Laura Harding – 8/24

Today was our final day in Iquitos! Our last boat clinic was yesterday, so today our entire group had a free day to enjoy all that the Amazon and our lodge has to offer. In the morning, many of us braved the scorching sun to go piranha fishing- and not without reward! The boat that I was in caught at least a dozen pirhana as well as several catfish. All of which were cooked and served at lunch! I was surprised at the mild chicken-y flavor that the fish had- despite their outlandish toothy grin.

In the afternoon, we traveled to Monkey Island- a sanctuary for monkeys as well as several other animals. The sanctuary is located a boat ride and short walk away- during which we were afforded spectacular views of the winding amazon from its banks. Once there, we were able to interact with several species of monkeys and many of us became their own personal jungle gym! After these excursions, I was able to fit in one last swim before heading to our final dinner and a celebration of another successful Peru Trip.

I am very fortunate in that this was my second time on this trip. I can now say that it gets better with every year! This year we saw over 2,200 patients and provided them with physical treatments, medicine, tooth brushes, shoes, and clothes. I was once again humbled by the vastness of this region, and the kindness and welcoming nature of its people.  I cannot wait to see what the future holds for this fantastic group of students and physicians in the years to come!

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