Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pictures of My Adventures in Peru

My Peruvian Family, I've grown up with them, I've bonded with all of them... even if it was just through a smile.

Medical Mission- 2008
The woman holding the picture is Ester. She is the cook for hospice, works for free, and when I saw her, it surprised me, since I had not seen her since 1999, on my first trip to Piura. This photo she took out of her pocket when I saw her was a picture of me with her grandsons, who now are grown. It touched me that she had carried me with her all those years. The only thing she asked me for was my green t-shirt before I left.

Bob, the burro and my favorite family, La Familia Chiroque-Ruiz. The family makes a living by selling water, using Bob to help.
The New CLINIC!! It's so exciting! This year medical staff should be able to use this AWESOME clinic for surgeries in the summer of 2010. The organization that makes this all happen is Santisimo Sacramento in Piura, Peru. You can check out all the exciting projects going on in Piura by going to
Hi Everyone, Just to add some more to my blog, without my bulldog and 3 1/2 year old literally in my face, here are a few more thoughts. How many of you have heard about the 'Lottery Curse'. It seems like many people who come into money right away, end up committing suicide. Is this from the stress of owning more, or is it that people expect money to make them happy?
There is a website that I found interesting:
On page 13, the author, Eduardo Lora, the coordinator describes how uneducated and poor individuals have a higher satisfaction rate with social policies than educated individuals. Is this: 'Ignorance is bliss'?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Happiness and Living in Developing Countries

I'm an huge fan of traveling! I was first inspired by one of my seventh grade teachers that traveled around the world and would show his students pictures. Ever since then I have been fascinated with understanding other cultures from its perspective. I'm a linguist at heart, but Spanish led me to a career in Nursing and now public health.
During my first mission trip to Piura, Peru (1999), my whole world that I knew, was turned upside down. The poverty was vast and numbing. When I came home, I cried looking at my car that I had, and thought this car could feed at least two villages. I decided to help my Peruvian friends and have continued to see them almost every year since.
The compassion and giving of a people without anything....literally was unknown to me as an American, where I feel like many people are out for themselves. As I'm aging I see that this statement becomes even more true and not so transparent anymore. I had men and women giving me gifts before I left from Piura in 1999. To my amazement when I got on the plane I opened a hand made box with a ring in it, an older gentleman gave it to me. He said 'Thank you'. For me this was a difficult gift to receive since it was very expensive and I knew or thought I didn't deserve such a gift for just being there and giving a helping hand.
The question that always has lingered with me is; who is more blessed, the Peruvians who have nothing but eachother and faith or North Americans who have every opportunity to have a job, but have a higher incidence of loneliness and depression. That's why I'm creating this blog to see what others think? Many of my South American friends are content and happy more so than my North American friends. Could it be due to cultural stresses? Thanks for reading and I look forward to your thoughts!