Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day 23; Toilet Paper is NOT optional....

So this is my first day off the boat in Peru. I have the honor of being part of the group that is teaching at the hospital in Piata, Peru. The hospital used to be a clinic but out of need it grew into a "hospital". Here are some of the sights inside the hospital.

You guessed it! The first picture is the "birthing suite". You and three of your closest friends can share the experiance. Once you are nearly "crowned" you can get off that comfortable (torture device) bed and walk yourself across the hall to deliver your baby in relative privacy. I should mention here that hospital gowns are optional to non-existent and you are usually "full monty" from the waist down as you make the transition. Then after the miracle of birth you and at least five of your closest friends and their new infants and all of their visiting guests can share a room. Can anyone say infection risk? Oh, and if you get hungry. There is not kitchen so hopefully your family loves you enough to pack you a lunch. I'm feeling pretty over-indulged at this point to have delivered each of my four children with only my spouse, a doctor and a nurse in attendance.
Another really interesting discovery I made at the hospital was that there were options to using the bathroom. Any time you left the boat it was a given that if you wanted and/or needed toilet paper you should plan ahead and bring your own. But for the first time I encountered the option of using the stall with the door or the stall with the seat. Having developed amazing quads ascending and descending all the stairs aboard the ship, I opted for the stall with the door.
After teaching in the hospital we returned to the Peruvian Naval Base. Using the facilities there proved to be just about as interesting. Toilet paper in hand, the toilets appeared fairly modern, until you tried to flush. Flushing was a manual process. The big container of water in the center of the room had a floating bucket inside. You scooped out the necessary water and "flushed" by pouring directly into the bowl. Yes, all of this while at fairly modernized, civilized locations.

And that is how I spent my first day in Peru on land. Does it make you feel overly blessed to have modern hospitals with doors and seats? And running water? I know I'm grateful. Tomorrow I'll share some of the local sites to and from the hospital.

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