Dispatches from the Road – Day 1 in Peru

The FACES team is off and running on their annual winter trip to Peru! A small team, this year consisting of Dr. Tom Albert, Executive Director Angela Jensen, and board member Kelly Jensen are now in Peru with Peru director Delia Delgado. They will be conducting screenings to select which patients will be getting cleft lip and/or cleft palate surgery from the entire surgical team come January.
The FACES team is accompanied by a core group of Lions Club members from the Portland area. As usual, the Peruvian Lions met the group at the Chiclayo airport with much pomp and circumstance! “There must’ve been 30 yellow vests giving us hugs and kisses,” said Angela. “Everyone should experience that sort of hero’s welcome.”
Dr. Tom, Angela and Kelly left the day after Thanksgiving, with barely enough time to let the turkey digest. They traveled all day on Friday and arrived on Saturday. After settling down to the hotel, Delia took the FACES group to Belen Hospital (where surgeries are held in January). They met with Lucy, the hospital social worker, Romy, the pharmacist, and several other hospital personnel to go over details for the screening clinics. Both Romy and Lucy made a visit to Portland, OR, this past summer and were inspired by their visit to Oregon Health Sciences University (where many of the surgical team works). Since their trip, they have dedicated much more energy to the organization Belen Hospital, and they were quick to praise the systems they saw and proud to show their improvements. Angela was impressed by Romy and Lucy’s ‘call-to-action’ from their trip to visit the team in Portland.
“They are incredible women, and I saw very clearly an intangible result of international travel,” said Angela.

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