Thursday, July 2, 2009

Change of Plans, Bug Bites, & Nightlife

Yesterday was frustrating....the clinic I am at is not a teaching clinic and seems to not only not do very much, but is not willing for us to help after 4 hours of doing very little besides having random conversations with the spanish nurses and kids I talked to Rudy our program manager and decided to try a different clinic. I was planning on seeing a different placement today and then after switch to a different clinic that does a lot of HIV and Syphillis lab work, but after my placement today, I think I found the perfect fit...

It is a special needs lots of down syndrome kids, kids with multiple genetic syndromes, ADD, some are paralyzed from brain damage at they all need help on motor skills...whether it be with writing or today I was shown by Sarah a volunteer who is leaving tomorrow the ropes...she started this program from scratch about 5 weeks ago...and Im thinking of taking over now...I work one on one and do minor physical therapy and mental excercises with these kids and then taking them to the hospital to work with a doctor...The doctor was great, my Spanish has improved just by speaking with him...he explains everything and lets me do a lot of hands on therapy with was awesome...and you can actually see the progress these kids have made...they are ages 4-10. Once Sarah leaves this program will no longer be Im thinking about will be a MAJOR learning curve, and frustrating at times with the language barrier and struggling kids...however for some reason I am really looking forward to it... lack of patience is one of my weaknesses, so maybe this will be of help with that as well....I originally wanted to do a health clinic...but its more observation and to be honest I feel like they can do the stuff we do without us, its just more for our own experience...which is cool, but I feel somewhat useless....and "volunteering" isnt really as perhaps a change in plans...

We went into the Andes on a bus yesterday with other interns to see the Wari was an hour bus ride into the mountains...we saw the battle field where Peru won their indpendence from Spain...I climbed this huge tower...the mountains were incredible from the top...really sketchy staircases though....we then went to this town called Quinea...totally self sustained...most of the people speak Quetchwa...and only leave ONCE per year to get their art supplies to make their genious pottery, painting, and buildings to sell in the was really cool...extremely authentic...its been around since the Inca's...we then went on a hike through the hills filled with cactus...the view of the mountains around us somewhat reminded me of the grand canyon...except they have no natual water anywhere!...its bizzare...they get their water out of reservoirs and lagoons the govt. had to create for them, because all of it had been extracted...five years ago they could only use running water 2 hours per day because it was so scarce...but it is still filled with parasites..meaning we cant touch it....never saw so many spiders....we saw these bugs women smash and they use the blood for lipstick color...i guess its the major ingredient in Red # 4 basically all our food coloring in food and material goods...kinds was warm so some of us wore shorts...but little did we know there were these bugs...not mosquitos...but tiny flat black bugs that but us they are like microscopic leaches.....we all look like we have chicken pox...not fun...

We went out last night to a restaraunt called Black Magic with some of the locals who work with us and then to a Peruvian disco...I have never seen people dance like that was crazy, but fun...tried my first Pisco Sour...crazy peruvian drink...its actually their national drink...Pisco it a tequila like alcohol that they ferment on the coast, but the drink is really frothy..they beat egg whites and sugar into it...not a huge fan of hard alcohol, but it was not bad...I think Ill stick to cervesa for now though...
Leaving for Machi Piccu on Saturday...apparently this is the last year it is going to be opened for tourists....which is I cant pass it up...we are staying in hostels for 5 days in Cusco and Lima....but apparently their showers are hotter than here...we have no hot water and it gets down to 30 degrees at heat...we sleep with these alpacha blankets that are crazy warm.

Poncho is my favorite...he is middle aged with five kids, and knows his country in and out...he has that spark in his eyes when he does his funny Spanish laugh and has the wrinkles that tell his crazy past...he has taken us on all the treks and knows everything possible about South America...I feel like a sponge...I have realized how little I know about everything...all I want to do is absorb ....We are trying to convince him to go to Machi Piccu with us this weekend...I think he's caving...

and the people here are awesome...had some of the best conversations in a long time...and we are all SO different..but get along so makes things interesting to say the least....I'm beggining to have a strong appreciation for Canadians...ok off to a lecture on cocaine...its apparently a big topic here...


  1. Katherine.. this new assignment sounds absolutely perfect. It's funny...the way we're prepared for one thing, but find we're so much more prepared for the the thing we weren't preparing for.. you are going to grow and be used in so many incredible, unreal ways.. and i'm excited :)

    glad you got to go to a disco.. ha.. and try a pisco sour.

    i'll e-mail you again soon, i promise..with all the details you requested :)


    I'm so excited I found this! I love it! Sounds like you're having tons of fun!!!! Even though I know you don't need it, GOOD LUCK in your adventures! I misss and love you!!!!

  3. ah so excited to hear about your many adventures! :)

  4. amazing, katherine! this sounds PERFECT for you-- keep us updated on your placement and whether or not you decide to continue the work! love and miss youuu