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A year has come and gone and I am back in the Dominican Republic with a group of 12 fellow classmates and 3 faculty. We’re going to be here through Friday morning and boy do we have a busy week. I think this is the FIFTH year our group has come to the DR. Our boots on the ground contacts are the Foundation for Peace which works in the DR, Haiti, and Kenya. They have helped us establish sites to visit that are reputable but are in genuine need of our help and help make sure that the resources we may provide are used appropriately this year we will again be returning to San Pedro and visiting CAES, a school for the deaf that not only provides education for hearing impaired children but also rubs several vocational training programs for young adults, helping them develop job skills so they can be productive members of society. We will also return to Casa de Luz, an orphanage for children with disabilities. On our visit last year we discovered a rehab hospital in the city which we were able to tour. We also met with the hospital director to discuss some ideas for possible collaboration. On our cultural day Tuesday, we’ll be returning and discussing things some more I believe.

Part of the trip/class requirements is that I journal about my experience. If you know me you know how much I despise this kind of stuff (Which begs to question why I even have a blog? See the prior post explaining my absence. Best I can tell, I think it’s good for me even if I don’t always enjoy it.) so my goal is to kill two birds with one stone, 1) get my blog going again and get back in the habit of writing and 2) satisfy my course requirements of journaling. Who knows I may even inspire one of you to get involved with international hearing and speech opportunities.

Today was our travel day, we flew MEM-MIA-SDQ on American. We left Memphis around 130 and after the time change and a 2 hour layover in MIA we arrived in Santo Domingo a little before ten. Customs went smooth as silk and once we made it through we were met by some of the foundation for peace staff, loaded our bags into a mini bus and made the trek to the foundation house where we’ll be staying this week. The city is quite tranquil at night, only a minimum of traffic. I’m excited for the hustle and bustle tomorrow morning as we drive the hour east to San Pedro (the baseball mecca where many major league teams have farm programs) where we’ll be working at CAES.