Mar 02

Barrios (neighborhood) (Day 2)

Dominican Republic March 2014 082The Haitian barrios (neighborhoods) were very moving. We were all able to see how the Haitian Dominicans lived and how the earthquake affected their lives. Even though the Haitians had very little, everyone was so loving, accepting of us being there, and willing to help others. What touched me the most was when I saw a building that was severely affected by the flood, only the front of the building remained. After walking through the barrios, we were able to visit a local home and see how the family lived everyday. The house was very small, with little lighting. Chickens, pigs, and goats were kept outside their home to raise and later sell. The newly adopted practice of recycling is of great significance in the Haitian barrios, multiple bags full of plastic bottles covered the yard of one home. Compared to Grand Guave, Haiti, where I traveled last spring break, the barrios were very similar. Trash is all over the streets and in the water; Feces and urine travel down the stream in the street. However, everyone was still very kind and welcoming.

Zoe- Sophomore Nursing Student

Mar 02

Dia de jugar (Day of Play) (Day 3)

Hola amigos! What a fun and exciting day we have had in the Dominican Republic! All of the local children had the day off from school and were at the Dove Mission Children’s Center, nearly 100 children were present. We interacted with the children all morning and played games with them until it was time for lunch. Lunch and dinner at Todo Pollo (Everything Chicken – local restaurant) was fabulous. The highlight of my day was when the water truck came to hose all of the children to cool them down. These children don’t have clean water to go jump in or any pools nearby. This was such an eye opening experience for me. I have never seen children so happy to see a water truck pull up. Liz, the director of Dove Missions, explained to us that it costs $12 American dollars for the truck to hose the children off which lasts about 25-30 minutes. In the United States, we take so many things for granted, including fresh water to cool off in. Another thing we take for granted are shoes. Some of these young children were running around all day with no shoes on. I have been incredibly blessed to be on this adventure with so many compassionate hearts. I am thrilled with the work that we have done with the children thus far and we still have plenty more days to spend with them. Hasta luego!DSCF2137

 

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong, because someday in your life you will have been all of these.” – The Healing Room

 

Minter Newman, Senior Nursing Student

Mar 02

Our Arrival to Puerto Plata (Day 1)

After a long but enjoyable flight (a first time on a plane for a few) we were greeted by drums and song in the terminal. We made our way through customs, our passports stamped, we stepped into the heat and overwhelming sense of life and bright color that we had read about in our preparation. As we met our guides, packed into the vans, and began the trek to the hotel, looking out the window was something to behold. The view of rushed and disorganized traffic, a mixture of old cars, new ones, and countless motorcycles, organized chaos is the only description that comes to mind. It was immediately apparent that this island paradise has poverty unlike anything I had seen before. Aside the palm trees lay colorful concrete ruins that house businesses and the people of Puerto Plata. When we arrived to the hotel, we were greeted with friendly open arms by the owners, Jose and his wife, Vashti.

 

Minter's Pictures 012

Pictured: Puerto Plata  Airport.

I want to share one of the first things Jose added in his greeting  that really set the stage for the conditions of the island. He spoke about how mindful one must to conserve energy whenever possible. The practice is not only save money and be eco-friendly as we do in the United States, but because electricity here is a precious thing that is not guaranteed at any time. We haven’t been in the country for more than hour and I already have a new appreciation for the way my life is at home.

-Joe P. Barton College Senior Nursing Student

Feb 28

Spring Break in the Dominican Republic

Our Dominican Republic adventure begins today!  Thirteen students and I arrived in Puerto Plata today for a School of Nursing sponsored travel course.  For the next eight days, we will work with Dove Missions focusing on the nutrition and health care needs of at-risk children in Puerto Plata.  We left behind the severe cold sweeping the United States to arrive in the almost sweltering, tropical temperatures of Puerto Plata.  We were welcomed by the Dove Missions staff and whisked away to a quaint, charming hotel  that invites one to enjoy the pleasures of island life.  Tomorrow, we venture out for our first day at Dove Missions all set to fall in love with the children of Puerta Plata as we assess their nutritional status and examine heath care needs and challenges.

