I spent nearly 12 months in Samaná working in the medicine and healthcare program. Because I stayed here such a long time I got to experience various workplaces. At first I helped at the HIV station of the local public hospital “Dr. Leopoldo Pou” and I gained an insight of how HIV treatment is organized. In the afternoons I started to accompany a dentist in the beginning in the local hospital and later in a private practice. During the second half of my volunteer service I worked in the private clinic “Los cubanos”. My work was very varied. Most of the time I supported the medical staff as far as I could. Sometimes I was even allowed to assist during a wound treatment or I translated for the doctors when a foreign patient came.
Having the opportunity to stay in a foreign country for such a long time was great luck for me. Even now I do not have the feeling that I fully understand the Dominican culture but I definitely learned a lot here. Not just about the Dominican Republic, I was also able to improve my Spanish and I gained a few medical experiences. Already these benefits would have made the year unforgettable. But in addition the Dominican Republic offers a beautiful nature. It starts with the view of the Samaná Bay right in front of our apartments. Around the Samaná peninsula are furthermore various paradisiac beaches and at some point it became a luxury problem having to decide to which beach to go on the weekends.
All in all I am really happy that I volunteered here and grateful for the opportunity. The advantage of being a volunteer with Aldeas de Paz is that you can profit from numerous contacts which could help you for instance if you want to initiate a new project. Moreover our coordinators in Samaná were always available for our problems and very supportive. And last but not least you can profit from other volunteers! In the last 12 months I met very interesting and friendly people who broadened my horizon and with who I made a few unforgettable experience. And what else could you wish for than an interesting country, beautiful nature and amazing people?