Yesterday evening was very interesting and medically informative. We had a pediatric doctor arrive here just yesterday and he has been working with AMOR Projects for around 10 years doing intensive medical research of diseases around the area and risk factors for the various diseases. One interesting thing he talked about was a special eye disease where the cornea or red part of your eye spreads to the middle of the retina destroying the ability to distinguish light from dark. Last year, a team of about 5 surgical doctors came and did eye surgeries correcting this unique disease. Pucallpa is one of the cities in the world where this problem is most prevalent. With adults over 70 there's a 100% chance they will have this disease. With 40 year olds and above the rate is like 70% which is tragic. There's a team of about 20 doctors of different specialties coming to AMOR projects during spring break to work with us current missionaries here and do some more medical research, some eye surgeries, and intense clinics.
Something we also learned recently was about medicines here at AMOR. Medicines and all of our facilities are 100% run by donations. That being said medicine cost alot of money, specifically pills. Finally us missionaries have realized why the doctor orders so many shots to treat various illnesses. Shots are way cheaper than the pills. Sometimes we give around 30 vaccinations a day and we only treat 30 patients. Normally about 1 in 3 patients has to get a shot and they get an average of 3. To think some of us missionaries used to believe the doctor was mean for giving so many shots... ;)
Last Sunday was very nice. We had Pathfinders this morning and taught all the kids the mammals honor. We also enrolled more of them in swimming classes because it is a requirement for the friend program. From now on, we will be having Pathfinders twice a week: once on Friday night for spiritual programming and once on Sundays for activities and honors. Pathfinders is one of our best ways of children evangelism and we try to invite all of the children in the sports programs to attend.
So here at AMOR life is alot different than you might expect. It's a great place to be and to work but sometimes it's hard to really explain what living here is like and honestly if I had to pick a phrase I would say: spontaneous random chaotic joy. You see here at AMOR we get a very wide variety of service work. We work in the clinic, do children's afternoon sports program, lead church, give Bible studies, lead pathfinders, visit the orphanage, and help out at K38 doing manual labor. We often learn what we will be doing for the day- the day of. Some days we are extremely busy with little personal time. Other days we will have a whole morning or afternoon free. In addition to our mission work in the various activities, we rotate within groups cooking, cleaning the bathrooms and clinic, and doing dishes and burning trash. Life here is always very exciting and there is often something new happening.
This morning is one of those free mornings where we have lots of time to study Spanish, read our Bibles, and clean up around our house and the clinic. For the first time, with the new pediatric doctor's help, I assembled my water filter. I believe I will use it for the next week or so until AMOR is able to purchase a new water filtering system because our filter is very dirty and the water is a little sketchy. I will also use my water filter system when we travel.
I learned a cool fact about Dengue fever this morning, which us missionaries are very exposed too! Dengue fever and mosquitoes can only live nearby places where there is water. For example after it rains if water gathers in a ditch or in a hole, that will become a place where mosquito babies are born and where mosquitos can go too. So to cut back on dengue fever risks us missionaries here at AMOR have to make sure there are never any puddles or water holes where we live. The doctor actually showed us one container of water he found outside where little baby mosquitos larvae had already started growing. Lesson learned is avoid mosquitos by avoiding water!
As for my project, Operation Orphanage Christmas Child- I'm really excited! Alot of my friends and family are very supportive and I think if everyone works together we really can do it and raise enough money to provide a special Christmas gift bag for all 86 kids. Raph, the media guy, here serving as an SM at AMOR is working on making a flyer that can be printed out and shown at various places to raise money. I think a movie would be amazing to make, and a great fundraising promo, but I am not for sure whether or not I will have the internet necessary to create one in the next week or so. If anyone is willing to help me with fundraising ideas or even wants to help make a video about the project I would be more than grateful for any help! If you are wanting to help me with the project but don't know where to start, here are a few ideas.
- slideshow/movie presentation to the church showing them some of my pictures I put on facebook and telling them about my goals for the project
- making a poster with pictures and collecting donations
- collecting pennies in various locations (it adds up)
- cooking a Peruvian dinner and doing a church/ school/ Pathfinder fundraiser
If you think of more fundraising ideas or if you would like to help me with Operation Orphanage Christmas Child please message me! I'm really excited about helping these kids. They deserve it so much! By the way all donations can be tax deductible if sent to AMOR Projects and please specify that you want to donate to my project Operation Orphanage Christmas Child =) Thanks everyone!
P.S. The doctor here just got a new job which is great news for him and his family, so praise God! We will now be having clinics in the afternoon 3 days a week. Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 2pm.