Follow our 7e adventures with our High School Off Campus group from Detroit, Michigan! Follow them on your adventure in the Dominican Republic during June 17-27, 2019!
Detroit High School Off Campus
June 17-27, 2019!
June 18, 2019
On our first day in the Dominican Republic we spent a lot of time getting acclimated to our new home for the week. We started by visiting a local clinic and asked a Dominican doctor questions regarding the DR healthcare system. Something we found interesting is that healthcare is free and we wanted to know how the government funded this type of system. It turns out that other countries give the Dominican government grants, which they use to pay for such medical practices. After this, we explored the beach that is right across the street from the 7 Elements lodge and of course much tanning and wave jumping took place. Rice and pork was served for dinner; a delicious meal that I’m sure we will all be very familiar with by our departure. Overall, our first day here was a nice introduction of what to expect for the coming days and was wrapped up with a great discussion about the seven elements of human security, which the organization uses as their model when evaluating communities. We are all sending lots of love back home and miss everyone lots!
Jun 19, 2019
On our second day in the Dominican Republic we spent the day in La Grua. A quick intro about La Grua; La Grua is a community originally based on sugar cane farming, and after the sugar cane business died out the people of Haiti who came over to farm were stuck with no immigration papers and no way of getting out of the DR. Anyways, before, we headed off to La Grua, we woke up to the fresh smell of: Fried eggs, potatoes and Dominican hot coco. After breakfast we all jumped into our scrubs (Thanks Dr.George) and headed to the gate for an 8:00 am departure to La Grua. The bus ride was a quick 2 hours; when we arrived we set up our stations for our first brigade. The stations consisted of: Background information, vitals, doctor interviews and distribution. A major issue that results with a lot of health issues has to deal with the quality of the water. In La Grua, the quality of the water is extremely poor resulting in skin diseases, dietary issues and environmental problems. After a long day at the brigade and a yummy dinner of fish and pasta we had a very meaningful discussion about health dilemmas around the world. We are having tons of fun and miss all of you! 😉
June 20, 2019
On our third day in the Dominican Republic, we went to The Dudu Lagoon and the beach. We were all excited to explore the lagoons, caves and swim in the beach! We started out by diving into the Lagoon and swimming around. We went on to the next Lagoon and jumped off a ledge into the water. After that we explored the cave with Alex, and she told us that the cave used to be a club with a bar and a stage to sing music! We played volleyball against the sports team and crushed them!! Lunch was filled with rice, beans, salad, mango, and chicken. We were all looking forward to the beach, since Kate A announced it was her top 3 of favorite beaches. As soon as we got there we were amazed of the scenery, with all the trees, rocks, sand, and the pretty light blue water. We quickly ran into the ocean and enjoyed every bit of it! Some of us got braids in our hair by the vendor ladies, and some of us bought necklaces, bracelets and rings from them! They were all handmade by the people there. After a long day of sand in our hair and clothes, we headed back and had a yummy dinner of pasta, salad, meatballs, rice, beans, eggplant, and fruit! To end the night we had an educational lecture on infectious diseases! We are all enjoying our time here and miss everyone dearlyJ
June 21, 2019
We woke up at 6:45 A.M. and rushed to get ready for 7 A.M. breakfast. We had pancakes, fruit, and toast for breakfast. We left at 7:30 for Brison, with a long day ahead of us. We arrived around 9:30, and thought we had a fun and thrilling hike in front of us. We hiked up the mountain for about 2 hours before reaching Dona’s house we stopped at a small house and bought bracelets and treats. Once we got to Dona’s house we enjoyed the view and filled our water bottles while super sweaty… Then everyone besides Ryan and I walked up to the water tank. Dona made us a great lunch with chicken, vegetables, rice, beans and fruit. We bought popsicles from the ice cream man, Anna and I had apple flavor which was surprisingly good. Then we slid down the hill. We drove home for about an hour and a half, then us girls jumped in the pool, and ate dinner. Walner and Junior talked to us about the divided Island, and we watched a documentary (We learned so much, thank you Walner and Junior 😉 ). We then played Uno with our friends, the Sports Kids. After Uno, we went and watched the stars on the beach (also with the Sports Kids). Once we got back we went to sleep, we were super tired and had a great day!!!! Miss you allJHope Michigan is doing well!!!
June 22, 2019
On our fifth day in the Dominican Republic we woke up around 7:45 for 8 A.M. breakfast. We had oatmeal, fried cheese and yogurt with fruits. After breakfast we dressed into our scrubs and left around 9 for a vitamin distribution in La Tierra. It was 7 elements first time collaborating with their community so we hoped to leave a good impression. Upon arriving, we set up the distribution in the community church and with the help of the Pastor we were able to distribute vitamins to 60 locals. We had a great time interacting with the locals and even had Spanish lessons from the kids…they really enjoyed making fun of Callie for having a dictionary on her at all times! We arrived back at the lodge around 2:40 and had the whole lodge to ourselves so we decided to swim and hang around the big pool. Once the sports kids returned to the lodge we played a big game of Uno and had a delicious dinner consisting of: chicken, fries, cold slaw, salad and fruit. We had a taste of home with the yummy friesJ. After dinner we had a discussion about the awareness of mental health in developing countries. Before bed we played cards and hung out with the Sports Kids. We all had so much fun and learned a lot!!! We miss you all and hope all is well in Grosse PointeJ
June 23rd, 2019
On our sixth day in the Dominican Republic, we had breakfast at 8:00 in the morning. At 9:15 we left for Cano Dulce where we would assist in building a water tank for the people there. Our mentor explained to us that it is called Cano Dulce because it is named after the river that runs next to it. That river is completely dry right now due to the draught that is afflicting The DR. We also learned that most of the people in Cano Dulce don’t have running water so is important that this water tank be built. We arrived at Cano Dulce around 9:30 and began our work. We started by carrying Cement mix and buckets of water up a small but steep hill. Once all of the materials were at the top we began to mix cement and give buckets of it to the mason that was building the tank with the materials we supplied. Once we had finished one layer of cement we began carrying buckets of sand up the hill to prepare for the next group of people coming to help. At around 11:30 we went back to the Lodge for lunch. Once done with lunch we returned to Cano Dulce and continued carrying buckets of sand up the hill. This was very hard and repetitive work. At 2:00 we stopped carrying sand and we played a few games of basketball with some local children. After playing basketball we were led on a tour of Cano Dulce by our mentor and the community leader. The community leader also showed us his bee farm where he harvests honey and explained how he does it. We then left Cano Dulce and ate dinner at 6:00, after which we watched a documentary about the Cholera outbreak in Haiti and how one Haitian boy overcame some of the hardships of the outbreak by playing baseball. All in all it was a long day filled with lots of hard work and important learning.
June 24th, 2019
Today, was our last medical brigade day and the last time we had to put on our sweaty scrubs for the week. We ventured to a new community called Cabarete and prepared for a long day of cycling patients through from registration to interview to vitals to the doc then finally to pharmacy to pick up their various medicines. We added a new aspect to vitals by adding blood sugar testing, which allowed us to have a new perspective into how the body functions. We saw around 100 patients in the end. Although, it was a long day it was very rewarding and we cooled down afterwards in the beautiful 7e pool. For discussion, we focused on social justice and personal identity. We did an activity at the end where we focused on the different aspects of our identities and answered questions relating to them. To wrap up the day we had a dance party and busted some great moves on the dance floor. Overall, it was an amazing day full of fun and learning.