…a tired and sore body, stinky laundry, a few colorful rope bracelets, peso coins for the grandkiddos… I brought a few tangible things home, that’s for sure.
Like last year, though, the more important things I brought home from this trip cannot be seen or touched… they can only be felt with the heart. New friendships with people I didn’t know at all a few weeks ago, renewed friendships with some wonderful people who took this trip with me last year, and the chance to spend the week with some of the good people who work full time for Solid Rock in the Dominican Republic.
Here I am with Glynnis (one of our interpreters and organizer of donated items) and Nicole, the Nursing Coordinator at Solid Rock in the DR.
There’s no way to adequately explain the sights, sounds, smells, and emotions of an experience like this. Words are just not enough. I was overwhelmed by the kindness of everyone I came in contact with. It made me realize how rarely we are actively, outwardly kind to one another here in the U.S. on a daily basis. We don’t take the time to look our friends or co-workers in the eye and really care about them, we don’t tell them how much they are appreciated or how much we admire them when the thought enters our head, and we sure don’t hug or kiss someone on the cheek at the beginning of the work day. Maybe we should learn from the people of the Dominican Republic, who are so happy, despite having so little.
Looking over rice paddies to the mountains beyond.
A massive rock slide blocks traffic for miles.
We take so much for granted here. Clean drinking water, air conditioning, mold-free hotel rooms, the ability to have our animals spayed to prevent unwanted litters, easy access to medical care, sanitary meat processing conditions, the ability of our family / friends to help us out of a tough situation, and hope for the future. Not everyone is as lucky as we are. I know I’ll spend the next 6 months or more, analyzing every little thing around me. Do I really need to let the water run while I take a shower? Do I really need to spend $26 on a new blouse when that’s the amount that it takes to pay for one child’s education for a month? I know that after about 6 months… the real world will have crawled back into my brain cells, and I will stop comparing everything here to the conditions in the Dominican Republic… and just about then it will be time to start the countdown for the 2015 trip!
So, for those of you who have followed my blog during this year’s adventure… thank you. I appreciate your validation of my experiences… what I do in the DR means a lot to me, and I hope you’ve gotten just a small hint of why it’s so important through my daily posts. You can count on more Dominican Mission Trip info in the future.
The small group of ONU peeps who have made this trip at least twice.