Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Want to see pictures, and even video?

It's a tad challenging to add pics and video here.  This link will offer you lots of pictures and even a video or two of our week. There is a photo album called Domincan Republic July 2013 at is the Volunteer Network page for One Child Matters.  Lots of great things to see. (you may have to log in to Facebook to view)

What a Day!

Tuesday started with lots of painting.  Most all walls are finished.  The only things left to paint are the sanctuary, one side of the exterior of the building and the mural.  Watching the building all come together is very rewarding.  We can see it coming to life.  A few more people were able to meet their sponsored children and seeing the homes and neighborhoods is eye opening.  Wooden slats nailed together for exterior walls, sheets to divide rooms, most matresses are on the floor and there is typically only one mattress per household, for many people. 

Tuesday afternoon we took a trip to the local market.  It was in the downtown area, which meant our bus drivers showed us even more skill in the maneuvering in a crowded area with what seems to be very little order.  Our American eyes see no rhyme or reason.  While they drive on the same side of the road as us, there are cars and motorcycles turning into traffic, bicycles, street vendors, even pedestrians walking in and out of very high traffic areas.  Amazing.  It was very interesting bargaining with the store tenders for some souvenirs. We tried using our Spanish speaking skills, but mostly relied on a calculator so there was no misunderstanding.  The supermarket was also fun.  Coffee, cinnamon, and vanilla were hot items as those are products of the Dominican.

A moving moment before dinner as we stopped by a local cathedral to experience a little time in a mass service.  While we couldn't understand most of the words, when it reached time for the Lord's Prayer, we all joined hands, reciting it together.

We ended the evening with a lot of singing around the dining tables.  Some praise and worship and lots of silly songs too.  Laughter and growing friendships seemed to be the theme of the day, New Domincan friends, missionary friends at our "home away from home", and American friends in our teammates. 

We are off to the site again today, Wednesday, to finish up the painting, and then cleaning up the site in preparation for the Grand Opening, presenting it to the community in a few days.  EXCITING!!!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Another day in paradise

Lots more accomplished today, most of the cement is now poured. Some hard working team members have been mixing the cement with sand and shovel and sending it in buckets or barrels to its destination.   Classroom walls have been primed and were all but finished today with their final coat of paint.  Each wall had to be sanded down, swept (yes, we swept the walls), sweep out the room, spackled, sanded, primered, then painted.  So, to have much of the painting complete left us with quite an accomplished feeling.  A very moving time at lunch today where the team broke out in spontaneous song... songs to God.  Then, the pastor and his wife shared with us their gratitude for our work and told us the history of this location.  It's taken 7 years to get to this place where they will have a building with walls, a roof and electricity for the community children.  Not too long ago they were meeting under a mango tree.  Thank you for your prayers and your support.  All team members are in good health and in great spirits.  Teamwork and relationships abound.  Until tomorrow...

Praising is the same in any language

Sunday offered a fantastic time of celebrating Jesus with our new Dominican friends in a local church service.  Loud Hallelujahs and soft hugs all in the same room as we remember and celebrate that we are all in the same family, children of God.  Our leader, Yunior, was translating excellently, so the words could be clear. But, there was no need to translate the passion and love in the room. After church, we visited the communities and homes of some of the children who attend the school/center in which we are working to build.  To see the differences in their way of life makes us all so much more appreciative of what we have.  But, at the same time, we are perhaps learning that possessions are not all that important.  We wrapped up the day with some ice cream, visiting a local plaza. The evening brought about lots of fun back at La Casa Grande (our home away from home) with games and swimming and building relationships and new friends among our team.
On deck for Monday... lots more work at the project.  Painting, more cementing and whatever else we can do to help to get this school ready.  Until next time...

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sweat with a purpose

Work day today.  We mixed and poured cement, carried buckets and wheelbarrows in to pour the floor of the church.  Got it all finished by end of day.  Sanding walls, painting, hauling sand to prepare for more cement next time.  Everyone was working hard and pullling together.  All is well, team is tired, but happy.  Great work today.  Lots of friends built in the communities, too. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

all here safe and sound

The Wisconsin team arrived so we are all here safe and sound. After hugs and dividing up bunkbeds, we are headed to bed for a good sleep before the work begins. Hasta Manana!!

Maine team has arrived... Wisconsin not far behind.

The Maine team arrived safe and sound. The ride to our mission compound was quite interesting, different cultural sights... you can buy a bag of lemons at a stop light, or get a slushie from a guy in a food cart at that same light. Stop lights have a visible countdown to when it will turn green!  The people are friendly and beautiful.  The missionary compound is also wonderful and we were welcomed by some wonderful people who have made this their home.  We are awaiting our Wisconsin teammates who should arrive shortly.  Tomorrow, work day begins.  Pictures to follow!  We'll check in again when our teammates arrive.  Thank you for your prayers.   

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ready, Set......

Lots of chatter among the team members today.  Last minute packing details, traveling questions, etc. "Does anyone have bug spray?", that was my favorite. We have suitcases loaded with VBS supplies to tell the stories of Jesus, loaded with paintbrushes and painting supplies to paint a mural of Him, too.  We've got our Bibles, work gloves, work clothes, worship music, guitar, a great worship leader, lots of willing hands and hearts of gold. The team leaves the U.S. in the morning.  Everyone is excited to meet the people and the children of the Dominican Republic.  God go with us, and go before us!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

T-Minus 2 Days...

Just days away from boarding our flight to the Dominican Republic! Pray for us as we travel!