Portland Adventist Academy and friends Richard and Diana
Deanna, David, Kevin, Jennika, Royce, Glena, Sandie, Merylin.
Deanna, David, Kevin, Jennika, Royce, Glena, Sandie, Merylin.
Day one: Medical Clinic
Today was our first clinic day. We held it in a school located about 15 minutes from the People of Peru Project Headquarters. It's amazing to me how the word gets out and before we knew it, there's a line full of people, waiting in the hot sun to be seen. We saw approximately 100 people today with many various ailments ranging from headaches to lice and scabies, decubiti/ulcerations, UTI's and of course, parasites. In addition, we saw a large amount of children, ranging in ages from 8 mo.'s to 12-years-old with various problems. Bronchitis seemed to be a common theme today for the little ones along with other various respiratory infections. The abject poverty of these people is amazing to me. The things we take so for granted are simply beyond their reach and or understanding. We had a good day! And even though I'm a Labor and Delivery nurse, I felt like I made a difference.
Diane Opp Richard Slack
Day two: Belen Market and Work at the Crisis center.
It was so cool to see the market place! The narrow alley ways of stalls seem to go on forever. We saw all sorts of new and exciting things: piles of giant snails, snake heads, jungle remedies, unusual fruits, and spices. New smells filled the air, sometimes of savory spices and at other times the raw meat waiting to be sold.
We went down into the slums of Belen. There were children every where, many of whom walked barefoot in the filthy streets. Everywhere we looked, we saw the desperate need of the people. Everywhere we looked, we saw people working for there meager existence. The only thing that prevented the scene from being completely depressing were the smiles and giggles of the children as we talked with them and took their pictures.
After lunch, we went to the Crisis Center. We took a tour of the grounds and I was impressed with what the People of Peru Project has done so far with the land. They are building dorm rooms for the girls to stay in. Our group helped to clear out the wooden forms that had been used to pour concrete. We removed all the nails and placed the boards in a sheltered place for future use. We also had a great opportunity to talk with the mothers and hold their beautiful babies. Today was a great experience!
Day 3 Medical Clinic
Today we went out to do a medical clinic in Punchana. We got there around ten and set up for the day. While the nurses and translators were working with those who were wanting the medical attention, we (the students) were trying to keep the kids busy... and there were lots of them!
We first tried to keep them busy by handing out balloons for them to play with, but we soon found ourselves mobbed by children who, despite how many times they had come by, claimed that this was their first balloon. Needless to say, those went pretty fast. So now we needed to find something else to do. We tried coloring pages. Those also went all too fast.
Before long, we were outside trying to teach them games and playing tag. The only thing we ran out of then was energy from playing in the hot sun. So, we spent a while just talking to the kids, and that's when we found that we didn't necessarily need to keep them busy with games or toys, because they liked just standing there asking us questions. We still taught them some more games and played jump rope a little bit, but we spent a lot more time talking with the kids then at the last clinic, which is great!
This was by far one of the best times I've had on this trip so far. We all made a lot of new friends and had a ton of fun in the process; and even though I didn't construct any buildings or dress any wounds, I walked away feeling that I had made a big difference. I believe the moral of this story is: The value of any action can be measured by the love that is put into it. And a small action done with great love is far more life changing than the other way around.
The sun beat down on us as we went to do Gods work, hot, humid yet bearable. At 9 o'clock we packed up the medical gear and headed to a little house/clinic about 5 minutes from headquarters. Upon arriving, we packed all the gear out and risked the mud to get to this little house that was to be our make-shift clinic for the day.
To set the scene for you there was a house off to the side of the road with a dirt floor, tons of trees in the yard with ditches on either side of the dirt road filled with swampy water. I was surprised at how few people there where in the street compared to the previous places. This turned out to be the trend throughout the whole day.
We (the students) took the first step to get the few kids involved in games. Everything form jump-rope to bubbles, we did them all. As the day progressed, we were forced inside due to the risk of heat stroke and sat down with the people and just talked. I learned more today than ever on this trip because I had time to sit and study the people here and how life worked. I learned how to take blood pressure and what it meant, I learned partially how to diagnose ailments, and how to better communicate in Spanish.
Overall today was fun and a success. We treated under 50 people today but the ones we did treat were full of personality. A funny thing that happened to me today. I was strolling along, when suddenly I stepped ankle deep in the only mud hole for 900 feet and it was less than a foot wide, yet I managed to step in it. Everyone who was in line waiting for the clinic laughed and I ended up laughing with them. We returned for lunch and relaxed in the shade for the remainder of the day, and after a refreshing dinner with friends, felt much better.
Tonight, we had to say goodbye to Richard, a three time volunteer, who over this short time has become a great friend to us all. He makes all of us laugh with his actions and his words but not only that, he is a great friend in Christ. The sending off party was a fitting end to a great time spent with him.
As we go on in life, boats against the current, we press on, looking back only to reflect. Our focus is always forward for a greater purpose, Gods work.