This morning, we drove around with the Regional Health Promoter for close to an hour, trying to find a pharmacy that was actually open at the posted time. 8:30 came and went, people were lined up outside the pharmacy doors, and we still couldn’t get in to buy the meds that we needed to restock our own travel box.
Finally, we made a trip to the super Mercado, where we picked up the snacks and drinks for the education program. I was sooooo excited to pick up a HUGE supply of powdered mango juice mix! Once that shopping trip was done, we found an open pharmacy, got our meds and continued on with our day.
So, here in the Dominican Republic… educational opportunities are not commonly available. The CPR and choking, oral hygiene and hand hygiene teaching that we take for granted (and even find rather boring) are highly valued and appreciated here.
This was the 3rd of 4 years in a row that I’ve been involved in a well organized, large-scale education program here in the D.R. This trip, we put together curriculum, translated it and made notebooks for up to 14 village health-promoters.
The attendees were very enthusiastic in their CPR chest compression and choking practice. We practiced the tempo of the chest compressions by clapping to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive”, and then they all learned to do 2 person CPR, with one person doing the rescue breathing and one person doing the actual compressions.
Everyone went home with a tote bag containing an inflatable CPR mannequin kit, tooth model, tooth brushes, dental floss, tooth paste, hand sanitizer, soap and other items (like puff balls and glitter) that can be used to teach the material back in each village… to adults and children.
Ignore that link above… I have no idea how it got there or how to get rid of it!
Before supper, we made another trip to the closest barrio. The children had a great time playing with their American friends. The little girls combed and braided hair, and the little boys played catch and rode piggy back. Connecting with the kiddos is always one of my favorite parts of the trip.
Tomorrow, we will set up a clinic in a village within 30 minutes of San Juan. Around lunch time, I’ll get to jump in a vehicle and head to El Cercado to visit Yasiri… so tomorrow’s update promises to be exciting… at least for me!