SH: How old were you Alberto?
AR: Eight, nine, ten years old. In La Pampa he had a group of doctors he worked with and their children, who turned out to be all doctors, friends today. So, I always wanted to be a doctor.
SH: And at that age, what was for you Medicine, to be a doctor? What did you see about your dad that interested you?
AR: The nearest thing to Medicine is that we went hunting and what we hunted, we healed. When we finished hunting, we tried to “operate” those animals to take the projectiles out and heal them. And we checked on them after a week. So they worked at the clinic, and we went hunting. And if a bird or something was hurt, we picked it up and heal it, as we could. And we asked for advice, like a game. Today when I talk about it, people find it sinister –go hunting to heal-.
SH: So the goal was to hunt in order to kill?
AR: No, no. The goal was to hunt and have fun, like any kid that age, but when we could “repair” something we did it.
SH: And when you were younger than eight years old? What games did you play?
AR: I played the doctor too! For Christmas they gave me medical stuff. And I asked for them. Really, if I think back, it was medicine and technology. Back then, there were some electric machines... I was interest in state-of-the-art machines in Medicine. And it kept throughout time.
SH: When you began Medicine, did you have in mind to become a surgeon?
AR: Yes. I wasn’t sure about the field, but I wanted surgery. When I was fifteen years old I had surgery due to an injury in my arm. And I remember my father’s fear when we had the diagnosis: melanoma. I think that had to do with my choices.
SH: With the melanoma? Why?
AR: I remember my father’s fear and the surgery... when you live a traumatic experience like that, I think it brands you. And one of the specialties I followed, even going to Italy to live to study it, was that –melanoma-. What I had lived, with fears, in my adolescence.
SH: You studied breast in Italy. Was that later?
AR: Yes. Later, I went to the National Cancer Institute of Milan, with a scholarship from the International Union Against Cancer, and I went to study, first melanoma, and when I was there, I met Dr Veronesi, a world renown oncologist, who changed the story of mastectomies. And I went from oncological breast surgery, to plastic breast surgery. And later, to a new specialization: oncoplastic surgery, which combines plastic surgery and oncological surgery, in order to get the best aesthetic result, with the best medical result. You don’t have to mutilate in order to cure. And I think that’s the future in the treatment of oncological diseases. We are more and more aware that oncological surgery can include immediate reconstruction -at the same time the surgery is being done. The patient doesn’t have to experience the mutilation in order to value the reconstruction.
Traducción: Felicitas Soria 

Dr Alberto Rancatti: “Before, during, and after the OR” (2/3)
SH: What goes through your mind at that time? What do you think, as a doctor who also takes care of the harmony of the body?
AR: It’s very comforting. It’s an activity where the patients value very much what it does: give them back their harmony, allow them to recognise themselves in the mirror. After the surgery there is a lot of fear: fear of death, of being deformed… Another of the many fears before surgery. When the patient is aware of this possibility, he enters the OR with a sort of tranquillity. And after the surgery they value all that greatly, and it is very rewarding. During surgery you know that you are giving the patient the best, both regarding the oncological side, and the cosmetic side. Today you have a lot of possibilities, and you have to “match” the patients with what you’re going to do. The planning stage before surgery is everything. The surgery is the execution of your plan, taking into account all the variables that exist, but today you can foresee the results, thanks to the different implants, materials, sizes, and you can show it to the patient. That helps them a lot. Last year, I participated as faculty at University of California San Diego, at the “Center for the Future of Surgery”, a simulation and training facility, where we have an area, of 23 ORs, and there we aim to improve the education of the doctors, so their learning curve is not with the patients. That was our situation. You had a teacher that taught as you were operating on a patient. Today you can perform a full surgery on a human like dummy. Students at UC have to practice on this dummy before entering the OR.
SH: How long does that practice take?
AR: As long as it is needed. They’re debriefed, they see the surgery, they perform it on the dummy and if there are any mistakes they stop and correct it. Much like a pilot –they won’t fly for the first time during a battle-. No one will step on a plane if the pilot hasn’t practised on a simulator first. Well, with surgeries it is the same.
SH: And what do you do there?
AR: I train the Latin-American doctors, and for the doctors at UC, regarding plastic surgery, I’m a director at the centre for simulation and training. We created what we call the “masto-trainer”, a thorax with different sized breasts, injuries, where you can do different kind of practices. It even bleeds. You can have different degrees of difficulty. Part of the training is a mastectomy and breast reconstruction, in order to improve their techniques, without the patient suffering the doctor’s learning curve.
It was inaugurated a year ago. And 550 coursed have been done already. For different specializations, not only plastic surgery. And we are now trying to bring that to Latin America. Today, many private companies support this. Companies who make the surgical instruments; they provide us with these instruments, and can have doctors training. It’s a win-win situation: for the companies, the doctors, and above all, the patients. They are cared for by doctors who have been trained.              
SH: There’s is something I haven’t asked yet. Why breast?
AR: Breast surgery is the combination of the oncological and the aesthetic. For women, is the most frequent pathology. One out of eight women will have breast cancer. One out of four people will have an oncological pathology. And also, the breast is an icon. And my training was regarding the breast, with Veronesi, who argued about removing the breast when you can just remove a section a have a good aesthetic result. It’s the same result. So, you start thinking in having good results, keeping also the feminine shape. And that works also for head and neck and other areas where you can aesthetically improve the results. But the breasts are, for women, one of the areas most valued, and also, most plagued by cancer. One has to evaluate what one is good for. And I think I have more abilities in this area than in others, it felt more comfortable. And it ended up being something I enjoy.

