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

The week is coming to an end…

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Sadly, this blog post will cover our last 2 days working in the barrio.  For me, Wednesday was only a partial day in La Cana de Guazumal.  I had to leave around 1pm in order to get to Yasiri’s school for our little reunion.  Today, however, was a full day in a beautiful village about 45 minutes West of here, called Higuerito de Banica.

This man came to the barrio clinic with incredibly high blood pressure

This man came to the barrio clinic with incredibly high blood pressure.

The doctors we work with at the village clinics are incredible.  They have to examine, diagnose and treat issues without the benefit of technology or any modern facilities.  It’s a true skill.  The student nurses on these trips really learn a lot by assisting the physicians during our day, and sharpening their assessment skills for their real world jobs.

His  BP didn't come down after medication, so he had to get a ride to the hospital for additional treatment.

His BP didn’t come down after medication, so he had to get a ride to the hospital for additional treatment.

Our last barrio day was held in a village closer to the border of Haiti.  It was super hot and humid today, and it was very difficult to find any kind of a breeze.  You can imagine how “close” we felt in the bus on the way back to the guesthouse!

I have a lot of photos to post, but it’s late and I’m running out of energy… so I won’t do much text.

Seeing patients in the triage area

Seeing patients in the triage area

In addition to helping out, a little bit, in the pharmacy area, I got involved in teaching the school children some lessons on personal hygiene.  I went with Euclides, one of the translators, as he “worked the schoolyard” with his giant set of plastic teeth and toothbrush. The kids got pretty exicted that we were handing out coloring pages, stickers, glow sticks, crayons, and bracelets.  I quickly added words and phrases to my Spanglish vocabulary, such as :  “get in line”, “listen to my friend”, “no more stickers”, and the ever popular “I’m sorry, my Spanish is bad, I don’t understand”.

One of my favorite children was nine year old Heimi (pronounced Amy).  What a pretty little girl.  Of course, I had to take a few photos of her.  Look at those mesmerizing eyes.

Heimi

Heimi

One of my favorite parts of the day is our lunch time walk around the village.  Today, we wandered up a rock-strewn road, past shacks with laundry drying on barbed wire fences.

colorful laundry drying in the sun

colorful laundry drying in the sun

We found these precious people working in their yard.  The woman wouldn't get her picture taken until she straightened her hair and took off her apron!

We found these precious people working in their yard. The woman wouldn’t get her picture taken until she straightened her hair and took off her apron!

I’m posting lots of pics of Dominican people getting shoes and scrub caps in honor of the many, many people who donated them for me to bring down here.

My friend, Missy, had the children at her private elementary school collect over 200 pairs of itty, bitty shoes… We gave every single one of them away this week.  I hope you’ll enjoy a few of the photos.

My co-worker, Kathy, made and donated several cloth scrub hats, which I gave to the very appreciative and excited Dominican nurses at the Clinica Chritiana today.

About 10-12 more scrub hats were donated by a company called Kim’s Kaps.  Their only request, in exchange for the donation was to see some photos of their caps “in action”.  The ladies were so pleased with their gifts, and were proud to show them off!

Thanks for the new shoes, Apple Tree Academy!

Thanks for the new shoes, Apple Tree Academy!

Baby boy got new shoes!

Baby boy got new shoes!

Cute little shoes from Apple Tree Academy... thanks, kiddos!

Cute little shoes from Apple Tree Academy… thanks, kiddos!

Dominican nurses, showing their new scrub caps, made by my co-worker, KW!

Dominican nurses, showing their new scrub caps, made by my co-worker, KW!

So, the hot, humid, physically demanding work has come to an end.  It’s been mind-boggling, as expected.  So many beautiful moments with so many beautiful people.

Tomorrow, we board the bus in the morning for the long drive back to the capital city, and a quick tour of the Colonial Zone (home of Christopher Columbus).  We’ll check into a hotel and enjoy some sea breezes and air conditioning before heading to the airport Saturday morning for the long travel day back to the states.  I’m hoping to have internet access sometime tomorrow so that I can do a final blog entry!  Until then, adios!

Thursday Barrio Team

Thursday Barrio Team

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