Saturday, April 4, 2015

Welcome to Peru

Despite a few threats of flight delays I made it with no trouble to Coya, Peru where I'm currently staying until next week's adventure takes me to Ecuador.

The trip wasn't bad, though I didn't sleep much on my red eye and was certainly tired when I arrived. During my layover in Dallas I found a coveted chair AND outlet combination so I was able to work and stay busy until it was time to take off.

Landing in Cuzco.

It's Easter weekend, so there were lots of services and celebrations here. Lots of people's families came from Cuzco and other cities to be all together.

There's also plenty to do - this morning the lady I'm staying with here in the community woke me up at 7:30 because there were patients in her living room. I ended up seeing 7 before breakfast.

This is one of her grandchildren who was here for the Easter celebrations.

For Easter here they eat "the 12 plates" which I tackled with great ambition and did not successfully finish. It's literally 12 different plates of food - soups and appetizers and mains and salad and desserts. Everyone's been really accommodating when I say I'm vegetarian (I don't typically eat completely vegan when I travel internationally, especially when I'm staying in someone's home) - but honestly there was only one of the 12 plates I didn't at least try.

This morning we also took a walk up into the country. The last time I was here in Peru was 9 years ago and I had forgotten the natural beauty a little bit.

I'm now off to find some food and probably some more work.

Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Packing List for South America

Today I leave for 5 weeks in South America.

I'll be in Peru and Ecuador, mostly working but I also have some vacation at the end. 

I wanted my packing to be smart and compact, so I could easily carry everything between buses etc. if necessary, but also include everything I need for work, hiking, nights out, thunderstorms but also 90 degree weather. It's admittedly a little bit of a challenge.

It took me a couple tries and I had to make a couple tough cuts, but what's left I think will serve me well. In the end it all fits into a carry-on size suitcase and my Cynthia Rowley duffel-style shoulder bag. 

I've been making lots of lists:

Assembling all my items. At this point I'll admit I had some doubts about fitting it all into my intended luggage.

It took 2 tries: turns out laying the clothes flat really does take up less space than rolling. 
All packed up:

Working in South America Packing List

- Scrubs x2 sets
- Dresses x3 (appropriate for both work and going out)
- Warm vest
- Scarf x2 (one with a zipper pocket)
- Socks x7
- Underwear x10
- Bras x3 regular, x1 sports
- T-shirt (sleep/casual) x2
- Skirts x2
- Athletic shorts x1
- Dress shorts x1
- Layering black tank tops x3
- Swimsuit
- Athletic shirts x2
- Long sleeve shirts x2
- Sweater x1
- Fleece jacket
- Cardigan
- Leggings x2
- Jeans x1
- Gloves and hat

- Hiking boots (also double as supportive shoes for work in scrubs)
- Dress sandals
- Flat ankle boots for work/day use

- iPad
- iPhone
- Kindle
- Camera
- Adapter [all my devices are dual-voltage 110-240 V so I won't be needing a converter]
(with respective chargers)

- Toothbrush/toothpaste/floss
- Makeup
- Deodorant
- Comb
- Travel size perfume
- Visine
- Meds and vitamins, bandaids
- Chapstick
- Sunscreen
- Hair ties/pins
- Face wipes/sanitizer/hygiene products
- Razor
- Thin super-absorbent towel
- Small shampoo/conditioner/soap

- Water resistant watch
- Ring/earrings/necklaces x2 (inexpensive - I'm leaving my diamonds here)
- Day bag
- Sunglasses
- Camelbak

Work Items
- Stethoscope
- Otoscope with extra tips
- Alcohol swabs
- Notebook
- Pens
- Penlight
- Flash drive
- Badge

- ID/Passport
- Insurance card
- ATM card
- Gum
- Cash
- Money belt
- Sleep mask
- Headlamp
- Snacks

I take off in a few hours so I'm just checking and rechecking, saying goodbye to Luna and getting ready to go.

Thanks for reading, see you soon [from South America]!