It has been a busy summer! Since May we have hosted 12 weeks of teams, some medical and some construction and VBS. Sometimes the days can feel long but the weeks certainly fly by!
We didn’t have a team the first week of August and Tyler’s mom and brothers came to visit. I tagged along one day when they went on a hike to a nearby waterfall. I was able to take Arlo with me – this was his first “adventure”, and he really enjoyed it, minus the cool water temperature. The following week we hosted a team of nursing students from the University of Tampa. I enjoyed being able to work alongside the team and also getting to “talk shop” with the nursing professors. As a new nurse practitioner, I take every opportunity I can to learn! This past week we had a youth team from Jubilee Fellowship in St. Catherines, Canada. They spent two days painting classrooms at CCED and then two days near El Cercado hosting day camps.
One thing that I really love about the Dominican culture is how welcoming people are and how much they look out for one another. I saw a perfect example of this at one of our barrio clinics this month. I was helping with crowd control/traffic flow, and I was able to see how everyone who came greeted one another. They would get their ticket/triage form and then go down the line of people waiting to be seen, greeting every single person with a hug and maybe a kiss on the cheek. I also saw people entertaining one another’s children as they waited to be seen by our doctors, and I saw some people return with family and friends so that they too could receive care. By the end of the day I even had a father hand me his baby to hold while his family waited at the pharmacy. This was such a beautiful picture to me of how we are called to live our lives…we are meant to live life in community and to love one another well!
Today is the official start of our “summer break.” Don’t be fooled by the word break though…there is always plenty of work to be done even if there aren’t teams here! I have chosen to stay in San Juan during our break. I feel like it is important for me to continue making San Juan my home, working on Spanish, and expanding and deepening my community here. I am hoping the next few weeks will be full of learning and growing!
- Spanish – that I retain what I learn and for confidence to use the Spanish I do know
- Health and safety
- Preparations for our medical and surgical teams this fall