We had such a great afternoon, being creative and sharing the story of Sisters Village. Ten new Indiana “Sisters “ joined us, and our class was excellent thanks to my long time friend and artist, Diane Rahke (4th from the R in the back row).
We are eagerly looking forward to warmer weather here in Central Indiana! Blooming trees and flowers, birds chirping and beautiful sunshine all seem to make any day better. With that in mind, we are gathering to be creative while we share the story of Sisters Village. Please join us on March 17 in Fishers. Link below has all the details. ☀️💜🙏🏻😎Dios te bendiga!
In just a few days, our first Sisters Village team of 11 members will gather in Puerto Plata (on the north coast above). Many hours of preparation, conference calls, fundraising, packing of supplies and of course LOTS of texts and emails have brought us to this week. Stay tuned for updates or follow our trip on Instagram or Facebook (links below). We love to hear your comments, so we know you are with us in spirit! Specific prayer requests include unity for the team, willingness to let go of our American biases, safety and strength for each day and that we shine the light of God to all we meet on the trip. We are so appreciative of all our supporters....muchas gracias and Dios te bendiga!
Barb Settles Huge
Passionate about women's health, education and creating connection and opportunity. Physical therapist, faith-filled wife/mom/nana
Such a special day in Centro de Salud! Many of these “Sisters” were part of the pregnancy workshop in April. They were so excited to be together again, comparing notes on their babies, discussing post-partum challenges and offering encouragement to the pregnant attendees this time. All of us enjoyed some baby cuddling time as well!
One of the ongoing projects for Sisters Village is providing high quality prenatal vitamins and baby clothes for the local women. Also included in these gift bundles are artisan soap and lotion from Barnyard Creations, https://barnyardcreations.org/ , created by my longtime friend Cathy Konkler. (Cathy was part of the 2016 health team in Sosua.)
More to come in the next blog....still sorting through the almost 500 pictures of our week! Dios te bendiga!
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Doing some brainstorming lately regarding projects for our trip in November. There is so much need for health education in the communities we visit on the north coast. Topcs covered in the past include back care for parents of children with special needs and heart health for women. Future possibilities are truly endless: healthy eating, benefits of exercise, and managing conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. The added challenge in the Dominican Republic is limited access to a myriad of items that we completely take for granted. From food choices to clothing and shoes, the breadth of choices is slim in many areas. Unfortunately, one area of “progress” in the country is the availability of junk food....which of course has a big impact on the population. Changing attitudes and practices is slow (just like in the US), however, I have seen consistent interest in these educational programs over the years. I am optomistic that our friends in the DR have the willingness to make life better for future generations. Please comment below if you have creative suggestions that have worked in your family to improve health....Aprendemos Juntos!! (We learn together)
A friend asked me to clarify what skills are needed to join our Mission team. What a great question!
Although we are focusing on health education, many times it is a community based health project. For example, in 2016 our team performed almost 300 vision screenings. None of us had done this type of project before.....we printed out eye charts and directions from the internet and were easily able to screen both students and teachers. (Added bonus, the next trip each principal selected staff to be trained in this process; now screenings can continue at the start of each school year.)
The good news is, a specific degree or previous experience is not required to join a Sisters Village team. We often need help with data collection, creating educational handouts, or hospitality as we visit different villages. Also, we have excellent interpreters for our teams, so fluency in Spanish is not needed. We always learn some important phrases “Donde esta el bano?” (Where is the bathroom?) and Dios te bendiga (God bless you) are 2 favorites.
Please comment with any questions about our trips or the DR in general. We would love to have you join us in November 2018. Our projects change somewhat from team to team, with a constant presence in the schools and through the free health center. Maybe you have an idea that we haven’t thought of.....please share! Dios te bendiga!
Sisters Village is officially 1 year old this week! It’s been a year of lots of learning for me (mostly learning how to use Weebly, and I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface). The Board meetings have been part of the learning.....sharing my experience in the DR and brainstorming ways to spread awareness. In October, I was able to meet with our partners in person, presenting to 24 Dominican therapists on treatment of urinary incontinence, and firming up a plan to provide sewing machines to local women with skills in garment design.
We have a regular presence on Facebook and Instagram, some initial fundraising success, and in the planning stages for our first community event this Spring. November 3-11, 2018 will be our first official trip to Sosua. Potential team members are being recruited and planning for a PT seminar on Osteoporosis is in motion. We appreciate any and all support....sharing our website, prayers, joining the November team or donations of any amount. Stay tuned for specific details regarding our inaugural event coming in a few months. Muchas gracias and Dios te bendiga!