Our work weeks at Hospital Diospi Suyana have afforded plenty of exposure to Peruvian culture, and relationship building with some of the most interesting people we've ever met. Michael's work with Dr. Alex in the hospital clinics includes treating children and adults with ailments like back problems (from toting heavy cargo), intestinal issues due to parasites, and a few more, uh, interesting cases: First there was the mujer who had been gored by a bull. Oiwww! The bulls (and most animals for that matter run loose around here, and it always makes me muy nervioso. Nice bull, niiiiiiiiicccccccceeee bull-y bull.)
Then there was the senor who was having seizures. But thanks to a self-perscribed Peruvian folk treatment, he is doing much better! All it took was beber el suena de gallina pequeno. (For you grigos, that translates to 'drink the blood of a small chicken.' Disclaimer-- this is NOT the seizure treatment recommended by Diospi Suyana Hospital.
Mike is enjoying the relaxed pace here, save for Wednesday night's episode that will live in infamy as "El Noche de Big Puke." When this man gets sick he goes all out! Count 'em--12 times. It was some bad lemon/lime juice that thankfully he didn't share with me. After a day en la cama and hooked up to some clean agua, he is doing much better.
Our days commence at 6:30 a.m., with morning services at 8:30, and we call it a day around 5 p.m. At the day's end, we excercise while onlookers gawk (people work so hard here on their farms so they don't excercise), wander around the village, sing with friends, cook dinner, read/study and then maybe have a warm shower if we've had a sunny day (cross our fingers the solar panels are working).
Mike's Spanish is perfecto, mine is improving, and Mike is getting a great education from Dr. Alex, who we have come to respect deeply for his quiet, humble leadership in the hospital and in town. Both he and wife Laura have forged friendships with the locals via Bible study, Sunday service, mom's club and more. Daughter Alexandra, 2, loves her 'amigas,' as she says with gusto, and keeps us all in stitches. (American amigos- FYI- Baby Sofia Anis has arrived- see below for more).
Michael, the superior cook in the marriage (I can admit my shortcomings), is enjoying the culinary challenge of using whatever fruits and veggies we can find at the market to parlay into tasty lunch and dinner entrees. We are meat-free (except when Laura has us over for dinner- she is an awesome chef!), so we've been enjoying lots of delicious Curahuasian avacados, bananas, onions, eggs, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, quinoa (a grain product), cucumbers, mangos, carrots and garlic. Curahuasi is blessed to have such rich produce, and everything here grows at least three times larger than in the States. And of course, it's all organic, so we are feeling great and testing parasite-free thus far.
I would be remiss not to mention the incredible pan (bread) that we eat with EVERY meal, baked by German, Mikeal, weekly. Mikeal, who personally mills the flour right before baking the bread, is an intensive care nurse, a father of 5 ninos, a fixer of solar panels and washing machines, and overall integral part of the hospital staff. At home in Germany, he and wife/nutritionist Elizabeth are organic farmers. We will be muy grande if we continue eating the thick, delicious pan at this rapido pace!
My week include some time in the clinic, playing and composing music for the morning worship services, leading music time and helping out at the kids' club (like an after-school daycare) and writing songs. This week I taught the ninos in kids' club a song I wrote en Espanol called "Siempre Amor." I am preparing to give a concert tonight for the people of Curahuasi, and I'm very excited about sharing mi musica with them.
My writing time has been so joyful and inspired, and I have a razor-sharp focus here that is hard to come by at home with all the daily distractions of phone ringing, e-mail, etc. Well, except for the occasional bleating goat, that is. Perhaps it is just a confirmation that he likes the new songs...
Baby Sofia update for Friends of the Brunners:
At 1 a.m. on Wednesday morning Alex knocked on our door to alert us that Laura was in labor. We rode over to the Brunners to care for Alexandra, and when we got out of the car it was smoking again. Alex hurried to get some coolant and we all prayed the baby would have some patience! About 30 min. later, the Brunners were on their way to Diospi Suyana (it's like a 2-minute ride) and we went to bed around 2 a.m. At 5:45 a.m. we heard someone at the door, so we went to the top of the stairs and saw Alex y Laura coming up. False alarm, we presumed.
But wait, wrapped in Laura's arms was a tiny little peanut, pink and perfectly healthy. For third-world birth (and the first non-C section at Diospi Suyana), Laura did shockingly well- super quick labor and recovery. In less than 4 hours she was out of the hospital with baby Sofia and back home with us. The rest of the day, the Brunners updated family as we celebrated the new addition to their sweet family.