GLA’s Global Health Initiative program is a primer for studying medicine or public health in the developing world. A university-level program, it’s designed to give a progressive experience— challenging preconceptions of health with new experiences, and guidance from attending medical and public health professionals working in the field.
Global Health Initiative Itinerary
Please note: Activities may happen on different days due to weather or community needs. This is a tentative itinerary.
|1||Arrival in Santo Domingo and Night in Colonial zone|
|2||Travel to Barahona, Orientation at Homebase and have clinic orientation|
|3||1st Health Brigade|
|4||Repairs and reparation of health facility|
|5||Travel to Jimani Border town and Lago Enriquillo|
|6||2nd Health Brigade|
|7||Town water pump house restoration at the world’s shortest river|
|8||Travel to Cachote cloud forest village|
|9||Repairs and reparation of health facility|
|10||Town water tank restoration|
|11||3rd Health Brigade at Las Filipinas Mining community|
|12||Repairs and reparation of health facility|
|13||Activity Day: Boat ride to Playa De Las Aguilas and snorkel|
|14||Return to Santo Domingo and fly home|
On Monday, after a long day of travel, we finally arrived in the warm Dominican Republic ready to embark on our new adventure. After settling in our hotel, we had some fantastic pizza and enjoyed a beautiful stroll in the city while the sun cast a gorgeous orange from the sunset. When we got back to the hotel, we all enjoyed a wonderful night of sleep (some of us overslept, aka me Beth). After a splendid breakfast, we started our travels to our new home. On the way, we enjoyed some of Carlos’ dancing. We stopped and ate lunch at a local restaurant of fine Dominican cuisine. We finally arrived at the Hotel Quemaito which was perched on a cliff next to the shore. After we settled in, we watched the waves roll into shore then ate an amazing dinner. We learned about Global Health and met in our mentor groups. We went to sleep very tiredly and excited for the adventures to come.
Los Patos Clinic Day
Today we awoke to the sun shining brightly. We were greeted with a wonderful breakfast that consisted of pancakes, toast, eggs, and delicious fresh fruit. After we were full, we went on a ride to Los Patos, where we visited an amazing clinic. We spent the morning learning about the inner-workings of the clinic and the services that they provide. Nurse Urki even showed us all the places that they work every weekday.
Once we got back to the home base, we enjoyed a delightful lunch and learned about the health brigades that will take place this upcoming week with the help of Doctor Thomas. We then enjoyed some free time where some of us experienced the Dominican Republic ocean for the first time. After our exhausting swim, we were treated to a great dinner. We then learned about the 7 elements of human security and how it affect us every day. Overall, today was very informational and we all learned a lot. We can’t wait to see what else we learn in these days to come.
– Beth & melodie
We started the day with a breakfast of eggs, toast, oatmeal, ham, and cheese! Then, the activities started with a drive along the ocean to San Rafael. At the Haitian-Dominican Community center we began work cementing walls in an add-on clinic to the building. We met many new local Haitian-Dominican residents, and enjoyed playing soccer and walking with the kids! The trip ended with a description of the clinic’s function by Morbé.
After the fun events in the morning, we came back to the lodge and got right to work in the kitchen. Half of us learned to make a wonderful fried yucca treat, cooked with help from the chefs using the recipe shown below.
– 7 yucas (grated)
– 6 eggs
– 3 small onions
– 1 spoon of salt
– 2 spoons of sugar
To start, we simply grated the yuca (cassava), and mixed in the remaining ingredients. To cook it, we fried them in small balls in oil until golden brown. They were amazing!
– Jules & Abigail
We woke up bright and early ready to start our next day’s work. We scrambled to breakfast, excited to see an abundance of french toasts prepared for our breakfast. After breakfast, we loaded ourselves onto the 4 four-wheel trucks and set off a rocky journey to the village onto the top of the mountain, Cachote. Two hours later, we arrived in Cachote and started off to work right away. We were working to finish a water tank that a previous group had started. The water tanks provide water security to those in the village that would otherwise have a strenuous walk down the mountain to the river for water. After the hard work of making paving the cement, we played a fun game of capture the flag, which ended up being a game of competition and a few scrapes. All in all, we had fun, and we were ready for lunch.
After lunch, we continued our day’s activities with our coffee tour and meditation. During this time we had the amazing opportunity to learn about the history of the Dominican Republic’s coffee crops which had suffered plagues three years ago which left the coffee industry at a standstill. We were able to learn about how it affected the country today. Later, our group experienced an excellent time of meditation where we were able to connect with ourselves and nature. It was a very relaxing time for all of us. After, we went back to the lodge where we had dinner and watched a very informational movie titled, Black in Latin America. We learned about the history between Haiti and the Dominican Republic and how it shaped the culture today. Today was a very hardworking and informational day we were all happy to experience!
-Kylie & Bira
**Hello, family and friends! DR is receiving severe rain causing the internet to be down. The staff is having a hard time getting blog posts updated! The kids are safe and having fun. Please stay tuned for more updates soon.**
Today we took a three-hour bus ride to the Haitian Dominican Boarder to see a marketplace where the two nations can trade. Once we were there we partook in a scavenger hunt to find out information about buyers and merchants. After that we took a forty-five minute bus ride to Lake Enriquillo. At the lake we ate lunch and went on a boat ride to see the destruction caused by rising water levels due to global warming.
Once we returned from the lake we had free time! Then we had dinner followed by a presentation by Sarah on environmental security. All in all it was a very hot day with a high of 97, but we learned a lot about Dominican Haitian interactions and the environmental crises in the DR.
-Maddy and Anna the trustworthy leaders of the day!
P.S Hi Mom and Dad from Anna!
Today we went to Cachon’s Lab Renovation and played a role in building and renovating their clinic. We sifted sand, mixed it with cement, and created a concrete paste that we would later plaster onto the walls. Half of our group worked on the renovation while the other half had the opportunity to bond with one another by playing kickball. When we reached the halfway mark of our time at Cachon, our two groups switched jobs.
When we arrived back at the lodge, we were able to spend some time for ourselves, in which we enjoyed time at the pool and were able to bond with our fellow group mates. We later participated in a group activity with one of our mentors, Erin, where we were able to bond with one another through pool-related games and reflect on our time in the Dominican Republic through journaling. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner prior to participating in a social justice lecture. We had the opportunity to learn about the inequality in the world and the stereotypes that often shape our lives.
-Jackie & Colleen
Brigade August 17th 2017:
This morning we left at eight for San Rafael; the second medical brigade of our trip. We started accepting patients a little before 10 am and ended around 1 pm. We saw thirty something patients, which was a bit less than our last brigade, so we were able to get back to the lodge for a quick rest before a leadership activity with Erin.
We did a leadership obstacle course with different segments, from logic puzzles, to capture the flag, to laser simulations. After all the hard work and competition, team two won. Afterwards, we had dinner (burgers, fries, and a Dominican dessert similar to bread pudding!) at 6:30. After that we talked about comparisons between US & DR healthcare systems.
We finished the day with a debate over universal healthcare; one side opposing the universal healthcare system and the other side supporting it. The debate was interesting and both sides made very good points, given that we only had a short time to prepare.
It has been another great day!