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Not All Who Wander Are Lost… Everything you ever wanted to know about my Dominican mission work

20 minutes from the city…

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My annual On Top of the World photo! This may be the highest elevation I get all week!

We drove 20 minutes in the bus, today, to the village of Jaquimeyes de Jinova, where our team of 18 Americans and several (10?) Dominicans saw 205 patients in about 6 hours.  Most rural Dominicans have high blood pressure and many have skin fungus.  Stomach ailments are also very common.

We set up our clinic in a community center, where we were blessed with toilets and several rooms to house our waiting line, triage and doctor’s area as well as our pharmacy.  The local women were doing dishes in the back yard when we arrived, and soon started preparing a delicious lunch of chicken and rice, which they shared with anyone who wanted to try it.

The back yard of our community center.  Notice the broom made of twigs and branches tied with strips of denim

The back yard of our community center. Notice the broom made of twigs and branches tied with strips of denim

Dr. Sandy Valdex, assessing a young person with a sore throat

Dr. Sandy Valdez, assessing a young person with a sore throat

One thing I’ve noticed each time I’ve been here… the people take a great deal of care to keep themselves clean and neat.  You would never know that few of them have electricity and even fewer have running water in their homes.  Their clothes are clean, their shirts are tucked in, their bodies are washed and their hair is groomed.  Frankly, some much wealthier Americans could take a lesson!

One of my favorite little people was Ronoli, this adorable little 14 month old girl.  Her aunt, Josephina, basically handed her to us to love up on and take pictures.  Ronoli was so bright, she wanted to look at each picture after it was taken, and smiled like a little angel when she saw herself!

Ronoli, 14 months

Ronoli, 14 months

As usual, we took a walk through the village during our lunch break.  We climbed a pretty steep incline to get to the top of a hill, where we could see the neighborhood below, and San Juan in the distance.  As we walked by the local school, the children crowded against the chain link fence and clapped and cheered for us.  It was pretty heartwarming.

Hiking past the local school on our way to the top of the village

Hiking past the local school on our way to the top of the village.

The Dominicans are so kind and welcoming.  As we drove through one village on the way to Jaquimeyes, a woman sweeping the area in front of her home made the sign of the cross and waved to us.  They truly are appreciative of the work we are here to do.

Here we are at the end of a long, hot day.  Some of the villagers jumped in the picture!  Time to pack up and head back to the guesthouse.

Here we are at the end of a long, hot day. Some of the villagers jumped in the picture! Time to pack up and head back to the guesthouse.

Tomorrow, most of the team will go to  Sabana Grande de Valle Juelo for another barrio clinic.  A few of the Nursing Team will stay behind to conduct the teaching project Robin and I have been working on for months.  We’ll be training 12 local representatives the techniques and skills needed to be Breast Self Exam teachers in their own communities.

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