It is amazing! There are some very musical people that live in the DR. Last Monday night we attended a group Family Home Evening at the “Casa” (Housing for all the Temple Missionaries). A Dominican Men’s Choir sang for us and they were outstanding! Most Chapels we visit do not have a piano and the congregation sings a cappella. The Men’s Choir were amazing achieved unity in their tone and beautiful harmony.
Our Salt Lake visitors, Kelvyn and Kay Culimore left the DR for Haiti on Tuesday. They offered much experience in the major initiatives of Wheelchairs and Food Production. We spent many hours discussing the Food Initiative which involves growing a garden for now. Most people here do not have land and it is very difficult for them to a garden, but we gave some ideas for consideration and will see where the people take it from here. It is up to individual Ward/Branches to make a proposal before we start a project.
Wednesday this week, we traveled to Barahona.
Barahona is a town on the seashore about 3
to 4 hours to the West from Santo Domingo (depending on how early you leave to
miss the Santo Domingo traffic). We met with the District President and
one of his counselors. They are excited
about the Food Initiative because they are both agronomists by trade.
After the meeting, as we were driving we came to an intersection where the traffic signal was not working (a very common occurance). We came to a near full stop and then because there was no traffic Wallace drove on through the intersection. 3 blocks up the road we were pulled over and given a ticket for driving through the intersection. Wallace argued the light didn’t work, but the police said to turn and look and sure enough the light was working ! (At least from his direction). It was a total setup! The process here is you go to a Progressive Bank (the national bank) with your ticket to pay the fee. We haven’t gone yet, so we don’t know how much it will be.
From Barahona we traveled to Vicente Noble where we met the local Branch President who went with us to a little community called Batey 8. This is a Haitian community. Everywhere we have gone to in the Dominican Republic, every home has a water tank on the roof or a cistern below ground with a pump and pressure tank. The reason is that the water can disappear in the public water lines without notice for hours or days at a time. In the case of this community, it has a small elevated water tank and one submersible pump to provide water to the entire community. The water committee decided to only run water for 3 hours every day beginning at 5 pm except for the bathing pond shown latter in this report. Everyone has a water spigot in their front yard, but the keys are removed from all of them. The school in the community is at the very end of the water system and only receives a trickle of water even when there is water. They need major repairs to their water tank, a new pump, drinking fountains, a water filter and to expand the size of the 1” water line that feeds the school.
We are partnering with World Water Relief on this project. They will be installing the pump and a filter. We will be paying for part of the water system and possibly offering a fence and a couple of basketball standards to the school. They need the fence to provide a barrier between the playground and a very large irrigation ditch.
Notice the “outhouses” in the background of the photo. (One is visible just over Wallace’s right ear). How would you school kids like to use those for your bathrooms? (No running water, and the latrines are full).
While at Batey 8 we noticed a couple of families using the public “bathtub” at the base of the water tank. It was a hot day and certainly a place to cool off and get a good shampoo.Thursday, 28 July, we went to our second closing ceremony for Innovacion Orthopedia as they fitted 5 patients with new prosthetics.
The above photo features our neighbors, the Hammons, with 4 of the recipients of new prosthetic legs. The girl is 8 years old and was born with a deformed foot and hand on her right side. The picture below is of Silvia, a 60 year old that received her first prosthesis. She was referred by a member of the Church from Canada who met her while in the DR on vacation.