Jarabacoa will always have a special place in my heart. Through the medical site I’ve had the privilege of not only helping but also doing life with the amazing people who live here. Our regular schedule starts with waking up bright and early to start devotionals at 6:35. We were given a booklet when we arrived to help guide us through devotionals each day as well as some information about the culture and history of the Dominican Republic. After our quiet devotions we all get together in the chapel for worship and have a speaker talk to us and help us digest what we’ve read. The breakfast bell will ring at some point during our debrief and we are free to eat and pack our lunches for the day. This is also the point when I finally decide it’s time to get ready for the day because the health site doesn’t leave for an hour after breakfast. While everyone gets on these huge trucks to go to their sites, we sit at the picnic table outside the cafeteria and have our own mini debrief with our squad. We conclude with a testimony and prayer. Usually in the mornings we go to a clinic which changes locations each day. Our clinics are basically just areas near neighborhoods that can range from being in the back of our car on the side of a mountain to a home or a church. As a Joshua student my job is to take blood pressures, pulses, count pills, listen in on doctor consultations, and be the entertainment for all the kids and animals that I can see. Sometimes my job is all business with fancy stethoscopes but sometimes I’m running and rolling around in the grass with 12 kids and Alyssa playing tag. One of the most amazing lessons I’ve learned here is that even though we’ve dealt with 3 different language barriers, love is the only language we need to truly make a difference in the community. At the end of each patient visit we send them off with a prayer and even though it’s in English they can feel our love and care for them. One of the most common phrases we hear our patients say is “It doesn’t matter what language you pray for us in because God knows all languages.” Our afternoons are full of adventures going to fruit smoothie places and home visits where we meet people bed ridden for years or paralyzed from the neck down. Nights are back at the base where we have poverty simulations and quiet activities where we can be vulnerable with God. Overall the trip here has changed me forever and I will never forget each smile and tear I’ve made and witnessed.
Written by: Melissa Bohan #medsite
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