Tuesday, November 13, 2012

In Puno the city in the sky

We arrived in Puno over the weekend and began working on Monday. Puno is a small city and overlooks Lake Titicaca. The weather is perfect sunny, 60-70s and crispy at night. 

On Monday we met close to 40 midwives called "obstetriz" and a few doctors who wanted to participate in the PINCC  VIA (visual inspection of the cervix) training. We were all overwhelmed to say the least. How were we going to possibly train all these highly motivated and interested students. We started with a didactic and sadly only saw a few patients.

Today Tuesday we got a system down. We have 6 US providers and 2 Peruvian providers who can train/teach the students. We buddied up 6 students per provider for the full day. That way we created a sort of buddy system and the provider could really get to know their group of students. It worked well and we saw 40 patients.

Our group of volunteers are really sweet. Carol our fearless leader has unbelievable patience and is an amazing leader. Linda is a family nurse practitioner from the Boston area who has done work in Guatamala and works part time at a Harvard affiliated public health clinic in Jamaca Plains. Virginia is an ob/gyn who was a solo practitioner in Monterey, California for 30+ years, closed her practice recently and now works part time for the Salinas Department of Public Health. Carol who goes by "Carolina" here is a recently retired public health nurse from San Francisco and is on her 5th trip with PINCC. Tara is in her final year of residency at Kaiser Oakland in ob/gyn. She was in El Salvador with Carol last week and was in Nicaragua on a PINCC trip in 2011. Jamie is a PA originally from Utah who lives and works in NYC, loves to travel and this is her first PINCC trip. Suzanne is a family practice doc who practices at Clinica de la Raza in Concord and this is her first PINCC trip. Eve is an ob/gyn from Kaiser Oakland and this is her 2nd PINCC trip.
Juana is our local midwife, was trained by PINCC a few years ago in Lima and is helping to get us started in Puno. Enrique is a local ob/gyn from Lima who was also trained by PINCC and is working to get things going in Puno as well.
We have an amazing group and we're working hard to get things going. The altitude is incredible 12,000 feet and when you walk up a small hill you get winded. The food is great here. Trout is fresh from the lake and the vegetables are awesome.

Wanted to get something started on the blog. the next entry will be mostly photos.

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