I am excited to tell me about all we did yesterday.
Our day started out with pancakes, bacon, eggs and cantaloupe. Hello, it smelled so yummy. Then we went to devotions where Jenna lead conversation and bible reading. We talked about what it meant to be oaks of righteousness and why they speak so heavily about it to the kids. We talked about our God moments again and discussed the plans for the day.
After we took our bibles back to team housing, our team went to the children’s home and set up for snack. We took a pipe cleaner and twisted the ends up and then bent it in half. From there, we put the clothes pin in the middle of a snack sized zipper style baggie which was gathered in the middle. Cheese crackers were put in one side and raisins in the other. When all was said and done, each kiddo had a cute butterfly with snacks in each of it’s two wings! Really cute.
A little while later, we did a bible study session where we talked about the 7 days of creation. When we got to day 6, I told them about how my boys studied the 6th day of creation all year in school. Then the little kids went upstairs to their school room to make paper bag puppets. White bags made zebras, brown bags made lions. We had really fun conversation with several of the kids. Katerina, one of the sweet girls in her preteen years shared with us a little about her insecurities. It was heartbreaking on one hand yet on the other hand I was honored to be able to be the one to lift her up and direct her thoughts in another direction.
From there we came back to team housing for lunch and got ready to go to the river. Basically, there’s a little aqueduct system that runs from the top of the mountain down to Jimani. It is fed by a little river that is shallow enough to wade in. The deepest it got was up to my knees. Our group was given the privilege of taking the big kids up to the river to play in the water. Oh my goodness it felt so good! Because we aren’t from the area nor have our bodies had time to adjust to the quality (or the lack there of) of the water, we were advised to only wade, not to sit in, or submerge ourselves in the water. We left the campus a little late so we didn’t have as much time as was scheduled for the river but we had a good time just the same. Before we left the river our team found a waterfall to stand in front of to get our group picture taken.
One of the kids at the children’s home was standing behind us with a tree branch that he soaked in water. He wanted until the person taking the picture counted to three and he shook the branch over us. Oh my goodness that water was COLD! It made for a funny picture. Pierre Antoine is a funny kid. Always joking, pulling pranks… He’s definitely one of the group’s favorite kids when it comes to cutting up and playing. He’s 16 I think?
Once we were all loaded up, we came home and had time to shower and relax for a few minutes before dinner. Once again, the meal was amazing. The woman who prepares the meals is a college student in Santo Domingo and is studying to be a chef. As a result, we get treated to some AMAZING dishes. Last night was rice with fried fish, broccoli and cauliflower in a cheese type sauce and it seems like something else. Oh a cucumber salad. For dessert she made brownie wafers with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce on top.
Once dinner was cleaned up, several people went outside to the patio to cut up and dance. Apparently what happens in the DR, stays in the DR. 😉 I gathered the supplies to make paper beads and the women whom I taught the skill to the night before went with me to teach the kids. Once we set up the supplies the kids flocked to the table and wanted to participate. Robin, another team member, decided to start playing/teaching the cup song while we prepared the paper strips. That turned into about 12 people playing cups, John Hanley included! He said he learned the cup song 25 years ago in college. Wow, I thought it was something new. Ha! Shows how much I know! I tried to upload a video of them teaching the guys the song. No luck.
Once all was said and done, we made a total of 10 pieces of jewelry. Each child that made one was allowed to keep them. It was an awesome time of fellowship with the kids and team members alike. One of the kiddos asked if he could make a necklace instead of a bracelet so he could give it to Melissa. That sweetheart melted my heart! Melissa put it on right away and wore it for the rest of the night.
I had the chance to talk with one of the interns at the children’s home for a bit. It looks like I will be going down to the home sometime around 2:00 this afternoon to make another necklace with the tree of life charm that they use for their fundraising table. My hope was that they would be able to use this new skill to make a different variation of the necklaces they currently offer. Anyway I am going to ask a dozen or so kiddos to help me make paper beads so I can use them in conjunction with the charm so I have a special keepsake to take back to the United States with me. They actually have two different sizes so I might make a bracelet as well. We’ll see. I just hope it enables them to bring in more income so they can function at the level they need to in order to provide for the kid’s needs. 🙂
By far, the evening I had with the kids after dinner has been my favorite part this trip. I love all of the parts, but this part leads me to my first regret. For reasons I can’t put into words right now, I didn’t go down to the children’s home after dinner, even though it was made known that it was permissible, night two and three. What a huge blessing I missed out on. What wasted time! The first night, well actually the first full night, I went to bed at 8:30 because I was so exhausted. The second night, we decided to sit up in our room making paper beads so I could teach the kids. I mean it’s not like I was just sitting around doing nothing, but it’s times like these I wish I could freeze time but still live life. 7 days serving with Chadasha just isn’t enough. I am just now getting to where I am communicating somewhat effectively. Kids are just now coming up to me because they are comfortable with and recognize me. We leave tomorrow and it just makes me so sad to think there are only hours and minutes left before we have to go home.\
I will leave you with a picture from last night’s sunset. They don’t happen very often because there’s a constant haze over the horizon.
Edited: Remaining days of the mission trip.