Today was the last day of clinics for PRHDR’s summer 2016 group! The next days will involve a final meeting with our community leaders and a visit to a local hospital. Please find following some thoughts by nursing student Gabi Stojanovic.
“Now it is the time that we prepare for our exit. The last medications are given away. The last patients are seen. Eight clinics ago we were all uncertain, the veterans needed to shake off the cobwebs and the first timers were uncomfortable with their ability to communicate and unsure of their assessment skills. Today, after just eight days’ experience, I looked around at my classmates and felt so privileged to be part of such a quick learning, and confident group of women.
Yes, in this short time we have grown, and we should be proud of what we have gained. I personally feel a slight sadness at this, our greatest milestone of the trip, the last day of clinics. The beginning of the end. Because I feel as at home here, in this culture, and country as I do in my own. The language comes as easy to me as water, and the quiet welcoming acceptance of these people can only be described as distinctly Latino.
We have helped people here, yes. But they have helped us more. Whether through their quiet patience, their gratefulness at our care, or their acceptance of their current reality, whichever that may be.
As in other Latin American countries, I have found that those with the least are the most self-reliant, the most accepting and the happiest of patients. In these final days, we will begin to distance ourselves from the Dominican Republic, and slip slowly toward the Yankee norm, but I find that I don’t want to leave the grace of this society.
I will not soon forget all the wonderful, strong and resilient people that I have met throughout this trip, whether the patients or our wonderful interpreters. Those who could share a less American perspective on life, on health or on happiness. In that way our interpreters were more than just a bridge between two languages, but between two cultures as well. Arguably, their jobs have been the most difficult. Switching between languages and bridging cultures, is a mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting endeavor and I’m so grateful that they are here. Without them, we wouldn’t function and for me, saying goodbye to them and this beautiful country will be the most difficult part of this trip. Yes, saying goodbye is always the most difficult of all.”
– Gabi Stojanovic, Nursing Student, Summer 2016 trip
For more information about PRHDR, please see http://www.prhdr.org.