Visiting Dominican Republic + International Surgical Foundation

A recent trip to Dominican Republic in support of the International Surgical Foundation. This trip was short, purposeful and enlightening. The ISF is a team of people trying to help those in need in Dominican Republic who have mostly scoliosis or other back related problems. The goal was to see the average day in the life of a Dominican and specifically that of the girl who inspired it. This is an abbreviated story of lifestyle documentary photography as I saw it and lived it.

It was simply a weekend to try and cram as much in as possible. I met with one of my oldest friends in Miami who is on the board of ISF (Her brother is the founder) and it was great to catch up. We arrived in DR and the goal was to show daily life of Dominicans, the hospital and a bit of what it is like to have severe scoliosis. Our “Day in the Life” didn’t go exactly as planned because well, customs. We were guests and as such we treated with food and drinks and everyone dressed in their Sunday best or Friday night dancing clothes. Even with that, you can’t help but feel the difference of people doing the best they can in the circumstances that have happened in their lives. This family, who didn’t speak English and my Spanish consists of things like “dos cervezas más, por favor”, welcomed us with open arms and a wide open door into their home.

Their struggle is real but yet, everyone is quick with a smile. Life is simple and life is loved. In a country where we have access to anything and everything, the simplicity was welcome. I went there to show what life is like in DR and I walked away with my own lesson. Less really can be more. It should be a requirement that EVERY person in the US should go abroad to at least one place in their lifetime.

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Blog by Misti Layne

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