When returning back to the US, I was so excited to be home and see this beautiful, amazing country we live in. When we got to the airport, I realized how incredibly advanced and easy everything is here. Everything is so fast and efficient! I have always realized how blessed we are to live in this country, but even more so now. We have so much we do not “need,” and I will forever be even more grateful for everything I am given in life. Everything is so clean and easy here- like the water, streets, transportation and general living. I will miss all of the people I met in Dominican and the beautiful landscaping throughout the country, but I do love living in America. The amazing people I met from Dominican and Venezuela will forever hold a spot in my heart! I would love to go back though and do it all over again.
My experience on this mission trip has truly opened up my eyes. It is so different to see pictures of a 3rd world country, and physically being there and living there for a week. It also makes me realize that the way most people live in Dominican are the way some people still live in the US. It makes me want to be more involved in our country’s poverty areas. It also opened my eyes that many countries live the same way or worse than Domincan does. It is amazing to see how appreciative the people are and how giving they are. It is also amazing to see people from other countries come together, such as the Americans and Venezuelans that were on our trip, and work together for a common cause and have God in the center of it all. Everyday I wake up with an even greater appreciation for life and try my best count every blessing I experience.
Since I was in Dominican for a short time, I did not have much reverse culture shock but there was some. Some things that were very different to come home to were all English signs, drinking water from the faucet, clean roadsides, lack of bright color, and being able to flush my toilet. It was very nice to be able to have food besides chicken and rice. It was odd seeing fast food everywhere and big neighborhoods of large, well constructed houses. Also, it was odd not having animals, stray dogs, and people everywhere on the sides of roads.
Overall, I am grateful for my life-changing experience. I cannot wait to bring what I have learned from this medical mission trip back home into the medical field and into my everyday live. I also look forwards to doing more international medical trips in the future.