Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Rainy days

So I nearly got myself a puppy. I was out running with the Trautweins two days ago and this little, tiny puppy, all wet and covered in mud (it's been raining) was following along and wouldn't leave us alone. The rest of the group finished the loop and Sam and I walked from house to house trying to find the owners...because a little puppy should have a house and owners, right? Not so. No one claimed the little one and we were told by a few people that often little girl puppies are dumped because no one wants them. What a dilemma. I was holding this little shaking wet puppy and didn't know what to do. The family came back to see what was going on, and in the end, I had to leave her on the porch of a family that the Trautweins know. At last check, she was still hanging around, so we'll see what happens. I'm just really not in a position to take on a pup, no matter how stinkin cute she is. I've still got Mr. Basil in Oregon that needs to find his way back to me somehow before I take in another little one.

I went to Caraballo yesterday for a day trip. Once we arrived we found out that the kids weren't in school because of rain. Yes...a rain day! What rain though...the rivers are full and had almost come into the school, and as many of the kids have to cross the river to get to school, it had to be cancelled. We still had a good time talking with the teachers, walking through the village, and making plans.

The rain continues here in Jarbacoa and it's been great! I love waking up and going to sleep to the sound of it coming down outside the window. Brings a little bit of home right here which I love. Speaking of Oregon, I'll be there from the 8th of December through the 9th of January and really looking forward to time with my family and catching up with friends. Lots of plans already in the works which I'm so excited about. And I get to see Basil again...I can't wait!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving 2006, Dominican Style

We started Thankgiving Day with a hike to the Upper Jimenoa (maybe wrong spelling!) waterfall. It was so beautiful, just look at the photos! Everyone walked through the little river to get to the falls, but I stayed safe watching on a rock. It was a nice way to start the day.

(Chase and Leslie; Jessi in front of the falls; Trautwein family and excited Jesse-dog; tired kids taking a break)

(Alison and Kami making guayava juice; Leslie playing with the turkey; dinner time; family turkey prep time)
After getting back from the waterfall and between the football game that some went to, the cooking got started. It was great to be involved with all of it and help. About 30 people showed up for dinner which was fantastic; really nice time to talk with everyone and make stronger the friendships that I have started. There are such incredible people here and it's been so nice spending time and getting to know them. It was a really nice Thanksgiving, lots to be thankful for no matter what is happening in life.
(Jessi and Leslie; pre-dinner prayer/reading/singing; Trautwein family; Allison, Jonathan, Jessi)

Thanksgiving Prep

Chase and I got the green beans ready for cooking the next day. Have you seen such big green beans in all your life?!! I couldn't believe them and couldn't help try them out as earrings! We had fun snapping them all and chatting though, getting ready for cooking the following day.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


Faith is the substance of things hoped for

La Tienda Co-op

So I've put a link on the right to La's the co-op in the Caraballo village, right next to the school I'll be working at. The store provides jobs for some of the Haitian women in the village, giving a much needed income and hope to the women who live there. They make fantastic jewelry, candles, paper, and other things I know I'm forgetting. It's an incredible project that they have and gives the women a place to work, the feeling of creating something beautiful-which can hopefully be reflected in themselves- and means to live...have a look at the website for more understanding. And if anyone wants some jewelry, especially as Christmas is around the corner, let me know-the money all goes back to the women.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


So when I was in England, Sarah gave me a c.d. by Lex Buckley, who is amazing. I've listened to the songs so many times, but wanted to share an extra-special one that has been great for me and I thought might be helpful for you too.

Heaven Rejoices
Lex Buckley

I know that you have waited
So, so faithfully
I know that it's been painful
But I want you to know

You are so pure, so precious, so lovely
You have been crowned with immeasurable beauty
Heaven rejoices the moment you rise each day

So I sing over you
A song of joy
Let the sun shine on your face
I bring new life
And heal your wounds

Do you know I love you?
Do you know I love you?

I know that it may seem like
This storm will never cease
But know that I Am
Trust my sovereignty

I know my ways are hard to understand
But my plan is greater
Than you can imagine
Through all the darkness
I've never left your side

Do you know I love you?
Do you know I love you?

There is strenth for today
And bright hope for tomorrow.

I just love that song; perefect on so many levels. Hope you find it helpful too, lots of encouragement in it.


In all manners of being tacky, I too am listing the things I'm thankful for:

My family that has been so supportive, understanding, incredible and the very best
Dominican Republic
Kids Alive
Trautwein Family
Little kids
Alberto & Lydia
My journal
Jon Courson's commentary
Growing faith
Internet connection and emails
Unconditional friendships
Prayers, answered and unanswered
The beach
Peace beyond all understanding
Incredible work to be a part of
Learning the meaning of 'pour me' not 'poor me'
The chance to see my family in 2 weeks
New dreams
Joshua and Emily
Basil (and little Colin too)

I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving and can maybe find minute to think about all the good things in your life too! Have a happy day today!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


So this is the main means of transportation to get back to the village in Caraballo, motorcycle-taxi, a.k.a. motoconcho. It's fairly effective and on the bumpy roads seems better than cars. Yes, cars and trucks get back there too, but the motos are the main public transport system. Sometimes, well-a lot of times, it turns into the family moto, with the driver, mom, and a few babes in the middle as well. Lots of people and shopping and animals can fit on motos, you'd be surprised! These are a few of the favorite moto drivers in Caraballo that are good drivers and trustworthy.


