South America | Peru | Northern Peru | Trujillo – Hygiene and health issues
A lot of the kids really smell and most of them have very bad breath and terrible teeth, which made me think that they probably never brush their teeth, I asked one of the girls and she told me her mother couldnt afford any toothpaste. Apparently we have a dentist visiting every couple of weeks who examines the kids for free, but he hasnt been round since I got here….
The little girls also keep stealing our soap from the bathroom, when we give them showers and they are obsessed with toilet paper. A lot of the families are obviously not able to buy any of these simple necessities.
At the moment the hygiene problem is particularly bad because its the hottest month of the year over here and there is a water shortage. We normally have water in the mornings but they switch it off during the day. If we are lucky its back on for a couple of hours in the afternoon. I cant even wash my hands or tell the kids to do so before their meal. It really is pretty disgusting most of the time.
Up until last week we had a young doctor from the States volunteering with us but she has left now and all weve got is a little sheet with basic guidelines on how to diagnose the most common health problems.
I sometimes worry a little bit, about the constant close contact with the kids; they really hang of me most of the time and given half the chance they will climb on my lap, kiss me, stroke my hair or drink from my water bottle – if I leave it out of sight for a split second.
I love reading fairy tales to them and normally I just sit on the floor and they pile around me or lie down on top of me. It is funny reading something out loud, when you dont even understand half of it.
Oh,… have a look at
(scroll down to the bottom of the page) to see my photo and all the people I work with over here.