One of the important things we learned this week is it can be a real pain in the neck if you lose your passport! We had a Short Term Specialist visiting from the United States last week to help with the Neonatal Training Course here in Santo Domingo and Santiago. He decided to stay a couple of days longer to site see. In the process he lost his passport on Sunday. He was scheduled to leave the country, but could not. Since the US Embassy was closed on Monday, he could not start the process of acquiring an emergency passport until Tuesday. After waiting in long lines and paying another $160 he managed to get a new passport and was in a position to leave on Wednesday. He went to the airport and after 8 hours of on again-off again his flight was canceled and he had to stay another day. He finally left almost a week later than he had planned to leave. We always keep our original passport at home and carry around with us a colored copy of our passport.
Centro Universitario Regional Del Nordeste (CURNE)
We participated in the closing of this Project in the city of San Francisco de Macoris, a 2 hour drive from Santo Domingo. We left at 6:30am in the morning accompanied by Dra. Olga Arroyo of the Ministry of Health. The University constructed a new laboratory, but had no medical lab equipment to put into the lab. The Church donated several nice pieces of equipment. There are 15,000 students in the University. It was interesting to participate in the closing of this project.Sister Haws had the opportunity to cut the ceremonial ribbon at the same time as the Director of the University to open the new laboratory.
left to right: Hermana and President Núñez, Leonardo de la Cruz, Dra. Olga Arroyo, Evanglista Rosario, Hermana and Presidente García, Senora Jimenez (Subdirector of the University), Hermana and Elder Haws, Rafael Álvarez Castillo (Director of the University)
SAN VICENT DE PAUL
Immediately after the closing ceremony for the project at CURNE we visited the Hospital San Vincent de Paul for another closing ceremony. The Church donated several pieces of equipment for the Neonatal room in the Hospital.
This hospital seemed particularly Spartan even by the Dominican standards, so they were in desperate need for the equipment the Church donated. After the closing ceremony, they took us on a short tour of the hospital. In one room we visited with a little mother who had come in with a premature baby born at home who was not doing well. The infant was so small and was nothing but skin and bones. The baby appeared to us to be in a desperate situation and needed to be in intensive care with IVs attached, intravenous feeding warmed in an incubator. The only thing they could do for mother and child was to instruct the mom to hold the baby close to her skin so it would receive warmth from the mother’s body and to nurse the baby. We felt so sad and afraid for its ability to survive because the baby seemed so small and past the ability to nurse.Every time we visit a hospital we are remind of where our own country will end up if we continue on the path of socialized medicine that we are headed towards. Long lines, inadequate care, equipment failures, etc. The national government simply cannot do medical care well.