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.

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