Day Six: Batey Verde

Jan 8, 2015

Day six is my favorite day, so far, in this journey. I think I needed a few days to "warm up" and by day six, I finally found my groove. I felt confident in myself and in our team. Further, interacting with the people we were serving came more naturally. I spent most of the day taking blood pressures so that I could greet patients as they entered the clinic. My Spanish had improved to the point where I could say "hello", "how are you?", "thank you" and "wait there for the doctor". I know these are phrases most people already know, but I was pretty proud of my accomplishment. There were even a few patients who spoke french, which I used to be fluent in, and I was able to communicate fairly well with these individuals. There is something to be said about language, it really does open many doors.

IMG_4163 Batey Verde

IMG_4134 Batey Verde

Our clinic saw around 100 adults and children before breaking for lunch. I enjoyed our usual meal of rice, meat, soda and cookies and felt truly grateful for the opportunity to be in the DR witnessing a new and extraordinary culture. After lunch, we put together peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cookies for the children; their reactions were priceless. I cannot imagine being so grateful for a sandwich (1/4 of a sandwich to be exact). In fact, I would have snubbed my nose at the offering because I dislike pb&j sandwiches. The experience left me in a state of deep gratitude for the blessings I've been granted in my life, especially those I take for granted. Further, I was left wanting to do so much more for these families. I thought to myself, here I am providing healthcare to people who lack even the most basic of needs. I am not sure how I can help in the future, but I plan on figuring something out. Medicine can only go so far. Nutrition and other basic needs must be available too.

IMG_4149 Pedro meeting with a family at the diagnostics station.

After leaving the batey at around 2 pm, our team ventured to a home for girls whose parents are unable to meet their needs at this time. We were given a tour of the campus, which includes a school, and then spent the remaining time playing with the girls. There was singing, dancing, ball games and a whole lot of smiling. The children were dazzled by the toys we brought them, they were so easy to please. I only wish we could do more.

IMG_4170 Arriving at the orphanage.

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