Sunday, September 02, 2007

Day #5: Dominican Republic

"The place of 100 Fires." That's the name of where we were today. Where we saw 550 patients. An area hit by fires, poverty and crime. 200,000 people live there, isolated and struggling.

The clinic went very well with a patient flow moving things along at a brisk pace. We saw young and old, sick and really sick. We saw more of what we had hoped not to see: despair and hopelessness. A 16 year old girl who we think really was about 14, came with her 4 brothers and sisters all of whom she was caring for. Their shanty had burned down, their father left them and their mother worked the streets. And this young girl was 7 months pregnant.

I was examing a 6 year old boy who reached out his hand and openly started begging. He patted my pockets and put out his hand palm up.

There were more stories, more heart wrenching moments. But we expected no less. We were sent and saw. We left and remembered.

In all things give thanks,