Most of you know my story about El Cercado. My initial experience with Solid Rock was to spend a month up in El Cercado about 9-10 years ago, living with a family and helping at our little “sister” clinic up there in the mountains for about a month. I’ve written and blogged about it before but it really IS interesting how God brings things full circle. Last fall I began to serve again in El Cercado in the clinic and managing the Amway grant that helps the Child Nutrition Program. I go up to El Cercado about once a week and review the labs and stats on the CNP kids, update the Amway report data, bring supplies, submit/return PAP tests and PAP results from San Juan, and generally try to support Dr. Jazmin (now Dr. Zaidy while Jazmin is on maternity break) and Samuel. I love to squeeze home visits to the CNP kids in there as well.
It’s usually my favorite day of the week. You see, the El Cercado clinic is tiny compared to our clinic in San Juan. It’s always cool, in the midst of the mountains, and the view through the farmland and mountain tops really does take your breathe away. And there is something special about how hard Samuel and Dr. Jazmin (and now Dr. Zaidy) work to make that little clinic function in a way that serves the lovely population there. They are always striving for improvements and trying to bring other services into the clinic to support the locals. It’s hard for the people to travel to Las Matas or San Juan for specialty consults. Over the past year, we’ve had a psychologist available, several Physical Therapy outreaches, chiropractors, and several barrio clinics take place in our clinic. We also have a Family Medicine doctor who sees patients several days a week, in addition to Dr. Jazmin/Dr. Zaidy managing the Child Nutrition Program.
And we continue to dream. We have a dental office that we are trying to open and we are hopeful that a young local dentist will return to El Cercado to staff it several days a week. We would love to have dental care available especially to our at-risk children in the Child Nutrition Program. We also have a Dominican doctor who is an ultrasound specialist who would like to move home to El Cercado and do ultrasounds in our clinic. We hope to have WIFI and a phone one day so that we can send the clinic stats/monthly reports to the San Juan clinic more easily. We would love to one day have the capability to keep severely malnourished kids as inpatients overnight or for a few days for closer surveillance. So many dreams. Things always seem to move slowly here and yet I can see us getting closer and closer to our goals.
I don’t do this very often in my blog but I’m asking for your support. The Child Nutrition Program still needs monthly sponsors (45 bucks a month). We still need dental equipment (handpieces? Compressor? Instruments for extractions? Lidocaine? Whatever?????) to open the dental office and also we really really need a quality ultrasound machine. If you’ve got some cash sitting around and would like to sponsor the CNP, please see the Solid Rock website (www.solidrockinternational.org) and check out how to support our at-risk kiddies. We also are celebrating Dominican staff Appreciation month and my dear friend Dr. Jazmin could really use some monthly supporters. Again, check out the SRI website for how you can get involved. ANDDDD if you are dentist and have some spare equipment….or a sonographer or radiologist or ANYONE who may happen to have an awesome ultrasound machine sitting around, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can talk about the incredible help this would be in El Cercado.
El Cercado also happens to be where my husband was born and where a large amount of his family still lives. I love dropping Magdalena off to play with her cousins and aunts while I work in the clinic, knowing that Monchy played in those same homes. A lot of things have come full circle for me during my 7 years in the DR…and spending time in El Cercado is one of my absolute favorites.