Dominican Republic | Day 2
February 10, 2016
What a day! It was opening day at the clinic and what a turn out. We served 120 locals today, adults and children. With our great team, we served the people of Cienfuegos with medicine and prayer, it was something I have never experienced before and I'm so glad I got to experience it first hand.
We started the day off like we will all week with breakfast and prayer starting at 6:30. Then right after that we got on the bus to travel to the clinic to make last minute adjustments. We had the pharmacy, diagnostics, which is where the nurses and doctors examine the patients, and prayer areas. We had a whole system down. Every person who entered the clinic had to get a green card to be able to get examined, they would then get weighed, blood pressure, and blood sugar checked by the nurses and then would move to triage. The nurses would then give them a prescription that a "runner" would take to the pharmacy.
We had a lot of extra help today as well from high school and college students from Santiago. They were a great help. At one point, I was able to be in the pharmacy to help count pills, I felt like a true pharmacist, haha. I was with two of the high school students and I turned on some music and we just had a great time.
One of those students, Javier, was appointed as Rachel and I's translator to help us communicate with the children and locals. He was super fun, along with his best friend Fransisco. Once we helped out with the clinic a little and ate lunch, Javier and us went on a photo walk to a different part of the area. We got great pictures and made some lasting memories.
Javier wasn't a local of the Cienfuegos area, so we had to make sure we re-traced our steps to the clinic so we didn't get lost. BOY WAS IT HOT. I am not use to this Caribbean sun and it was unbelievably hot. So as we were walking, we saw lots of people on the streets, a man with a coconut cart cutting the tops off to serve fresh coconut juice, kids playing on the streets, mechanics working in the shop, etc. The men working in the shop were SO excited to get a picture yelling "foto, foto" and cheering like no other. It was prettttttty funny. Then on our way back to the clinic, little kids come running towards us yelling, "Americanoooooos!!!!" It's kinda fun being a minority because they just make you feel like superstars.
The kids have been one of my favorite parts on the trip. They have warmed up to Rachel and I a lot so they are very much in our face and very affectionate but we love it. They love playing with our cameras and taking pictures (and getting their picture taken). I wish I could just bring them all back home!
After our walk, we came back to the clinic around 1:45 and the clinic was closing at 2:00. We helped pick up a little while the pharmacy finished filling prescriptions for the last few patients.
Once we were finished, we went back to the hotel to freshen up and get ready for dinner at the hotel. Dinner was muy delicioso! After dinner, we went to the second biggest university in DR, a catholic university, to hear one of our team members, Dr. Chakabva, speak to med students about Septis. It was way over my head with all the medical terms, haha.
Following the university, we drove back to the hotel and went to a Pizza Hut down the street to get a taste of Dominican pizza hut and it was yummy! A hard, but very rewarding, day of volunteering. It is now 11:52 and time for bed to do it all again tomorrow!
Below are a few photos from Day 2.