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|
Everyone Arrived! Check back soon for blog entries and pictures!
July 23, 2017
This morning a few of us woke up bright and early for a workout with our mentor, Chelsea, on the lawn. Afterwards, we all ate an Americanized breakfast consisting of pancakes, eggs, and toast which we all enjoyed. We then loaded onto our bus with our favorite bus driver Samuel and headed to Cachon. At Cachon half of us helped cement the new lab for the clinic while the others played soccer with the local children. After a great lunch of the traditional rice and beans and chicken we continued working in the hot sun remembering to stay hydrated. We then headed back to the home base we changed into swimsuits, swam in the pool, and bought jewelry from the vendors selling the Dominican Larimar stone. Then we ate a delicious fish and potato dinner and then enjoyed free time to ourselves. Later in the evening we had an introduction to global health and played a game of Mafia with a twist. We ended the night with mentor groups and then bed. Deuces!
-Authors: Lauren Minutella and Bella Kese
Blog Post Day 7/21
Today, after our flights landed, the whole group gathered in the airport. We exchanged dollars for pesos and then headed to the bus. We drove to a pizzeria in the middle of the Zona Colonial. There, we tried pizza with corn on it! It seemed weird at first but we tried it and it was actually really good. After, we walked around the colonial zone and got to see the architecture from when the Europeans colonized the city. Did you know it was the first colony to be established in the western world? We were immediately exposed to the different culture as we saw stray dogs and cats, people selling items along the walk way, and horses pulling old-fashion carriages. As we were walking, it started to rain. We also got delicious ice cream from a place called Bon. We had to learn new ways of communicating also, since there is a language barrier between us and the local people. After all the fun colonial activities, we went back to the hotel and got some well needed rest!
– Authors: Lindsay Gelles and Hannah Rahn
– Date Written: 7/21/17
Blog Post Day 7/22
This morning we woke up, got dressed, and went downstairs for breakfast. We had eggs and toast, and then we filled our water bottles and got on the road. We started our 4 hour drive to the lodge where we will be staying for the next two weeks. Our group started to bond as we listened to music and relaxed on the bus. We made a stop at a local Dominican Restaurant where we ate rice, beans, chicken, yuca, and cabbage salad. It was delicious and exciting to try traditional Dominican food cooked by an amazingly sweet Doña. Then we got back on the bus and continued our drive. It was really interesting to see people come up to the windows of our bus trying to sell us various items like snacks and fruit. Once we arrived at the home base, we were given room assignments and started to settle in. During our rest hour, we all went swimming in the pool, which was really nice since it was pretty hot outside. it was also a lot of fun getting to know the other groups that are sharing our home base with us. Then we had a program orientation and learned about what we are going to do in the community. After that, we had Sancocho for dinner. It is a type of traditional stew made with pork, chicken, beef, root vegetables, and it is served with rice. It was Amazing! After, Johnathan (one of our awesome mentors) lead us in a discussion about the 7 Elements. This is the organization we are working with here in the DR that focus on the 7 elements of human security: Health, community, economy, environment, personal security, political, and food. The last activity for the day was our mentor groups. We broke up into smaller groups and introduced ourself and discussed what our thoughts about the program and activities are. We are excited for what is to come!
– Authors: Lindsay Gelles and Hannah Rahn
– Date Written: 7/22/17
Due to bad service at the home base, blogs are coming in less frequently. All the kids are alright and having an amazing adventure!!
July 24, 2017
Today was absolutely riveting. After finishing our eggs and fruit, we filled up our water bottles and boarded the bus headed to Los Patos so we could paint the water tank in that community. It was a strenuous hike to reach the water tank, but that didn’t stop us! In just two hours, we were able to paint the bottom half of the tank in a light blue shade. On the walk back to the bus, many of the community members stared at us because we were covered in blue paint, which we found very humorous. After that, we headed to the Shortest River and ate pastelon de platano which is basically a plantain lasagna. Many of us interacted and danced with some of the locals at the river. Additionally, there were many small shops to buy common snacks. They even sold American chip brands as well, such as Cheetos. The locals that we met taught us dances, songs, and Spanish words which made this trip to Los Patos so memorable. On the way back, everyone was exhausted from the sun and ready to hit the showers. At six, we ate really good burgers and fries. Then, one of our mentors had a very insightful group activity that portrayed the importance of communication and how to strengthen our leadership styles. This lesson is one of many that we will encounter that will further strengthen our leadership skills and incorporate them into our communities at home.
