This won’t be like my typical entry since this trip was not just for fun, even though it was. We were traveling with PHOP to provide medical services to villages in Peru and tried to explore as much as we could in between work and being sick.
Landed in Lima! Got a bit of royal treatment when we were picked up at the airport and brought to an amazing condo overlooking Miraflores! Especially surprising since we were expecting to sleep on a couch or floor and instead got beautiful views of the water and lights off the balcony. Thanks Tony! We headed over to grab some ceviche and the first of many Pisco Sours at Popular in Larcomar, a nice outdoor shopping area.
Woke up to some gorgeous views of Miraflores off the balcony… cliffs, water and tons of exercising people. It honestly made us feel a bit lazy. We grabbed an Uber and got a delicious breakfast at Tanta complete with yummy fresh squeezed mixed fruit juices. We took a scenic walk back along the water and continued to feel pretty lazy since everyone else was either running or biking. We stopped at the Parque del Amor to snap some photos.
We got back to the condo, packed, picked up essentials and were off to Chincha!
Off to work! We were based out of the PAMS clinic in Chincha. The facility was pretty impressive and we had access to basic imaging, labs and medications. It was a change to have to rely on the clinical and conserve resources as much as possible. Definitely saw some interesting diagnoses. Our group was an amazing collaboration of medical students, staff as well as super interpreters who were finishing up their last year of medical school in Peru. I absolutely loved working with this amazing team!
After our first day of clinic, we met up for Chifa at Hotel Princess. I cannot emphasize how ASTONISHING this never-ending array of Chinese-Peruvian goodness was!!! Just when we jammed more food in, there was another delicious course waiting. Kudos to the chef!
Slower day at clinic today but did give a TV interview. Also started our daily ice cream break tradition. Mango flavored anything is so delicious. Being utterly exhausted, we ate at our beautiful hotel, Casa Andina and headed to bed.
Today we headed out to the outpost. It was honestly the most insane day I’ve had as a physician. We were set up in a very organized tent outside and had lines of patients waiting when we arrived and some unexpected dogs as well.
Continued to see more interesting cases and struggled a bit with how to treat with limited resources. Took some time to reflect on how easily things are taken for granted. The group was able to test vision for 100s, distribute a ton of glasses and stop by a local school to teach CPR.
Tonight we took a tour of Tabenero and I picked up some Malbec and Moscato. Mmm. Then, we returned to Hotel Princess for some traditional Peruvian food, drinks and dance. They were such gracious hosts.
Today was our last day at the PAMS clinic. Last day of taxis taking a different route every morning. Last day of seeing wonderfully bundled chubby babies. Last day of running across crazy traffic to buy 2.5 L bottles of water. Last day of scrumptious lunches served by the best, warm-hearted volunteers. We said our goodbyes to our new friends and headed back to Lima on a fancy bus. Had dinner at Edo and then off to bed.
A day off! Time for some fun… except I woke up feeling pretty ill, sick to my stomach, dizzy and tingly. Starting the day off at 4:30 am probably didn’t help much either. We headed off for our 3 hour drive to Paracas to see the Ballesta Islands with a stop at the most out of place, cute rest stop ever along the way. We got to the islands to see tons of birds, some adorable penguins and pretty lazy sea lions.
Then back on the van to go explore Huacachina, a crazy oasis in the middle of well… the desert. Hence=oasis. Our buggy driver was absolutely insane! Felt like a roller coaster ride the entire time. Tons of fun! The group did some sand boarding but I was basically trying to keep my stomach together from the boat + buggy ride. I sat every chance I could and made it to our last stop, El Catador, a winery for late lunch and pisco tasting and I was done for the day. Time to head back to Lima and get nursed back to health with crackers and gatorade.
Woke up feeling tons better and ready to eat! Headed back to Popular for some yummy bruschetta, juices and greet tea. Our delicious breakfast got us into a little bit of trouble. By the time we got back to the condo, we had an hour to get ready and out to the airport. Got our bags checked just in time and got to our gate just as we were boarding. Headed to Pisac!