Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Putting things into Perspective

A while back John and I went out on a date. We got a bite to eat at a local restaurant and then headed to "El Centro" - just the center of town. Every "center" of town here has what they call a Plaza de Armas -really historical buildings that are still used for lots of government things- and usually in front of the plaza is some type of park. The park in front of the plaza in Arequipa is quite beautiful with a huge fountain. During the day there are always lots of people sitting on benches just talking and hanging out. The little kids are usually feeding/chasing all of the pigeons around the square. All of the local vendors are selling bird feed, candy and other random things. It is a pretty busy place and when I have three children attached to me it is quite important to keep an eye on them.

Anyway, so after our date we meandored on down to the park in front of the plaza. Often times there are local vendors who sell the most beautiful roses. John and I spotted a young girl selling roses the other night and we went over to try to buy one. As we were walking over we could see that she was earnestly trying to sell one of her roses to a couple close to her. They did not seem to be interested and she continued to be patient to try to make the sale. When she turned to see us you could tell she was excited to make a sale. We bought one rose from her. A whole 5 soles - equivalent to about $1.75. As I was handing her my money, I could not help but notice the two very big feet hanging from the carrier on her back. It is very common to carry your kids across your back here horizontally not vertically. So I could see two big feet sticking out of her side, but I could not see a head. In an effort to practice my Spanish I asked her how old her baby was. She replied 2 and a half years! It was around 9:30 at night and this poor lady was carrying her 2 1/2 year old on her back while she was selling roses! You cannot help but wonder how much she makes an hour and what kind of conditions she lives in. By the look on her face you could tell she was exhuasted. The truth is, she probably works at least two or three jobs just to make ends meet. Almost everyone here in Peru works at least two jobs and maybe three just to pay the bills. My perspective is changing...

Or how about last week when the kids and I were walking to the Plaza de Armas when suddenly I hear this man yell, "Ayudame, ayudame, por favor!" I turned around to look and that is when I notice that a blind man was about to step off the sidewalk into one of the busiest streets in downtown Arequipa. I had Hudson in the carrier on my chest, Hannah in the stroller, and Caleb holding onto the side of the stroller and I thought to myself, how in the world am I going to help this man?? Then a lady came from out of nowhere, grabbed his arm and walked him across the street. I am not sure how blind people survive here in Peru. At times I think that the uncovered drainage ditches, and the 15 ft drops off the edge of the sidewalks give me more gray hair ***especially since I have young children - imagine if you were blind living here? Again...my perspective is changing...

Recently John helped with a rural clinic a few hours away from here. After he got back that night he began to tell me about his day. Quite sobering I must say. As I sat there nearly in tears as he was telling me about some of the patients he saw that day I thought my day was pretty boring in comparison. The kids were kind of rough that day, hence my day was rough too, but everything was put into perspecitive after hearing some of his stories. My day did not seem too bad as he told me about the mother who brought her 50 pound, 18 year-old son who had hardly eaten anything in 3 months and had an undiagnosed case of what was likely muscular dystrophy (which they could not do much for). Or the little 18 month-old boy who got his hand caught in a sugar cane grinder. Or the man who had been blind for 10 years (due to a car running over him) who was hoping John could restore his sight (to no avail). Or the lady who miscarried during the clinic. Sometimes being in medicine is overwhelming and difficult on the heart. Thank you Lord for putting things into perspective...  photo DSCN1913_zps186f64f7.jpg  photo DSCN1905_zps80c98aab.jpg  photo DSCN1900_zps1e9511ef.jpg  photo DSCN1895_zps7f67ba4d.jpg  photo DSCN1886_zpsf56d0157.jpg  photo DSCN1914_zpsa9f52a7e.jpg  photo DSCN1916_zps5831e397.jpg


  1. I need an explanation of the cute little lamb dressed up!

  2. HI! I don't know if you will still get my email or not! I got your automatic reply in my inbox but I am one of the people you took photos for for my wedding in 2012. I had a few questions for you concerning photography!! If not, could you email me at britnee32@hotmail.com Thank you! :)

  3. Kristi yeah it is totally a tourist thing. They are probably from the Cusco area and came down to the Plaza to earn money by dressing in tradition dress and having their little lamb with them. They make you make for the pictures but they are totally worth it :)