It was amazing how much better the clinic looked after the work of the day had been completed. While some were at the nutrition center, I was with many others from our group at the clinic. We sanded down the walls of the building and the metal fence and then repainted it. The shelter was also cleaned and painted with varnish. It was great to see how much better the Hombro a Hombro (Shoulder to Shoulder) clinic looked with just a few hours of work by the brigade. After the community work, we were supposed to play a soccer game but sadly, the plans fell through.
However, today was not all work, there was also a lot of play. The brigade traveled to down town Santo Domingo and ate a celebratory dinner at a very nice restaurant. Simple chicken and rice was not on the menu tonight. We were served fish, beef fillet, a vegetable salad, and rice. For desert we had a peach half. The food was amazing. It was nice to have a full meal that wasn't made complete by needing a second serving of white rice.
Dinner wasn't the end of the festivities. The whole group traveled to a bar for dancing and karaoke. I have learned that no matter how much our translator tries to teach me to dance by using only my hips, it just doesn't work for me. It was great seeing the group members of all ages dancing at the discotheque and singing karaoke. Tonight was a great night. Since we have completed our clinic work, the brigade will be traveling to the town of Mindo for more exciting cultural activities.
Jim Buscher, who will start at UK Medical School in August, is a two-time graduate of the College of Arts & Sciences with degrees in psychology (2009) and biology (2010). But before he enrolls in gross anatomy or makes his rotations in the hospital, Buscher has embarked on a journey to Ecuador as a volunteer with Shoulder to Shoulder Kentucky, an international organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in resource-limited communities.
Jim will spend time working in health clinics performing screenings and tackling the issues that confront the community’s wellbeing, but he also plans on doing more than dealing with health initiatives. Following the lead of Jacob Sither, a friend and student in UK’s College of Public Health, Jim will take part in distributing donated equipment to help develop a soccer program in the community, hoping to build a self-sustaining recreational program to supplement their efforts to improve general public health. The whole point of these enterprises, Jim says, is to improve the lives and families in the community by addressing health, education and economic issues.