First blog post
To begin, I´ve been here for 2.5 days and have already experienced so much. Last time I was out of the country all I brought with me was a backpack full of beach clothes and sunscreen. So after a 7.5 hour flight from NJ to Lima I got to experience customs.. we were eventually allowed into the country after they searched all of our equipment bags and none were confiscated so that was a relief.
Upon arriving at the hotel in a very nice bus I was told we did some exploring around the neighborhood, visiting the internet cafe but I had no soles so I could not blog yet. We then walked down to the ocean, it was nice, I´ve only seen the Pacific Ocean once in California. Then it was off to bed, it was already 1 in the morning and we had a big day on Friday.
We all met in the ´dining room´ of the hotel for breakfast, cafe con leche and breads with butter and jam. Friday had begun, a little background is needed however. The capstone team in 2004 had created a prosthetic leg for a young woman living in Peru. Javeht was 14 at the time and since then the prosthetic had become very worn and had to be repaired several times. My capstone group this past spring with members Joanna Langworthy, Luc Messier, and myself were able through many e-mails and visits and a conference call to have a very nice prosthetic leg donated by a local Massachusetts company.
Friday was the day we were going to get to deliver the prosthetic leg to Javeht and have it fitted at the clinic where she recieved her first prosthetic. Javeht is 20 or 21 now and has had a daughter. With the prosthetic she had she was not getting around very well and was afraid to travel. Upon arriving at the clinic there was a mix-up and we did not know where Javeht was, it turned out she was in another part of the hospital waiting for us. Once she found us and after many hello´s and thank you´s, we opened the box containing her new prosthetic. I don´t believe there was a dry eye in the room, she was so happy that after all the forms and e-mails for the last 3 months that the day had finally arrived.
During her fitting we encountered a couple of problems and even had to consider switching out some of the parts in order to ensure a proper fit. The doctor had her walk around the room with the new prosthetic, looking for any problems and discussing with the technicians how to improve it. There were a few times that I noticed Javeht wiping the tears from her eyes. After many adjustments and sitting and walking around, the doctor and the now team of technicians in the room trying to fit Javeht´s leg, agreed that it was now ok. She is going to have to check in with the clinic for physical therapy and adjustments from time to time, but now I think she will be much more confident to travel. It was a very rewarding day.
After a very emotional day, we got back to the hotel with half an hour to get ready for a wedding!! It was a very beautiful ceremony and a very very fun reception. We had to get up the next day and pack to catch the 2 pm bus from Lima to Huarmey, which took about 6 hours. The view was amazing along the coast, with cliffs down to the ocean on the left and desert mountains to the right. We arrived at the hostel and picked rooms. Then off for some traditional Peruvian food. Then we slept.
Today we are doing inventory and packing for the various tasks which lay ahead the next couple of weeks.