Written by: Mia and Erick
July 28, 2017
Usually Group B starts the day with breakfast at 8:00 am, but today we ate at 7:00 so that we could get on the road and start working earlier. Plot twist: we took four wheelers up a rocky, curving mountain to help a few friendly Dominicans finish a cementing project. The work entailed carrying buckets of cement up an incline to the project site for repairing the underground water tanks (plus a few of us learned how to dance bachata 🙂 ). We finished our cementing, followed by another lunch of (you guessed it) rice, beans, chicken, vegetables, and fruit. Which is always so good! Chelsea, Jonathan, Emily, and a 95 year old local, Frank, led us on a quick hike, showing the group coffee bean plants, leaving us all wishing we had a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee. We found out these beans were used to make the Santo Domingo Cafe- so we are excited to try it in the airport on the way home :). We all hopped in our four wheelers and bumped our way back to home base. A few common themes: Dominican people are so welcoming no matter where we travel; the rice and fruit is a huge hit here with Group B; the mentors know great music when they hear it; the drivers here are way better than at home; and we are having the best time. We wouldn’t trade Group B for anything… even some Chick- Fil- A J #GroupBForever
Today, after a hearty breakfast complete with fresh mango, we endured a long hike up an extremely steep hill to the Los Patos water tank. Our project was slightly delayed because our supply truck fell in a hole, but we killed time with our fabulous mentor, Jonathan. After lunch, we finished up painting the tank, and hopped on the bus for a beautiful and scenic home. Then, everyone had a blast at the beach. Emily and Giselle attempted to teach us how to properly dance Merengue, which everyone enjoyed. After a delicious dinner, Gabrielle presented about environmental security. We created skits and slogans to promote awareness for several environmental threats. We ended our day with mentor groups and are now excited for a fun day at the market tomorrow. Queeeeee fue!
Lots of love,
Cassidy & Kelly
Hey guys, it’s Arianna and Julia! We had to wake up super early this morning for our long three-hour bus ride. Instead of the usual tropical environment, our bus was thrown into mountains and deserts, with different succulents all around us. Then, we had our cultural immersion experience at Jimani Market, a marketplace located at the border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Honestly, it was somewhat nerve-wracking and uncomfortable. It was bustling with energy as people, stalls, and vehicles rushed past us walking through. In fact, we actually walked into Haiti for a couple of seconds before we rushed back into the Dominican Republic. Once we were done visiting, we took a picture at a mural that showed the relationship between Haitians and Dominicans. Furthermore, we visited Lago Enriquillo, a salty lake that was the home for many creatures including “iguana rinoceronte” and American crocodiles. We were even able to see their babies in the area. The lake can also be described as a “tree graveyard” as the top of pale, dead trees stuck out of the murky waters. After lunch, we went back to our home base and, after having dinner, we watched a documentary describing the consequences of Lake Enriquillo’s gradual growing over the years. It really brought the issues we saw today to light and gave us a better grasp on the problems that Dominicans and Haitians have faced for many years. See you guys
! J – Arianna and Julia
Hey y’all! It’s Liv Luchetti and Kruthi here! Here is a rundown on what happened today for yall:
Some over-achievers started the day with a workout with our mentor Chelsea (not us obviously). After a scrumptious breakfast of corn fritters and eggs the gang traveled to the Haitian Dominican Center. There we pulled a HGTV Home makeover!! We met our Dominican friend Billy who helped us with our makeover. We sifted and mixed cement to repair the walls and entry way. While putting in hard work, we made many new little friends. We danced, played with the soccer ball, and practiced our Spanish. We had a YUMMY lunch which consisted of chicken, rice, beans, and veggies. After lunch we kept grinding and finished the project. After work we had a discussion with Michele, the center’s founder, about the conflicts between the Haitians and the Dominicans. He also talked a lot about the center’s actions to stop sex trafficking across the border. Michele has lived a very inspiring life, facing kidnapping and physical abuse from his opponents. After returning to homebase we split up in two groups. One group had a cooking lesson and the other went to the beach and chilled. We cooked Yuka fritters, which were DELICIOSO. After a dinner of SPAGHETTI and empanadas, we watched Poverty Inc. with the Building a Sustainable World students. The movie was very informative about the downfalls of foreign aid. Mentor groups were entertaining as always. We look forward to more fun bus rides and more exciting days hard at work.
Xoxo, see you on the flippity flip,
Liv Luchetti and Kruthi
August 2, 2017