Earlier this month a group of eleven nursing students from Bellarmine University traveled to the Dominican Republic, taking with them 50 pounds of donated medical supplies from the SOS warehouse. While there they were able to visit several clinics and provide check-ups to dozens of children. All unused SOS materials went toward restocking a community clinic.
Katie Nation–photoed here with her new friend Angelina–is one of the students who went on the trip. She shared this about her experience:
I have been fortunate to visit some really great places, but my recent trip with my pediatrics nursing class to the Dominican Republic was the best. We went with G.O. Ministries to work with children in nutrition centers set up in different communities. We got to tour the public hospital and many of us said that it seemed like a train station rather than a medical facility, but the thing that stood out to me the most was the staff. They were so friendly and proud of their equipment. One person in our group made a comment about how new some of their dental equipment looked and a staff member said they’d had it for over a decade. They take such good care of what they have, and they truly were some of the most welcoming people I have ever met.
One of the communities we worked in, and also went to church in, is nicknamed “the Hole,” and was originally designated as a landfill. When people started moving in there and building houses it became a community. I have never seen anything like it; there were hogs eating garbage in the ravine, children running around without shoes, dogs that looked emaciated. The pastor we met in that community could live somewhere else, but instead he is making a great difference where it is needed most.
My favorite thing about our trip to the DR was the people we encountered. The missionaries and G.O. staff, the pastors, people in the neighborhood where we stayed, hospital staff, and the beautiful children all taught me so much about being a part of a community. I went with the intention of giving, but instead received so much. I can’t wait to go back!