Today was our first day in the Dominican Republic! We had a wonderful breakfast of Southwestern eggs, sausage, fresh fruit, and rolls. The fruit was DYNAMITE! We all piled into the van with our supplies and headed to CAES School for the Deaf in San Pedro. The drive through Santo Domingo into San Pedro was picturesque along the coast line. We received a warm welcome at CAES and quickly got down to business.
The speech pathology students spent the morning with the students doing listening activities. We used bongo drums to see how well the children could detect and replicate rhythm. Also we taught hip hop dances with the beats. Everyone loved it! Sadly, one of the drums was destroyed in the process by a boy with excellent yet overly enthusiastic drumming skills. The speech pathology students also met with some of the parents and teachers to share a sound awareness and processing developmental chart for children with hearing amplification. We demonstrated some activities they could do with the kids and answered their questions about hearing aids and speech and language development.
The audiology students spent their day battling electricty outages in order to complete hearing evaluations. Students from CAES and members of the community had their hearing tested. Lots..and lots.. and LOTS of earmolds were made on the spot for those those in need. The audiology students had to quickly learn the “Insta-mold” technique to help serve the school. We successfully fit five hearing aids to new users, and helped repair numerous others.
Lunch at CAES consisted of rice, beans, cucumber salad, chicken, and fresh honeycomb. The honeycomb was a pleasant surprise, and a new experience for many. For instance, you are not supposed to swallow the honeycomb after chewing the wax to get the honey out. We may or may not have witnessed some people eat the whole thing.
Dinner was excellent back at the Mission House. We ate full plates of pasta with eggplant, BBQ chicken, yummy mashed potatoes, rice, and salad with homemade dressing. Paul could not stop raving about the salad dressing. And, don’t forget the Grape Fanta!
We finished the night by de-briefing, and then tested the hearing of Ramon (our bodyguard) and Miche (our bus driver). They were good sports letting us practice on them!
Adios and hasta luego amigos!!!
Melanie Carter, Hannah Widner, and Kristin Haller