Blogs from Dominican Republic, Central America Caribbean - page 8


Heading back from Jarabocoa to ILAC for the third week in the DR brought a sense of home and comfort. We had all settled in quite nicely to our own double bunk beds, a workout routine of running around the sand track in the evenings, and our consistent 730AM, noon, and 6PM meals followed by reading and dominos. The weather was a tropical breeze with warm sunny days, cool evenings, and even chilly nights. Everyone found a routine at their clinic sites and shared their patient stories daily at meal times. Conveniences that are more often than not a necesity in the United States don't exist in developing countries. Most people have cell phones and some sort of motor vehicle usually a motorcycle. Never do people have machines to wash dishes and clothes. The social system ... read more

As we entered into the final week of our stay in the DR the taste was very bittersweet. Each of us was in anticipation of graduation, a new job, where we would begin a new stage in our lives, and how to say goodbye to some of the most wonderful patients and people we have ever met. All students at each clinic site were required to prepare and present some sort of educational seminar to the health professionals at their clinic Spanish. Well we had done it before (with much more assistance) in the campo and now it was time to pull it together on our own. Colie and I decided that we saw a high number of shoulder injuries at the clinic thought the therapists could benefit from a few more "tools" or treatment ... read more

I believe that I have a day that encapsulates my life: El dia perfecto Alarm beeping, 7:20am. I grudgingly swivel my head around to turn off my alarm. While rubbing my eyes, I get out of bed and willing step through my door to sit down at the table for breakfast. Literally, 2 minutes later, my Dona, Dona Chede (its her nickname, very common here to use), puts in front of me a breakfast of avena, some kind of sweet bread, and a mixture of papaya, pineapple and mystery fruit #3 (lets just say I forgot the name and really I only know the name of this fruit in spanish, but it tastes so similar to me). First, lets talk about avena…Genus English….Oatmeal…..Genus Tal’s dictionary…Not fucking oatmeal. Oh don’t get me wrong, I like it, really ... read more

In need of some sun, sand and surf, and on the cusp of a milestone birthday, I decided to spend a week at a surf camp, where I enjoyed the sunny, 30-degree Dominican sun, met some new-found friends, caught a wave or two, and enjoyed exploring the local beachside town. A link to a travel article I wrote for a local paper is available here: read more

Week 2 proved to be the light at the end of the tunnel. We all were battling upset stomachs, struggling to learn the language, and learning about all of the bugs and the type of bites that left you looking as if you had contracted some sort of disease. This week was a shortened week as we only had 3 days in the clinic and then we would be off to an outdoor adventure resort called Rancho Baugiate in Jarabacoa where Jurassic Park was filmed. Hallelujah! We had all become familiar with the transportation by now and had ventured out a few times to try out the restaurants and enjoy the culture. The downtown area of Santiago was very nice and the food was delicious. It felt good to shower thoroughly and put on something other ... read more


Hopefully my pictures will speak for me throughout this blog but I will do my best to describe this amazing country. After a whirlwind of packing, re-packing, and a long plane ride from Seattle, WA to the Dominican Republic (DR) I finally landed in the tropical and sticky climate of what was to be my new home for the next 5 weeks. It was a site to see 18 "gringos" congregating in the airport attempting to speak their first words of Spanish to each other. We arrived at the ILAC Mission center around 9 p.m. with large amounts of luggage and mosquitos in the air. We quickly became aquainted with the thin mattresses and large mosquito nets. The next morning we arose, earlier than planned, to the farmhouse orchestra of cows, chickens, roosters, and who knows ... read more
ILAC Mission
ILAC Mission
ILAC Mission

Hello all! It's been a few weeks and a busy time in the office, but I snuck out for 4 days to go to the D.R. for their 2nd Intl. Bachata Festival the weekend before last. After an 8 hour busride I was in Santo Domingo for an incredible first trip to other country that shares this island. Not only was the contrast in city infrastructure striking between Haiti and the D.R., but even on the busride over there was a notable difference in the agriculture: organized fields, tools, tractors, irrigation systems for rice fields, etc. (another convo about international investment and country histories would be great to have here, but I can't do it justice now...). Anyways... It was the first time I've ever paid for a hotel in my adult life (granted I shared ... read more
Dancing dancing dancing
Workshop time
Hotel! Buffet! Hot water!

The Dominican Republic was awesome. I was in Santo Domingo mostly but took a day trip to Santiago de los Caballeros. Santiago de los Caballeros is about 2.5hrs by bus from Santo Domingo and the city is very rich in Arts and Culture. I visited lots of Arts Exhibitions. In Santo Domingo, I stayed 10mins walking distance from the zona colonial and again I enjoyed being close to the colonial zone. My host was great and I felt like a part of the family. I didn’t do lots of touristy stuff here; I just hung out with the locals and immersed myself in the culture. This meant that I attended classes with my host at the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD), I took the guagua (public transport) and went to a local discoteca. One of ... read more
On the streets toward the Malecon
Photo 28
Photo 3

It has been one week since I've returned from the Dominican Republic. It was with great longing and sadness that I so recently returned to normal life. Two weeks ago, six students, two adult leaders, and I set out on a mission trip to bring fresh water to the town of "El Puerto." I've never gone on a mission trip before. In fact, I've always been wary of the idea of evangelism. In the past, the word "missionary" would conjure up notions of conquistadores, cultural oppression, and religious intolerance. However, as I’ve grown in my faith, I’ve realized the value of sharing, service, and cultural exchange central to journey I was called to undertake. Everyday was a 10 hour work day filled with arduous labor and open fellowship with the community around us. Truly, it was ... read more
The Drill II
The Drill III
The Well

Sorry for the long delay between posts, but I had something written down before leaving for my volunteer visit, but the power went out and my work just wasn’t saved. And of course, I was lazy in trying to write it again cause it was late and well, I was tired. Okay so back onto my story to grandma’s house. So we pick up the story, where the dashing protagonist has left his quiet, safe, and lawful home to aid a fellow knight in his battle against the evil dark lord in the lawless town of La Barrera. Before arriving to give aid, he proceeded to have a long journey. This first started with a meetup with a fellow trainee, Jeff, and eventually , this dashing, roguish protagonist, (you would think I should put Tal here, ... read more

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