Well, I’m back! After a month in the Dominican Republic, I was definitely ready to get back to the states but it was extremely bittersweet. It was one of the most fun, rewarding, and eye-opening experiences I have ever had and will forever affect my outlook on life. I thought it would be fun to give you a look at my typical day in the D.R., so here goes.
We stayed in a place called the Institute for Latin American Concern (ILAC), which is a beautiful facility that houses mission groups of all kinds that come to the Dominican Republic to do service work.
Every morning I would wake up around 6:15 in a mosquito net covered bunk bed, surrounded by 15 of my friends.
After a quick shower and throwing on my scrubs, I would head down to the “comedor”(dining room) for breakfast.
Then I would sit on the rocking chairs with everyone, chatting and preparing for our day for a few minutes before work.
Around 7:45 we would head to the “guagua” stop to catch a ride to work. A guagua is a van/bus in which people can pay to ride in. As many people as possible are stuffed in (there was no such thing as personal space) and the “cobrador”(money collector) would hang out the side of the van, banging on the roof whenever someone needed to get on or off. Every day was a fun yet frightening experience.
After our 30-45 minute trip into town, I would work around 4 hours at the Children’s Hospital, treating as many kids as possible.
We would come back to the ILAC center for lunch around 12:30. Our afternoons consisted of a variety of activities including free PT clinics at the ILAC center, service work at an orphanage, cultural immersion activities, wheelchair fitting clinics, and Spanish class.
We would typically have about an hour from 5-6:00 p.m. to decompress and have some free time before having dinner around 6. After dinner, we would occasionally have a house meeting or group reflection and then we were free to do whatever we pleased for the rest of the night. Sometimes this involved a pick-up soccer game or a run around the track, but other times it involved going out for some much needed cerveza (beer).
As you can tell, our days were pretty jam packed with activity. It was definitely rare to get anymore than 7 hours of sleep throughout the entire month, but the spirit of the group kept everyone powering through the exhaustion. All in all, a fabulous month!
Onto the recipe. I made this dip awhile ago when trying to stretch out one lonely avocado that I had. I didn’t have all of the ingredients to make guacamole, and remembered back to a recipe I had seen using beans and avocados together to make a dip. It turned out great and went well with wheat crackers, tortilla chips, and even baby carrots. Perfect for a light snack before dinner or a summer BBQ appetizer!
Avocado and White Bean Dip
1 ripe avocado
1 can cannellini beans
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
juice of half a lime
salt and pepper, to taste
In food processor, add avocado and beans. Pulse until almost desired consistency. Add olive oil, cilantro, lime juice, and salt and pepper and pulse a couple of more times. Enjoy with tortilla chips, wheat crackers, or raw veggies!