Sarah and Annie dressed in traditional Quechua gear.
The following is a song in Quechua, one of the tongues proclaiming the glory of God around His throne, but a tongue which on Earth is a challenge for outsiders. Before moving to Peru, I thought that Quechua had something to do with Spanish, some unique dialect, but it is not so. They throw in lots of Spanish because they lack the word in Quechua, so a person can pick out a word or two now and then. Many people have lived here for years without learning much Quechua. However, one of our friends, a Washingtonian who lives in Abancay, can speak it fluently, even with the clicks, and it is so impressive.
The only words I know in this song are Dios, God, which is the same in Spanish, and Taytáy, which Sarah taught me is “father.” I can guess that the last word has something to do with service. Imagine it being sung in a whiny nasal voice with a lilting rhythm. We hear a lot more Quechua music now that we live in town, and it is an acquired taste. I’m glad to know it pleases God’s ears.
Our friend Nolan has a really good post on their blog Wrights in Peru about how he is helping a young cystic fibrosis patient as she struggles with the complications of her disease.
Marriela informing me her right side doesn’t hurt anymore (where the drainage tube was)
The past week I’ve been treating a little girl with cystic fibrosis. Before coming to Peru, I had never seen a patient with this condition (basically all my experience has been in outpatient orthopedics). She came to the hospital about 2 weeks ago from Cusco with difficulty breathing, fever, etc. and was quickly admitted to the ICU. She was found to also have pneumonia. I first saw her in the ICU about a week ago. She had a drainage tube coming from the right side of her chest and had labored breathing. I was asked to do some chest physical therapy to help with drainage in her lungs. The treatment was a bit limited due to her pain and decreased mobility from the chest tube, however we got through the first treatment.
We took our first sightseeing trip when Allison’s father was in town. We went to the Sacred Valley, and we were all impressed by the ruins that are scattered throughout this part of Peru. Some of the biggest are in Moray. This is from Wikipedia:
Moray or Muray (Quechua) is an archaeological site in Peru approximately 50 km (31 mi) northwest ofCuzco on a high plateau at about 3500 m (11,500 ft) and just west of the village of Maras. The site contains unusual Inca ruins, mostly consisting of several enormous terraced circular depressions, the largest of which is about 30 m (98 ft) deep. The purpose of these depressions is uncertain, but their depth and orientation with respect to wind and sun creates a temperature difference of as much as 15 °C (27 °F) between the top and bottom. This large temperature difference was possibly used by the Inca to study the effects of different climatic conditions on crops. In other words, Moray was perhaps an Inca agricultural experiment station. As with many other Inca sites, it also has a sophisticated irrigation system.
The ruins of Moray.
It would have been interesting to see it when it was new and actively used.
These steps don’t look to intimidating.
But they are actually further apart than they appear in pictures.
We have patients come from all over Peru. Sometimes they come from so far away that is almost unbelievable. I cannot help but wonder what we are doing that makes them willing to travel for so long. The truth of the matter is that they have to pass several hospital to reach us. There is a social safety net in Peru, but for some reason for many people it does not function well. They are either mistreated or abandoned in the bureaucracy of the medical system. Everyday I have patients who have come through a journey of many day with hopes that we will be able to cure them. So we try to treat them with compassion and let them know that we see their worth as they are made in the image of God. Maybe this is the difference that they are looking for? Here is a short post from Dr. Klaus John regarding how far people come to receive medical care at the hospital from the Hospital Diospi Suyana website. (The original is in Spanish again.)
Claudia Nickel cares for a patient after her endoscopy.
Why do patients come from so far away?
Wednesday Morning: Four gastroscopies are scheduled. Nurse Claudia Nickel and colleagues have made exemplary preparations. I just need to push an endoscope through the esophagus into the stomach and then write a short report of each exam.
My first patient comes from the department of Tacna. She had traveled 18 hours to the hospital, she told me. Her confidence in us makes me happy. The second case was a woman in the department of Arequipa. She had traveled for 12 hours on the road to be treated by us.
My third patient comes from Puno. His trip has probably lasted about 10 hours. And the last patient lives in the city of Cusco. The three hour trip was relatively short. Four patients from four departments in a small endoscopy room are many for a single morning. / KDJ
I am glad to share more information from the Diospi Suyana Hospital website. At every mission hospital I have worked at, the person who was able to fix things was on of the most important people in the hospital. There are so many things going that have to work for the hospital to run most efficiently. These people who have the “knack” for fixing things keep the hospital in working order.
Often times, a key person is not in the limelight but works in the background. They make sure everything stays on track and only when they are not involved and things start to fall apart, can you tell what an essential part they play.
Markus Rolli has been the missionary hospital’s all-around technician for the last two years. His average on-call time: 168 hours per week. Whether it’s an electric system that isn’t working properly or a malfunctioning respirator, you only have to call Markus Rolli and he will solve the problem. Thankfully, Markus Rolli, who is a Swiss citizen, and his wife are willing to serve for another few years at the Diospi Suyana hospital. The only down-side: their impending trip to Europe. We can only hope and pray that things will work out in their absence. Nevertheless, we hope they’ll have a great trip with many Swiss chocolate bars (being on call continuously requires as much energy as possible).
Watching a patient transport. Markus Rolli in the background to the left.
The ambulance lights are working again. (Photos by Michael Friedemann)
Markus Rolli on top of an ambulance, fixing a defective light.
The “unfinished project” is found all over South and Central America. It is frustrating and sad to see buildings and roads partially completed. It is a product of both corruption and poverty I do not know much about the politics of business or government in Peru or Curahuasi, but I hope that as the gospel of Christ is made more well known, the “unfinished project” becomes more rare. This hope and prayer is inspired by a short note on the Diospi Suyana website regarding an unfinished street in Peru. Continue reading →
We have some friends, Ryan and Kirsten Morigeau who are moving to Peru to work at Diospi Suyana Hospital in Peru. They have an interesting blog describing their experiences as they move forward in the process of serving in Peru. They are actually going to language school here in Costa Rica at a different language school. We have met them only briefly at a bus stop in San Jose as they were traveling for a little recreation at the beach. We are hoping to spend a little more time with them soon here in Costa Rica, but if not we have a few years to spend with them in Curahuasi. If you are interested, look at their blog at Peru & Above. They have a good description of Curahuasi, Peru which I have included below. They also have a nice description of the Hospital Diospi Suyana. They are from Portland, OR and they have caught the vision for serving the poor in Peru. They are coming through World Medical Missions which is part of Samaratin’s Purse. I am thankful for the Morigeau family who will be in Peru with us. Continue reading →