Wednesday, July 27 The last few days here in the Dominican Republic have been some of the BEST experiences for me. Quite frankly, I was worried about the food, being such a picky eater and all, but surprisingly it is some of the best food I have ever had! The seasoned beef and moro particularly have been my favorites so far. The entire group ate at a local restaurant this evening, and let me tell you, it was once again some of the best food it’s been my pleasure to taste. After the impressive, authentic Dominican food, we all went out for some ice cream, which was excellent as well. Being on this trip has most certainly broadened my horizons, and I’m eager to try almost anything they are willing to toss my way.
Some of the best times on this mission trip haven’t necessarily been at the clinic. I have had some of the greatest moments with my new friends here at the guest house. Coming into this trip I literally only knew two of the people, so being put in a room with five other girls, and being in such a large mission group seemed a little daunting at first. That was soon thrown out the window. We have all become extremely close the last couple of days and we all have had some great stories and moments together. There are SO many experiences that we will all remember for the rest of our lives and I’m sure we will be talking about them for ages. “Remember that one time in the Dominican…”
One thing for sure that has been one of my favorites while being here is of course the scenery. Going from the relatively flat Ohio to the fairly mountainous regions of the Dominican has been an amazing experience. I don’t think that there has been a single day on this trip that I haven’t been in awe of the beauty that I see around every corner on our way to and from the clinics. Many of the clinics I have been to have been up in those mountains in the forests. The one I was at today was tucked away amongst the mountains with a bubbling river below in one of the greenest valleys I have seen. There is nothing in or near Ohio, perhaps even in the whole U.S., that compares to the surroundings here. Granted, many of the winding roads we travel are dirt and bumpy, but it’s all a part of the exciting journey that I wouldn’t want to miss for the world.
Coming here has really changed my perspective on what is truly important in life. Seeing the way the people live has opened my eyes to what I take for granted every day. Where I have a whole room to call my own, a whole family might share a single space the size of my bedroom. Many of the things I rely on throughout the day the people here have never used before; and the simple things I use without thinking like a toilet, shower, or even clean water, some of the Dominicans would absolutely love to have at all. They rely on God to provide for them, and their faith is truly unshakable. I can only hope that whenever it is tested, my faith is like that of the Dominicans. Seeing the children in the barrios learn to make paper airplanes, scream with sheer delight at the sight of bubbles, and run around covered in stickers and glitter is something that will always bring a smile to my face. On my first day of the clinics, I was just learning the ropes of taking blood pressures and the ins and outs of the language. After being totally immersed in the work for the last 3 days, I have become a pro at the blood pressures, but not so much with the language. There is one thing that language is not needed for, and that is the smiles, hugs, kisses, and blessings I received from many of my grateful patients. I will carry and cherish all of these memories with me always.