Week 3-Final Thoughts.

Sunset over Miraflores

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CCS Placement: Centro de Salud San Martin de Porras

My placement is at a local clinic in Villa el Salvador, which is a not-so-great area on the outskirts of Peru. It’s basically on a sand dune; seriously the road is not only not paved, but also is sand…not even gravel. It’s a Catholic church funded clinic (which made an awkward situation when I said I wasn’t Catholic and that my belief in god was complicated) and focuses mainly on local residents. They usually see respiratory illnesses due to Lima’s, and especially in Villa el Salvador, bacterial infections, and other general practice issues. They also have a laboratory, which I haven’t exactly figured out what tests they can do except for LDL, cholesterol, and glucose levels in the blood along with some microscopic examinations. No one speaks english so most of the conversations are extremely short.

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CCS Day 1.

We arrived safely to CCS yesterday and headed to the house, since we arrived nearly first we unpacked and headed to Barranco (near the coast), for churros and the coast (which is absolutely beautiful-see pictures!!!). There are 24 of us, it’s a HUGE group and a bit overwhelming. Everyone seems to want to do everything together and aside from a few of us have formed a gigantic group that goes everywhere together. Luckily there’s a small group of us who aren’t as into the huge group thing, and have so far got along really well.

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Last Week in Moshi

This week will be the last we’re staying (and working) with CCS. On Sunday we start our climb on Kili, then back for a day before heading to Dar and then Egypt.
Last week at work was more laid back, ended up giving tours to a few medical and nursing students from Sweden and Germany that we met at the coffee shop (where we spend every morning, and many afternoons). But generally, more of the same. This week we’ll be saying goodbye to everyone we work with, we’ve become close to the women at the pharmacy and one of the doctors (ironically, not the doctor we were supposed to be spending time with). People keep asking what we got out of working there, and in return what the hospital has gained. We’ve found it difficult to answer. In terms of short term we have been able to help out a great deal, but in terms of long term sustainable aide, we’ve been essentially useless. But, whatever we can offer them is at least…something. What have I gotten out of it? Aside from knowing that clinically, I am not inclined, it has been extremely interesting to view such a drastically different form of medical care. Disturbing and upsetting at times, but overall interesting. Through the chaos how much they could accomplish was actually better than expected. However, for conditions to improve large governmental changes must happen, which as in most of Africa, slow coming. More on this topic later, I’m sure.

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