Decidedly Academic. Distinctively Christian.
“I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore…”
Today I woke up anxious, a good kind of anxious, it was going to be a busy day. We hopped on the bus and headed out.
We made our first stop at the school in El Tamarindo. Close your eyes and imagine a two-bedroom house transformed into a classroom, with about 50 kids squished in ready to learn. That’s what I saw today. This was a school that children are LUCKY to even be able to attend, wow do we take school for granted in America. Just one American classroom is the size of an entire Dominican school.
When you walk into a school in America you see tired faces, no excitement, everyone just wants to go home. The exact opposite from here in the Dominican. As I walked into the school and shouted “Hola!” 50 little Dominicans screamed back smiling from cheek to cheek, they were all so excited to see the “Americanos”. The children were so incredibly happy, they loved to bailar, cantar, y aprender ingles (dance, sing, and learn English). Charro, the Principal/teacher, had the kindest soul, she welcomed us with hugs and kisses. She treated us as family. It was impossible to stop smiling.
After an amazing visit to “Centro Educativo Cristiano” we walked back to the foundation. An eye-opening walk. As we walked through the village we saw countless stray dogs, horses, and roosters, houses with no roofs, and so many bare-foot children. Trash everywhere, just piling up until someone burns it. We are truly blessed in America, be thankful.
Day one of the clinic started today, we took the temperature, blood pressure, and pulse of the ill, then the doctor examined, and prescribed them with the antibiotics or pills they needed. So many people were helped, thank you, God.
I helped at the clinic for about an hour and then began to jugar con los Dominicans (play with the Dominicans). As they only speak Spanish, and I speak un poquito español, you may think it would be difficult to communicate, yet everything always goes smooth, until they laugh at you for not understanding, or having a bad “accent”.
The girls are so loving. About 7 of them pulled me to the side and sat me down, let’s just say I have already gotten two “manicures” and lots of braids in my hair. They never stop loving, I could not walk anywhere without a little one running up to me and grabbing my arm, hugging me, or jumping on my back.
They have so little yet they love to give, I received two gifts today, first a ring the girl said she saved to give to an Amigo de Estados Unidos. Then a bracelet from a 15-year-old boy named Manuel, that has written on it “Eres mi amor”, and then he laughs and winks. All the boys enjoy to flirt and ask to be mi novio (my boyfriend), I laugh and say “no gracias, lo siento” (no thank you, I’m sorry), and they just giggle and run off.
Today we also served lunch to the abuelos of El Tamarindo. The 8th graders put on a show for them, while we served them a lunch consisting of rice, beans, and chicken, made by the Foundation Chefs. We also handed out bags to the elderly with toiletries, and another bag of food for them to take home. They were so happy, so loving. I sat, observing them in awe. Thinking of the life they have lived, everything they have seen, everything they have gone through.
I kept thinking, “how can they have so little and be so happy?”, and I have finally come to a conclusion: God. God is the answer.
Today was long, but went by so fast.
Thank you, God, for today, thank you for these people, thank you for my mission’s team.
Tomorrow is going to be another day full of adventures and I cannot wait to see how God moves tomorrow.