Contrasts

Today began as a relaxed morning with a late breakfast and time to work on the presentation for a teaching session first thing Saturday morning. At mid-morning came a phone call from a colleague at PUCP, Pontifical Universidad Catolica Peru. We have spoken with faculty from Health Technopole CENGETS (the National Center for Clinical Engineering and Health Technology based out of PUCP) over the last four years about manufacturing appropriate pediatric wheelchairs in Peru. We last saw each other at the airport a year ago as we prepared to leave. Our colleagues proposed a working lunch, sent over a taxi and Sammie and I headed off to PUCP to the sound of Beatles and Bee Gees songs from our youth on the radio! Our driver did not speak English and it felt a bit surreal to think of who and where I was when I first heard those songs many years ago – far away from South America.

We arrived in good time for our meeting, which took place in a building of the engineering faculty. There are two points of interest close to the building and they are both in the picture below. In the foreground is a large hammer sculpture, and the story goes that the art students at PUCP created it and gave it to the engineering students! Behind it, ancient Inca ruins can be seen. These are hundreds of years old and run straight through the modern campus. At another part of the campus we saw what appeared to be a current architectural dig. Quite a contrast.

PUCP campus with hammer and Inca ruins

The PUCP campus with the hammer sculpture and Inca ruins.

Our meeting was productive and may lead to interesting opportunities for building specialized wheelchairs that will meet the needs of many Peruvian children – we shall see. Back in our guesthouse tonight, we are gearing up for a busy weekend of education tomorrow and the arrival of our entire team!

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