The air is heavy and the odor of diesel fuel is thick in the streets. You hear a constant rumble of motor bikes engines and Spanish. We have arrived in Iquitos, the northern metropolis of Peru’s rainforest on the basin of the Amazon river. Here we will set up a clinic for the large population of the medically underserved.
Today, we left Lima at 6am and arrived in Iquitos at noon. Our group of 80 medical students, residents, attending physicians, translators from Barcelona and volunteers hauled over 40 bags of medical supplies, medications, and rocks (yes, rocks) onto buses. From the airport we went to our hotel. We unloaded our bags and quickly got settled in our rooms. We then loaded bags and luggage back onto the bus and made our way to the military base that will serve as our clinic for the next few days. There we organized everything we brought with us. I helped set up the pharmacy. Really wished I paid more attention to generic names in pharm class. After clinic was set up we cleaned up and made our where to dinner. We were joined by the Mayor of Iquitos who thanked us numerous times. Traditional dancers also gave us a quick show! We ate chicken and rice which seems to be a big hit up here in the rainforest. I tried some Inka Cola but it’s way too sweet for me.
After dinner a few of us hung out by the hotel pool. I was able to catch us with some fourth years who have been on the trip previously. It’s crazy to think how far all of us have come since the last time we were here. The first day of clinic is tomorrow!!! I can’t wait!