Postcards from Peru #3
I know it has been a while since I wrote. To be honest, I haven’t had all that many excited experiences really. I still haven’t been to Machu Pichu or visited the jungle. Most of what I have been doing is the mundane day-to-day stuff – like working out at the CrossFit and working 6 days a week in the office.
At Christmas time we did go to Lima and went surfing in Miraflores. The water was perfect, our surf instructor was good, and both Louis and I managed to stand up on the board and ride a few waves. It was really fun and I highly recommend it, if you happen to be in town some day.
In January, we opened a second chiropractic office here in Arequipa, which Louis is working in. It is steadily growing with new people and families. Dr. Eric and I still work at the other office and we have had our hands full with lots of patients coming through the door.
Last week I had a truly humbling experience. I had a family come into the office to start care for their 16-year-old daughter. The family had actually been here before. They came in for a consultation two years ago. The daughter’s nervous system was under a lot of stress and she was suffering from many different problems with her health. Two years ago they decided not to start with care for financial reasons. It turns out that over the past two years, the parents had been slowly saving money for her care. When they came back in last week, they brought with them the exact amount of money that was needed to pay for her care plan in full.
It really made me think about all of the things that we avoid doing, even things that are good for us, because we think it is too inconvenient. We all make so many excuses when it comes to our health. We are too busy to work out, too busy to cook a healthy meal, too busy to take a few minutes to meditate or be mindful through out the day. We think it’s too expensive to buy organic, too expensive to pay for a gym membership, too expensive to go to the chiropractor, too expensive to get a massage, or take a day for ourselves. This family is an amazing example of how people always find a way to do or get the things that they really want. They did not sit back and complain that it was too expensive, or that their insurance did not cover it, or that the government should pay for their lives to be better. They worked and saved, and likely gave up other things in order for their daughter to have the care that they wanted her to have. Incidentally, after just a few adjustments, she is experiencing less pain, she is breathing better, and she is sleeping better.
One of the incredible gifts that I have received from moving here is seeing people who truly have nothing, yet expect no hand-outs. We are so lucky in North America to have a social safety net that keeps us from hitting true bottom. In Canada, there are programs in place to make sure that you can have a roof over your head, your emergency medical bills paid for, your children can get an education, and so many other luxuries – and somehow instead of being utterly grateful, many people have an attitude that they should be entitled to more without having to work for it. I know that there have been many points in my life where instead of being grateful for all of the amazing things that I have, and incredible people in my life, and opportunities available to me, I have still complained about things like taxes, university tuition, rising cost of rent, etc. Sometimes it takes a complete change of perspective to see the abundance we are surrounded with.
And so — This post card is me sending back gratitude from Peru. It is also a gentle reminder for all of you to be grateful for the things, opportunities, and people that you have in your lives.
Dr. Justine was an associate doctor at the Cafe of Life until the end of August 2015 when she followed her dreams and passion to practice chiropractic in Peru.