Traducción: Felicitas Soria 
La Vocación del Dr Alberto Rancati 

Dr Alberto Rancatti: “Of Tastes, Of Time, Of Doctor´s Analysis.” (3/3)

SH: Something that caught my attention, that I thought beautiful, is the bond you have with your father in the OR.
AR: Yes, I started helping him, and now he helps me. He’s 86 years old. And every morning I pick him up and we go together to work. We have breakfast, we discuss patients, surgeries. That’s one of the benefits when you share, you choose the same profession. It could be the other way, we could be competitive with each other, there could be bad feelings, but luckily, it’s not so.
When you enjoy what you do, time flies. I don’t get tired working all day. People think that working a lot of hours is exhausting, but I can’t wait to get into the OR every morning and start working. I think it’s a privilege to do something you like. I think it goes hand in hand with liking what you do, and you even don’t care much for the “economic result”.
AR: I think that vocation and dedication don’t allow for that interest. Of course, we all want to live well, be well paid, but it’s a mistake to make that your goal, foregoing what you like. First you have to think what abilities you posses, and what you enjoy doing. That is what you have to do. If you do what you like, with passion, with dedication, investing time, doing things in relation to that, and if it’s real, and people perceive that, you will get paid for it.  People want to feel that you care for them, that you love what you do, in Medicine at least. Sometimes it’s hard to transmit that to people who are just starting. There’s so much competition... everybody wants success now, money now... and there you can lose your vocation. Everything takes time. It’s wrong to think that if you are successful you’ll have patients, no; you have patients and then comes success. It’s hard to transmit that. People want things now
AR: My son it’s about to start Medicine School. And though there are a lot of doctors and a lot of awful situations, I think that people who start and do things right have many opportunities. They will stand out. If they do things right, they will stand out, because very few do things right. And you can see that. If they keep in mind that they have to do that effort... You can perceive that. To transmit security, confidence... you can’t fake that. You see it.  And I think that those who train and improve themselves will have the key. People want the same things: a doctor who takes care of them, who is well trained, who is available, who is affectionate.
TH: If you want to, please tell us what therapy did for you... Do you go to therapy?
AR: My wife is a psychoanalyst. And I think that there’s a breaking point with therapy: the results are more enjoyable for others than for me! Once you have the tools that psychoanalysis gives you, one can establish a better relationship with what surrounds you. You learn why you do certain things and why you do things in a certain way. It gave me tools to improve relationships and to understand one’s identity, the why. There was a moment I was so excited that I had therapy three or four times a week. A very interesting intellectual exercise. If you don’t try it, you can’t imagine it. You can really understand it when you go through that experience. And many things that you learn, that you incorporate, stay with you all the time.
AR: Today I’m more in touch with that, with common sense, in order to decide to do something or not. And if I have to give myself to a psychoanalyst, which is something heavy, it’s like letting yourself be cut open by a surgeon. I’d like to know... Sometimes I realise when a patient comes, it’s not I who does the interview... they interview me. They’re checking if they will trust in me for the surgery. It’s the same thing. In the first sessions you interview the psychoanalyst.

Traducción: Felicitas Soria