It is hard for me to believe that it is my second-to-last week here in Lima. Between adjusting to the new lifestyle and navigating my new responsibilities, time truly has flown by. There are many things that I will miss about Peru, but foremost amongst them are the relationships that I have forged while here. There are many who have made me feel welcome and comfortable in this foreign land, and for that I am infinitely grateful.
Dr. Venegas and Yenny, of course, were the first Peruvian friends I made after moving here. And sincerely, I mean friends; the warmth with which they have treated Denali and I certainly surpasses any definition of colleagueship. To have people here whom I could trust, from Day One, was invaluable.
I met Dr. Sixto Sanchez through the research that I was doing. He is the head gynecologists at one of the largest public hospitals in Lima, and Denali and I had met him to deliver a brief on the POCkeT colposcope. He loved the concept of the device, and invited us to his hospital to have a look at the existing facilities and speak with the hospital administration. But he also went beyond that to explain to us more about Lima, and show us some of his favorite places in town. Indeed, one of my favorite moments from these two months was joining Dr. Sanchez and his colleagues from the hospital in playing pick-up soccer.
Soccer with Dr. Sanchez (blue-white striped jersey) and friends.
And of course, I can surely not omit the family that Denali and I are staying with; the Wu family. I cannot imagine it possible to have had better hosts than Emma, Alfonso, and Milena. Emma took us under her wing as one of her own, and there was always a smile (or warm food) waiting for me when I got home from work. There are countless others who have touched my days here in Lima. In general, everyone has been thrilled that Denali and I are here to do research, and have asked us (sometimes with anxiety) what we think about their country. The answer has always been simple; that I love Peru and I love more the people I have met here. This post is dedicated to all of them, and I end with a tribute in my ever-improving Spanish to these human hearts that have beat in tune with mine: te extranaré.