It was an incredible privilege to host my dear friend for the first time since we met in 2008. After so many visits to her home country, this was a great opportunity to share new experiences. If you met Angelica during her visit, please share any reflections.
Thanks to our guest blogger--Demarise Abbett! Dios te bendiga!
During November 2019, a friend of Sisters Village from Sosua came to visit Indiana. She stayed for a week and shared with many people here, the work being done in her home country, the Domincan Republic. We sat in the kitchen of the Huge household, sipping tea. It was enlightening to sit across from Barb and Angelica. Barb is a family friend and mentor of mine and founder of Sisters Village. Angelica is a leader in her community as a physical therapist and director of a free health center. The two connected in 2008 on Barb’s first trip to Sosua.
As we sat and talked she shared with us bits and pieces of her journey. As a physical therapy student, upon meeting Barb, she sought out mentorship in the field. She described wanting a mentor because she knew there was more to learn outside of the classroom. She discussed what it is like in a third world country where not only is access to medical treatment limited for the people, but resources are also limited for the medical professionals there. When Barb visits, the two collaborate on workshops for the professional development of the native physical therapists there. The topics they have focused on so far are pregnancy, pelvic floor dysfunction, postural back pain, and bone health.
We talked about what motivates her as a physical therapist and a director of the health center. She said, “it works and it’s worth it”. She feels it is important to teach people about how to take care of their bodies because one’s body is “the temple of the Holy Spirit”. In her work she has the opportunity to help many families, specifically mothers and children. She said that when she is able to help, it “goes farther than the life of a child and it changes the family”.
We also discussed the role of education in her life. She talked about how for many Dominican women, the expectation is to possibly finish high school and get married. But she feels that it is okay to want more education in addition to getting married and having a family. She emphasized the importance of women learning together. This seems fitting because that is a core value for Sisters Village, the process of being able to learn together, “aprendemos juntos”. We strive to learn together across cultures and languages, from medical education and what our bodies need, to our faith and what our souls need.
Demarise J. Abbett
BA Marian University 2015
First Trip to the DR 2008
Barb Settles Huge - Founder and President
Dan Huge- Advisory Council Chair