Week 1 CCS.

The first week of placement ends today (nothing is open for the holidays), and so far, so good! I got to spend yesterday with Alex at the clinic, by request, curious to see how it differed from the Tanzanian variety. Aside from being much cleaner and the staff much friendlier, it had a very familiar “this is NOT America” feel. Many of the basic supplies are  made by hand, there are far too many patients for nurses/doctors, and in general they “make do” with what they have. Despite the less then western ideals, the women I met seemed more than happy to be at work and emulated a very welcoming feeling I only felt rarely in Tanzania. I am constantly surprised here by how starkly different, yet pointedly the same it is (compared to Africa). Developing country, class division, lack of government aid. Again, reminded how the majority of the world functions, in seemingly complete chaos that finds a way to create massive infrastructure and the people, ever more impoverished have again proved to be some of the most giving, generous and warm people you could ever hope to meet.  It is what I love about these countries, it’s what makes being in America so hard. Both Alex and I struggle to drive past the rows and rows of Beverly Hills mansions, not only because its a gross waste of resources (no one NEEDS eight bedrooms for three people…), but when you meet many of them, instead of being happy, or welcoming (or grateful), they are the opposite. Yet these women who live on nearly nothing run up to hug you when you meet them, genuinely thrilled to spend the day with you. It’s difficult to reconcile, and while certainly not the absolute it is an unfortunate “usual.” I suppose, at the least, I feel quite fortunate to be around these people, and can only hope to adopt a bit of their warmness and generosity.

In more uplifting news, a group of ten (yes, TEN) are going to Ica tomorrow to go sand boarding! We have to leave at the awful hour of 3:45am (only bus available-with TEN seats). But we get to go to the southern lagoon used-to-be Peruvian elite resort town to spend three days lounging by the pool, dune-bugging, and potentially Pisco tasting in the Pisco producing capital of Lima. I can’t wait! Alex and I were just going to spend the weekend in Miraflores, but opted to switch that until next weekend and be a bit more social. Granted, ten people is a bit much. But thats the way our group seems to be. Fifteen or so of them are young (pre-college to mid-college), are quite loud, and seem to need to do everything together. They have also been making nightly treks across to the ridiculous mall (that has a Cartier and Mont Blanc…) to eat at such quality places such as Burger King and TGIFridays. Feeling stifled by the sheer amount of people, and the personalities in the house, Alex and I have had to escape a few times…The adults are better generally, the two I work with are absolutely amazing, but the others seem to be the “lost youth-need to party-border-line-alcoholism” type. It’s a bit uncomfortable. Both of us can count on one hand who we enjoy spending time with, and five out of twenty-five is a bit rough. But at least, we have the small group we’ve made and each other. And in general are having a fantastic time!

One thought on “Week 1 CCS.

  1. >As always, we love reading your impressions and observations of the other cultures! Sounds like you 2 are going to have a truly unique Christmas! And probably a good move to be part of that group. Have a fabulous weekend!

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