Participants Go the Extra Mile.
It was not until two days ago that I realized how frustrating poverty is. “You can read as many statistics about poverty that you want, but it’s not until you see it first hand or hear a personal story, that you will actually understand it,” said Meagan, my team leader. So here is my story… On Thursday, July 9th, Team 3 visited a Puerto Plata Hospital to repaint the children’s ward and entertain the patients staying there. During our tour of the hospital, I struck up a conversation with a 19 year old Haitian girl named Esther. Esther spoke Creole (very similar to French) and because I am bilingual it was very easy to communicate with her. I discovered that she had previously broken both her legs and had now broken her leg for the second time, along with the pins holding her leg together (take about bad luck!). She was in uncontrollable pain but to top it off Esther is an orphan and has no one to take care of her. As such, she could not afford the $25,000 pesos (30:1 to the CND$) for her very much needed surgery. Esther said to me that she could not sleep because the pain was so great and asked me if I could help her. It broke my heart, but I had to say no. Moments later, Meagan approached me and said it might actually be possible that we can help Esther. Later that night, team 3’s leaders announced that already our team had raised enough money for Esther to have her operation, as well as extra money to get her on feet. You see, within 2 hours of our team hearing about this oppurtunity to help, 22 people were able to come together and pool our extra spending money.What a practical way to save a life in need! I can only imagine the difference that could be made if everybody came together to combat poverty. We received news that Esther has been sent to a hospital in Santa Domingo to receive her operation. Thank you Team 3 and other participants for helping Esther!