June 2017 – Clinic mentorship and success with potty-training

Happy June!

We hope this note finds you thriving despite the heat in your various homes across the US. Mateo sleeps in the one air conditioned room of our house, so we are beginning to get creative with fans, mid-day showers and a blow up pool so we don’t melt away in the humid Caribbean heat!

May marks 6 years in the DR, and as I write this, it seems harder to notice unique cultural and ministry things to share with you readers. Not, apparently, because they aren’t occurring, evidenced by the voice that just rose over the tin of the kids, shouting, “Run, run woman neighbor! Fresh chickens! We chop its head and pluck its feathers right before your eyes! Don’t miss out! Hurry, hurry veciiiinaaa!” We must finally be growing more accustomed to our adopted home.

Ministry
Nick’s clinic mentorship continues to go well. We’re paring down in-clinic training hours and rolling the relationship into what we hope will be ongoing as-needed mentorship support over time. Nick, Pamela and Denise are gearing up to give a continuing education class on the clinical reasoning and evidence based techniques they have been reviewing. Though medical professions in the US are required to take continuing education courses to maintain licensure to practice, Dominican professionals are not, so we’ve encouraged these opportunities wherever possible. Collaborating on a presentation cross-culturally can be much more work than simply teaching it solo. In this case it means extra communication to bridge gaps in knowledge and bring in evidence that is thus far only readily available in English. But as always, the aim is the long term impact- the formation of therapists that can not only provide quality care, but teach others in the future.We’re hoping that these two therapists may make a good team to support in providing more continuing education courses in Santiago over time.

Spring typically provides an outcropping of one-time ministry tasks related to US short term teams in town. We’ve enjoyed the opportunity to interact with and orient physical therapy teams from two universities, and got to collaborate with another class via Skype this week.  Pray as we transition into summer and a new school session- Nick meets with the PUCMM University PT program director this week to discern the best direction of his efforts for the rest of the year.

Family
After a month or two of toilet paper, poop and pee everywhere, Daniel is mostly accident free and in underwear during the day! He seems raring to go with various learning tasks, and we feel challenged to keep up while Mateo keeps our hands full. Daniel has funny sayings related to his bilingualism, like insisting that he “touches” his toy piano, because you “tocar el piano” in Spanish, not “play” it. Mateo is a sweet 10 months old next week, and wants to spend most of his day walking around with one hand held. They remind us hourly that taking turns and sharing toys promises to be the life-long challenge that most of us still struggle with, in one form or another.

Thanks so much for the various ways you sustain and keep up with us – notes, prayers and donations! We continue to appreciate your friendship and news so much. Sending love, gratitude and God’s peace,
Nick, Laurie, Daniel & Mateo

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