In the afternoon yesterday, after writing the post I put up yesterday, I first celebrated the completion of my thesis with my Spanish professor, Emparatriz. The Oreo Sundae isn’t as good as what I would find in Vibrant Grains, but it was still a great way to celebrate. Emparatriz told me that I’ll be able to share my testimony at the little church camping trip this weekend. That will be awesome, I certainly have a lot to say. The language barrier may be an interesting hurdle, but I’m sure everything will work out J
Then I went to the Plaza de Armas for the procession. The main thing I was told before going was to watch my pockets at all times so that I didn’t get robbed. Isn’t this a religious event? I believe some people have missed the point. Anyway, there’s basically a big statue of Christ that is paraded around the main plazas of the city, and it ends at Catedral. I have never seen that many people in the plaza at one time. I arrived at 7, which is when the procession was supposed to enter the Plaza de Armas. The streets were absolutely absurd, there were so many people that the roads were almost impassible. Once the plaza was in sight, everything got worse. There were so many people that I couldn’t enter the plaza, but had to stay on one of the side-streets. We were packed tighter than sardines. Many people ran away early because they couldn’t handle the volume of people. Some mentally or emotionally, others because they physically couldn’t breathe. There was an adolescent boy near me who basically fainted and was being held up by his friends and/or family. They kept him there for a while hoping he’d wake up, and eventually they brought him somewhere he could breathe. I’m glad I have become accustomed to Peru or such an experience would be very shocking to me. I did manage to get a few good pictures throughout the night; it is helpful to be tall.
Today I went to the clinic and worked with Dr. Marco in his office. He is by far the best doctor I’ve worked with. The cases weren’t nearly as interesting as much of what I saw at Belenpampa, but being involved makes it 100% better. He explained to me how to calculate the risk factors for diabetes, and also explained the process of pre-natal care here. One patient whose baby was sick due to a lack nutrients didn’t speak Spanish well, so we had to bring in a Quechua translator.
In the afternoon I went to San Cristobal with Emparatriz. I’m so thankful for her, she’s been making these last few weeks much more enjoyable J
The rest of the day I did random things I should have completed long ago, like the most recent Gilman Blog post. It feels so great to do other things now after spending so much time with my thesis. I also got an email back from Dr. Graves, my PI from Stanford so long ago, and he is excited to write me a glowing letter. He’s such a great guy, I’m happy that we’ve maintained such a good relationship over the last 3.5 years that asking for a letter was just part of the conversation. We are both taking on some challenging athletic feats, so it was fun to chat about that too.