Since we arrived at the mission in total darkness and bone tiered today was my first impression of the ILAC Mission.
“Opting” to sleep in I missed breakfast, but a power bar was sufficient. I took the opportunity to seek out Carman the mission coordinator and get a tour of the grounds and physicality’s on camera.
She was a super guide and I learned that the mission has several other programs in addition to the medical missions including, water treatment & purification, building homes for the poor, medical clinic, and an after school classroom for the local children. While I could go on about these other causes I'll save that for another post at a later time. On the mission grounds they have farm land where the grow plantains, bananas and other produce, green house for their agricultural program, gym, basketball court, and housing for the volunteers.
It was a fascinating tour and the grounds are very beautiful and serine. At one point I heard singing and music. I learned, being Sunday, there was a mass being held in the chapel for the local villagers. The church was packed!
After a provided lunch we boarded the bus with our gear and headed to La Vega and Hotel Ray our home away from home for the next 4 days.
After checking in to our rooms we headed out into the town to get a taste of the local surroundings and culture. I couldn't believe the apparent chaos of motorcycles, cars, busses, trucks, and people. I felt like I was taking my life in my hands crossing the street. Motorcycles are the main mode of transportation and are used to carry up to 4 people at a time, or any combination of items. We saw one with 2 people the passenger carrying a propane tank in his lap and another with what appeared to be a family of 4, just to mention a few. Also there appeared to be no real lanes in the road and no traffic control to speak of. Traffic lights were a mere suggestion.
Dinner that night was at an awesome open air restaurant with a thatched roof and all. We ate family style and got to know the other attending group from St. Lewis and had a really great time. Even though I had slept in a little that morning I was more then happy to get back to the hotel and fall into bed.
I am an upbeat energetic individual and believe most people would describe me as being easy-going, patient, and tech savvy. In my youth I was a “tinkerer” and hence have grown up to be handy with most gadgets and computer tasks.
I am often called upon by my friends, family, and co-workers to help with technical, electronic or a computer related problems which I am very good at helping with. I have the ability to speak in laymen everyday terms and have a patient show how attitude.