Daily Archives: April 2, 2014

03/22/14-03/23/14: Hato Mayor

Advance warning! I’m pretty much going to be writing over the course of the next week-ish about the medical service trip I went on. Part of it may be in present tense because I wrote it while I was over there. I compiled most of the billions of pictures that were taken into collages of photos from almost everyone’s cameras. (There are still several hundred out there that haven’t been posted yet, but meh.)

After a whole lot of plane and bus rides, we made it to our hotel at around 3 am. Somehow, it took another 3 hours to divide ourselves into rooms because there was somewhat of a miscommunication.¬†Fortunately, one of the very first things I learned while there was to just let some things go–first and foremost, my super type A tendencies and how much I happen to like planning and efficiency. I had a conversation with Linda a couple weeks ago where she said that you should never, ever marry someone without traveling with them first. You will find out exactly what kind of person they are and whether or not you really want to spend the rest of your life with them within the first 24 hours. (Carry this piece of wisdom with you. :O It seriously will work wonders.)

I got placed in a room with two first- years, a fourth-year and one of our professors. The original plan was to shuffle us into different rooms by Sunday night, but we liked each others’ company so much that we decided to just stick with 5 people to our room. (This was pretty much determined by my, “I wonder what we’re having for breakfast/what if we sleep past it?” question.)

I’d pretty much been preparing to rough it, and had not been expecting everything we were met with at all. Our room was one of the bedrooms of the lady who owned the hotel. There was a swimming pool, a water slide, a trampoline (but not meant for adults–someone found out the hard way that there was a reason as to why it was situated above a fire pit), cute cats and 3 dogs that we like to affectionately refer to as our ” ferocious guard dogs.” We get breakfast, lunch and dinner cooked for us most days, and someone comes in to clean up our room.

Top Left: I volunteered to look after everyone’s stuff during our layover in Boston. This is about 1/3 of it and doesn’t include our checked bags. :x
Top Right: I think this is most of our group, but possibly minus one because he was looking for his passport.
Bottom Left: 1/2 of our room! I’m on the top left bunk. There were no rails (compared to the top right “crib” :P ), so it’s a good thing I don’t move when I sleep.
Bottom Right: Our hotel in the daytime. :]

We spent the first full day getting situated and compiling all the medications and supplies we brought along with us. Each of us packed our week’s worth of clothing/daily essentials into a carry-on and used our giant suitcases to pack up everything else. We actually managed to raise $15k worth of medications and supplies! :] I worked with Blaire on packaging multivitamins (150,000 pills) whilst sitting next to a billion boxes of condoms. I developed an assembly line system so that we could get through everything more efficiently and we managed to finish most of the packaging/sorting on day 1. This pretty much meant that we got to have a pool day the next day (after our morning meeting + the 1.5 hours of work we had left). :D

Top Left: Dutifully counting out 1-month supplies of Lisinopril.
Top Right: Sorting all the meds from our billion suitcases.
Bottom: Packaging 6-month supplies of daily multivitamins.

Top Left: This is from several days later (Manny, our group leader from CSA, built us a bonfire! :D ). Those are my roommates along with Mike’s leg, which kinda looks like it’s coming from me, but I assure you it does not belong to me.
Top Right: Morning meeting!
Bottom Left: Vulturing in the morning for breakfast.
Bottom Right: Pool day!

We’re definitely off to a good start! :]