I Love Chepen!
So first session ended here in Vive Peru world! I said bye to some amazing people that I know will be life long friends! Luckily for me many of them live in Arizona and I can see them when I get home. It was great being with such a diverse group of people, who I shared similar passions and dreams with. Most of the volunteers went to Cusco and visited Machu Piccu. They said it was great! On my week in between sessions I stayed with a missionary family and worked in Trujillo in a medical campaign for four days. It was a really great experience! Especially because I hope to do missions one day, it was valuable to see how the family lives, and the many sacrifices they have to make. In their house (which is also the school they run) they didn´t have water or electricty for months. The second day we were there they had electricity installed in their house for the first time. It is also a problem for them when their family has serious health issues, because of the poor healthcare system in Peru. But working in the campaign was a lot of fun! In the four days we saw about 500 patients! Also I felt super useful because I knew a lot of the medical spanish, and could interpret common Peruvian terms that they use to describe pain and sickness. Many of the medical volunteers didn´t know Spanish so I got to help out a lot. I mostly filled out patient histories, with their cheif complaints. I also handed out medicine and described to the patients how to take it, and helped the children take their parasite medicine right there at the campaign. It was great :). I really liked the group that came down to do the med campaign. It felt really good to be back in a community of people that love Jesus! I also met a peruvian girl my age that wants to be a missionary too :D. I made a lot of American and Peruvian friends on that trip :)
So after the campaign we started our second session! This session I work in Chepen hospital! I love it so much. I go to work on weekends and can´t wait for Monday so I can go back. The interns, doctors, and surgeons are all so nice, and willing to teach us. They love that we ask questions are so interested in medicine. My first couple of days there I saw 2 C-sections. The first one we saw the cord was wrapped around the baby´s neck. The second one I got to hold the mom´s hand and tell her what gender her baby was. I felt so honored to be a part of such a big event in her life. For some reason in all of the births and c-sections I have seen the moms have always been alone with no family. Maybe the family isn´t allowed in the room, I am not sure. That day we also a surgery where they removed a benign tumor. Let´s just say there was pus everywhere… The surgeon that did this surgery was very nice. To my surprise he spoke perfect english. He asked me why I was in Peru, why I want to do medicine, and what makes me want to work in developing countries when there is poverty in my own country. Pretty intense questions for a first meeting but good thing I had answers to all of his questions! :). My first week in Chepen I did a Pediatric rotation. It was really fun. We had a different doctor everyday but they were all very willing to answer our questions. One of them even gave us a powerpoint presentation on one of the cases we saw. It was awesome! I really like the new girl I work with this session. She is really smart, and also asks a lot of questions. We are a good team! Next week I work in internal medicine/surgery. I am so excited. I took my rommate Monica to work on Saturday and we each saw 3 surgeries. On the last one she actually got to assist!!! It was SO exciting. And then the surgeon (the one that asked me the intense questions) took us to each ceviche. It was a good day/week :) I am having such a great experience I can´t even express how thankful I am! :) Check out my facebook for pictures of me with a buch of babies :) :) God bless. PS sorry if there are typos I have to write these really fast. :)
I have so much to say about the past two weeks! I´ll start by talking about the day of our medical campaign. In our campaign we started at 9 am and went until about 6:30. We were in El Progresso, which is the poorest area of the city. We had one general doctor, one pediatrician, and an obstetrician. We saw over 150 patients. They said at the time that this was the most patients Vive Peru has seen in a one-day medical campaign. But we also had to turn away a lot of patients as well. I guess that´s one of the difficult sides of this type of medicine. Overall it was a great day. I personally felt accomplished because I did several patient histories in Spanish by myself! I needed help here and there but this experience showed me that my spanish has really improved.
Last weekend most of us that live in Pacasmayo went to Chachapoyas, which they call ¨the eyebrow of the Amazon¨ so it was right at the edge. We took a 15 hour over night bus, I shared a hotel room with 6 other girls, we did a 5 hour hike to a water fall, and then did another 15 hour bus back… When we got to pacasmayo I got really sick! But I am all better now praise God. Let´s just say I feel like I experienced first hand why it´s difficult to stay healthy in developing countries.
Once I got better I went to my new hospital in Chepen that I will be working at for the next 5 weeks. My friend Bruce who previously worked there showed me around and introduced me to everyone there. The people that work there are so friendly and helpful!! My first day there was a life changing day. One of first things I saw that day was a little girl, her name was Yulissa and she is turning two tomorrow. She has second degree burns all over her body and needed to be splashed with water in a little bath constantly. It was heart wrenching to see how much pain she was in. After this we went to the birthing area and met a young lady who had given birth a few hours prior, I said hi and held the baby for a few minutes, then asked what the little girl´s name was. The mom said she didn´t have one yet and I jokingly suggested that she name her Rachel haha. A few hours later one of the interns told me that the lady actually named her daughter that! Ah! thats so crazy. I don´t have time to upload it now but there is a picture on my facebook of my two favorite interns Marcitos and Carlos, and the baby that now has the name Rachel with the caption ¨This is probably my favorite picture! I’ll explain in my blog!¨
So after that I witnessed my first live birth… It had some complications and was very intense, but it was beautiful!
