Dominican Republic | Day 1
February 9, 2016
After a LONG day of travel yesterday, we have finally made it to the Santiago De Los Cabellaros, Dominican Republic! My first time in the country and I am loving it. We are here on a medical missions/photo trip serving the people of Cienfuegos, Santiago through an organization called Barnabas Task. Barnabas Task is led by Tom Hinton and their mission is to influence others with a significant message with Christ as the center
So today, we woke up at 6:15 for breakfast at 6:30, ate, and then had devotions. Very moving, very powerful. After devotions, we drove to where the clinic is located in Cienfuegos and unpacked all the meds, set up the clinic, etc. We have an awesome team of 13 who are dedicated and ready to serve the people of the DR. While the team was continuing to set up, Rachel and I were able to walk around the block with Marta, a woman who works for the church the clinic is set up at, as well as Moises, one of the translator's for our trip. It was really fun and I got some of the best pictures I have ever taken on it.
We arrived back at the clinic about 2 hours later to eat lunch where we had the most amazing fresh tilapia, yellow rice, and salad. Once lunch was over, we finished up minor details on the pharmacy we set up and just double checking that everything is ready for the first day of clinic tomorrow. We then left the clinic and drove to where Barnabas Task does their dental mission trips and walked around that area. And after that, continued to another church where another dental team will work in June.
It was a short day today as it was just a set-up day, so we got back to the hotel at 4:00ish to do whatever we wanted until we leave for dinner at 6:15.
Today was the first day and I already feel moved by everything I have experienced and witnessed today. I have traveled many places and I have never seen anything like the conditions of Santiago, people included. The streets are dirty with piles of trash on some and the driving is insane. It was one of the dirtiest, but most beautiful place. I have also NEVER seen so many people sitting outside on their porches in 90 degree weather. Aside from the conditions they live in, the people of Santiago are so happy. It really put my everyday life in perspective and I don't think people realize how lucky they actually are until they go to a country with third-world conditions. The locals we got to interact with were friendly and LOVE getting their picture taken. I can't count how many times they would yell, "foto, foto!" and then pose. The children are absolutely gorgeous and I might come back with a Dominican child...haha, joking...maybe ;)
Being here is really an eye-opener and just the beginning of a life-changing trip. I am so blessed and grateful to have had this opportunity. Below are some images from today. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I do.
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