The Formation Years

young1He felt that life must have more to offer and decided to explore it on his own. One day he left his relatives’ house with a couple of shirts in a bag and never looked back. He headed to what he felt was a big town, Tarapoto. For a couple of days he wandered around town and realized that they were in the middle of the political campaign season. He decided to knock the door of the current representative for the San Martin Province, who was running for reelection. He thought that this candidate could have good chances of winning the election judging by the big number of campaign posters spread everywhere in town. Smart and lucky enough, after three consecutive days persistently inquiring his staff to obtain a personal audience with the candidate, Villanueva agreed to receive the young boy. Cesar Villanueva must have seen something in young José as he decided to immediately appoint him eligible for a social program called "La Casa del Campesino" where he received free bed in a public dormitory for two years. He quickly became a trusted assistant to Mr. Villanueva himself while being able to make his first dream come true, to go back to school.

Working near to a man of influence started to open new doors for José. He began getting closer to one of Mr. Villanueva's friends, Dr. Carlos Vecco. He found in José a natural intelligence and common sense in addition to his transparency and trustworthiness. Dr. Vecco saw the opportunity and asked Mr. Villanueva for his "release" as he needed somebody like José to help him. He agreed and Dr. Vecco offered José a new job and a new lifestyle. He made him his right hand assistant for almost everything. José lived in Dr. Vecco's house acting as housekeeper and office assistant. It was the time when José gained experience dealing with medical and laboratory equipment, as well as putting injections to Dr. Vecco's patients. José was happy and looking forward to greater challenges when he received a letter shortly after his 21st birthday. It was a formal notice to report to mandatory military service in the Peruvian army. In military service he had the opportunity of do more technical studies while working in the military medical clinics talking care of the sick. In little steps, like his father and grandfather, his life was gradually turning into medicine and healing.

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