Thursday, June 30, 2011

Eye love the OR

The past three days we had the opportunity to work with a medical eye team for cataract and pterygium surgeries. This was an awesome experience. We helped with pre-op and post-op cares for patients and even got to observe a few. I was incredibly impressed with the surgical team as a whole. It was amazing to see the special skills, equipment and collaboration that made this mission reality. Total we helped 85 eyes. Of these included a 13 year old boy with congenital cataracts whose outlook was so poor that all three opthamologists questioned if surgery was even worth it. Today at his 1 day post-op we found that he is now able to read a newspaper! Amazing! Check out the cataract graveyard in the picture.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cumpleanos, Corpus Christi and Chaos!

It was Erika's 29th birthday on Saturday! We surprised her after mass with cake and presents. Her children loved it just as much as she did. Included in her gift were photos of this year and last. An even bigger surprise for Erika, was the arrival of 5 more members of her Marquette family-the other half of the nurses arrived that morning. She was very excited to know she'll have continued MU nursing love for another month.

A beautiful view from our bikini perch on the Sunday of Corpus Christi. For this feast day we went with the parish to a mass in an arena with thousands of people. I have never seen so many people gather, and so alive for a mass. It was a sight to see. Afterwards the archbishop lead a procession to the cathedral. The Eucharist was greeted with fireworks, confetti, and a mosh pit of people. I wish the picture gave it justice.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Welcome to my favorite clinical site: The Natural Health Spa

We spent our Saturday morning clinical at the Natural Health Spa in Piura. Earlier this month we learned a little bit about this health service through a guest speaker, Lydia. She introduced us to the idea of healing through manipulating our body's "energy". Lydia came around and read our hands, indicating which side of our body energy enters and leaves. She also taught us about "urine therapy", chakra and the idea of different colored foods having different health benefits (i.e. red food is good for your heart). All very interesting, however, none of her methods really captured me until our visit to her Spa today. Although I was excited beforehand for this alternative clinical, I never would have thought it included a 45 minute body massage. Life is good :)

Also, our big Aggregate project is DONE! If I didn't already mention it, we did an Aggregate Assessment of the community's hospice, Los Angeles. Yesterday we presented our findings to the parish and hospice staff. It went very well. The parish's psychologist now wants to implement a music therapy program, as we had suggested as an intervention to aid in patient coping. Also, the nurses were receptive to our observation of dehydration risk and are going to start keeping cups of water at the patient's bedside. Success!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Can't get enough of that fiesta!

Last night Santisimo Sacramento hosted another fiesta in one of the villages with our favorite MC. We all had a blast enjoying some traditional Peruvian dance and music, as well as dancing with the children. Even after three weeks being here, I'm still blown away bye the constant gratitude we receive. It is remarkable how much they give, despite their deprived situation.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

If your back is wack...

There is a new missionary group here from OK and one of them is assisting at the chiropractic clinic here at the parish for the week. I finished one of my clinicals early yesterday, and took full advantage to learn what this practice is all about. This man was intensely passionate about his chiropractic work. He explained the entire philosophy-that everything is cured from the outside in and it is all about aligning your spine. He told me my spine was "a mess", and although it was very relaxing to have every bone in my back cracked, I think I'll stick to latte and chocolate therapy.

This week we have been scrambling to finish the big project due this Friday. It is almost done-just a few finishing touches to add! We're all anxious to be done and give our afternoon "siesta" time a new meaning.

This morning I helped out at the nursing home-a beautiful facility that is run by an order of nuns. Despite the vast cultural differences down here, there is not much that separates an elderly Peruvian from an elderly American. I really enjoyed listening to the residents stories and we had some fun painting the ladies' nails.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A very Happy Father's Day at La Playa


Today we went on an excursion to the beach of Colan. We all enjoyed this chance to break out of the church walls for the day. Our BIG paper and project is due this coming Friday-we were very happy to reward our late nights with some rest and relaxation.

After some soccer in the sand and a little bit of sun-soaking, we explored some traditional Peruvian dishes for lunch, including ceviche (best I've had yet!), and a sampling of Pisco sours mmmMMM.

Afterwards we commuted to the coast of Piata. Besides enjoying the beautiful mountainous scenery, we were escorted on a boat ride to find a colony of sea lions. I've never seen so many up close...they are huge!

We love to see you smile!

Friday was filled with a lot of fun with family and friends.

We took our family to the market and used money Marquette nurses had raised from last year to buy them a new bed, some blankets and sheets. Afterwards, we saw their home for the first time. It was spacious; ...including two nice sized bedrooms, a kitchen, open living space, and outdoor area where they kept chickens and ducks. The new bed we gave them was for 4-year-old Kiara. She was extremely excited for the new addition, and it appears the bed will serve as a great jungle gym as well.

In the evening, us nurses put on an ice cream social for the staff. I've never seen 16L of ice cream go so fast! The staff loved it, especially the whipped cream!  We went around squirting it in everyone's mouth, as the staff would chant the victim's name. It was a riot!