2017 Dominican Republic Day 4 – Our Afternoon in Sosua

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For this day in the Dominican Republic, we had the opportunity to spend our day on the beach in Sosua. The area was absolutely breathtaking with the blue waves crashing against the rocks. We began our day with a unique shopping experience that you won’t find in the States. As we walked along the shops, the owners did all they could to pull us into their shops. Even if we said no, they still would try everything they could to get our business. They would say things like, “It’s almost free.” Once inside if you find something you like, you are able to barter prices for the goods that you want. It’s a difficult […]

2017 Dominican Republic Day 3 – Juan’s Brother’s Store

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Sunday is a day of leisure for most Dominicans. On our first free day away from the Dove Missions Center, the original plan was to ride the cable car to the top of one of the many picturesque mountains on the island. However, the rain put a damper on those plans, so we improvised by shopping and touring the town in hopes that the weather would clear up. We started out by visiting the store belonging to the brother of our ever generous van driver/tour guide. This was where we learned the art of bartering in order to get the best prices on larimar (a blue stone native to the […]

2017 Dominican Republic Day 2 – Play Is an International Language

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Today, we learned that no matter where you are or what country you may be visiting, play is an international language. At Dove Missions, Saturday is considered a free day for the children at the center to come eat, play, and have fun with their peers in a safe environment. This center allows the children to receive healthy snacks, daily vitamins, and take part in a worry-free setting. To start our day, we unpacked our donations that the community gratefully received; we plan to deliver the rest of these items throughout the week to the local clinic and the community hospital. Afterwards, we taught a simple nutritional lesson to the kids […]

2017 Dominican Republic Day 1 – The Beginning

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Day 1 in the Dominican Republic is going to be a difficult day to surpass. Our journey began with an introduction to the staff at Dove Missions and a tour of their facility. The agenda for the day differed slightly from person to person as we had a large enough group to break up into two smaller subgroups for the day. Each group engaged with the children by taking height and weight measurements and a dietary recall while the other half toured the barrios in a neighborhood referred to as aguas negras translated roughly to “black waters.” During my experiences today, there were many things that demanded my attention. First […]

2017 Spring Break in the Dominican Republic – Learning Abroad

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Greetings from Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic! After a very long day of travel, fourteen nursing students and I arrived to begin a nine-day, international-travel experience, Nutrition and Health in the Dominican Republic. Students will assess growth, nutrition, and health status of children served by Dove Missions, a private, non-profit, charitable organization committed to serving at-risk children in Puerto Plata. This experience provides students an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills from their discipline in a global setting while serving others and expanding their view of the world.  We invite you to follow along in our journey and share in this incredible experience. Carol Ruwe, Associate Professor School of Nursing (Follow the […]

Sosua Beach, Dominican Republic

Day 4: A Day at the Beach

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On Monday we decided to visit the white, sandy beaches and clear, blue water that attract so many tourists. We went to Sosua Beach and enjoyed its breathtaking tropical beauty. This gave us the opportunity to view the Dominican culture from a tourist’s perspective, and we took note of the cultural surroundings. While we were making our way down Sosua Beach, we were stopped by many vendors. If we even looked in their direction, they would stop us and try to make an offer. We weren’t accustomed to being followed around and pressured into buying an item. While we were sitting on the beach, women would come up to us […]

Barton students explore Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Day 3: Exploring Puerto Plata

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Sunday was one of our free days to explore Puerto Plata. Our day began with a ride in a cable car up to a popular tourist destination called Isabella de Torres. On the ride up to the top of the mountain, we were astonished to be able to see the major differences in the different parts of the Dominican Republic. There are many cities in the Dominican Republic: Santiago, Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, just to name a few. Puerto Plata is known as the “poor” city and being able to see huts on one side of the mountain of Isabella de Torres and fancy condos and houses on the opposite […]

Barton Student with Dominican Children

Day 2: Joy in the Midst of Poverty

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When you think of the Dominican Republic, you probably think of white, sandy beaches and clear blue water. All of that exists here, but there is a whole other world within Puerto Plata that people don’t know about. On Friday, we witnessed first-hand the poverty that plagues this country. We were able to visit the Dove Missions Youth Development Center and spent time playing and learning with the precious children there. They were all so loving and excited to see us. They were also so excited to help teach us Spanish and learn English. The little boy who sat with me was so incredibly patient with me and worked so […]

Nursing Students Arriving in Dominican Republic for Spring Break Mission

Day 1: Spring Break 2016 in the Dominican Republic – Learning and Serving

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After a long day of travel, my group of nine students and I finally arrived in tropical Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. The group includes nursing, gerontology, social work, and health promotion students who are here with me to earn course credit through an international travel experience, Nutrition and Health in the Dominican Republic. Students will assess growth, nutrition, and health status of children served by Dove Missions, a private, non-profit, charitable organization committed to serving at-risk children in Puerto Plata. This experience provides students an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills from their disciplines in a global setting while serving others and expanding their view of the world. We invite […]

Los Cocos Village

It’s Not Goodbye; It’s “See You Later”

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On our last day in the Dominican Republic, we visited the Haitian village, Los Cocos. We learned that this village on a hillside was comprised of 70 different families. The land is owned by a Dominican citizen who allows the Haitians to live on the land for free. As Haitians are not recognized by the government and not allowed citizenship, this opportunity is a blessing for those families. Upon entering the village, we saw rows and rows of huts built with banana leaves. The children were running around playing, the women were washing clothes, and the men were out working. Walking through the village, we saw a lot of trash […]