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.
After a few more stops we were off Wilson's house for lunch. We arrived to find his wife, daughter and son outside excited to see us. As soon as we opened the doors though the news spread through the small community that we were there and children seemed to be coming out of the woodwork. We were quickly overwhelmed by the sheer number of children requesting shoes or school supplies. Shoes were so hard because we only had so many sizes and there were more older children than we had thought. Eventually their mothers joined them and the scene became too hectic for us to control so we had to close the van and declare to the onlookers "No Mas." The children that were left joined us in making bracelets and Rachel led an activity to make stars out of paper. Wilson's wife served us a great lunch of rice and chicken which we ate gratefully. They even sent someone to the local store to buy coca-cola light for Sue. Wilson's daughter, only 8, was so welcoming and very much wanted to go on the plane with us back to Estados Unidos.
Next stop was supposed to be a quick trip to see Raimi who's surgery we had helped pay for 2 years before. He was healthy, but again we found that as soon as we opened the taxi doors we were surrounded by people looking for much needed provisions. We handed out tooth brushes and what was left of the shoes but eventually had to just shut the doors and head back to the pharmacy. One of the women we had met had a daughter, 11, who was special needs and very much required phenobarbitol and adult diapers - we assured her we would pick some up at the next pharmacy we went to.
They next pharmacy was not run as well as the first so it took us a long time to explain our needs and get the required medicine. They still did not have enough insulin so we were forced to go to one more pharmacy which turned out to be the worst of the stops yet. We asked the pharmacists what the dose was and suddenly she got into an argument with Wilson about how she wasn't a doctor so she couldn't say. Eventually we calmed the situation down and left with what we needed.
We decided it was too late to go back to the clinic today so we went to Wilson's grandmothers to deliver the insulin as well as visit the mother we had met with the now 6 day old baby. As we approached the woman's house the children began following yelling "gringo's! gringo's!" to announce our arrival. The mother and her grandmother were excited to see Jen and her supplies. We found the newborn in bed with his mother sleeping. His mother was very grateful for the supplies as Jen painstaking explained every detail of doses and what we had brought. To celebrate our arrival Wilson had his friend invite us over for coco.... we thought this was hot cocoa....we were wrong. Instead, Wilson's friend took a machete to a coconut and stuck a straw in it for each of us. We were grateful for the drink but were surprised by how filled they were. We stayed for a while and talked until it was time to head back to the hotel.
The last memorable event happened at dinner when Mario our waiter announced our arrival all of the waitstaff appeared to show us pictures of their nino's y nina's. Apparently word had gotten around that we had school supplies and vitamins. We gave out what we could and promised more for tomorrow.
It was a day filled with up's and downs, the joy of giving to the grateful children and the sadness in having to close the doors to the van because we had no more to give and yet there were still so many mothers and children with needs. We really came to appreciate our amigo Wilson and how willing he was to jump right in and help. God works through everyone but it was particularly apparent with him.