Robert Emeh

Alabama St. Student

December 11, 2013

Day One: The Time is Now

We are finally here. My TPaIDA group members and I have finally made it to Iquitos, Peru. Getting off the plane, the warm, tropical climate surprised me, due to the fact that we’re coming from 27 F weather in Dallas, Texas. We entered the airport, where we met three men who were assigned to help carry the luggage to the car we were using to get to our hotel. The three men were really friendly to us, and worked diligently to make sure that all of our belongings got into the bus. From there, the bus took us to the hotel. Looking out the window of the bus, I analyzed the environment of Iquitos. The city is surrounded by forests and sand, which reminded me of my first time visiting Africa in the 5th grade. The most of buildings were made out of plaster, and weren’t in the best condition. The Peruvian people were either fair or tan, but the majority of them were short. When we made it to Hotel Posada de Lobo, we took out our luggage and were assigned rooms.

Due to his kindness, intelligence, and funny personality, I was glad to know that Fred Yeboah was my roommate. Once Fred and I got into the room, we spent the first few hours connecting to the Wi-Fi and contacting our family and friends. My parents were happy to know I was safe and sound, and reminded me to be thankful for God blessing me with safe travels.

After a few hours of settling in, the students and I all came down to meet with Dr. Rolling. When I met him, I could tell he was glad that I was able to come. He had a big smile on his face and said, “You’re finally here, you ready?”. I told him yes in a declarative voice, and he shocked me by telling me I would assist him in amputation tomorrow. I was amazed at the fact that Dr. Rolling had chosen me to perform such a tough task, but I was ready to see what I was really made of.

After meeting with all the students, Dr. Rolling let us have some fun by taking us to the zoo. I enjoyed every part of that event, especially feeding the manatees. From the zoo, we went to eat dinner at pizza restaurant. Trying to buy food was a hassle because we didn’t know what was safe and good to eat. Two TPaIDA students and I shared a large, pepperoni pizza, which ended up tasting pretty good. While eating our pizza, we were told that four new members had just flown in, and would join us for dinner. Once they came, we all introduced ourselves and started to converse with one another. Just1 from talking with everyone, could tell that I would be working with some great, intelligent people.

A few hours after dinner, Dr. Rolling toke us to the gym, where we would be taking a cycling class. The students and I rode on a bike for at least an hour, with Dr. Rolling yelling at us to not quit. When we finished, we huddled by Dr. Rolling, sweating profusely. That’s when Dr. Rolling taught us an important lesson: Go at your own pace. In life, you can’t try to take shortcuts or grow up too fast, just go rock steady. The turtle won the race against the rabbit because he was rock steady. In regards to my life, I have a great amount of time to reach my full potential, especially since I’m a freshman, so I can’t try to rush my process of improvement.

Our night ended with evening lecture, where Dr. Rolling told us how significant this internship is. At the hospital, we were going to assist in surgeries, work in labs, and receive lectures from some of the best doctors in the Peru. This is an opportunity I couldn’t imagined getting back in the anywhere else, so I know I’m blessed to be here. At the end of the lecture, Dr. Rolling demanded that we become like a sponge, and take everything in from this internship. This opportunity only comes once in a lifetime, and I plan to get the most out of it.

In regards to tomorrow, the TPaIDA students and I will start our clinical rotation. Tomorrow will be the start of a test that will decide whether or not I’m made to practice medicine.  As Dr. Gunn said at evening lecture, “leggo”. With God’s involvement, belief in myself, and hard work, I know I will attack this challenge head on.