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2012 August Trip - Sue & Friends

Day 5

posted Aug 21, 2012, 3:25 PM by Ernie Begin

It was our last work day in the Dominican today.  We started the day by buying high blood pressure medicine for a woman in Hoya Clara with dangerously high blood pressure.  Robyn took her blood pressure yesterday and told her that she gets headaches every day.

Then, we visited a school in the mountain village we visited Wednesday.  School is not in session yet, but the teacher came and invited all the students to meet with us.  We sang songs with them, and made bracelets.  Then, we gave them all some school supplies.  We also left a bag with the teacher of supplies he can use for his lessons.  He teaches 1-4th grade for all the children in the village.  The older children have to walk a long way to continue their schooling.

We also returned to the clinic in the village with the medicine we bought them on Wednesday.  They were very happy to have more supplies to provide the villagers with proper care.

Then, we went to Wilson’s grandmother’s village.  Wilson had to give his mother insulin.  We gave blankets and first aid kits to other families in the area.

On the way home, we went to a beach called Macau.  It is a beautiful beach not many tourists have access to.  Wilson ordered us fish that was caught from the beach earlier that morning.

Tomorrow we are heading home.  Thank you everyone for your prayers and support, they were much appreciated!!

Day 4

posted Aug 21, 2012, 3:24 PM by Ernie Begin

Today was quite an adventure! We went to Hoya Clara, a remote village that was once flourishing.  Now, most people have left to work at the airports and so the people left have a hard time sustaining their community.  We brought them supplies to build a garden so they can grow corn and beans and become more self-sustainable.

There is no real road to Hoya Clara, so we had to ride on the back of a truck and trek down a very hilly dirt road. We were ducking for tree branches the whole way.  The road ends before you reach the village, so we had to hike the rest of the way.

The village itself is beautiful though! Well worth the journey.  And the people have a great need since they are so off the beaten path.  We gave the children clothes, and toys, and made bracelets with them.  We also gave the teacher a cart, so that she can go throughout the villages to the spread out homes and reach all the children who need an education.  The men will start work on the garden this week.  Robyn and Kim also took the blood pressure of the adults in the village so make sure it was not unhealthily high.  They were very appreciative and fun to hang out with.

At night we went to church with Joel and his family.  Joel runs a program for the kids before the service that we also attended.  They sang songs, like “Father Abraham” in Spanish, and then we made bracelets with them too.  Robyn explained how each bead on the bracelet represented a part of Christ’s story.  She told the children if Christ’s love made them happy, this bracelet could serve as a way for them to share that with other children.

At the actual church service, they invited us up as guests to introduce ourselves.  Sue sang a vacation bible school song and the rest of us acted as her backup singers.  Even with the language difference it is always possible to share our love for God.

Tomorrow is our last day out so pray for us! Pictures of our adventure today will follow tomorrow!


The Dominican Team

Day 3

posted Aug 21, 2012, 3:24 PM by Ernie Begin

We just got back from a very long day.  We spent most of it in Wilson’s village. Wilson lives in a very poor village in Higuey.  First, his wife made us a very traditional Dominican dish of rice, beans, chicken, and two types of plantains.  Then, he invited the children from his village over and we set up arts and crafts to do with them in his backyard.  We had them make necklaces and bracelets with beads and the kids loved it! Some of them would have made 10 bracelets if we had time.

After the beading was done Robyn sang Christian songs with the children in Spanish.  The rest of us set up a table with school supplies.  As each child left we gave them a bunch of supplies to take home, like pencils, pens, crayons and markers.  We gave the parents first aid kits to take home.

We also met a preschool teacher who lives in the village.  She runs a Christian school and her husband is a pastor.  They told us that what they need the most is bibles for new believers who want to learn more about Christ.  Robyn immediately gave them her Spanish bible and we are hoping to bring more when another group comes in January.

After dinner we went with the missionary we met at the hotel to visit the Haitian community he works with.  He runs a program called, “Children for Christ” that helps Haitian immigrants who have fallen behind in school catch up.  The program wasn’t in session tonight, but all the students came to meet us.  They sang and danced to Dominican praise songs.  We brought them all supplies and toothbrushes.

Day 2

posted Aug 21, 2012, 3:23 PM by Ernie Begin

Today it was hot! So we spent most of the morning sorting and organizing through all the supplies that were generously donated to us.  Now, we have a plan of who to give what to when we go into the villages and to various schools later in the week.

We are planning to build a garden in Hoya Clara, a very poor, secluded village, later in the week.  Hopefully their ability to grow beans will help their community become self-sustainable.  Today we did a lot of planning for that, too.  We figured out what tools we would need from Joel, our Dominican friend who works with the children from Hoya Clara.  We went to the hardware store and ordered the supplies we need, like hoes, seeds, chicken wire, wood and hammers.  It will be delivered to Joel’s house later in the week so we can bring it to the people of Hoya Clara.

We took some time to rest and rejuvenate today, too.  While we were on the beach we met a Haitian missionary who works at the hotel during the day and teaches Haitian children who are not allowed to go to school here at night.  He invited us to join him at one of his classes tomorrow night.  We are planning to bring him school supplies and help him out tomorrow with his work.

We are praying that the weather is slightly cooler tomorrow, so we have energy to accomplish a lot and truly make an impact while we are down here.  Keep us in your prayers too!


The Dominican Team

Day 1

posted Aug 21, 2012, 3:23 PM by Ernie Begin

Yesterday we arrived safely in the Dominican after a long day of traveling.  Today we set out and started working.  Wilson, our trusted taxi driver and close friend down here picked us up and took us all over.  First, we went to a clinic in the mountains we visit each trip to ask the doctor what medications they needed.  He gave us a long list, including glucose test strips to use with a diabetes test we bought them last year! The doctor was very grateful.  He said the government sends him supplies, but sometimes they just end up being empty boxes.  This is frustrating because the people in the village end up suffering.

We also visited a family we met last year that also lives in the mountain village.  The mom told us all she needs right now is uniforms for her children.  We took down their sizes so we could help her with this small, selfless request.

Then, we went to visit Wilson’s grandma in the hospital.  She has diabetes and hasn’t been able to get insulin, so she is doing very poorly.  We had brought insulin for her from home and wanted to make sure she got it today.  The hospital they had her in was very sad.  We also gave her a blanket because there was nothing, not even sheets, on her bed there.

After that we went to Wilson’s house where his wife kindly made us lunch.  His family was excited to see us and showed us all the changes they’ve been making to their home.  One of his neighbors approached us and told us his wife miscarried a baby and was in a lot of pain.  All she wanted was tylonel for her pain, which we were happy to offer her.

The rest of the afternoon was dedicated to shopping.  We bought school uniforms and shoes for the family we met up with earlier in the day and for Wilson’s children.  We also went to the pharmacy to get everything the doctor asked for at the clinic.

The weather has been rainy since we got here, but luckily it’s made it not too hot for work.  Keep us in your prayers this week– we have a lot more work to do!

The Dominican Team August 2012

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