I created this blog so that I can keep in contact with friends, family, professors, and other important people with whom I have worked with while I am living in the Dominican Republic. I would like to take this opportunity to use you as references for the various public health, language, and culture immersion endeavors that I will be facing and to keep you posted on my training and assignment starting soon when I depart August 18th.
So far I know that my job title is Community Health Extentionist and that I have three primary duties: Educating youth to practice safe sex and to prevent specifically HIV/AIDS transmission, improving mothers' nutritional practices in order to reduce malnutrition among children under five years old, and working to reduce undesired pregnancy by way of improving reproductive health practices among women living in small rural villages. Sounds like a big job!
The assignment should prove to be very interesting especially in the context of Latin American culture which is know to be somewhat patriarchal and with strong religious traditions. I have heard that this has been challenging for Peace Corps volunteers, particularly for women volunteers.
Secondary projects are free for me to develop aside from my primary assignment. I plan to develop a letter exchange with children in the DR and the high school that my mother works at in Los Angles as well as with the elementary school I worked at in Santa Cruz. I have also heard through a fellow volunteer already in the Dominican Republic that physicians frequently visit from out of the country to provide free medical services (organizations like Doctors Without Boarders I’m assuming). Since many don’t speak Spanish, they need Peace Corps volunteers to translate for them. I definitely plan to become involved in this. Additionally I hope to start a jogging club.
Any dialogue or advice about anything is very welcomed. I hope to keep you updated on the interesting situations and challenges that I face and that I can benefit from your opinions and guidance too.