Carol R., Professor

Feb 11

Dreams Do Come True!

Ever since I was child, I have always wanted to go to Old Trafford to watch a Premier League match. For those of you who do not know, Old Trafford provides the home pitch for the greatest football club on the planet-Manchester United. If you do not know what Manchester United is, well there’s a good chance we’ve never met, because within the earliest moments of our acquaintance you would know more than you ever cared to about obsession to the sport of football. Today marks the best day of my life. Several years from now, I will remember Februay 9, 2014 as the day I finally saw a Premier League Match at Old Trafford! How do you describe something so perfect when words can never do it justice. Wonderful? Immaculate? Incredible? None of these even come close to the beauty and majesty i witnessed today. If you ever dare think that I am just describing a silly sporting event, then you had best stop reading and never bother looking at anything I ever post again, as you clearly are bereft of brains and a soul. For those of you who do not fall into that category, read on!

 

Should I ever get married, Old Trafford will be the venue. Yes, that sounds completely ridiculous, but I lead a wonderfully ridiculous life. Adequately depicting the marvels of being at Old Trafford cannot be done. Life throws wonderful moments at us every once in a while, which prove perfect in their intangibility. Only the heart can feel these moments. If my fingers and lips could give my heart a voice, I would write and scream about this day until death swept in and shut me up, but fruits of my fingers and the murmurs let out from my lips fail me time and time again. How do you describe meeting a professional footballer? How do you properly illustrate the way you felt when image image imageJonny Evans heard you say his name, and while Danny Welbeck didn’t stop to sign anything for anyone, and Ben Amos and Fellaini only signed a few shirts and pieces of paper for the flock of children there that day, how do you even begin to explain he amazement you felt when Jonny Evans walked right up to you! i certainly don’t know how. In the same way, I don’t know how to tell you what it feels like to sit in the Theatre of Dreams. Watching David De Gea warm up before the match, or seeing RVP, Wayne Rooney, and Juan Mata get in that last stretch before the official’s whistle starts the first act of the greatest ninth minutes of your life. Even the silence when Fulham scored, the aching way my heart fell out of my chest, words fail again to put these events into perspective. When United scored two goals in a matter of minutes, the jubilation that radiated through the stadium, my soul learned a new dance. Yet the steps of that dance became a bit confusing when Fulham scored their second goal in stoppage time. My jaw drops and someone greedily sucked the air from my lungs. How can you dance if you can’t breathe! Despite my dearth of breath, I began to remember the steps. Never have I seen such a delightful dance.

Sunday, February 9, 2014, was the greatest day if my life. I don’t think anything will ever top it, except maybe my wedding, but I don’t plan on getting married, so this is it. I cannot wait to return to the most beautiful place on earth!

Until next time!

Cheers!

Jan 30

Once upon a time …

imageOnce upon a time … Fairy tales usually start that way right? Well my life isn’t a fairy tale, but it sure is pretty amazing. Today marks my two week anniversary in a magical kingdom. Okay, it’s just Bangor, Wales, but there are castles here and even though they haven’t been used in hundreds of years, a castle really can’t help but feel a bit magical. Thus far, I’ve found myself on the side of mountain, at the bottom of a slate mine, dancing to traditional Welsh music-which felt like I was in a Jane Austen film- dancing to dubstep at a local place, staring in awe at the majestic castles, running from the tide as it chased our feet by the seaside of Lluando, watching various football matches in local pubs, and my favorite part, playing football in Chester, England. These are only a few bits and pieces of everything that has happened these past few weeks. At some point I’m sure I’ll provide a great more detail about my time here, but at present I’m being called away!

Until next time!

Cheers!

Jan 18

First Week in London!

Wow, where should I begin? After a long journey of delayed and missed flights, I finally made it London. The first amazing thing that happened on my trip was miraculously switching with another person on the plane to first class. I had no idea these customers got treated so well. I had a chair (that could recline and massage I might add) all to my self also a TV with a variety of movies to choose from. I had a full course meals starting with an appetizer and ending with a delicious dessert. It was quite the experience flying into Europe with a full and happy stomach.

