Comments from Bea now home from Peru

It’s impossible to express what an incredible experience I have lived in Villa El Salvador for 3 months.

At first, I felt like I was out of place, everything is so different to what I am use to. However, the moment I started to do some work, things got better.

Every morning I went to the health centre “Centro Médico Parroquial San Martín de Porres” in Oasis, the 10th sector, and poorest sector in Villa. The technical nurses were great and showed me how they worked there. I was so impressed with all the nursing techniques they did, considering that they are all still studying to be nurses: wound care, injections, nebulisers, stitches… All sorts, they even prepare they’re own materials: they cut they’re own gauzes and fold them, so then they can sterilise them; and the same with gloves and the rest of the materials. It’s impressive when in Spain you are used to just opening packets. Anyway, 2 weeks later they considered me as part of the team. And that’s the thing that I most loved of been there. Everybody works as a team: doctors, technical nurses, admission staff, pharmacists, cleaning staff… Everybody has one principal objective: patients. Carol, who is the coordinator, insists on this: quality but most importantly, warmth.

They are a great team, but they are like a family too and since day 1 they transmitted me that.

So, these 3 months I have been spending time with three great women: Maria Ysabel, Maria Martha and Isabel; they work in “Tópico”, which is the nursing room. I have learnt loads from them and spent time outside the health centre, I’ve met they’re children and families, they have invited me to their houses… And that’s impressive too, to see how they actually all live, and to not hear a single complain, they are happy with what they have.

I could write a book with all the things the people from Centro Médico San Martin de Porres have given me: love, kindness, knowledge, confidence…

Sometimes it seemed that I wasn’t very useful, but one of my last days in the health centre, the girls, my friends, thanked me because they said that it was because of me they had developed a stronger friendship between them.

My afternoons consisted on going to “Fe y Alegría” school where I helped the teachers -Gladys and Nancy – with both first year classes.

I helped the children that had more difficulties to write and do the exercises. I just helped the teachers with whatever they needed me to do.

It was lovely to go in the classrooms everyday and watch how all the children run towards me to hug and kiss me.

I went one week to Ayacucho with Silvana, a girl that I met in the Parrish church “La Paz”. Silvana likes doing missionary work when she’s off work and university. I was quite interested in visiting a different part of Peru and it was a really good experience.

Silvana knew some priests that live there and we contacted them. So when we met up with father Fidel, he suggested we should stay with a family he knew from church because a lodging house was going to be too expensive.

And so we did, we stayed with a lovely family that looked after us and treated us as part of the family- the grandmother Carmencita, her daughter, Karina and her granddaughter, Jillian.

It was lovely to meet them and live with them for a week.

And of course, it has been wonderful to meet Claire and Maeve and to live with them, they have been like my grandmothers.

I could keep writing tons of experiences, but here’s some of the most important memories I have taken back with me.

It is very difficult to be back at home and to not think about all the things I have lived in Lima, all the people with whom I’ve become friends, and all the differences that exist between Madrid and Villa El Salvador.

I am hoping to go back soon.

Bea

Latest photo’s from Peru

Top Left    A day off in Cusco Peru  Top right  Bea –Nurse in charge!  Top Right (2)   Friends for Life !   Bottom Left    Lesley at work  Bottom right   Lesley at play !!