Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Day 595: Gringos Saludables in Musho

We're almost famous in the Callejon de Hualas now... a traveling troup of acting gringos out to teach the Ancash youth about the importance of gender equality. In the theme of the A Midsummer's Night Dream, Benjamin (or Puck) the magic dwarf transforms Libby the sister into her brother (Vishal). Through a series of funny clothing changes and great magic performed by the big mountain spirits Jake and Frank... the siblings finally realize just how hard the family expectations are for their sibling.

Mae helped us out and played the bird...

Here's Benj the magic dwarf helping me out in my time of need. My brother thinks that the woman's place is in the kitchen, taking care of the baby sibling (in this case played by Cole), or washing the laundry...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Day 594: We're Uncles and Aunts again!!!

Aliya Claire
Born at 11:13 am on April 29, 2008
6 lbs 14 oz, 20”, dark brown hair and eyes

Her beautiful family... Dad Ramon, Mom Shayna, Big Sis Sabina

Big Sister Sabina holds her new sister Aliya just after her birth!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Day 590: Laguna Paron

Today we awoke early to a beautiful morning in Caraz, hopped in a taxi and headed up into the Cordillera Blanca - 2 hours later we arrived at the tourquoise glacial fed "Laguna Paron." Here we are... the world looks better through Smith Optics as we always say.

Mom and Lib on the way up... what a gorge!

Here's Pop with just two of the nine snow caps that surround and feed this lake.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Day 587: The Big Health Campaign

During Mom and Pop's first week in Musho we helped the local health post staff and World Vision International in an integral health campaign. Each day we were up early, ate breakfast at Dona Albina's and then headed off to one of the 5 sectors of Musho.

Here is Dr. Mark Bixby, my dad, examining an elderly man. Dr. Bixby essentially performed a physical on each patient and then made a diagnosis based on his findings, followed by a suggestion for what meds might help calm the symptoms. I, Libby, served as the translator, and Dora, an intern at the Health Post, helped to make my dad's suggestions compatible with what was actually feasible in our setting, either at the Musho health post or at a bigger hospital. Many of the patients were elderly folks complaining of all-over body pain, a complaint that soon was referred to generally as "Peru Pain."

Meanwhile, Benjamin and Mom helped to administer a deparisitation campaign with each of the families participating in the health campaign. Each family member was required to participate, taking one pill, once a week, for four weeks... all with the goal of eliminating worms and other parasites from their intestinal systems.

And... to beat the issue into the ground, Mom and Benj also helped the kids to make recycled bottle handwashing stations and soap dishes for their homes - A Hygiene Corner, if you will. It was dirty work... and required a lot of patience. Mom was glad she had practiced her Spanish before coming down!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Day 585: Edgard the Chef Visits Musho for our Party!

Gracias a Edgard por su visita tan sorprendiente a Musho, justo para nuestra fiesta de celebracion de las cocinas nuevas en Pariantana! Y por las chaquetas de Chef! Y los parches de No Falling, Peace Corps, y Montserrat!

Y por los Crepes tan deliciosos hechos a mano en nuestro cuartito azul! Eres un Chef Fantastico!

Day 585: Big Party Celebrating the End of Our Stove Project

Benjamin and Libby presenting the certificates to the 38 participants before the band started to play!
Palmas for Pilar Blas! This young woman, 16 years old, is an up and coming Huayno singer native to the caserio of Pariantana. She agreed to sing for our party!

A photo taken from the roof of Ana's house, here one group of beneficiaries is finishing up the final details on the lunch meal the day of the party.

Here we are! 2 stars if you can find Libby and Benjamin!

We had a grand finale with the community Pariantana of Musho to celebrate the end of a six month Healthy Homes project. We helped 38 local families install improved wood-burning stoves, guinea pig cages, and cupboards.