St. Patrick's Day in Peru was quite interesting. We were not allowed to buy beer. Apparently, the city of Lima is having an election. They do not permit alcohol sales for days previous to and day of the election. It is a crime, to say the least.
Since it was Sunday, there was not going to be any seeing of patients on this day. Dr. Mary, the physiatrist that helps coordinate our trip had arranged a gathering of sorts.
Dr. Mary had arranged a presentation. We were brought to Carrion Hospital, where Dr. Mary, 2 of our previous prosthetic patients, Rosa and Luis, as well as some other volunteers had gathered to provide us a light lunch and show us what they had been working on.
Dr. Mary is a saint. The blog should end there, but you need to know more. The presentation detailed clinic after clinic, village after village, of places that are not just poor, but poorer than poor....and somehow Dr. Mary and her crew have found a way to provide services and relief that would otherwise go unprovided. The services may have encompassed physical therapy to the disabled, but they may have just easily included psychiatric support to single and/or battered mothers, or provided a carnival and games to under served children and communities. The presentation seemed endless. To bring the the experience full circle, two patients Rosa and Luis, now participate with Dr. Mary, in assisting in the aide offered to these communities.
Rosa and Luis were patients that Al and I had made prostheses for just last year. When I saw Rosa, I had to check her prosthesis to verify for myself that it was the same prosthesis that we had provided....It was.!! To me it was amazing. These people were overcoming many many obstacles. They were helping Dr. Mary to show other communities that life is not over simply because of these issues. Show them that they are not alone. There is a way to live, to carry on and survive and to not only exist but to contribute and help shape their world into the community that they want their world to be.
I cannot express how impressed I am with Dr. Mary and how inspiring it is to me, to try and do everything I can...to simply help.
After the presentation we traveled to Callo, for dinner. As you can see from the pictures, we dined on some most delicious Ceviche, white fish and fantastical butterscotch icecream.
Mary had arragned for some dancers to perform a couple traditional Peruvian dances. Afterwards, we could not resist walking down to the water to simply dip our toes in. It was a touch chilly ;-)
Closing the day, we made a stop at Lima's answer to Home Depot to stock up on supplies. Tomorrow begins our first true patient day, and we have much to do. 1st and foremost we are praying that the supplies that we shipped down get out of customs in time for us to actually begin the very work we came here to do.
Buenos noches, mis amigos