Updated on April 21, 2012
Eight Hundred Pesos.
Eight hundred pesos is about $20 U.S. It’s a fortune for Leopordina Mojica who lives in a rural community known as Batey Bejucal who needs to get to a hospital for a CT scan. It’s a long trip for a 77 year old woman. She will ride on the back of a motorcycle to a village where she will catch a bus that will take her to a relative who will take her to the hospital in La Romana. We were happy to pay for her transportation. It doesn’t compare to what our friend Gigi is doing to help people who have no one to turn to.
Gigi is a doctor in La Romana. She worked as an interpreter for us on these medical missions about 15 years ago. She’s caring and smart. People from Kansas City wanted to help her succeed. So when she said she wanted to go to medical school, well, who could ignore that? A network of people made it happen and everyone who knows her takes pride in her accomplishments. We should not be surprised by what she’s taken on now.
Gigi works at the public hospital. Late last year a 17-year-old woman gave birth to twin girls born at 31 weeks. She’s from a batey called “Peligro”. That means “danger” in Spanish. One can only imagine. She left the girls at the hospital saying she couldn’t care for premature babies. She already has a son at home who is one and a half. She said their father would get them. When he didn’t, Gigi tracked him down. He didn’t want them either. She called the D.R.’s equivalent of family services who said they didn’t have anyone at that time who could care for them.
Gigi took them home from the hospital. After 2 months, she called the government and said she was keeping them. She has a 14 year old daughter who’s helping her, along with a 70 year old aunt who stays with the babies while Gigi’s at work and her daughter, Tara, is at school.
One of our generous volunteers brought enough new outfits for the twins that we could have our own shower for Gigi and her girls. Everyone in the group held the now healthy five-month-old babies.
It really does change the way you see the world when you think how far some people are willing to go to make it better.