Why blog?

I decided to create this blog so that I could update you and share my experiences each day. I will try my best to post at least once each day. Please comment on my posts, because I would love to hear from you! Thank you so very much for all your love and support <3

Friday, July 8, 2011

Day 4 - July 8th

                Today I came to the realization that for most people reading this, they don’t want a play by play of everything that I do… from now on, I’m only going to include things that are very different from the ordinary day, because one thing I have noticed is this lifestyle is all about routine. Another thing I have taken notice of is just how hard these people work at everything. The women spend the entire day preparing food for the family, and even random neighbors that stop by (and they always stop by or pass through the house). Every single thing you eat is fresh, hence the reason why it is so good. I am learning a lot about their cooking, and it’s actually a lot of fun. (Tuesday night dinners!!) After preparing all the food and serving it, they spend time thoroughly cleaning all the dishes. At first glance, when we see that the kitchen is mostly outdoors, it seems unsanitary, the way they eat and do things. However, I have never seen people clean the way they do. Today, Sarai and I cleaned all the dishes from the meal by hand. (Shout out to my roommates) It made me realize how lucky I am to have a dishwasher. I think of it as a burden to have to put the dishes in there, and even to take them out after they are clean. I also watched as three different women today did laundry. They have a small machine that is similar to a washer, but really just moves the clothes around in soapy water. They thoroughly cleaned each article of clothes by hand several times, and then found a spot for them to air dry. I was thinking about how much I love to do laundry, but the truth is, I have never really done the laundry before. I’ve simply thrown the clothes into a machine. I feel like I don’t really know the true meaning of work when I see the way the Dominicans do things. I don’t really work for anything, and today made me feel extremely fortunate, but also extremely lazy. Even though Sarai is only fifteen years old, she is wise beyond her years and an inspiration to me. I feel as if there is so much I can learn from this girl, and I am so blessed by her presence in my life right now. She is so selfless and driven, and truly exemplifies living life for Christ and placing others before herself. Truly amazing!

Ingrid doing laundry

Chita making me breakfast! She is the best Dominican Grandma I could ever ask for!

Helping Eudocia clean the house

Franchellis being her normal self

Day 3 - July 7th

Today was really cool because I got to spend the day talking with several different people, and had nice time spent with each of them. I got to spend the morning with Nelson, a member of the church who is 30 years old. His life is very sad, because he lost both of his parents at a young age, and has many younger brothers and sisters. However, he still has a love for others and the Lord like I have never before seen in someone. We had breakfast together and talked a bit, and I almost cried when I saw that he was wearing my shoes I had left over spring break! It made me so happy that what I left in Peralta went to such good use! When I went over to the pastor’s house, Eudocia (the pastor’s wife) and I spoke a lot while I ate lunch. She told me about how women in Peralta get married extremely young, and that she married Francisco when she was 18 years old. She also told me that women marry older men (the pastor is eight years older than she is). We talked about the clothing I brought to donate and how she will teach me one day to make the hot chocolate they drink. In the afternoon I spent a lot of time talking with Jacques, a man who actually speaks quite a bit of English. We practiced talking together, and I exchanged information with him. It was nice to help someone with English while he helped me with Spanish. He told me that he actually lives in Santo Domingo, and is only in Peralta for a few days. After he left I went on an outing with Wendy to another part of Peralta. She is in charge of a ministry through the church that has different branches, where women have school in the summer for young kids. It is similar to a vacation bible school, but they also learn basic things, such as the days of the week and the months of the year. It was a lot of fun to see how devoted she is to the church and the passion she has for this ministry. I came back to the pastor’s house and had dinner with Franchellis, then went back to Wendy’s and went to sleep for the night!
                Prayer Requests:
                * I would seek ways to serve the people here and offer them anything I can give
               * That I would continue to grow in my relationships here

Zedekias, Franchellis, Me, and Luciana (Daniella's little sister)

Johnny and I

Eudocia (the pastor's wife) and I
p.s. she's the coolest!

Wendy and I on the way to the meetings in a
makeshift taxi bus thing