Ducks, Firewood, and Cacti – All In a Day’s Work

Sacred Valley Health’s disabilities campaign has been working hard collaborating with two other organizations to open a school for children with disabilities. Between running from one meeting to the next, talking with parents, and coordinating with the school’s teacher and program coordinators, I can say that these past weeks have been very hectic. But through all the craziness, it was really nice to slow down and spend some time with our patients.

On one of our visits to Alex, a 16-year old boy with cerebral palsy, it was a beautiful, sunny day. Mount Veronica was the clearest I’ve ever seen it, making the hour long walk seem shorter than normal. We took Alex outside to get some fresh air and watch all the farm animals in his yard. One of our volunteers, Brad, decided to liven up the yard a bit and chased around some pigs since they’re Alex’s favorite. He was also determined to catch a duckling for Alex, but the momma duck was not too happy with this game. Brad survived unscathed though and Alex thoroughly enjoyed the chase.

Who’s faster – Brad or the duck?
Ruth protecting Alex from the ducks (or from Brad)…

On another home visit with Nati, a 76-year old woman who is a polio survivor but is paralyzed from the waist down, we sat outside in the sun and chatted in half Spanish and half Quechua. It was pretty relaxing when Nati suddenly spotted a ripened tuna, the fruit of the prickly pear cactus, and was determined that someone fetch it for her. Seeing her excitement for some tuna I decided it seemed doable and relatively harmless to get the fruit. Right after I left to get the tuna, Nati turns to Ruth, another volunteer, and whispers “hay spinas shh!” (there are spikes shh!). I’d always had a feeling that Ruth was her favorite. Unfortunately I was unsuccessful in obtaining the tuna and was sent to gather firewood instead, which I was successful in obtaining… and did so without getting spiked in my hand.

Nati and Natasha, who is unaware that there are spiky cacti in her future.
Firewood gathering = success!

It’s always an adventure visiting patients!

Written By Sacred Valley Health Volunteer Natasha Lee

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