Last day of Cabral = THREE hours 'til FREEDOM!

Trip Start Jan 29, 2011
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Flag of Dominican Republic  ,
Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I went to bed earlier last night and got a full 7 hours of sleep! Then, went down to breakfast and ate a PB & Pina Jelly sandwich and a cheese and egg sandwich! I really wanted oatmeal, but there was something bad in the oatmeal, so no dice.

After, we got on the guagua and told the man to let us off at Cabral. So, as I sat in the back plugging my ears (the music got increasingly louser the further we went), I watched familiar stops come and go. Then, before we knew it, we were stopped and the drivers got off and went to sit in the park we had ended up next to. We hadn't seen our stop and when we asked the guy where Cabral was, he looked at us like we were crazy and he pointed in some direction. Ass.

Anyways, we tried to piece together what information we had of the streets and we walked back the way we came. After an hour of walking and asking people for directions, we found Cabral.

Amy, Sarah and I went upstairs and we met up with Dr. Porter. As soon as we walked in, she told us to help her check the patients. So, she handed me two gloves (double gloving here is good since the gloves are of poor quality. and had me check the cerivx of this patient. I was really grateful because this is the first time someone has let me check. I finally felt what an actually dilated cervix feels like compared to the hard plastic models back home.
Then, we watched a vaginal delivery and were introduced to the common practice at Cabral: episiotomies for EVERY VAGINAL DELIVERY. No joke. The three vaginal deliveries we saw today all had anesthetic injected into their private area as soon as they climbed up onto the birthing tables covered in plastic trash bags. It was terrible. The doctors would only let the Moms push for about 2 minutes before they started cutting. And, then, teh outcome is unecessary weakness in the genital area, pain from healing from and from bad repair of the episiotomies etc.

As soon as the doctors picked up the scissors, I stopped watching. I have delivered enough babies to know how to do it porperly and I couldn't watch something that was unnecessary. I can watch episiotomies fine, but when they are actually indicated.

Then, I was thankful Amy suggested that we go to the nursery with the healthy babies and hold them. I was so excited to pick this little guy up. He was grumpy because he was doubled up with another baby boy in the same bassonet. He quited down immediately and just looked around like he was king of the world.

After holding babies, we watched one last C-section with Dr. Porter. It went as smooth as yesterday and there was no breech of medical autonomy. Due to our walking adventure earlier, we had only three hours until it was time to leave!!! So, after a very strenuous day, we headed out of Cabral!

We then changed, walked to Corominas and met up with the other girls. After getting some cold Dasani Mandarino, we sat on some benches in the park near Corominas and then walked to find Mercado Modelo. We stopped along the way and bought paper mache masks made for Carnival in Santo Domingo. This nice man named Giovanni came up to us to help translate what the lady selling the masks was saying. He told us that he works at the Carnaval Museo and that the masks that we bought were the "poor man's" mask. The horns on the masks were less intricate versus the more pointy horns of the rich masks. He later asked us where we were from and we answered ILAC. He told us that for years he has known ILAC because sometimes Gringas or Gringos will ask, "How much does it cost to get your shoes shined?" These are questions from our initial scavenger hunt! It was pretty ironic!

Then, we found Mercado Modelo and we entered a huge tourist mall - there were all sorts of people selling shot glasses, mortars and pestals, dominoes (made in China as well as the more expensive Dominican ones), Lari Mar, Amber, watches, gold, Carnaval masks etc.

I shopped around and then found this really nice guy who was pretty fair on his prices. I had entered his store carrying my two masks in my hands and he offered me a plastic bag to put them in even before he started selling me stuff. I was grateful because it was hard to carry those awkwardly shaped masks. He sold by weight and he had amber and real silver jewelry. Also, it was great because he bartered. Got a set of jewelry for my Mom and then a set of Dominoes and then went down to the fountain on the first floor of the Mercado and sat for a while and rested waiting for the others to finish shopping. It was soooo hot today and we did a lot of walking (I in Danskos, long socks, khakis and a dress shoirt), so I was glad to rest.

We then got on a guagua to head back to the ILAC center. And, genius as it was, this Skim Ice guy got on the guagua and sold us a bunch of Skim Ice! I had the green apple one again cause I liked it so much the last time!

Got back to the ILAC center in one piece and the plan is to rest, eat dinner at some point, and then have a popcorn party while watching Time of the Butterflies.


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