Day 2

posted Aug 28, 2012, 7:25 PM by Jennifer Binns
Our day started as most here do...Wilson picking us up at 9am for our days adventure. We had in our plan to visit his grandmother (who is out of the hospital) and the school/clinic in the mountains. Our first stop was Wilson's grandmother's. Jess is a Nurse Practitioner and the doctor's office she works for was very generous in giving us multiple glucometers and test strips. While we were not able to find the test strips needed for Abuela's specific glucometer, we were able to provide her with a new one and plenty of test strips. She was extremely grateful. In the house next to hers is a little girl who we have seen in years past. She is 3 years old. She has always had problems eating. In the past we have given her vitamins. But this year we had multiple cans of a protein supplement called Beneprotein. We gave 2 cans to her mother and instructed her on how to use them. We didn't have clothes for everyone, but I asked Wilson if he knew of any baby girls in the neighborhood, as we had an abundance of baby girl clothes. Of course he found one and we got to meet her - a 6 month old named Elizabeth. We gave her some onesies and dresses and her mother was thrilled. Before we left, I asked if we could go into the village and find my little friend Michael - he was 5 days old the first time I came to the Dominican and is now 2 1/2 years old. He is not a big fan of me...but maybe one day I can get him to smile. 
After that, we were off to the mountain. Our first stop was the school - before they left for lunch. We arrived and were greeted with 16 giant smiles. We sat down amongst them and they told us about what they were learning - math. We handed out some pencils and had some fun with our cameras, as per usual. Then Jess brought out a soccer ball. The kids were thrilled and quickly started a game with her. It was a very hot, humid day but the kids did not care - they had a real soccer ball to play with! It probably helped that it got them out of the rest of their class. Once everyone was huffing and puffing and covered in sweat, we decided to call it quits. Well, they did. I was just the photographer. We told the teacher and the kids that we would leave the ball at the school for all of the kids to play with during school hours. They were all very excited by this. 
Next stop was the clinic. Each time I go, I see something new that I wish I could fix. This time it was a bottle of fluids hanging with a set of tubing attached. In hospitals, we replace tubing and bags of fluid every 24 hours to prevent infection. The doctor at this clinic said that was his only set of tubing and he uses it for everyone. What a difference. Hopefully we can provide him with more on our next visit. We were also able to give him a couple of glucometers and test strips. Jess chatted with him about the sort of services he provides or should be able to provide. One major issue is vaccines. The plan of the government is to have every child vaccinated. There is a lot of promotion for this to happen, but there is no way to get the vaccines. He told us that if he had the resources, all the children would be vaccinated. It is easy for the government to say they want every child vaccinated, but if they don't provide the vaccines, it cannot be done. Before we left, he showed us the system he uses for keeping records and communicating with the hospitals in the city. It is interesting to note that of the things he is provided with by the government at his clinic - he has a laptop, a wireless key and electronic medical records...but only 1 set of IV tubing for everyone and no vaccines. We said our goodbyes and were on our way. We got back to the hotel and agreed with Wilson's...same time same place in the morning.