On the trip, I expected that people would get sick, I didn’t expect that I would be the one to get sick. In fact, the whole group got sick, since one of the travelers brought along with them a really bad cold. But you know what? Yes I was sick, but I didn’t let that stop me. So I just made sure I had medication. If you set your mind to it, you can still very much have a good time. This leads me to one of my biggest tips: bring medication! And don’t let something like that get in your way. You may not feel not so good, but you’ll be accommodated, and you can move activities around. For example, if you can’t eat too much because of your stomach, you can have other fillings.
Tip: “Enjoy yourself while you’re there and have a good attitude…your attitude is everything”.
While in Peru, I forgot to put sunscreen, and coming from Canada in the middle of the winter when I was really pale, I got 2nd degree, almost 3rd degree sunburns. I ended up getting pitted edema on my forehead. Basically, the forehead filled up with fluid to counteract the sunburn, and it swelled. A LOT. Over the next couple of days it drained down my face, starting between my eyes. I looked like an avatar. My prof actually said, “Hannah, you look like an avatar!” I’ve never gotten that badly sunburned before. I could poke my forehead and indents would stay. My eyes were swollen shut at one point.
Tip: “So kids, USE YOUR SUNSCREEN!”
Reflecting on myself and the outcomes of the trip, I realized that I am quick to take things for granted. Specifically, the healthcare we have here in Canada, especially in Ontario (OHIP). I know that I can easily pop into an ER or to my family doctor, show my card and get taken care of. Whereas in Peru, those with healthcare insurance, and even those without it can go to a hospital, but the government makes them pay for all of the supplies. Even just to get a vaccine, or to get their blood taken. They have to pay for the syringes and needles. That made me just take a step back and think that I need to be happier with the things I have here in Canada and take less things for granted. It’s not like I never would have been able to realize this had I not gone on the trip, but it was just a good reminder for me to make sure I humble myself a bit more.