In light of all the flooding mayhem happening in Brisbane (where I live for the
majority of the year), I haven’t allowed myself to get too excited about my Peru
excursion. It’d be pretty selfish to focus on myself during such a time, especially
since people and places I care dearly about are being forcefully affected by the
floods. So…respectfully acknowledging the thousands of Queenslanders toughing
out this hardship, I’m going to carefully ramble about my trip…
…so I fly to Peru on Monday!
I’m definitely filled with your typical tourist excitement to venture to South America.
What will the culture be like? What will the food taste like? Will Machu Picchu be just
as [or even more] stunning than the photos I’ve scoured through?
I’ve grown fond of visiting places that have some established North American
stereotypes. For example…obviously it was ignorant of me, but before I moved to
Australia my mind swelled with visions of kangaroos, croc wranglers and dry desert
terrain. I guess I could blame this on North America’s shallow notions on what
Australia is actually like. But instead of wallowing in ignorance and pointing fingers,
I’m more interested in putting such stereotypes to the test. I can’t think of a more
effective way to debunk ridiculous stereotypes than to experience things firsthand.
As far as Peru goes, what are the stereotypes associated with the country? In all
honesty, most people I speak to here in Vancouver seem to know very little about
the place. “They had a Japanese fellow as their president a few years back…?” and
“Llamas roam free…?” is what I’ve been hearing.
So possible stereotypes aside, I think traveling to a country with a blank
preconceptions can be just as, if not more interesting.
Anyway, I’ve got something much more exciting to waffle on about. Despite what it
may seem, I’m not going to Peru for recreation. Although I’m clearly gung-ho about
experiencing a new country and culture, I’m actually going on a medical mission’s
trip. (As a side note, speaking of stereotypes…When people hear the term “mission’s
trip”, I can imagine the assumptions that can form. Bible thumping and near forceful
preachy behavior to name a few. Anyway to try and address this, I’ll continue
explaining what our team of 8 from VKPC will be doing…)
I’ll be traveling down with a group of (mostly retired) health professionals (doctors,
dentists, nurses, etc.). We’ll rotate through developing communities on the outskirts
of Lima and provide whatever health services we’re capable of. Fortunately, this
operation has now been running for several years, so the team has established
relationships with some of these communities. This also means some of the health
services provided will include things like routine checkups and provision of
medication (if needed, obviously). And speaking of drugs…this is where I pop in. I’ll
be joining them as their pharmacist to help administrate the provided meds :).
Anyway, I believe this trip does address certain misconceptions about missions
work. Yes, it’s true that I hope for opportunities to share about God. But I also
believe that going just to assist with someone’s healthcare is incredibly meaningful.
If I’m able to enrich someone’s health and simply leave a good impression in his
mind about Christians, I believe that is very influential. It’s not my duty (or any other
Christian person for that matter!) to shove my faith into anyone’s life. So contrary to
what some might think, missionaries should not involve any form of forceful
At any rate, this entry is turning into a doozy. I just needed to outlet some of my
thoughts and excitement revolving around this trip.
Wish me luck and expect some interesting photos in the near future!