Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ayacucho and Pucallpa Peru

Saturday morning we left for Peru to do NRT training. We picked up two great Doctors in SLC. We arrived in Lima late at night. Our next flight out of Lima to Ayacucho meant we had to be to the airport at 3:30 am. So we decided to just spend the night at the airport.  Interestingly enough there were many people just like us. A small commune of people waiting for early morning flights into the great mountain areas of Peru. I did sneak an hours nap on the edge of the fountain. 

 Our view from the room in Ayacucho was really beautiful. It is a city in the Andes about 120 miles across the mountain from Machu Pichu. 
 Sunday afternoon we drove to the site where Peru gained it's independence from Spain. They had a mighty battle and now have this monument to mark the spot. 
 The lady below tried to get on our private bus to sell us something suspicious looking. We think it was cocaine infused. 
 Little ladies are everywhere selling anything you can imagine on the streets. 
 We taught the course to 45 people. These nurses are admiring the new mannequins we are using. 
 Across the street from our hotel is an old church. The moon was full so I got a shot of it rising above the steeples. The structure to the left is for hanging people. 
 I made several references to the fact that we were flying on old planes. This is one of them. We actually had nice flights. It was fairly small but zipped over the mountains. We had a stop in Cuzco but alas could not get off the plane nor even see out the windows because those engines hang in front of them. One of the docs with us commented that the pilot flew it like a fighter jet. We did some snazzy turns around the mountains. 
 There is a sweet lady from the midwest who heard what we do and makes little baby hats for preemies. She sends them to us and when we can we bring them to the countries. These nurses were excited to take them back to their hospitals to give out. 
 On Wednesday we flew back to Lima. It was about a six hour time frame before we had to be checking in to our next flight. So we headed to Lima along the coast to try a place we had heard of to eat. It lived up to the hype. Amazing views and food. It was a great way to spend the afternoon. 

 Here is Jeff marking the spot on his GPS. Just in case we cannot remember how to get there again. It is on the pier below him. 
 We all had some kind of seafood and other delicious things to eat. We invited our taxi driver to eat with us. We bought his meal. He is a young guy and had never been any where like this. He is taking the picture so you cannot see him. The waiters were very rude to him. It was kind of sad. Here is another view from the pier. 
 Back to the airport and a flight to Pucullpa. It is a city on an Amazon tributary. When we checked into our hotel they had these yummy tropical fruit drinks ready for us. When  I saw this picture I realized I was the only girl in the group on this trip. It is very hot and humid here. Fortunately we are teaching in the Church which has air conditioning. 
 After the course we headed to the hospital. It was in pretty tough shape. Below are Jeff, Jerry Twiggs and Terry Drake. They are the Doctors from the US on this trip. We have two Peruvian Doctors also. 
 I found myself kind of at a loss today. The little guy below is an orphan. The nurses are raisng him. He wanders the pediatric ward which is his home. He had tetenus, yes you heard me... tetenus. 
 As I said the hospital is in tough shape. Here is the ceiling and next is a waiting area. 

 Next we went to see a water project. It was out of the center of town and in a pretty poor area. In fact I would call it a shanty town. This well brings clean water to about 80 families. Some were so excited that we came they wanted to show our group their new water.

 This lady showed me her new shower. She was thrilled. She has never had a shower. It is surrounded by plastic with a spigot on a pole. The water is running behind my head. Below they are showing us how much water pressure they have. They carry the water into the house to use. 

 Finally a picture of the group from Ayacucho. This is why we are here. To teach Doctors and nurses how to save babies lives when they have difficulties breathing at birth. We talked to a lady who rode in a small boat for 6 hours to get to the course. She could not afford the faster bigger boat. 
There is a man at the course who took us all to dinner tonight to show his appreciation. He told us a couple of stories. One is that he was shot by terrorists a couple of years ago. He has bullet marks all over his face. He spent 6 weeks in the hospital in Lima recovering. He also told us of a Doctor (plastic surgeon) from Boise who we have read about. This Doctor sold his practice and gives everything he has to doing surgeries on people in third world countries. He was here recently. 
The final picture is of the newborns in the NICU at the hospital. 
There is one more day of teaching. The week goes by so quickly. It is long hard days but we are thrilled to be able to be a part of this program. 


Garden of Egan said...

Hmmm....and we get our nickers in a twist if there is water on the floor at the hospital or if housekeeping hasn't cleaned a room for 6 hours.

MZB said...

I really needed to read that story, it indeed humbled me as not 30min before I was throwing a fit for having to clean three bathrooms all by myself.

Rachel said...

Interesting that they still put their babies on their tummies. What's your take on this?

Rachel said...

And I second Tawna & Magan's comments. The things we think of as problems are so insignificant.

There is a Peruvian restaurant here in town. I've heard it's good, but whenever I look at the menu I'm a little freaked out about trying the food. Should I?

MZ said...

The cuy is guinea pig. They make great soups. What else is on the menu?

Beth said...

It always amazes me to read about your work and adventures. This one was especially touching. You are so fortunate to be a part of this wonderful work. I admire what you and Jeff are doing.

Leslie said...

You put a lot of energy into that post. Thanks so much for sharing your adventures with all of us. It would be so hard to imagine the things you see and do without these detailed posts. This was a touching read.