Peru- One week Completed!

Posted on January 17th, 2014 by

Today marks our first week in Peru! At times it feels like we just got here and at other times it feels like we´ve been here for longer. We have gotten into our routine of classes, playing soccer (soccer o´clock is what we like to say), heading to the nearby tienda (store), and siesta time. A couple nights this week we went to the tienda down the street from the parish. There are tiendas, which are like convenient stores, on almost every block in Peru. The owners of this particular one love it when Gustavus students come. There names are Teresa and Johnny. They will set up chairs for us out front and sit with us. They are so kind, as is custom for Peruvian people. Peruvians greet each and every person like they have been friends for years. Here it´s considered rude if you don´t say hello and greet someone with a kiss. All the children are taught to greet every adult. It is so sweet when at the end of class all the children run up to us and say ciao with a kiss.

As part of the health care team, I´ve gone into many homes with the hospice facilty here. Every home I´ve been to I´ve been greeted like I was a friend and told to “sientense por favor!” That means sit down please. The homes here are nothing like what you would see in the U.S. Many home are mostly outside with no roofs and walls made out of a straw like material. Some homes don´t even have running water. Clean water is a big problem here, which affects health immensely. The hospice facilty here is beautiful! Suppssedly, it is the only hopsice facilty in South America! They have 24 beds and do many home visits around Chimbote. The nurses here have been great! We also spend time in the clinic helping with well-child checkups and observing other patients. We have even helped cut and fold gauze becasue pre-cut and packaged gauze is too expensive.

Another great thing about Peru is everyone spends time outside of their houses and interacts with the neighbors. There is such a sense of community here. Much like our Gustavus community at home. This sitting is always popping. Last night around 10 we were hanging in our rooms getting ready for bed when a marching band starting playing happy birthday. There was a birthday party going on right across the street from us. They continued to play util 5 in the morning! It was a difficult nights sleep for many. They say New York City is the city that never sleeps but Chimbote definitely gives it a run for their money.

We discovered that Chimbote has a mall! So, we all piled into our chicken bus, that we use for transportation, and headed to the mall. It has only been open for about 3 years. It was beautiful. We were walking around and all of a sudden the roof was gone. Part of the mall is outside! It was a fun little outing. Sister Peggy even came with us. She is the Irish, Catholic nun who has been part of the mission for over 30 years. She is so sweet and such a joy to talk to. One of the guards Julio came with us too. He plays soccer with us and goes to the tienda with us. Everyone here loves him. All the guards are great!

Tonight we are headed to Nuevo Chimbote for a nice dinner out. This weekend we also have a boat trip, beach day and mountain hike planned. Should be a fun, sun filled weekend!

Abrazos y besos from Chimbote, Peru!

-Maddie Randall

p.s. Hi Mom!!




One Comment

  1. Mama Randall says:

    So proud of you and all of you great representatives of your school and your parents. Lovulots, everyone keep safe and keep your sunscreen applications going!