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.
Towards the end of our first stop a grandmother approached with a 5 day old baby boy. We don't think he even had a name yet. Jen's face was beaming as that Grandmother handed that baby over to her. We were able to give vitamins for the mother and will bring more supplies for the baby tomorrow.
Our spanish is getting better, Wilson has been a huge help. Our next stop was a school well off the main road on a mountain side where we gave out the rest of our supplies. We thought we had more with us but apparently the school is growing so we will go back tomorrow.
The last stop of this short day out was to a local clinic. The doctor was in and understood english so we asked her what was most needed. She showed us that almost her entire supply of medications was expired. Everything from Penicillin to Condoms. She made a list for us to buy tomorrow when we go to the city Higuey. On the way out the door I noticed a crumpled piece of paper in the bushes. I picked it up and was surprised to find that it was a prescription that someone had thrown away. I asked Wilson who explained that the nearest pharmacy for uncommon medications was in Higuey and the local people had no means of transportation so the prescription was useless to them.
Tomorrow we are going to go to Higuey and to the pharmacy and a large school in a very poor area. Lots of balls to blow up and supplies to sort. More tomorrow.