Tough Goodbyes

Hey everyone,

Today was our last day of clinic at the orphanage in Cusco. We saw some returning women’s shelter patients from yesterday, and gained some more patients. These included the women running the shelter and their families. And as always, our favorite, energetic “amigos” running around the orphanage kept us busy and entertained.

Although we had a full patient load today, we also had to worry about the health of our own group members. An annoying GI bug has made its way through three of our students and one provider, making them unable to provide care today. We’re hoping it gets out of their system soon, as we have a busy travel day tomorrow!

Being our third and last day at the clinic, we finally felt like we understood the flow of all of the clinic stations and how they work together. We have become (semi)-pros at communicating in Spanish, entertaining the little kids, and assisting the medical and dental providers. However, our familiarity and love for this clinic and its people made it that much more difficult to say goodbye today. It was very difficult to explain to the kids in the orphanage that we would not be returning tomorrow. All the faces of the kids reflected their sadness, and some of our most energetic “amigos” were noticeably depressed and isolated themselves.

As we packed our bags with medical supplies, returned the orphanage rooms to their original forms, and loaded everything into the bus, we weren’t able to walk three steps without one of the kids latching on to us. It’s crazy to think that we had only arrived to this place three days ago, where the young boys suspiciously watched us from the other side of the complex, because now they had become our favorite shadows. All of the boys have had incredibly heartbreaking life stories, and they will be in our thoughts and prayers, whether or not we are able to ever see them again.

As we said our goodbyes, it was helpful to know that we still have incredible people, places, and memories awaiting us. Tomorrow, we will make our way to the Willoq Community, where we will begin another round of clinics. Before we do that, though, we are excited to utilize tomorrow as a day of sightseeing and exploration!

Jack and Annie

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