Sunday, September 29, 2013


A watercolor created by Wallace.  All he thinks about is chickens, coops and gardens!
The main activity of the week was preparing for and assisting to construct our 3rd chicken coop in Monte Plata.  We haven’t quite arrived at the point that someone else is putting together the “kit” so Wallace purchased the supplies and put together another kit.  Saturday morning we carted all the stuff to Monte Plata where there was a group of men waiting for us to work.  We had intended to just drop the kit off and let them do their thing, but the family to receive this kit lives a ways out of town and they were hoping for us to provide help with transportation.  We ended up staying the entire day. 



We also had the opportunity to inspect what the members had done to finish up the last two coops.  They did a great job.  At least two families are ready for chickens.

What a surprise it was to find that the wild chickens that are running around the neighborhood liked the first coop so much, that some old mother hen took a liking to the nest box and actually laid 3 eggs.  The magical coop is producing eggs and we haven’t even purchased any hens yet! 
Beautiful flowers growing at the home of the Mieses Family:

Sunday, September 22, 2013


We made a fun trip to a little town near the north end of the island placed on the side of a beautiful mountain to investigate a potential water project we might do in association with the Peace Corps.  We had a meeting with the community leaders where they informed us their community is a special community where people do not drink “Presidente” and there is no carousing.  Citizens are industrious and doing their best to be good decent people.  They are blessed with an abundance of cacoa, bananas, china (oranges), pineapple, coconut, strawberries, guayaba and other natural fruit in abundance.  This was our first introduction to guayaba and we really like it!
Family growing flowers in tree stumps.

Little boy sitting at the family kitchen table.  Scenes walking the trail to take a look at one of the “tomas” (place to take water out of the mountain

Most families tote their water from the river using horses or mules.

Tiffany and Kerrilyna, Peace Corps volunteers who live in the community.  Tiffany will be there over a year.  Kristina will be there for a few months.
The following pictures show how the families in this community are capturing rainwater from their roof tops.  Some families only have a small barrel.  Some have a bigger tank.  One family had a basement that served as a rainwater holding tank.

Most families mop their floors once a day.  The following is a picture of Edith in her boots ready to hike up the mountain to look at the “toma”.

The community has one water tank already constructed.  We sucked on some cacao beans

Before we left Juana Diaz, they loaded us up with china, coconut, and guayaba fruit.  The following is how we prepared guayaba fruit for a smoothie.  You can actually eat it raw like an apple including the skin and seeds.  It is really good.

The only other excitement for the week was that we delivered a chicken coop and garden “kit” to a 2nd family in Monte Plata.

Wallace drew a picture of the "King of the Road" complete with the Dominican “pucker”, traffic signal with red, green and yellow all showing at once, manhole cover missing marked with branches and a board, cancer treatment smoke, jockey that is always trying to get more people on the bus, bald tires,  insane driver and the ubiquitous sign “Confia en Dios” –trust in God.  All of this is common in the Dominican Republic.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

130915 Helping Babies Breath

Our opportunity of the week was to help with Neonatal Resuscitation Training (NRT) and Helping Babies Breath (HBB) training.  Dr. Lloyd Jensen and his wife Chantel  Jensen, Dr. Nordel l Brown, and nurse Jen Smoot were here all week training doctors and nurses in these two courses. 

We took the specialists to the Colonial Zone for a quick visit.  They purchased some trinkets and beads and we were able to see the retiring of the colors.


We also visited a maternity hospital after the training.  There are on average 90 births a day at this hospital.  There was a set on conjoined twins born the day we visited.  One had already died and the other was soon to follow.  There are so many challenges and the doctors and nurses do the best they know how.  Hopefully the training will save more newborn babies in the critical first six minutes of life.

The fruit shown below is “guava” fruit.  It can be white or red on the inside and makes a distinctive flavored batida (smoothie).  This is the first time we have tried it.  Our caterer brought us some from his tree.  It is supposed to be very healthy.  You simply add a little water and a little sweetener, blend, strain the seeds out and add ice. We actually like it!