2023 Trip to Peru
Our humanitarian and medical service expeditions to Peru require extensive planning and organization. We have learned over the years that detailed planning helps maximize the quality and the quantity of service we can provide for mothers, babies, and others that need our limited time and resources.
To make sure we hit the ground running, we have sent an advance team to make every necessary arrangement for our arrival.
This was our best year yet! We had a few setbacks, but our mission was outstanding. We helped so many people at the hospitals and the orphanages and were able to undeniably make a difference. We had very little illness and literally hit the ground running. We were truly blessed!
Day 1 - Thursday, March 16
This year our team came from Idaho, Utah, and Montana. Our plane left for Lima in the early hours of the morning and arrived at Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima in the late evening.
Day 2 - Friday, March 17
Upon arrival in Cuzco, our goal was to acclimate to the altitude, rest, and drink plenty of water. Most of the group visited Qorikancha and did some touring of Cuzco. Chad Fugate, Dr. Dowdle, and Dr. McClain went to the University and taught firemen and policemen about disaster triage and emergency deliveries. This day was a day to prepare for the busy week ahead.
Day 3 - Saturday, March 18
We arose bright and early this morning at 3:30 AM to travel to Abancay, a city of 58,000 people, located in a valley over the Pachachaca River . Our medical team met with doctors, nurses and midwives. There were sixty people in attendance, including President Herrera of the LDS Cuzco Mission, who helped teach neonatal resuscitation.
Dr, Sean Esplin and his group were busy teaching ultrasound to doctors and other interested parties. He received a moderate response.
The humanitarian team went to an orphanage and distributed kits to children and youth in Abancay.
We traveled back to Cuzco in the evening, totally spent, but absolutely satisfied with our efforts.
Day 4 - Sunday, March 19
Today was a much-needed day of rest. We went to the LDS church in Tahuantinsuyo ward sacrament meeting in Cuzco. Sister Carla Waldron played the piano. Afterward, we distributed kits to primary children and youth. The kits consisted of CTR rings, school supplies, journals, and a pillowcase.
We then met with the Tullumayo Ward and did the same thing. Our youth met with their youth and had a very positive interaction and great experiences.
After church, we went to the Temple of Sacsayhuaman and had a wonderful time there until we were rained out. We still enjoyed it tremendously. Most of our group hiked back into town in the rain, while the others took a taxi.
Day 5 - Monday, March 20
Today we shifted gears and became tourists. We took a tour of the Sacred Valley and played with the vacuanas and llamas. Afterward, we traveled to Pisac where half of the group stayed and went shopping, and the diehards climbed the mountain to see the Pisac Ruins.
Climbing the mountain took longer than planned, but everyone that did it said it was well worth it.
We then traveled to Ollantaytambo and climbed the steep set of 300 stairs. It was great!
Later, we took a train to Aguas Calientes or now called Machu Picchu Pueblo where we spent the night.
Day 6 - Tuesday, March 21
On this day we climbed Machu Picchu and went on a tour. It was a gorgeous day with very little rain. Then, most people climbed to La Puerta Del Sol (The Sun Gate). After that, we came back and climbed to the Inca Bridge. Later, we all caught a train to Ollantaytambo and then took a bus back to Cuzco.
Day 7 - Wednesday, March 22
The trip to Lake Titicaca is a long (7 hours) beautiful bus ride. Our ultimate destination is Puno where we will teach and serve on Day 8 and Day 9. We will be stopping at Templo de Viracocha for about 30 minutes along the way.
Dr. Esplin and his group stayed in Cuzco and taught ultrasound in the hospitals there. The rest of the groups traveled by bus to Puno, stopping at Temple de Viracocha and going over the summit of about 14,000 feet onto Puno.
Day 8 - Wednesday, March 22
Team Mothers will teach in Juliaca, Team Babies will teach neonatal resuscitation in Puno, and Team Humanitarian will work on the Uros Floating Islands.
Our medical team, including Dr. Sean Esplin who flew in from Lima, accomplished teaching in Juliaca at the College of Obstetrics where we were wall to wall with people teaching and trying to make a difference.
Prior to Dr. Bardett and Annalee Fausett flying out that night, we went to the largest hospital in Juliaca and gave them medical supplies. We were very warmly received as usual. These people truly do much with very little.
Today our humanitarian team went to the Uros Islands.
Day 9 - Thursday, March 23
We had an overwhelming day with about 100 midwives and doctors in Puno. It was another fabulous day. Our humanitarian team went to an orphanage and was overwhelmed with the needs of over 100 children.
When asked what their greatest needs were for the future, they said "Coats and gloves".
After going to the orphanage, we went to the Sicuani burial sight of ancient Inca ancestry.
Day 10 - Friday, March 24
Half of our group went to Lima, the other half stayed in Puno. Dr. Dowdle's group went to the LDS Temple in Lima and visited the missionaries who they will be working with when they go on their mission in August.
Day 11 - Saturday, March 25
The Puno team flew to Lima in preparation to fly home to the United States.
Dr. Dowdle's group went to church at the MTC (CCM Centro Capitacion Missional) and had lunch with the missionaries.
They then went to repack and saw one of the places they will most likely live when they are on their mission.
We then started our all-night Saga at the Lima airport where we were delayed 4-5 hours due to a tail light bulb problem in the plane. This problem caused us to miss our flight to Atlanta. We were supposed to arrive in SLC at 2:00 PM, but didn't make it there until 6:00 PM.