After that we went to do our nutrition class in El Progesso, my favorite part was playing soccer with the boys there! They didn´t have shoes though :/ I´ll insert a picture of this also. Ill write more later!
Work Week Numero Dos
So my week this week was so good. In the beginning of the week I was by myself in the clinic and it was awesome because I had the chance to really practice my Spanish! Also some of the staff at the clinic took Sally and me out for ceviche, and it was so good! One of the highlights of this week was going out into an elementary school and giving tetanus vaccines to the kids. I actually gave seven of them! I was so scared at first but it went really well! :D The next day we worked with our usual doctor as well as a new young doctor who is doing her Serums at our clinic. Here in Peru medical students are required to volunteer a year of working in an underserved clinic before they get their license, this is called their serums. We all went to Huasca, which is a clinic that we always go to in another area of Jequetepeque, we see more extreme cases here. This week we saw some kids with skin conditions. The picture below is the area that the clinic is in.
Also this week we learned how to do sutures and injections. We learned how to do the sutures on pig´s skin, it was so fun. The day after we learned we went to work and a man came in with a cut on his head. We got to watch the doctor suture it! It was so cool! Here are some pictures of it:
and here is a picture of us practicing on pig skin:
One of the best parts about this week was planning a nutrition class for kids here in El Progresso (the ghet-to! but seriously). In Peru they eat a lot of potatoes and rice especially in families of lower income. Therefore anemia and vitamin A deficiencies are common. We planned great stuff and it went really well. The kids enjoyed it as well as the volunteers. I just felt very accomplished, as if even if one kid got something out of it then this whole trip was worth it. I just love doing what ever I can to try to help and hopefully help them to be healthier in the future. It was a great day :) Here is a picture of it!
Yesterday we met a man in our clinic that was getting some supplies for a medical campaign in Trujillo. It turns out that he is a pastor and he and his wife are Christian missionaries. They live in Trujillo and Jeque, and they run a school for very low income children. I was sooooo excited to meet them! We ate luch at their house, along with a surfer from Australlia (random I know haha). It was so cool though, they are the sweetest people! I was telling them about the nutrition class we did and they asked if they could use our hand outs and stuff to teach nutrition at their school! Also they are holding a medical campaign in Trujillo on the week I have off so I am planning on going to help with that. Super exciting! I think that´s all I have…… Oh one more thing Here is a picture of a collectivo. This is how I get to work everyday. Also sometimes I have to ride in the trunk (not this kind of car the hooded ones…) yeah! :D
This is the city I work in, called Jequetepeque:
But yeah overall I am having an amazing time and I am really excited that I get to stay longer. I am really looking forward to our medical campaign (this tuesday!) and seeing surgery. Thank you for reading! God bless :)
So I have been in Peru for two weeks now! I am so behind on posting but I am just gonna jump right in! I absolutely love Peru, and even more so I love the city I live in, Pacasmayo. The people and the culture are so great and I really love learning about it. Just to give a little background I am here with an organization called Vive Peru working in a medical clinic called Centro de Salud Jequetepeque. I love work. The other volunteeer I work with, Sally, and I are building relationships with the staff at our clinic (which is really important here) especially our doctor. The doctor we work with is so great. She takes time to teach us so much about the patients´ symptoms, how she checks them, and how she treats them. She even draws us diagrams and lets us hear and see what she is looking at. She explains all of this in Spanish so it´s a challenge for me to say the least but I am really enjoying it. Every week we have three medical classes and a spanish class. So far the medical classes are extremely helpful. This past weekend we visited Otuzco which is another city where some Vive Peru volunteers are placed. A lady came up to us and asked us why were there (because we were obviously foreign lol). We told her we we are studying medicine and are volunteering here for the Summer. She started asking us what kinds of foods she should feed her kids. We got to use our knowledge of the culture and from the medical class to help her out. Here they eat mostly rice and potatoes so most kids suffer from anemia. It was just a really cool moment. The clinic I work at is very limited on supplies. For example we went to a clinic in an extremely rural area of Jequetepeque last week and the doctor was testing for HIV and giving birth control shots with no gloves, simply because she didn´t have any. This is also common at the clinic we usually work at. This Friday we watched a nurse give a baby a vaccination, and the mother had to buy a new needle because her only other choice was to use a used one. It is apprent that it is a struggle to finance healthcare in this area, but all the staff at our clinic genuinely wants to find ways to help people, and provide the tests and diagnoses that they need. Overall I am learning a ton, I am so thankful for this experience, and I can´t wait for what is ahead, and all that I will learn. The first picture is (from left to right) Ary, me, Erika and Monica (my amazing roomate!). This is after our second day of work. The three other girls work at the biggest hospital in this area in Guadalupe. The second picture is of me and Mary, our coordinator who is also super amazing. All of the volunteers are great people, and we all get along really well, and have great conversations. Please message or email me I would love to talk to you! :D email@example.com