Peru: a country of contrasts
Julia Kenny shares her memories of her elective
Peru is a country of contrasts--the desert, the mountains, and the jungle, united only by the universal friendliness of its people. I chose to work in the capital, Lima, and then in the jungle city of Iquitos.
Lima is a huge, sprawling, overcrowded city. The gar “ua, or sea mist, that envelops the city for most of the year traps the visitor in a fume filled chaotic urban jungle. Peruvians, having fled their native homelands in search of employment and a better life, live in the dusty pueblos jovenes shanty towns comprised of overcrowded shacks along the banks of the River Rimac.
My destination each day was the grandly named Instituto de Medicina Tropical Alexander Von Humboldt, a department of the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia. This is one of the leading centres for tropical diseases in South America and indeed the world. Numerous patients attend outpatients' departments with diseases varying