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The January, 2012 trip is our largest yet with 9 people going. The focus this year is the creation of micro-businesses in the form of small internet cafe's and a sustainable small crafting business.
First up was a school past Higuey where Wilson's twin boys live. As we approached the town Wilson called and found out that the boys weren't in school so we decided to go to their house. The boys were very serious but appreciative of the bookbags and school supplies. As usual, word got out that we had arrived and a mother came with her new born who had ring worm on his chest. We explained that it was contagious and decided we would get medicine at the pharmacy in Higuey for her. Next stop was Wilson's daughter's school in Higuey but due to the time of our arrival, a bit past 12, the kids were all streaming out. In all the chaos it was the most we could do to just find Wilson's Daughter Michelle and get her home.
First of all you will have to excuse our broken English at this point we have been trying to speak Spanish so much we have lost track of English. Our day was action packed. First was off to the Clinica to deliver the duffel bag of medicine from the day before. We happened to pass the doctor as she walked the mile to the clinic from the road. We happily opened our taxi to her as well as the woman and child walking with her. We all piled in the taxi and started the slow trip over rough terrain to the clinic. Upon our arrival we dumped our bag and were happy to see the surprise on the doctor's face. Jen went through all the medicine and explained what each was and we manged to take some pictures. When we were leaving we happened to pass a house where a family lived that Wilson knew. He stopped and the woman expressed her concern about the clinic and how low they were on medicine. We were so happy to tell her that we had delivered new medicine so she could bring her daughter who had flu like symptoms. Right away, she was able to take home antibiotics and medication similar to Tylenol Cold and Flu from our donations. After giving a very nice 76 year old man a ride to the bus stop we were off to the preschool
Today was an interesting and overwhelming day. It started out like the others with breakfast and catching the taxi at 9. Today our first stop was Higuey to go to la farmacia for the clinic in the mountains. The farmacias here have everything you could ever want and no prescriptions neccessary. After a lot of discussions between the woman working and Jen, we figured out the most cost effective and needed drugs. We had to play a lot of charades to explain what was needed since medicine does not have the same name as here. It was comical to the people around us as we explained diuretics and had to give a detailed explanation with hand motions. It amazed us how easy it was to get some drugs such as antibiotics or phenobarbitol(anti convulsant narcotic) and also how cheap they were.
Up early and waiting to go, island time is something you need to get use to, for us it's pretty much "hurry up and wait". We spent the day driving around the region with our driver and friend Wilson. He brought us to his grandmother's village where we visited with the children and helped them make bracelets, the older children were at school so this gave us a great opportunity to work with the younger kids who are usually pushed aside. We tried to explain the idea of "friendship bracelets" to them and we were all happy to be right there doing such a small thing with new friends. We gave out volleyballs and softballs for the kids who wanted them and all of the parents were genuinely happy we were there. Tomorrow we will return with some shoes, we noticed many little toes hanging over the edges of their well worn sandles. Many of their houses are made from corrugated metal and it touches your heart to see all the tiny pieces of clothing newly washed hanging from barbed wire along the front of the house. Wilson's Grandmother has diabetes and getting the insulin and keeping it cold is an ongoing problem.
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