Sunday, February 5, 2012

The DR

Greetings from the Caribbean!

Specifically, I'm in Santo Domingo on a mission trip. The people so far are beautiful, the water is lovely and the traffic is crazy! Well, about as crazy as Boston driving.

We've visited a lovely church in a poorer neighborhood that is fiery and energetic. And they served Coca cola to everyone after the 2-ish hour service. Can't beat that!

Then we ate McDonald's (I know, we were in a rush), and I learned that there's a Happy Meal called McQueso, which is basically a grilled cheese. Yes, please.

We visited one orphanage and played with the kids and gave them new shoes to run faster and jump higher. The boys were so loving and the staff that is there all the time is so loving and definitely adore those kids.
They sang songs for us, very spontaneously, with one boy playing guitar. These kids are all orphans, whether socially by abandonment or other abuse or physically without parents in sight. As with American orphans, everybody has a story but these kids seemed to be having a good day today.
 We took pictures of them individually and printed them there so the kids could make frames and have a photo of themselves. It's hard to believe that these kids don't have many/any pics of themselves or their housemates. I had a bit of sadness when I think of the ornaments and drawings that I brought home from preschool and elementary with a photo of me on it somewhere...I would immediately give it to my parents to hang up somewhere. Unfortunately, these kids have to hang them up near their own bed because their families aren't around.

The Director of missions in Peru (for the same non-profit I went with) was actually in town today, so she spent the day with us. She was in town to help the DR staff start an in-country foster care-to-adopt program. This will help boys like these to be placed in loving Dominican homes for a long time, hopefully. But it was hard because some of them are 14 and 16 and aren't the cutesy pics of babies you see on TV. They are still beautiful children who just need stability and someone to believe in them. Don't we all need that?

And we ate pizza...with corn on top. It was New York style but with black olives and corn and whatnot. Yum. And I had pistachio ice cream...I think it had coconut in it, too. Caribbean World Series, SuperBowl and Carnaval all in one night around central...I'm staying in tonight. But I'll probably dream in merengue music beats. It DID start in the Dominican Republic, after all. And I've gotta admit, they do it better than America, Guatemala, etc. Sorry, but the kids we've been around have instinctual rhythm. It's kind of crazy.

Goodnight and
Happy Birthday to my sweet, wonderful MOM!
Mom, I finished the 1st Stephanie Plum book, so I'll take you out for lunch & the movie for your bday as soon as I get back, promise! It was cute.

Happy eating and joyful living to you!

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