Our trip down to Ica was a very long one. We started at JFK at 9pm on Friday, meaning some of us left home at 4 or 5. After a good flight, some delays at customs (as usual) and a slow bus ride, we unloaded the bags at the hospital at 530 or so Saturday night. So yeah, close to 24 hours traveling to arrive in Ica Peru. The Texas, San Fransisco and Colorado contingents had an even longer trip. And yet, somehow, the Texans were singing on the bus! They’re a fun gang.
Sunday was screening day, and we had the best, most efficient screening day ever. Medical students from Lima and Ica, shepherded by Jury and Rosa, our long time collaborators, had the patients fill out paperwork as we set up, followed by photographs of each kid, hospital bracelets, surgical, medical, and anesthesia screening, and of course, speech screening! A new wrinkle on this trip…we have about a dozen patients from Huancavelica with developmental delays. Tomorrow will be DDD…developmental disabilities day, more on that as we go.
When the dust cleared, 88 children and teens had been screened, and the surgical schedule is packed for the week. Speech has a full plate for the week, too: DDD, rounding on kids in the rooms (not wards!) post surgery, parent training meetings, and building our connections with colleagues in Peru. We are so happy to be in Ica, where the sand dunes surround us and the pisco is local. Everyone is so happy to work with us, and the hospital is brand spankin’ new and so clean and welcoming.
This is the start of something big.