Friday, July 17, 2009

Letter home about arrival in Peru July 16-17th

WE arrived in Lima 1 hour late last night - 11:50 PM. Some got stopped in customs but bags were scanned and not opened so no problems. One official asked Pedro if we were all part of al medical team. Then he asked, "are you bringing in lots of medicines?". Pedro told him yes and then he wanted to know if they were all date expired. We were so thankful to say no they were not. Apparently they are not too happy about expired medicines being brought on large scale. We were not really sure what was the point.
Our bus was on time but would not start. For 1 1/2hrs they were working on it. Arrived at hotel at 3:00 in the morning. Today we unpacked then onward to work. Pedro has another option for renting another bus but we decided to give this guy one day of grace to see if it works.
Humid, hot 68 ' but Peruvians walking with jackets, coats b/c it is winter. We are happy in short sleeves. No Sun.
We spent all morning unpacking and sorting the meds and supplies. What a job but so awesome. Pedro's brother, Luis, had ordered through his pharmacy friend lots of things that we needed and they were brought here this morning. We could do this because of the children at Faith Bible Church raised so much money during their VBS for us to use. Thank you to all of them.
We had 3 of the guys per room but turns out to be quite crowded and we need a place to store all the medicines as we can't take all everyday and since we are not in the same clinic every day we will resupply each night. We decided to give Jim a room all his own and then he will also share his room with our supplies. He does not seem to mind. Joan Bathon, the doctor from Johns Hopkins, whom Pedro met on the China trip and who also came with us 2 years ago will arrive tonight. We have a strong medical team to start clinics tomorrow. And of course with our 2 wonderful clowns and all their helpers our children's ministry will be great.

We saw that when we left OKC the weather really got cooler! Today about 88' from the mid 100s for so long.
Someone on the team said that was because all the warmth (meaning us) left OKC. Interpret as you wish.

Today there has been no problem with transportation strikes so that may have settled down. The new rules and steep fines that were put into law effective the 15th are not liked but hopefully they will be accepted and enforced.

Rachael Hulstine joined us today and will be with us most days to translate. We love Rachael's story. She came to Peru the first time with her dad when a team from Crossings came with us to work in the Posada orphanage. She decided someday she wanted to live in Peru. Well now a college graduate she does. Thanks, Rachael, for your help, Pedro's nephew came for a short time but he has laryngitis so difficult for him to translate. The doctors "worked on him" and hopefully tomorrow he will be able to talk or at least by Monday.

All the employees in the airport even the janitorial staff were wearing masks because of the swine flu scare. We were asked to complete a health questionnaire on the flight with details of our stay in Peru and where etc and these were collected by the flight attendants for health officials to have.... just in case. We were all laughing that it should have been done before we got on the plane and not after.

There were a lot of people on our flight from Japan and all of them wore masks. I guess swine flu is foremost in many minds. Pray that we will be careful, not too overly confident and will be safe. There is no way we will triage these people who "look" sick especially the children and say we can' see you because you may be contagious.... Whoever comes we see and give a hug.

Pedro and I are so enjoying having Michael and his precious wife with us. They have spent past few days finding places - affordable food -- and now will be with us all week. She has now been given a date for her interview for her visa -- August 7th -- here at the Lima American Embassy. Now just days after that she will be able to come to the USA. Sad for us is that by then Michael will have moved to Chicago and she will join him there and not OKC. But she will be in the USA with Michael.

I was in the hotel lobby this morning waiting to ask a question and there was another gringo. We started talking. He was a Hollywood photographer here doing a documentary. HA! I told him, "Stay with us and we will give you a REAL documentary." He had lots of questions. They were leaving to go to another town.

We look forward to the next days of meeting people and working hard, laughing, sometimes crying over the needs we see but most of all just going forward in the name of our God. We will see what He brings into our path.

Keeps us in your prayers
Pray for the bus to function, for our great fatigue and good rest tonight. We start out with breakfast at 7:15 AM then non stop.

We love you,
Pedro and Glenda and the Peru 2009 Mission Team

Regency Ministries International, Inc
Pedro A Gismondi M.D.
Glenda Gismondi

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to PerĂº!
    Hope you find it to your liking! Hope that the weather improves, as well... its so cold and humid... for us, at least! You really can tell foreigners apart, because they're never cold. Although I guess we could tell them apart anyway...
    Well, having read some, I think you're doing a great thing. Have a nice time!