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Showing posts from September, 2012

Hobbits, Mountains and the Real Bad-Ass

I have, at last met the Real Baddest Ass on the planet. Some of you may know that I am, admittedly, a little obsessed with being a bad-ass. Well, I have found him, or her, the boldest Baddest Ass on the planet lives in the Colca Canyon and looks like this.

Do you see him? That tiny speck in front of the mountains. That is the mule that was standing in the middle of our path on the longest day of hiking in all of my life.

Do you also see the amazing backdrop of the mountains behind the Bad-Ass? Yes, you see the mountains? Oh good. Does anyone else think that those mountains are epic enough to be featured in the upcoming hobbit movie? Peter Jackson, bring your dragons, trolls and elves to Peru, you won't regret it.

I felt like I was walking through the mountains of New Zealand with all of my friends; Aragorn, Merry, Pippin, Frodo, and company, which meant that I was thinking a lot about Lord of the Rings while we were hiking through the Colca Canyon.

Here is a sampling of what happe…

Please tell me those are not your travel pants

Travel pants. Some of us need them, and some of us don't.

Even amongst those of us who need travel pants (because I am one of them) there are varying degrees of extremity. There are those who consider leggings to be excellent travel pants, possibly because they have no insecurities or maybe they have just transcended their insecurities with lots of cellulite-drop-kicking yoga. Others go with the baggy camo capris that have all those nifty little toggles and ties. Or, perhaps, you prefer the classic zip off pants, like myself. But never have I heard someone say, "Why yes, these brilliantly white pants are in fact my favorite travel pants."

I spotted her on my way home from the hospital today. After walking through the ever tempting array of street food around the hospital I came to the touristy, old town center. I stopped at a stop light. The guy selling holographic pictures of horses running through fields of green was yelling across the street to his fellow street vendo…

Medicina de la Selva

Please forgive me. I had to type the title in Spanish. I'm not trying to be a poser or anything, you know that person who goes all "native" and speaks rubbish Spanish all the time. It's just that right now, I only have three months left and I'm trying to say EVERYTHING in Spanish. And, yes, I know those two sentences contradict each other. Irony.

Anyways. The type of medicine we did in the jungle was not too different from the medicine we do in other places in Peru. We still saw (what felt like) millions of patients with low back pain, lots of gastritis, and moms who were convinced that their children had parasites.

Quick, an excerpt from a real live conversation:

Me - "Entonces, su hijo tiene la grippe. Algo mas?"
Anxious Momma - "Seguramente tiene bichos tambien."
Me (with eyebrows raised)- "Hmmm, bichos. Porque piensas que el tiene bichos?"
Anxios Momma- "No come bien, y solo quiere comer carmelos."
Me- "Ahhhh..." *…

Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic and Jungle Sweat

Sometimes life is really full. It’s full of great moments, uncomfortable moments, and people, hundreds of people.

We just got back from a two week clinic in the Amazon area of Peru. Imagine going from the bald heights of the Andes, to the humid heat of a rainforest in a few hours. System shock! The first time I went for a run in Inapari I was sweating from the backs of my knees. Seriously? I didn’t even know there were sweat glands back there. Ewww.

I have this tendency to paint everything I experience with a beauty brush, even the bad things. So, quickly, before I rhapsodize about how much I love the jungle, let me tell you… There are BUGS there. Everywhere. And they are huge. They are not the teeny, tiny, tame bugs that we have back in CA. No, they are gigantic termites, multicolored (probably poison carrying) centipedes. They are cockroaches that fly, and spiders that are the size off your hand. If you hate bugs, the jungle is not the place for you. No amount of repellent will sav…