This has been an awesome experience so far. The weather, the food, and the hospitality are outstanding. I have been to the St. Joseph Hospital, John Boscov Orphanage, and the Palms Geriatric Home. Conditions are horrible in the hospital and at the Palms. The hospital here is something Americans could never fathom, it looks like something from an old movie, the equipment is outdated and aseptic technique is not practiced. They use mentholated spirits instead of alcohol and the drapes in the OR are blood stained and brown. The Anesthesia equipment that helps keep the patients alive were not reliable, the leads were taped and kept disconnecting.
The Palms is a sad, yet happy place. The conditions are crammed and they don't have enough food to eat properly. These people are left behind by society and have no money, some have family, some don't. Some have family in the states. The buildings are wooden and of an open floor design, meaning there are no partitions or dignity.
The orphanage is a depressing place, most of these kids have been abandoned. All are boys under 16. Their eyes light up and they get a big smile on their face when we show up. They love to play soccer and chase. They are well behaved and call you sir or miss. They are starved for attention and appreciate any little bit that you can give them. When you start doing something with one of them, you better be prepared to do it 25 more times. This is definitely a highlight of the trip.
On a good note we have visited a few different places and went shopping down town. We visited the St. George's Cathedral today, which is largest wooden cathedral in the world. It is a sight to be seen. We figured it could seat over 2000 people.