When I heard during Fall orientation that the Capstone College of Nursing was organizing a trip to the Dominican Republic to set up health clinics, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to go. One of my biggest passions in life is community service, and I have always wanted to be involved in some kind of outreach program that worked outside of the United States. The announcement of the trip was quite fortuitous: this past summer, I narrowed down the list of nursing specialities and fields that I would like to pursue professionally after undergraduate school, and working abroad in a health service program such as Doctors Without Borders was at the top of that list. Going to the Dominican Republic is a perfect opportunity for me to not only participate in health promotion in areas of need, but I can also see if this is truly if this is a viable career path for me.
To be honest, I was more worried about the financial aspect of the trip than the actual trip itself. In fact, I actually considered dropping out of my commitment because of the lack of funds. However, I am so blessed to have a supportive group of friends and family that graciously donated towards my fund. Over 70% of the required funds have been raised, and I am currently setting up a fund through the nursing college for the remaining 30%.
All in all, I feel that trip abroad will be a life-changing experience. I am excited to immerse myself in a completely different culture and to see a part of the world that I have never been exposed to. From what I have heard of in our preparation conferences, we are going to be working in some really impoverished villages that do not have access to healthcare. I am slightly anxious simply because of the unfamiliar environment, but I am confident that I can make a positive impact in the lives of the people of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.