Sunday, December 1, 2013

131201 A Little Culture, Preventing Blindness and a New Leg

This week was a mixture of getting a little culture, preventing blindness and giving a new leg.  Early in the week we walked a different direction on our morning walk and ended up at the Dominican Cultural center.


 The following statues which are on the outside of the cultural center were created by Brother Rosalini, a member of the church.  They are beautiful, but we noticed the outside skin is beginning to peal.

We went inside the building to see what is scheduled and discovered there was a concert for Wednesday where different soloists were going to sing some of the opera songs written by Verdi.  We attended the event.  It was supposed to start at 8pm, but when we arrived early there was no-one else there and the door keeper said it would start at 8:30pm or 9pm.  That is pretty typical for Dominican time.  Finally when we did get in, they were still constructing the set so we thought we were in for a long night.  The director of the coral group came to us and personally apologized for the construction noise. However, surprisingly they started at 8:30pm and it turned out to be an amazing evening with beautiful renditions that inspired us both to want to become opera singers!
This is a manhole cover that has been missing for a year.   One of many sightings on our normal driving and walking routes.
Wallace teaches a Spanish class to a group of about 12 missionary couples every Monday evening.

Thanksgiving dinner.  She used the conch shells we had found to decorate.  Thanksgiving is of course not a recognized holiday in the DR. 
The following pictures were taken at Innovacion Orthopedia at the awarding of a prosthetic for a woman who lost her left leg due to a motorcycle accident 10 years ago.  She cared for 4 little children and tried to work with one leg.  Somehow she heard about the program the church has to donate legs and was able to receive one.
The following picture is interesting because Innovation also made a “prosthetic” for a dog who had lost his leg also to a traffic accident.  The dog is strapped to a cradle with wheels for back legs and now moves about with nearly as much liberty as a normal dog with 4 legs!
We traveled to Hato Mayor this week to attend a Prevention of Blindness—Health Promoters training.  One of our partners provides training to individuals in the community so they can become Vision Health Promoters, and we provide the materials.  The Health Promoters go out into their individual neighborhoods and schools and churches and give simple eye exams.  If the people do not see properly they are referred to a eye hospital which is able to provide help at little or no cost to the patient.  The church is also going to pay for 6 cataract surgeries as part of the project funding.

We participated in the family turkey trot competition again this year by running in the Mirador del Sur park.  We didn’t break any records (5K in 50 minutes) and lost the race to a 14 year old grandson who did it in Utah in less than ½ the time we took.

While running we found the monument placed to mark the spot where M. Russell Ballard dedicated the island of the Dominican Republic 7 Dec 1978 for the preaching of the gospel.  We have tried to find it before and couldn’t, but this time we succeeded.


  1. Looks like you are having a ton of fun.

  2. Did you mark the spot of the dedication with GPS? Maybe others have lost track of where it is.

    How can a nation function without manhole covers? There should be a humanitarian effort to replace them. :)

  3. I sure would like to see a video of that dog running around using a wheel leg. That is something!

  4. Dogs, like people, with artificial limbs is a significant sign of the times. The Blind see (with braille) the deaf hear (with hearing aids and implants) and the lame walk (with sophisticated limbs) - what a marvelous day we live in!
    I have a question. How do they prevent blindness? It is merely using corrective lenses? Or is there some training or assistance that prevents the loss of vision?
    Keep up the good work!

  5. I agree with Ben, a video of that dog, would be entertaining.