As on previous days, our group started the morning at Dove Missions by eating breakfast together under the palapa. We conducted physical assessments on the younger boys at the center and interviewed them on their diet history. We socialized with the kids and played with them during our free time. Of course, the boys were rowdy; but they were full of joy and grateful to have us there with them. For lunch, we traveled through Puerto Plata to eat a traditional Dominican buffet.
After we ate lunch, we were taken to a mercado (market) in Puerto Plata where they sell a variety of produce and goods. Eggplant, peppers, chayote, plantains, broccoli, yuka, and pineapple are just a few of the many vegetables and fruits available in the Dominican Republic. The different vendors let us try some fruit that they were selling at the market. We were able to sample tamarindo (or tamarind), a tropical fruit found in the Dominican Republic. It was interesting to see the differences in the produce that they sell here versus in the Unites States. The vendors were more than happy to show us everything that they had to offer for sell, and they sell items at a very inexpensive price. Martina, an employee of Dove Missions, is very knowledgeable about the culture in the Dominican Republic and is always more than willing to show us around and immerse us into the life of the locals. Back at Dove Missions, we started physical assessments on the older boys in the afternoon.
We had a long day continuing to explore Puerto Plata in hopes of getting to know more about the way of life here. Thankfully, our journey is not over yet, and we still have two more days in the beautiful Dominican Republic!
By Rachel Kennedy, Nursing Major and Honors Minor, and Gloria Casarez, Nursing Major and Gerontology Minor
(Follow the experiences of our students as they have been serving in the Dominican Republic during spring break. Visit the blog at the Barton College School of Nursing.)