One thing that I have learned how to do since moving to this country is to make my plans for the day, and then hold those plans very, very loosely. At the end of each day things rarely, if ever, look like I’d pictured when I woke up in the morning. For someone who used to try to have everything planned out, this has been a good lesson. I have learned to expect the unexpected and just figure things out as I go. Well, I am sure thankful for these lessons because there have been a lot of those unexpected events in the past few weeks.
After a very busy season, the month of March ended with the dedication ceremony of the new clinic. Nearly 100 North Americans came for the event (that’s a lot of logistics and planning ahead of time!), and honestly everything went very smoothly. It was fun to see so many familiar faces in San Juan all at one time! The dedication ceremony itself was very special and I learned even more about the history of the clinic and SRI. You can find the full, uncut recording of the ceremony on SRI’s website under the Revolution blog if you’re interested in seeing it.
Following the dedication ceremony, the US missionaries went on a staff retreat for a few days. Things didn’t go quite as planned, but in the end it was good to spend time together by a pool. That week Arlo also celebrated his first birthday! So thankful for my sweet boy — it’s hard to imagine life here without him!
Shortly after returning to San Juan, the fire department had to be called to put out a fire that was in the ravine that is behind the parking lot across the street from the current clinic and guesthouse. Everything was so dry since we had not had rain since the end of November, so the flames were worrisome. The following day we had to contact the fire department again for yet another fire in the same area, this one smaller but closer to the street. We hoped and prayed for some much-needed rain and boy did we get it…
The following afternoon I was over at the guesthouse making dinner with Tyler and our friends Hannah and Alejandro and their 3 nephews when it started to pour rain, and for a while we even had hail. The pouring rain continued and before we knew it the rainwater was coming into the guesthouse. We quickly turned off the electricity and did our best to get things up off ground level. The guesthouse quickly filled with several feet of very cold water. It was absolutely heartbreaking to watch when there was nothing I could do to stop it. The next week was spent cleaning and putting the guesthouse and pharmacy back together. While I wish this never happened, it was so great to see our staff come together and give up their free time to help clean. I am so thankful for our amazing staff!
It was very fitting that after our week of cleaning we had our prescheduled staff retreat. We spent about 24 hours together at the Lighthouse Guesthouse in Santo Domingo. The theme of the retreat was encouragement. We had 3 sessions on how we can use words, actions, and prayer as ways to encourage one another. I am happy we were able to have this time together away from San Juan and our usual ministry.
Following the retreat in Santo Domingo, Tyler and I and our friends Angel, Paul, and Bianca traveled to Las Terrenas where we spent the next several days relaxing by the ocean. This was my first time visiting this part of the island – I am constantly in awe of the beauty and diversity of the Dominican Republic! I am very grateful for this time away with some great friends before we got back to work.
- Rest – I’ve been having some trouble sleeping for the past few months
A few more pictures from the past few weeks….