As I moved into my room, I met a variety of people who are also in my program. For the first couple days we had the opportunity to unpack and do some exploring of the city on our own until the start of orientation on Monday. We all went on a quick walking tour of London that included the British Museum, Buckingham Palace, big ben, the London eye and a variety of other historical landmarks.

After that our awesome program director took us all to a pub and bought us a pint of whatever beer we wanted. However, he ended up leaving all of us there on purpose so we could learn how to use the public transportation systems (aka the tube) to get back on our own, which was not that difficult at all!

Last night the whole group went bowling to this awesome place very close to our residence hall. If you love the show Mad Men like me then you would adore this place because it looks like something they would use on their set.

Today we walked all over London to try to become more familiar with our surroundings and I can proudly say I only got lost twice!

It has only been one week here but I can tell already that I am going to really like it. I am excited to see what other adventures London has in store for me.

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Cheers!

May 25

Day 5 – Time Flies

Our fifth day of this Bio trip, and I really can’t believe how fast the week has gone by. Most of the group is ready to go home, and so am I; but I wouldn’t mind another day or so. Curtis Creek was our first stop today, at an elevation of 1700 feet. The water was really cold, but we got used to it after a few minutes. We found several tiny fish, nymphs, and an ugly grub worm.

Our second stop was at Charles D. Owens park. Here we caught several invertebrates like dragonflies, damselflies, nymphs, and butterflies. Watching Dr. Carpenter chase down insects and other animals was fun and really got me more interested in the stuff we did. We also caught a frog and saw a duck’s nest that contained 8 eggs.

Our final stop was the Western NC Nature Center where we ate lunch and got to see several animals that we wouldn’t have liked to run into like the black bear and timber rattler. We also got to see other animals close-up, such as cougars and otters. The day went pretty quickly, but it was pretty enjoyable.

Jorge

May 25

Day 5 – Learning in the Mountains

Today our class visited the nature center in Asheville. We had been talking about all kinds of animals all week, but some had not made an appearance. We found a few reptiles during the week and some snakes, but some big animals have not been spotted. We visited the black bear first, which was pretty fun to watch. They are some big animals! We saw all kinds of snakes including the copperhead and timber rattlesnake, which are two of the most poisonous snakes around the area. Needless to say, I’m glad they were on the other side of the glass. They are beautiful animals, but this guy doesn’t do snakes. We saw a cougar and bobcat also while there, and, let me tell you, that ain’t your ordinary house cat. They were some intimidating animals. Today we also went to a river to do some sampling of different kinds of animals. We found a few fish and all different kinds of flies. That water was numbingly cold! We got used to it after while, though. Overall it has been an interesting day and a successful week. I learned a whole lot more than imagined. I recommend this class to anybody even if you aren’t a biology major. I’m a business management major and had a great time; so, if my big self can get up them mountains, most should be fine. LOL. Hope everybody gets a chance to experience this trip.

Zack Hicks

May 24

Day 4 – Up to Chimney Rock

Today we started a little earlier than we normally do. On most days, we start at 8:00 AM, but today we started at 7:45. Fifteen minutes of sleep can be the difference in waking up in a good mood or a bad mood for some. No matter what mood some of us may have been in, we all cheered up when it was newt time. We went to the local YMCA to try our hands at catching newts. I believe the first person to throw out a net caught a newt, and the rest of the time at the YMCA was just as successful. We saw several different things including a Canada Goose. After the YMCA, we went to Chimney Rock to hike up to Chimney Rock and Exclamation Point. (This was only half of the day. To find out about the rest of the day read George’s blog). The hike up to Chimney Rock consisted of close to 500 steps that took a toll on your legs. Although the walk was tough, by the time you reached Chimney Rock, it was definitely worth the hard work. If the trek to Chimney Rock was not enough for you, we had a solution for that – The hike to Exclamation Point. Exclamation Point did not have as many steps, but definitely had more adventures. One of these adventures was catching a Black Racer snake. To sum up the first half of the day is a difficult task because you can’t put how beautiful this day was into words. All I can say is I can tell you about the animals, but you have to see the sights for yourself.

Ethan Maske

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