On a Mission
I Intended to write every night that I was there; I did... but ended up being too tired from the days' service to share. Gifting you my experience through words and pictures in a way that these families deserve to be represented. With Patience and Intention ....
Welcome Back to Dominican Republic
Clinic Day 3, I Issssssss Tired Boss!
This morning began different from the rest. I rolled out of bed a little slower, and wished for an extra fifteen minutes on the clock. My body is exhausted, but like the Dominicans my spirit is strong and I am determined to keep going. Plus our scheduled beach day will be right on time.
Once we arrived at the clinic I was paired with a different group of nurses. If nursing has taught me anything, it is too expect nothing and be prepared for anything. I welcomed the new dynamic and learned so much. I'm talking blood pressure basics, and I am not ashamed. My primary job is at a smaller suburban hospital outside of Houston... spoiled habits can definitely develop. It's easy to forget when you have machines and nursing assistants to help you on a daily basis. So yes, some things skipped my memory, but I didn't get upset or embarrassed. Every experience is a chance to know more, and in my case humble yourself.
Lets have some church
After our longest Clinic day had finally come to an end..... we packed up our supplies, placed the chairs in a few rows and cleared the way for Church. We were briefed that Church in the DR is very much apart of their culture. And while this trip was a "Mission Trip" and an extinction of a faith based organization, not everyone in attendance came with a religious background. It didn't matter... we all sang along- as best we could, clapped and stomped to the beat of the drums. I felt like i was back in the church choir where I belted and swayed as a kid. Check out my Instagram here for a short video of the service.
There were so many reasons why I shouldn't have taken this trip, I had just left Italy less than 2 weeks ago. Who do I really think I am...(sometimes Beyonce' with zero Beyonce' money) But that's not the point. I knew from the beginning that If i managed to get to Italy, this experience would no longer be a debatable option. Up until now everything that I have done has been in some way for my own satisfaction.... simply because I want to and will find a way to make it happen. Choosing to serve in the DR was my duty. I tell people all the time.. if by chance you're able to do something that others can't or view impossible, its your obligation to show them how.
Foundation For Peace, a small organization allowed me the vehicle to see a country that we subconsciously convince our-self doesn't really exist. I get it, we have problems right here at home. How about we fix those first. Trust me when I say you can't; not until you are able to grasp the magnitude of just how blessed you already are..... I returned home thinking why would I ever get upset about this stupid scratch on my new 8 Plus phone (don't judge), the extra time I spent in traffic or God forbid having to wait in the Emergency Room. The mere opportunity to even go to the ER, is more than the people I met can even imagine.
The work our team did, many medical professionals would label easy clinic work. Checking Blood pressures, wrapping wounds, handing out vitamins, assessing for scabies and other fungal infections.
Simple to us.... but going home with Vitamins is a great day for someone else.
What I enjoyed most about Foundation for Peace is the family unit that intertwines with everything they do. From security, our amazing cooks, to sharing the house with the president of the org and dinner each night with the directors. I love moments that feel real and close to home; so after Clinic Day 2 when Ken Kulver the Pres was on the couch fixing the television, I couldn't help but notice and smile.
As a nurse, I'll agree that finding a medical trip can be tricky, I knew I wanted something medical based, but wasn't looking to be on the front line in trauma, or assisting in surgeries. I'd like a few more years of experience before taking that on... So to any of my nurse readers or readers interested in the medical field.... FFP is a great organization to begin with. Each nurse was paired with another nurse when seeing patients. This definitely helped us feel more comfortable the first day when we had no idea what to expect, we bunced ideas off the other, balanced experience, and gave motivation, which you need and appreciate when you've worked hours crammed in a small space with no AC, and fifteen patients stil waiting in the sun to be seen.
How You can Get Involved
Another major gem of Foundation For Peace, is that you don't have to practice medicine to be involved. Our trip was a medical mission, but personnel of all ages are welcomed. Non-medicals helped with the setup and maintenance of the clinic, pharmacy, and keeping the kids entertained as they waited with family. Not into anything medicine related, they have something for you too... missions also include projects for constructing homes in the community, building gardens, and faith based outreach in the DR ofcourse, Haiti and the one I have my eye on for next year..... Kenya!
The work is not limitied to mission trips, and why would it be? When you've perfected one thing, grow, expand, do more! Behind FFP's house (where we stayed) is a small private school owned by the organization. I had a chance to witness the childrens morning pledge and watch them march off to class. They've definitely become accustomed to the frequent visitors that stay in the FFP house because they weren't shy at all as we smiled and captured videos of their singing.
Check out the website to find out how you can sponsor.
FFP recently purchased the vacant home right next door to their house! Our final morning before heading off to the airport, we were able to tour the still very vacant property and learn future plans for this soon to be education center.
So what does this have to do with you???
Below you'll find a one stop shop of all the links you need. Including the direct email for FFP's Director of Global Missions! -- She'll be expecting you, so just tell her I sent ya!
Click Below for More Information
firstname.lastname@example.org - Director of Global Missions
Where to Next ?
Woaaaaaa! Did you seriously make it to the end of this post? Thank you! This trip is the groundwork for missions I'll do in the future. Where am I headed next? Remember in my post How and Why I chose to Travel Alone I said "You don't have to go far to get started" Well right now my body and bank account are in agreeance with that! Taking some time away from airplanes to be a local for awhile, and putting even more work into giving you the best content.
Look forward to future Travelesc' posts highlighting Houston, TX Gems.
Of course reach out to me if you have any questions about my trip.
Talk soon, Beautiful