We will follow up this email with pictures and video but we wanted to quickly let everyone know that today was a huge success. We started the morning off with a trip to Veron to pick up Joel (One of the pastor's at the local church where sue has gone for years now) then we were off to La Romana to meet with Moises who is the head administrator of the Good Samariton Hospital.
La Romana is southwest of Punta Cana but no roads go directly there so we went through Higuey about an hour and half trip. La Romana is a large city with much fo the same poverty we have seen at Higuey in the past. It seems that everywhere on the islands you go away from the resorts there are children in need.
Upon arrival we found that the hospital was far from finished. It is being built in phases and hopes to someday be a 4 story teaching hospital. Already there was a team from Maine who were helping at the hospital as well as some doctors who had just returned from Haiti. At first it was difficult to explain why we were there but eventually they understood and were happy to see our supplies. When we asked them what was the greatest need they said food and antibiotics. They fully understood our desire to purchase the goods instead of just handing them money so they sent us to the local mega-store called "Jumbo." (like walmart)
At Jumbo we went directly to the store manager and the people from the hospital told them exactly what they needed, rice, beans, oil, tomato paste, sardines, etc. We gave them a spending limit of $600 and they provided around 600 lbs of food. The food will be individually packaged for families of 5 to go 5 days. That means that 75 families will eat for 5 days based on what we were able to buy.
Next was the challenge of how to buy anti-biotics. We decided the most cost effective way was to buy them from the hospital (they get a deep discount) so after some credit card challenges and some calls to the bank we were able to provide them an additional $800 for medicine.
It felt so good to deliver the provisions that were needed directly into the hands of the doctors who are going. Our food and medicine will arrive in Haiti on Thursday and be immediatly distributed at the clinics they have set-up in the "tent cities" (they don't like to call them that since they arn't really tents but actually sheets and open air).
they have promised constant updates and pictures both through email and on their website laromana.org. we will describe more about the organization in a future email. Traveling to this island a person cannot help but be drawn in by the poverty and also the friendliness. We feel very blessed to be doing god's work and seeing first hand the good that can come from generous hearts.