We woke up today to the sound of loud bangs, some of us thought alpacas were being prepared for food and others thought it was fireworks. The firework-minded people won, because Peru was celebrating the holiday of Corpus Christi. Because people had the day off, our clinics were swamped. I was working the medical clinic intake with a Spanish/Quechua translator named Jhon, along with two other medical students. The entire morning was a blur! After having lunch with most of the volunteers behind the building I headed to help out the optometry clinic. Here I used the autorefractor to look at the patient’s eye dimensions and match a donated pair of prescription glasses to the numbers or provide them with reading glasses. Our clinic ran out of sunglasses to give away on Wednesday, but we would’ve given sunglasses to the patients to go with the prescriptions. The optometry clinic finished seeing patients for the day and I scooted over to the medical clinic for an extra set of hands. As soon as I got there one of our PAs was seeing a patient who complained of acid reflux but turned out to be pregnant. Leonora, our ultrasound technician and Spanish/English translator, performed a complete pregnancy ultrasound to make sure the baby was healthy. I was fortunate enough to learn from Leonora and see how the process works. After everyone finished at the hospital, we had a big end of the week banquet at the function room of our hotel. Louis made sure we had good food, good entertainment, and a fun time. We started off watching a traditional dance performance and at the end the dancers came into the crowd and got us to get up and dance with them! By the end almost every team member was holding hands and dancing in the middle of the room. After we settled down, Dr. Messina spoke to the entire group about our incredible trip. Following her were motivating and touching words by Dr. Coritsidis, Dr. Tracy and Vern Weinburg, Dr. Rager, Cathy, Julia, Dr. Cordoba and Louis. After our last Peruvian dinner complete with a cooked guinea pig and pisco sours, we sang happy birthday to our birthdays of the week and had the four of them blow out candles on cakes! To finish the night, Dr. Morales and his friend/our translator Jhon gave us a small history lesson on Peru’s people and the culture before playing the guitar and singing for us. Everyone was so appreciative of their talents and hearing the traditional songs of Peru.

~ Chrissie Chevalier, OMS I