It seems like daily I am learning something new, or trying a new activity. Not all of them are super exciting such as learning how to bind books, but if it’s there to learn, why not learn it? That is why I try to say Sí (yes) to almost every opportunity presented. So when my boss asked me if I wanted to help a victim of domestic abuse, from a physical therapy standpoint, I said yes, even though I was a bit nervous. Technically I’m not a physical therapist, but I have spent many hours watching physical therapists work and discussing ideas or treatment plans for patients. Why not give it a shot, right? I began by making my own evaluation form because technically everything I do has to be reported back to Paz y Esperanza. The evaluation form included a body in which she got to circle where her pain was, and asked all sorts of questions from what time of day is the pain the worst to does it hurt when people touch you. I then got to meet with her and talk about how she was feeling and what my plan was. I expected it to be a short 30 minute session, but I ended up sitting with her for awhile because she told me all about herself and her life after her husband. I didn’t understand absolutely everything, but it didn’t really matter because she didn’t need me to respond, she just needed me to listen.
After my initial evaluation, you could call it, with her. I set to work, finding exercises and stretches that would give her some relief. Then I met with her again this past week to go over all the exercises and talk about how she was feeling. When I handed her the papers, saying she could keep them, she began to cry and kept thanking me for taking the time to help her. It is amazing to me that at first I found it to be not a big deal, just a bit scary, yet she thinks it is the biggest gift in the world. They are right when they say it’s the little things that matter, and little does she know that I really do enjoy playing physical therapist, so really she is helping me also.
This past weekend I also said “Yes” when Esther asked me if I wanted to plan a day trip to Huánuco Pampa, also known as the Old Huánuco. This old Huánuco was built by the Incas and was one of their many cities from Ecuador to Chile. The thing about Huánuco Pampa is that it is hard to get to. It’s about a 4-5 hour drive from Huánuco (the new Huánuco), which consists mainly of twists and turns through mountains and mud streets. It also sits about 3,600 km above sea level, which basically means that it is really high, high enough that you can feel the lack of air when breathing. Esther and I went with some friends of the family that own a tour agency, so we were able to get a full tour, and also learn a bit about the history. It was a fun way to aprovechar (take advantage of) the weekend, as the Peruvians would say.
Esther and I with our tour guide Juan at Huánuco Pampa
Esther and I in front of the Inca crown (a huge rock in the shape of a crown)
Now this next week I will be staying at La Granja (the farm) to help translate for a group coming from the states that will be helping at the shelter. And then I’m off to Lima, and then off to Cuzco to walk the Inca trail with Mary and Sean! Hope all is well at home, so much love
“Because if grace is water, then the church should be an ocean. It’s not a museum for the good people, it’s a hospital for the broken.” –Jefferson Bethke