Last night was rough. Our air conditioning was on full blast and didn't turn off once it started to cool down. I had taken my shower late and went to bed with my hair wet and was freezing! I put my sweat pants on and a sweater, wrapped my head in a towel and even threw one of my skirts on top of myself, but was still freezing. Finally Holly and I both got up at the same time and just turned the whole thing off. This was probably around 1:30ish. After that, it was a good night sleep.
I woke up at 7am to enjoy some quiet time and have some Dominican coffee. The locals keep joking about "Dominican Time" which means when they said there would be coffee at 7am, it was going to be ready at 7:50am. I grabbed some OJ and enjoyed the quiet of the morning.
The compund is beautiful in the daylight. It reminds me of a small scale church camp. The girls are sleeping in bunks in a dorm style room. We had scrambled eggs, bread, peanut buter and guava preserves. I really like that this team feels like a family.
We left after breakfast to go to the clinic. Once we arrived Holly gave us the news.
We will not be going into Haiti. They just had an election and both candidates are claiming to have won. They are expecting riots and even the in country staff member isn't going to be venturing into Haiti. I am disappointed to say the least and I am saddened to have to inform all those who thought I was going, but I have to believe that it is by the grace of God that he is keeping us safe and that he has plans for us here in the Dominican.
We then met the clinic staff. The receptionist actually grew up in the COTN program and is not working with them. Wanchee (sp?), our translator is also acting as our guide. When he took us into the surgery room he explained that they have two tables in the room so that while the surgan is working on one patient, another is being preped and they continue in that rotation. He said that it is common for the volunteer surgans who come in to work 10-12 hrs and do an average of 60 surgeries before taking a break! He said sometimes the Dominican staff have to tell them to stop and rest. He admited that there is much need in the community for the service of the clinic.
We then toured the Learning Center (kind of like a traid school) and climbed up a cleared hill behind the building that is COTN land and got an amazing view of the mountains and ocean. Then we went to on of the schools. The children are amazing. I really wish I knew more Spanish because I can't really say anything to them. And for some reason I just keep forgetting "adios". I keep saying goodbye in French.
We came back for lunch of rice and corn, chicken, salad (lettuce and tomatoes) and pineapple. Then had our siesta. Derek and I decided to go for a swim in the pool and Ben joined in. Then we went back out and toured the rest of the schools and communities.
Once again, the children were amazing. The dynamic of the people here is incredible. So welcoming and loving. Everyone we meet blesses us and welcomes us with open arms. I have not drawn any comparisons between this culture and their poverty and the US and it's poverty. It's just too different. Even if they are poor people, they are not poor in spirit.
Now we are back at Casa Betesda and prepairing for dinner. Time for another dip in the pool, rehydration, and relaxation. Blessings!