Pocky, a little poodle, has been traveling by bus for four days. Since he left Caracas, Venezuela, he has behaved very well, confesses his owner in charge. Pocky will travel the more than 4 thousand kilometers that separate Caracas from Lima with the sole purpose of reuniting with his owner, who is in Lima to get a kidney transplant.
Marta (not her real name), is in charge of taking Pocky to Lima. Marta is also going to meet again with her daughter Margarita (not her real name), 22 years old, Pocky´s owner, whom she sent to Lima hoping to find a cure for a kidney condition that has worsened in recent years.
“I sent Margarita to Lima because a mother does whatever it takes for her children. Margarita has to live and now she needs a kidney transplant, fortunately, my other daughter, her sister, is going to donate her kidney. They are compatible.” Marta speaks strongly, a feverish optimism escapes through her eyes. “My two daughters are together in Lima and now I am going to join them, and I could not leave Pocky, he is family, and I know that Margarita will be happy when she sees her puppy.”
Marta speaks of the trip with tranquillity. For her it has been very hard, given Margarita´s condition. She must first overcome an infection before she can be operated. Although Marta has travelled all the way to Peru by bus, she says that the conditions of the trip are very hard, “one goes cold, difficulties to access a bathroom, in the end others that are in the same conditions as you or worse, join you and travel in a group is better than being alone.”
One of the traveling companions that Marta has made on the road approaches and comments that Pocky behaves very well, sleeps all night without disturbing the other passengers on the bus, and is the centre of attention wherever they arrive. “I put on his diaper and he goes to sleep all night, does not bother anyone. He has been an excellent travel companion,” says Marta.
More than twelve hundred kilometres separated Marta from her daughter, but she is already full of enthusiasm for the reunion. “Margarita has been very strong with her illness. When we no longer found places to do dialysis in Caracas, she researched online and tried to get medicines everywhere. Unfortunately, her haemoglobin lowered and a transfusion had to be done and the blood was contaminated, there were no reagents to verify that the blood was safe”, she comments with sadness, “this worsened the situation. We decided to leave the country so that she could have a future.”
“We still do not know what we are going to do after the transplant, because we have to live in a place where we can get the medicines that Margarita will need for her entire life. For now, we are taking one thing at the time”, Marta says with certainty.
Around Marta a circle of people has formed to see Pocky, he really is the centre of attention and entertains a good group of people that this day are in the Binational Border Care Centre (CEBAF in Spanish) in Tumbes, North border of Peru with Ecuador. According to the September report of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) from January to May 2018, 185,637 migrants have passed through this point.