September was a bit of a blur. We arrived back in San Juan on September 13 with smooth flights, and the kids kicked off their new school year on September 14!
We greeted our first team of the fall on September 17. Along with their arrival, the Dominican Republic was under a hurricane warning due to Hurricane Fiona being active in the Caribbean. Thankfully we just got some heavy rains, but the winds and the worst part of the storm did not effect us. There was some pretty bad damage to the northeast and east coast of the DR. This time of year has always presented challenges for our teams whether it effects their flights or the patient load at the medical sites, but we are thankful for the reminder that God goes before us and has prepared everything.
One of my first friends that I made on a team visiting San Juan in early 2014 was also on the team that arrived. Katie provided anesthesia care for the patients during surgery. It was so good to catch up with her. I am thankful for texting that allows us to keep in touch from a distance.
The school year is off to a great start for both of the kids, we are thankful for a consistent schedule this year now that COVID is behind us. Braegan has 39 kids in her class and Brantley has 20. They look forward to going each morning, which is always helpful. Braegan and I have been homeschooling in the afternoon while Brantley is napping. She is also playing soccer on Monday and Wednesday evenings.
As the new clinic gets closer to being complete it is exciting to see the finishing touches come together. The parking lot recently got paved which means a lot of space to play! Last weekend the kids and I spent a couple hours riding around! If you’ve spent anytime in San Juan, you know that the sidewalks aren’t the smoothest, so the wide open area is very nice!
A couple weekends ago, Jeff, Jason, Monchy and Adia drove to Punta Cana to look for our new ministry van, and their trip did not disappoint. It was a busy 48 hours, but they got a great deal on a nice 2018 Hyundai H350. We are so thankful for the generous response that we received from our donors toward the purchase of this new vehicle. We will actually be taking the team to Santo Domingo this weekend in it.
Aside from the kids going to school, each day looks a little different for Jeff and me. We usually start the week with a list of things to accomplish, but the order or manner in which they are completed are typically unconventional. This keeps life exciting, but it is exhausting at times too. This has definitely taught the kids how to be patient and flexible in all circumstances. Each activity is a learning experience.
I’ve been gathering lists from all 5 of our schools as we work on updating the student sponsorship profiles for students in need. Tyler and I packed suitcases of school supplies for all of the schools and we will be delivering those as we visit each school.
- Calmness in the chaos – self explanatory
- Homeschool – this year has been a bit of a challenge. As Braegan is getting older her course load is increasing from Dominican school, and sometimes homeschooling in the afternoon is difficult.
- Student Sponsorship updating – safety as we travel to all of the schools and update the student profiles in the coming weeks.