June 9, 2011 § Leave a comment
Here we are at the middle of our trip. Today was quite a contrast from yesterday.
We started out the day driving up to Denny’s house (our local contact) to meet up with the guys and hang out for a bit before we headed across the road to help with some construction on a church. It was definitely a physical workout the first part of the day. Several of us were in charge of literally moving cinder blocks from one area to another. We formed an assembly line and after a couple hours with some water breaks we successfully moved the pile to….well, another pile.
No, not really sure about what the point was for us to move one big pile to an organized second pile. But the effort put in by everyone was something to see. Others in the group worked on some other tasks, nailing boards, sawing, and some framing.
Some interesting facts from this experience:
we saw a tarantula, kind of freaky
ginormous bugs crawled out of some of those blocks, including a very large centipede like creature
some of the children that were part of the pastors family (I think) were jumping in to help, not because we asked, because they really wanted to help
the church we worked on was also very tiny, and very open to the air
I am still just amazed at how the buildings in the villages are built. They don’t have sealed up walls, glass windows and well built roofs. The windows are slats you rotate for air, and as we drove by, I could see light through a space between the roof and wall, which meant it was certainly not sealed. They are so open to the outside air and bugs and whatever else. Again I am thankful for the hotel we are staying in that has air and sealed walls and windows. I think of the guys and how they are experiencing the trip and I know it’s totally different for them.
But more so I think of our homes back in the states and how incredibly nice they are, how rich we are in comparison to these people. They delight in such small things. It’s humbling and I want to shut my mouth if ever I feel I have a reason to complain, because I really truly do not have reason to complain!
This morning as we were driving up the hilly mountainside to head to the missionary home, we passed by a local little ‘shop’ that housed a chicken coop of sorts, with a counter you walked up to get your eggs. I saw a lady there ready to buy. It was so interesting to see this lifestyle and think that this is their daily way of life. I won’t forget the way the buildings look, so small, so colorful from layers of paint that has worn off time and time again, the looks of the Dominicans faces as we pass by in our big bus full of Americanos.
The second part of our day we headed over to an orphanage. Because of some recent rain (it was still raining slightly) we debated actually staying there once we arrived or coming back another day. We decided to take off our shoes and socks and stay and play in a covered area at the orphanage. This time our visit with this orphanage was different. The kids were already outside playing a water game of sorts where you run and slide on your feet or knees in the water. Again, the innovation to make up games wherever you are is amazing to watch. Our group of course jumped right in. It was a blast. Jonah and I jumped in and tried as well, although my gracefulness won out and pulled us down in a heap on the ground.
It was a great contrast from the previous day.
I’m again so impressed with the spirit of this group I’m with. These kids are amazing. They are not afraid to immediately start playing and talking with each Dominican we meet. They are not afraid to jump into whatever task we do. Their willingness, kindness, truly loving hearts are shining through. I am learning just from watching them. The love they have been pouring into each child, adult, teen we meet has been so awesome to see. It makes me want to love harder, deeper.
Our night ended at Denny’s home, with our latest arrival, Chris (founder of 963 Effect) who cooked us a wonderful, more American style dinner. It was delicious and a feat to accomplish, as the kitchen he used was very small and very much limited in comparison to our kitchens!
It was a good day. A full fun, somewhat wet, day.
My favorite memories are from the orphanage. I remember watching the girls with the kids, how loving they were, unafraid to hug on the kids, play with them, some sharing their own raincoats to cover them from rain and splashing. Some taking time to befriend them so quickly and deeply that when we left, the orphan girls cried to see us go. How great of an impact is that in the lives of others? The love of Christ is being shown through this small body of believers.
For now it’s another goodnight. Tomorrow starts early for us as we head out for a day of fun at waterfall jumping and a Seaworld of sorts!