Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Update from Mark at the DR orphanage

This week is a time to catch up and re-group. Freda, Joanne, Willy and Tena are here working with the girls in the sewing room at the school. Many have completed the pajama bottoms and are in the completion stages of a reversible wrap-around skirt. Some want to make some special bags next week. We hope to move two of the machines to the tias home so they can continue projects at any time with the girls, not just during school hours. There was a small group of ladies from Nova Scotia connected with the Rotary here yesterday (Wednesday) helping in the sewing room.
Kieran, Ken and Dr. Chris left to visit the NPH orphanage and Father Rick’s hospital in Haiti on Tuesday of this week. They plan to return on Friday afternoon.
It is nice to have Connie with me this week. She has been helping Kelly the one year volunteer from the US with the English program for the past two weeks and again this week. It is quite interesting.
Nina, the therapist from Austria (one year volunteer), has her mother visiting for the next two weeks and then her father will arrive for the last week. Her mom is painting a mural in the therapy room at the clinic. I’ve been in for a peek and one wall is just about completed. Amazing!! She is looking for help from the next group to complete the other three walls.
Julie, from France, (one year volunteer), it teaching French class at the school and is also setting up a library room. The Canadians helped with getting shelves, books, a special desk and also purchased a new computer for use in the library for cataloguing the books. Her parents are visiting for a couple of weeks and are staying with us in our house.
Francisco is working on a roof framework for the new safari seat unit the Canadians made for the truck they purchased. The welder hopes to have it finished by Friday.
Our little group invited the office staff for a little get-together yesterday afternoon - tea, juice, cake and cookies.
Today (Thursday) we have invited all the teachers and support staff, for a Canadian luncheon at our house - BBQ chicken, mashed potatoes, cooked carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, jello and cookies for dessert. We discovered they have their lunch at the school with their own children, so the group has grown to about 40. Should be exciting!
I’m working on getting the sleeping quarters organized, schedules, etc. in readiness for the next group. We will have two full houses and another 3 at the clinic - about 45 in all. There are many things for them to busy themselves with.
Saturday will be a busy day. I will meet the team from Nova Scotia in Punta Cana at about 11 a.m., pack them up and head back to the orphanage. Ken will pick up some that stayed a week at the resort and take them to the airport and wait for the Walkerton group to arrive about 4:30 and arrive back at the orphanage for a delicious spaghetti supper about 9 p.m. Sunday everyone can attend mass with Father Ed and all the children at the school.
Thanks for all your support and prayers.
Mark, Ken, Connie, Freda, Willy, Tena, Joanne

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Update from team 3 - week 2

This is the second and last newsletter from Team 3 at NPH in Dominican Republic.
This week I am reporting on some different aspects of the Mission. Many pairs of donated and purchased glasses were brought down. Volunteers tested mostly people from the surrounding villages and then handed out glasses. Many of them had been unable to read due to declining sight and were just amazed and thankful for the gift of their sight back.
Some of us had a visit to a nearby Hospital. Many of the areas were dirty and supplies were few.
The electricity wasn’t even on in places. Behind the hospital was a huge pile of unusable wheelchairs and other supplies as well as three or four inoperable ambulances one of which was just sitting on the tire rims. This is such a huge difference to the healthcare we receive at home in Canada. All of the medical supplies that were not needed by NPH itself were distributed to three nearby hospitals.
We had to say goodbye to a few volunteers who left after the first week and we welcomed three more in.
The Medical Clinic continues to see orphans and villagers every day. We were very fortunate to have a multi-talented Registered Massage Therapist with us from the beginning. She treated patients, some of whom had immediate results from their longstanding problems . She also worked closely with the therapist at the Orphanage to teach her new techniques as she continues to work with the orphans that need treatment.
This therapist has also been chronicling the entire experience with uncountable spectacular photos.
The sports team continues to give out sports equipment to towns and schools and also set up and play sports with the orphans. This work has mostly been done in the very hot sun with temperatures over 45 degrees celsius some days.
Other volunteers have been driving vans and the tranportation truck to bring people from villages and towns into the Medical Clinic and back home again. They also drive us on outings we have had like a trip to see nearby caves and the Texas Rangers Training Camp.
Volunteers also continue to work on the endless handyman list.
When we came to Dominican Republic we got out of our chores at home, but not here. Volunteers have been keeping our sleeping areas, washrooms, and kitchen areas clean and also
working in the kitchen with the cook and doing endless dishes.
As we pack up we are reflecting on our experiences here and look forward to being home again.