Update on mail to the DR: Please use this address in the future. We have discovered that letters will get here faster if this address is used (only for letters, not packages):
Elder Wallace and Sister Edith HawsSanto Domingo East Mission, Dominican Republic
2250 NW 114th Ave., Unit 1A
Miami, Florida 33172
We had an interesting encounter with Coronel Lizardo of the Dominican Republic Military. We were asked to put together a project to purchase hand pumps to be installed in outposts along the Haitian border. We felt very reluctant to get involved with this kind of project because it is the military. We assumed they had one sided goals and felt we shouldn’t be doing for the government what they can and should be doing for themselves. After counseling with the Area Presidency we have come to grips with our struggle to not help the government. If we wait for the government to give proper attention and help to the hospitals like they should many people are going to suffer and die as a result for a very long time before the government gets their act together. If we can help a little bit and relieve and tremendous amount of suffering then we should help. The same principle applies to the Military pump project. We visited with Coronel Lizardo. He is a very pleasant man and explained the military has outposts along the Haitian border where there is no good source of water. He wants us to purchase pumps and they will install them. He told of the great difficulties local people in those areas have with water. His goal is to not only help the 1 or 2 guys in a remote military post, but also provide water to the small pockets of people in those areas. We consulted with the local priesthood leaders who verified the situation and are in favor with the project. It is an interesting project for Wallace. Here is Edith standing in front of the Coronel’s office building.
Hogar Crea is an organization helping men recover from their drug addiction. They have offices in a lot of places in the Dominican Republic and are doing a great work. They struggle providing for their needs. The project will purchase a few items they need to do their work better. They also want to expand their food production program. We may include chickens and/or pigs as well as expand their garden area.
One of the residents displaying their habichuela crop. (beans)
BOMBEROS IN LA VEGA
We visited the Bomberos (fire station) at the request of the District President. The station is in an old dilapidated fort built in 1813. The bomberos need a little help but are doing an amazing job on their own. The have been able to get help from several fire stations in the United States. Every fireman’s suit has a different name on it being donated from different stations in the US. Their equipment is mostly hand-me-downs from US fire departments. They are the only ones providing 1st response and ambulance service. Their ambulance is a Van which they took the seats out of, strapped an oxygen mask and put in a gurney. We have a lot of fun when we go on these visits.
The Chief of volunteers is demonstrating an antique pumper truck.
SAN JOSE DE OCOA GARDEN AND CHICKENS
We are very proud of the San Jose de Ocoa branch. The garden projects we started are off and running. We are so happy about this. We have been able to put in place a system that allows the branch president to govern the project on his own including purchase and delivery of things they need.
Can you tell that Bro. Manual Soto is proud of his little garden? It isn’t exactly how we would have handled it, but we think his project is a tremendous success that will lead him to other successful endeavors.
We took the opportunity to explain and introduce the Chicken project to the San Jose de Ocoa branch council. The picture shows Wallace giving the instruction, but Edith did some of the instruction---in Spanish!
We also visited La Colonia Branch in Azua to introduce the food project to them this week.RICE HULLS
On our way back from La Vega, we were hoping to get some rice hulls. We stopped at a roadside restaurant and asked a man in the front if he knew where a plant was located that processes rice. We knew there had to be one in the area because of all the rice fields. He volunteered to show us and as luck would have it, the plant was within a short distance; the guard let us in and said we could have what we wanted. It only cost us $200 to pay the guard to help us load the truck and $250 for the 1st man to show us the plant and to help us load the truck. (pesos!)
Wallace is going to create a soil using the formula given by the Ministry of Agriculture (rice hulls, carbon and sand) to supplement our little garden and to use at a garden class we will be teaching next week.HAMMONS DEPART
Our good friends and mentors who lived next door finished their mission and returned home. We miss them and wish them well. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Crismons next month who will be replacing the Hammons.
JoAnn and Darrell Hammon
HOSPITAL SANTO SOCORRO
The following are a couple of scenes from a hospital we are working with the local bishop to develop a project for. Both pictures are of the emergency room.