Serving in LaRomana 2012

LaRomana 2012


Day 7
Good Sam The picture at the top of this page is the hospital picture I took two years ago, the one on the left I took on Monday. While we are here, the progress is slow, one bucket of sand at a time, but the cumulative effect is large. Good Sam looks and feels like a real hospital. The medical team served at the barrio today, seeing over 100 people and filling over 400 perscriptions.

We had dinner and sharing and communion on the beach and now it’s band time.

We are praying for a good night’s sleep, safe and smooth travel tomorrow and looking forward to seeing you on Sunday.

Day 6
Thursday is the ladies night off so we went out for pizza. The place we go is a Polynesian pizzeria on the river. The pizza is excellent. Getting there is a little tricky. It’s on a one way street and we come from the wrong end – no problem – you just back the school bus down the street. It’s amazing how these guys handle the buses.

block building

Building with the scrap lumber

Today the construction team went to a batey to build latrines. (We actually painted at the church and hung doors on the latrine.) But, on the way, there was road construction. It is an election year. In the middle of the road is an enormous pile of rock. So we back up to where we can ease onto the path that runs between the road and the sugar cane and continue on. The batey we visited is one of the poorest.

a "street" in the batey

The Medical Team went to a different batey and saw over 100 patients. This particular batey has a lot of HIV patients. Esperanza spends her days translating prescription directions. She translates the doctor’s orders into Spanish and gives it to the interpreter who can translate it into Creole for the patient. One of the nurses told me she’s indispensable.

Day 5
Hump Day in the Dominican Republic. That means a half day of work and a couple hours at the beach. At the hospital we continued to move sand. At the batey, we continued to see needy children and adults. Working at the hospital, we are somewhat isolated from the needs of the people. We are building for the long term, the medical team is dealing with the immediate needs: hunger, illness, and despair. How can we provide education to hungry children? What good are vitamins when there is no food? How can we provide hope to these people?

On the positive side…Two young women who grew up on the bateys spoke to us tonight – one is a dentist and the other is a psychologist who is the head of a team that is providing family planning and money for education. Tonight we are being visited by Charlotte, an 11 year old, who 4 years ago had a facial tumor. The family has money and had visited doctors around the DR but no one could help. Some one told them to talk to Christy at the Good Samaritan Hospital. They were able to get Charlotte to Washington DC for surgery and today she is healthy.

So while we look at what we do and feel it is not much because the need is so great. With God wonderful things are happening. Thank you for your prayers.

Day 4
This is the view from the 4th floor of the Good Samaritan Hospital. The first year Richard and I came, we took a picture from the top of the hospital too, only it was the second floor. The hospital is growing and the Haitian people are growing too. Today one of the doctors who went out to the bateys was a high school student who worked at the Mission fifteen years ago. A proud hospital worker brought by his two daughters – one is in med school and the other is in dental school. Pastor Jean Luc Phenerd’s vision was that the people would be able to staff the hospital they helped to build and we are seeing his vision begin to unfold.

While Frank and I spent another day on construction at the hospital, Esperanza visited another bateye This one bigger and poorer than the one they visited yesterday. The team was touched by a young Deacon and an elderly man she was serving. The 91 year old man was too ill to visit the clinic, so she asked that someone come to the house. He had been suffering from diarrhea for two weeks and since he had no family, his Deacon was caring for him. While he probably want live long, they were able to give him comfort, food, some medical care and even a pair of socks to warm his feet. The need is great, but we can make a small difference.

Please continue your prayers for us and the people we are working with and for.

Day 3

Some things change. They insisted we wear hard hats on the construction site. I had never seen a hard hat at the hospital. And some things remain the same. We were greeted by a pile of cement blocks that needed to go to the third floor via pulley and a pile of sand which I’m sure we will move before the end of the week. Frank spent the day doing electrical work at the hospital.

Esperanza went with the medical team to work in the pharmacy at a bateye She says, “The morning was chaotic. We got to the batey and spent time setting up the pharmacy in the school. We saw just under 100 people, lots of children. The children were wonderful, very curious and I was very impressed that even the young ones could read. So teaching is going on even though they have nothing to wear.”

Victoria reading to the kids on the bateye

Waiting for clinic

Waiting to enter the medical clinic

Day 2

pushing the bus Getting to church in the DR is not always easy. We headed out on the bus, down the dirt roads, through the sugar cane and came upon a cart of sugar cane being pulled by oxen. They have the right-of-way so we waited for them to clear the road and continued on. A few minutes later we stopped again, there was a bus in the road with a rock behind the back tire so it wouldn’t roll down the hill. Since there was no way we could cross on the other side of the road, we got out and pushed and were on our way. It was a good service and Esperanza did us proud leading our group in two songs.

The afternoon was spent at the beach and then we came back to LaRomana for dinner and church. Again Esperanza led the singing and started off “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” with a verse in Spanish.

Visit our facebook page to see the video from the morning service.
Day 1
We met at the East Greenwich Baptist Church for the 1 AM bus ride to Newark. It was a quick ride and we were at the airport and unloading the bus by 4. We met the 10 members of our team from upstate New York at the airport.

Our plane arrived on time to sunny Santo Domingo, unfortunately, the pharmacist coming from Maine was on a plane that was delayed. Finally we were on the school bus and on our way. The dorms have been refurbished and new beds and air conditioning added. Time will tell if they will sleep any better. After a dinner of barbecue chicken and rice, the counting and sorting began.

You can feel the energy of the group diminishing as the noise outside the compound starts to pick up. As we began the unpacking process, we discovered a bag that did not belong to us. Oops! It will get to it’s owner tomorrow morning. So it will be an early night and tomorrow breakfast is not until 8 so we can sleep in.

Thank you for your prayers for our safe travels. Please continue to remember us as we head into the bateys and to the hospital.

3 Responses to Serving in LaRomana 2012

  1. Peggy Frazier says:

    Love the pictures and hearing about your day. I’m smiling thinking of Esperanza leading the group in song! I was hoping she would go out with the medical teams.

    Sending my well wishes to you three!

    PS Tell Frank I was really hopping around trying to keep the coffee pots full last Sunday! Miss his expertise…

  2. Jeanne says:

    You are bringing your mission home to us in such a meaningful way! Blessings to you as you complete a work week in LaRomana.

  3. Kenneth Clauser says:

    Susan, thanks so much for posting these photos and comments. It has been great to follow your work each day. Esperanza, ¿cómo te va? I loved reading that you are leading the singing in Spanish. Can’t wait to hear you speak about the experience. You all are in our thoughts and prayers. Ken

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