Hola amigos y familia! Kayla and Danie here! We just wanted to give you a little update about our week and about our wet and wonderful day today. We finished up with our sites yesterday. I (Kayla) was at the Special Education site (Genesis) and Danie was doing Social Work in Los Higos. The work at Genesis was tough but so rewarding. I was able to tutor special needs children in Spanish (yikes), play Pato, Pato, Ganso (Duck, Duck, Goose), and visit the homes of two children in the school. One of those visits included a PHENOMENAL dinner called “la bandera” (rice, chicken and beans) as well as “tostones” (look it up, they’re great). As for me (Danie), I had the opportunity to spend the day at the river with the little girls from Los Higos and experience some super sun. The last day spent at my site was spent playing volleyball, soccer, and an interesting version of “steal the bacon” with ties (muy dificil) with some of the teenage and young adult guys in the village. Today, we had the opportunity to go into town and put together a small carnival that had a bounce house, balloon animals, face painting, and games. We also got to share a couple of songs that we learned in Spanish and perform a skit that we learned today. All in all, this week has been amazing so far and has taught us so much about the Dominican Republic culture. The people here are fantastic and we feel as though we have been blessed every day to be spending the week with them! We hope you are doing well and we will be back in the states in just 3 days!
Hey all! This is Lyndsey. I’ve been working at the preschool in El Callejon with Shayna, Sarah, and Nkirote. Our site leader, Yocasta, has such a passion for the kids and on the very first day challenged us girls to “know why we want to be here.” The preschool is a tiny building with a cement patio and a small, chipped-paint playset in a dirt yard. We walked past the chain link fence and immediately a little girl ran up and hugged my legs. Yes, I melted. All the kids were 3-4 years old and one of their favorite things was to drag one of us to the swings and insist, “Puhame! Puhame!” (Push me! Push me!). I was a little nervous about the language barrier, but honestly just holding a 3-year-old, playing tag, or drying the lunch dishes speaks deeper than words can express. Pretty sure all four of us were overwhelmed by the love we felt from the kids and staff, and we loved pouring back every part of ourselves. But one of my favorite parts was on Wednesday night. Everyone on the team had dinner in the home of a leader from their ministry site. Nkirote, Shayna, Sarah, and I had dinner at the home of two preschool workers, Alberto and Carolina (they’re siblings.) Yocasta came too, and the six of us just sat around talking waaaay past dinner. Literally, I laughed so much my cheeks hurt! Alberto and Yocasta speak English and they translated for Carolina. We talked about everything from our personal testimonies and where we want to be in five years to what we look for in a spouse! It was seriously one of the most fun nights and I was personally so touched by their passion for life and Christ. It’s so crazy to think that our work directly with Students International is finished. We head out tomorrow morning for the resort nearby in Jarabacoa. I know we’re all so excited to come home and share a million more stories!
Hello from the D.R.!! First off, I’d like to apologize for the stress and worrying that I’m are sure we caused all of the mothers. We are safe and sound and having the time of our lives down here in sunny Jarabacoa! We’ve spent our time getting acquainted with the Dominican lifestyle which is a bit slower paced than in America. We have loved the beautiful base and Students International staff that have housed us and provided us with some of the most delicious food! Fresh fruit, chicken and rice never seem to get old! We’ve even been able to try some goat and chicken feet. Our days start off bright and early at 6:30 am with devotions, prayer, worship and a lesson followed by a yummy breakfast. We have gone to our sites each day and we have been extremely blessed in seeing how God works though the Dominicans. –Kenzie
One of my favorite parts of the Dominican, besides the beautiful mountainous view and flowing waterfall we got to visit, is traveling in open air trucks. Also, having several Dominican families open up their house for us to enjoy a traditional Dominican meal has been a highlight. Today has been a bit rainy, and when it rains, it doesn’t stop. I think we could all say that we’re a bit worn out, between sunburn, bug bites and long days, but we wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. Sorry we took so long to blog! Prayers are continually appreciated, especially for the language barrier :)—Kenzie
I’d like to start off by saying I have accumulated 36 bug bites, no exaggeration. Having that said, that has been the only part that I would want to do without on this trip. There is so much to say, I don’t know where to begin. They have this thing called siestas here, which means basically you have a two hour lunch where you eat and take a nap. WE MUST take this back to the US! One of the first days we were here we went on a hike to a gorgeous waterfall and got to swim. It was a lot of fun. Our team has been growing closer and closer as the days go by. We can definitely feel your prayers. I work at an education site with a preschool that has children from ages 3-4. They are the most precious things you will ever see. What we do at my site is help the teachers by playing with the children, helping serve meals, and cleaning up. My site leader Yocasta speaks excellent language, so the language barrier isn’t that difficult until a 4 year old looks at you and slurs some Spanish and you just have to say “Si” or “Bien” when really you have no idea what they are saying. Being here really makes me want to learn Spanish. It is crazy how being in another country can make you clearly see how your perspective has been molded from your country. I am so blessed to be on this trip, where God reveals himself to us every single day through the joy of the Dominican people.-Shayna
Today, instead of playing with three and four year olds we got to hang out with teenagers. We played a lot of games such as races, volleyball, and soccer, every game was Dominicans vs. Americans. Sadly to say we lost every time. But we held our own! We also got in a water fight in the pouring down rain. It was very cold, but a lot of fun. They thought it was very funny to get Mackenzie and I wet. We were soaked for the rest of the day until we got back on base. After the water fight, a couple of us shared our testimonies and we watched videos about Jesus. It was great to worship alongside of Dominicans our age. –Shayna