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Not All Who Wander Are Lost… Everything you ever wanted to know about my Dominican mission work

Is anyone else hot, tired and a little confused?

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Did you hear that loud knocking sound?  That was me at 5 o’clock this morning… banging my head against the wall when I realized that I forgot to bring the cord I need to download photos from my camera to my computer.  Seriously?  With all the lists I made and checked?  How did THAT happen?  Photos, blogging, Shutterfly… it’s what I DO!  Arghhh.

Fortunately, I located a never-before-discovered and well-disguised SD card port on my trusty old notebook computer… so all is well in my world.  Sigh.

So, the big travel day (yesterday) started with a 2 a.m. wake up and ride to the airport in Columbus, where security confiscated my aerosol body spray and sunscreen.  Really?  Two of the most important items I’ll need for the week… and for some reason I bought large cans and put them in my carry-on bag.  Is anyone else sensing a theme, here?  I’m hoping all of my brain cells will start working in cooperation soon, because they sure haven’t been displaying any team work so far!

So, once we arrived at the International airport in Santo Domingo and cleared customs, we were greeted by Kari and Dan who run the guesthouse in San Juan de la Maguana.  Among a million other responsibilities, they make all the travel arrangements for mission groups.  Every Saturday (all year ‘round), they drop one group off at the airport and wait around for the next group to arrive.  For some people this part of the job might get old or routine, and it would be easy to “phone it in”… but I have to tell you, Kari and Dan make you feel like they’ve been waiting excitedly JUST FOR YOU…  lots of sincere, welcoming hugs for the people who have been here before, and enthusiastic greetings for everyone in the group.

Kari and Dan greeting us at the airport in Santo Domingo

Kari and Dan greeting us at the airport in Santo Domingo

Me and my amigas, Stephanie and Jen

Me and my amigas, Stephanie and Jen

For our first night in the country, we stayed in a nice hotel in the capital city.  There was pizza and soda for everyone, followed by a quick dip in the pool.  The highlight of the evening was a stroll to Sweet Frog frozen yogurt shop, a few blocks away, for a delicious treat.  The “lowlight” of the evening was the torrential downpour we were caught in on the walk back to the hotel.  Let me tell you, I was so soaked that I could actually wring water out of my unmentionables!

It felt good to get 10 hours of sleep and a warm shower in an air conditioned room.  At 9 a.m., we boarded a bus for the 3+ hour drive West and then North to our home for the rest of the week.

Once we arrived, we unloaded the bus, grabbed some lunch and got started sorting the donations for this week’s village medical clinics.

Organizing shoes and hygiene supplies for the whole week.

Organizing shoes and hygiene supplies for the whole week.

Tonight we went to the local Mennonite (not the same as Mennonite in the United States) church for a very uplifting, musical 90 minute service.  Even without working through the Rosetta Stone lessons this year, I was able to understand about 4-6 of every 10 words.

Tomorrow, we start in with the “barrio clinics” in a village called Jaquimeyes de Jinova.  Yeah, I’m gonna need to learn how to pronounce THAT one.  Thanks, everyone, for your donations, help, support and prayers to get us this far.  There are 23 of us in the group, and we’re looking forward to an awe-inspiring week of service.

The whole group, looking fresh and cool before boarding the bus to San Juan de la Maguana.

The whole group, looking fresh and cool before boarding the bus to San Juan de la Maguana.

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