My name is Leonard Bargfeld and I was working in a public clinic, with Aldeas De Paz, for one year. In Las Terrenas I was living in a flat with another volunteer which was perfectly fine for two persons. Even though powerouts appear time by time, welcoming colleagues, dream beaches and perfect weather indemnify such situations.
Getting used to the Dominican culture was at first not easy for me. Norms and values are not the same as in western countries, resulting of different circumstances.
I had a couple of problems to deal with. However, I learned that a problem is there to be solved. Comparing cultures is not the solution. After some time I realised that no culture is better or worse than another, there is just a difference and if you understand that, it will become easier to deal with all the things you normally could not deal with.
I’m grateful that I met so many people from all over the world, which were interested to broaden their horizons, like me. Additionally I gained a lot of experience, which is the most valuable thing to take back home.
The project in the UNAP Clinic in Las Terrenas was really interesting, the doctors and nurses were really welcoming, even though we had some communication problems in the beginning. During my year not only my Spanish developed but my knowledge about medicine and the health system too.
As you are able to discover the whole country I would recommend a stay of at least two month.
The organisation is still developing and tries to implement lots of projects. Everyone is really committed and passionate about their work.
I gained a whole variety of experience and I want to give a special thanks to: Vito (coordinator Las Terrenas). He is a hard working coordinator and helps out whenever help is needed. Vito tries to improve the organisation every day.
My friends and I had a wonderful time with him and I ́m really grateful that I had this opportunity in my life.
Thank you Aldeas De Paz!