Day Four: En La Escuela

Several months ago, we had our first team meeting to discuss this trip. I remember learning about the bateys and I developed my own preconceptions of what they’d be like. I even found myself feeling a little bit nervous about what I might see during my travels. First and foremost, I was nervous about the possible lack of restrooms. I imagined myself out in the fields with a roll of toilet paper and an army of animals around me. I was also nervous about meeting the people we would serve. Language and cultural barriers can be difficult to work through.

My first visit to a batey was actually a pleasant surprise. The people were so kind and welcoming. They say only 10% of what we say comes out of our mouths and I support this statement one hundred percent. Somehow I was able to understand what the people were saying to me and I don’t think that was entirely due to our wonderful translators.

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We set up shop in a schoolhouse and yes, there was an outhouse in  the backyard! I spent part of the day working in diagnostics and moved to the blood pressure station later on. I enjoyed both of these tasks because I was able to interact and connect with patients while serving them. At times I felt too tired and dehydrated to keep going, but the smile on each patient’s face as they entered the clinic rejuvenated my soul. I would not trade this experience for anything and my only regret is that we are not here for longer.

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Setting up the pharmacy!

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Domincan physician conducting an assessment.

Our team left the Batey around 3pm and returned to Casa Pastoral to shower and eat dinner. Afterwards, we had the opportunity to visit a recreated Spanish villa filled with beautiful architecture, restaurants and shops. I believe a few people managed to find a pub, too. I really enjoyed the lights layered over the entire structure. They reminded me of a painting by my favorite artist, Gustav Klimt. All in all, we had a wonderful day. Looking forward to waking up tomorrow and doing it all over again!

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Dazzling lights icing the church inside the Spanish villa.

 

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Posted in 2015 Dominican Republic Mission Trip, Global Health

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