Earlier this week I was writing the date on a triage form and realized that it was time for me to write another blog…I can hardly believe how quickly the month of May is flying by!
The last week of April we had a team from Ohio and they started painting the inside walls of the new clinic. It is so exciting to see the clinic getting one step closer to opening! We didn’t have a team the first week of May, but we stayed busy preparing for teams in the weeks to follow. During that week I was able to spend one morning at a local orphanage doing well-child checks. It definitely felt good to finally put my medical knowledge to use!
If you follow SRI, you know that May is Dominican staff appreciation month. During our week off we were able to go on a staff retreat in Bani with both the North American and Dominican staff. Pastor Enol led two sessions on the topic of prayer followed by a time of prayer for the DR, SRI ministries, and individual staff prayers requests. It was great to spend time with everybody and get to know everyone a little better.
The past two weeks have been busy with teams. Last week we hosted 34 group members from SUU and MSU. Each university did 4 barrio clinics, so we were able to provide medical care to a lot of patients! If you have been on a team with SRI, you know that flexibility is the name of the game and that was certainly the case – 2 different days I jumped in as a third provider to help ensure that we were able to see every patient that came to our clinic. This week we had a second team from SUU and a team from University of Indianapolis. It was another successful week of barrio clinics and some more painting at the new clinic. I am thankful to have had medical teams here because I feel like I can finally be useful! I have definitely gone to bed every night feeling exhausted but so grateful.
In other news, I found an apartment! In some ways I feel like the apartment found me. Shortly after I moved here Kamanda happened to see a sign that the apartment was for rent, and it quickly became clear that it was going to become my home. This apartment checked off everything on my list: location, size, price, and on the second floor. To top it off, I met my neighbors who live on the first floor and one of them is a physician in our clinic! So, was this apartment meant to be? I think yes! I am currently still living at the guesthouse and am working on furnishing my apartment so that it will be good to go when I am ready to move in. Renting this apartment really has made it sink in that I am here to stay. Every time I walk into my apartment, I am hit with the feeling that I am home and that is honestly such a great feeling.
I am continuing with my Spanish lessons, and I am also continuing to work on giving myself grace and being patient during this learning process. My brain has finally stopped automatically jumping to German first so that is helpful; I am hopeful that the Spanish I am learning will start sticking soon! A few times a week I will wake up in the middle of the night with Spanish words and phrases running through my mind (most of which I don’t know!) so I know my brain is working hard to process everything I am taking in.
Each day I am here I learn more about my new home, job, and myself. I continue to work on asking for and receiving help, and I am also getting better at being comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. I learn so much every day and I know that will continue to happen for a long time! Growing pains can hurt at times but a friend of mine recently reminded me that the pain is only temporary while the fruits of the growth are long-term. So, as I reflect on the past month, I am left feeling so incredibly thankful for the lessons learned and the growth I already see. God is good!
- That I continue to adjust to life here in the DR