2023 Medical Mission: Heading Home

Departed Santo Domingo for home

Although we carried in 12 duffle bags of supplies and medicines to the DR and Haiti at the beginning, it seemed we just never had enough to meet the needs even after re-supplying from the local market.  It’s not surprising given the extreme need in the DR and in Haiti. But we do feel a bit guilty and keep thinking “gosh could I have done more : could I have just muscled one more duffel bag full of meds over my shoulder;  could I have procured some additional meds myself and added them to what we carried in; then maybe, we would have had enough meds.” 

Then we come to the realization that we will always be limited in what we can do, what we can carry, and who we can see, and we will never have enough as the need is just so great.  Tuesday, for instance, we overstayed clinic hours (as we almost always do) trying to “sweep up” late arriving patients. 

Our local hosts do announce clinic days/hours but many patients come right from completing their daily chores and can’t always adhere to set times.  On the other hand, driving the rutted, mountain roads at night is also not an option for the team.

 Anyway, our medical staff were prescribing meds and we were filling prescriptions literally as we were pulling away from the clinic site and yet more patients were arriving to seek treatment.  One woman who arrived late called out after us in Creole “what am I to do I have two sick children at home?”  Things like this are just so heartbreaking —  who knows when the next medical team will come through. 

Next Steps

We’d like to encourage each of you to use this week’s series of posts to help remind you to give a bit of your time and/or money to your favorite charity, whichever one it may be.  You can make a difference in someone’s life without actually impacting your lifestyle at all. 

As for us, time for personal reflection, repair, thoughts of thanks for what we have and of the great but random gift presented to us, that of having been born an American. Then it will be time to start thinking about the when’s and where’s of the next medical relief trip because we all can’t do everything, but we all can do something.

* This entry was edited from the original post by Ed S.

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