Day 4 – Travel to Iquitos
While in Lima, our time in Peru has been both inspiring and relaxing. We have had the opportunities to shadow Peruvian medical students on rounds at the hospital as well as learn about the complexities and limitations of healthcare in another nation. We have also been blessed with incredible dinners and chances to build relationships with our fellow teammates before working together in clinic. Here in Iquitos, I am finding myself inspired in totally new ways. During the descent of our flight, it appeared at first as if we were about to land in the middle of the rainforest. Iquitos is a very different city than Lima – less developed, about 20-30 degrees hotter, and filled with color. It is a bustling little city that is quite literally in the middle of nowhere – the only way to arrive is by plane or boat!
Upon arrival to our hotel, we quickly checked into our rooms and then headed right back on the bus to help set up the clinic where we will spend the next 4 days treating patients. When we pulled up to the complex, there were already patients in line, planning to wait through the night until the next morning when we open! After setting up the many rooms – pharmacy, radiology, dentistry, podiatry, pediatrics, dermatology, OB/GYN, general medicine, and more – we were treated to a dinner hosted by the mayor of the city, where we were thanked profusely for our willingness to come and serve their people.
When I think of the endless hours and late nights we all spent fundraising and preparing for this trip, I can say with certainty that it was worth every second. This is the experience of a lifetime – and the best stuff hasn’t even happened yet! I can’t wait for all that we will learn in clinic tomorrow!