Another brilliant week in Caraballo. My heart is truly there, I just love it so much and it is such an amazing place for me to be. I stayed a week there and got to be involved in a lot, learn a lot, and see a lot. The big project over the last few months has been building a new kitchen and cafeteria, which was mostly finished this weekend. The big move happened Monday, and the new class of 25 little 4 year olds started today. It was such a nice time to be there, to experience the excitement of the growth in the school, to dream about future plans for it, and to be a part of it all. I managed to fit in a few hour trip to the beach which was so welcomed and appreciated after being hot and sweaty! I stayed two nights with Alberto and Lidya and their kids, he's the director of the school, but it was a really nice time with them, they are such special people to me. I truly feel blessed being in Caraballo, surrounded by such great people, kids, work, and support!

Some of the incredible faces of the kids.

The new class starting today and eating in the new cafeteria. I have been trying to learn to drink Dominican coffee, and one of the teachers was helping to show me how!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Caraballo Week

I'm headed to Caraballo in the morning, probably staying for a week out there. I'm hoping to get a chance to look around at some housing options and get a better idea of what is available. I know it'll be a great week, it's always fantastic there. I might even fit in a little beach visit, but we'll see how it goes. I'm looking forward to working with the kids and spending time there again. I'll post again when I can!

Saturday, November 11, 2006


So everyone is wondering what we were vaccinating against, sorry! When we were doing the walk through the village shots, that was Measles/Rubella. The kids in the schools were vaccinated against all the regular kid shots (Td/DTP, Polio, Hep B). We walked through another village yesterday and vaccinated again which was great. It's been a fun week with shots, lots of learning and meeting people, but so great!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Que dia!

THIS is why I became a nurse! Yesterday was so amazing! We went to a remote little village called Boma and did walk through house-to-house vaccinations. What a day. We started at the school and did the 15 kids that were there, then moved on for our big walk. We walked for hours and hours through little paths, up hills, and even had to cross a massive river (keep scrolling for photos). The people we met were incredible, all wanting us to sit and talk and share with them.
So this is the real Public Health Nurse Jessi, vaccinating a person on a donkey!! He just rode along the path, I vaccinated him, gave him a band-aid, and off he road! The views from the hills we climbed were so beautiful.

These are some of the people we met throughout the day. The lady on the top left was so special. She said she had a dream the night before that visitors were coming, so she went to her honeycomb and saved some honey just in we got to eat it, still on the comb. It was so good! It was nice to just sit and chat and love on these people!

The places we gave shots at were so funny. We saw someone on our walk that needed a shot, they got one, regardless of if they were on their motorcycle (top left) or driving a herd of cattle, they got vaccinated. We even had time for a little triage and first aid!

This is the river that we crossed to get to an even smaller village called Ovenda. It was fantastic! I held onto the vaccines (blue box) and the yellow box (cardboard, mind you, crossing a river!) was cardboard so had to be well guarded. The water went almost all the way up my jeans, but it was so worth it. The little village was so beautiful with views and people that I'll never forget. After walking for hours in the heat and collecting a good amount of sweat, crossing the river wasn't so bad, nevermind what was probably in it! I wish I could have shared this day with was EXACTLY the kind of day I needed and reminded me of the reasons I became a nurse and all that is ahead for me.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Anija is vaccinated

Today we moved on to ANIJA, the Kids Alive-run school in Jarabacoa. More tears, more running kids, but a nice day. It's been great spending time with the nurses who are here visiting and having an exciting week with full days! Off for more vaccinations tomorrow. It's so funny how we don't have to have anything signed by parents, or get permission, or opposite of how I was trained! Nice to get these kids covered with vaccines though!


Just wanted to pass on some things that I have found over the last little bit that are of huge encouragement in all circumstances, whatever you are going through or can pass on to someone. Most are from Jon Courson's commentary, which I'd recommend anyone gettting.

Trials neither make or break us. They reveal what is going on inside of us.

'The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.' Galataions 5:6

The Father does no promise to keep us from problems, but to be with us in them.

'Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace removed.' Isaiah 54:10

I'm thankful for all my family and friends and your endless love and support.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Palo Blanco vaccinations

It was such a 'fun' day today. We vaccinated all the kids at the Palo Blanco care center, which is right next to Jarabacoa. The kids didn't have so much fun, but it was a good experience for all of us who helped. We've got 3 more days of vaccines ahead of us, all at different sites, so it'll be good work! Who would've thought all those hours in the health department vaccine clinics would pay off...I knew those hours of looking at 12 differenct vaccine cards and endless opening of band-aids and syringes would be handy someday!

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Ark

I went to The Ark today, which isn't that far from us in Jarabacoa, but it's where the orphanage is. More amazing kids, a fun day. We worked on the Christmas project that will be sent out the the child sponsors, so it was fun to have a little project and think about Christmas too! Lots of hugs and smiles and glue and construction paper! This week is an immunization week, two other nurses are coming in tonight to help with it, so I'm really looking forward to it!

Sunday, November 05, 2006


So for all of you that would like to talk to me, download Skype , get yourself a headset, and talk to me! It's super easy and free and the connection is usually pretty good (so long as there is electricity at that moment and I can stay connected). If you want to be really fancy, get a webcam too and we can see each other! My skpye name is JNicole228, or just search by my full name. I promise it is easy and will be worth the effort when we get to talk for free!

So do it now before you forget...then call me!

Friday, November 03, 2006

New cafeteria

I had a great time at Caraballo for one night. This is where I'll mainly be working when I move here in January. The big project that they're doing at the school is building a new kitchen. The current kitchen/cafeteria is on the top left and the new one is on top right...a huge improvement! This means there will be an open classroom (the old caf.) which allows new students to come in. So if anyone is interested in sponsoring kids...


Do I really need another reason to stay in Dominican Republic? Look at these faces! I just love them.