As soon as I arrived, I was welcomed by Sonia, the Programme Manager. She was so smiley, happy and very helpful. The welcome was so relaxed yet informative, and all the key points were raised. The first day after arriving, she took me, along with other elective students into town, where we saw the heart of Arequipa – Plaza de Armas.
After spending time walking around, touring the city, viewing the parks, travel agencies and locals, whilst absorbing the culture, we went to go eat at a local health food shop. Never have I ever had such a delicious sandwich, grilled chicken with avocado and crunchy nuts. Alongside a large glass of the freshest juice, I've ever had, made from cherimoya, mango and oranges. What a delicious start to the day =)
The hospital induction was lovely, met all the staff, all so friendly, and welcoming.
One concern I had was the language, however this did not prove to be as issue at all. The staff were more than willing to dedicate their time to me, to ensure I was comfortable and confident. There has never been a day where I haven’t put my Spanish into practice, always conversing with staff, patients and elective students. The staff were very intrigued about my culture as well, so as well as learning from them, I also taught them a few things for example: English translations, British food and drinks and told them the best places to visit.
The most interesting experience for me is definitely hard to choose, seeing as it all was an eye-opener. But one of my highlights would have to be helping out during one of the largest operations cared out in the hospital. A patient with left ovarian cancer the size of 17cmx25cm.
It was scary but, I helped as much as I could e.g. collecting a few medicines and materials from the pharmacy, and ensuring the operation theatre was safe and clean, ready to use. Once the operation was successfully completed, we all cheered with delight.
Their culture in Peru, is nothing I have seen before. The minute i learned, I knew, had nothing to worry about. The fresh air, friendly places, colourful scenery and beautiful landscapes. You even get used to the combi! A roller coaster ride to matter where you go! Definitely a must experience. Considering my hospital placement shifts I thought I wouldn't have much time to travel around. But to my surprise, I had plenty of time. Arequipa is a city that never sleeps, always something to do. From mountain biking down Mt. Chachani, trekking Mt. Misti, and visiting Machu Pichu, all have kept me busy. During the evenings, I went into town,to visit the iconic Plaza de Armas, cathedral, monastery and of course I couldn't miss the daily chocolate making classes!
I would definitely recommend Work The World to all those over there, It’s a great experience. If I could do it all my own, first time away from home, then anyone can do it. The staff all help you feel so welcome, comfortable and put you at ease. It just makes it so worthwhile, and I truly will miss it. Thank you Work The World team, I will cherish all these memories from the bottom of my heart.