Westfield senior visits Dominican Republic with Global Health Initiative
The trip I went on is called, “Dominican Republic: Global Health Initiative.” The description of the trip is, “Provide medical, educational and developmental support to rural Dominican communities-all crucial pieces of the public health puzzle.”
Last January when I applied for the study abroad scholarship through Westfield Area High School, I wrote, “... I am eager to learn new skills, and wish to improve my Spanish-speaking skills and worldly awareness.” When applying, I did not come close to imagining the impact this trip would have on me.
During the trip the time was split into workdays, brigade-days and excursion-days. On excursion days we travelled to Los Morones, Lago Enriquillo, and Bahía de las Águilas. Los Morones was a freshwater stream whose source was high in the mountains, making it extremely cold and clear.
It was a fantastic day cooling off from the heat in turquoise colored water and exploring the nearby trails. Lago Enriquillo is three times saltier than the ocean; we took a boat ride and travelled to a small lagoon area that had a freshwater source, this decreased the salinity of the water enough to allow crocodiles to hatch there. Bahía de las Águilas, “Bay of the Eagles”, is a secluded bay, only accessible by boat. The water was crystal clear and we had fun playing different games in the water and snorkeling.