Last year, one of the girls on the trip got to be very dear to me, we call her Rogers. Unfortunately, Rogers was unable to accompany us on this year's trip. Because of some other events, she was going to be unable to meet up with the team (and me!) until after the trip, even though we had planned to see each other before going this time. I went with Katy and Knepps with Mr. Raimundo to Walmart to pick up all the last minute items (extra toothpaste...please don't stop using toothpaste peoples!) and even after we thought we were done, Joshua called us and sent us back for socks (hmm...socks or extra time for what happened next...).
Eventually, we got everything and got back to the house. July 22nd is my Momma's and Brother's (17th) birthday, thus I planned a Skype call to sing happy birthday to them. I went inside, put things on the table, and get into the living room, and out pops Rogers with a basket on her head (so we said she was the only one with an appropriate party hat). I pretty much hugged the life out of her.
We did the call, it was fun. My brother is pretty goofy and fun to talk to because he is epic. Momma is the bestestest Mom in the world (you think you have the best Mom, it's okay, it's good for you to think that, but mine is the bestestest).
After a fun call, we had to go because we needed to pack everything into LOTS of bags. We have ended up with somewhere around 45-57 bags in total (I don't know for sure yet...the accountant major in me was told to get lost at 2 am).
A few things we packed late that night (and early the next morning):Bed sheets to leave down here,Notebooks,...lots of notebooks,Bread made by the Groves,Clothes to leave here,Water shoes,Hair brush,Bible,Our own clothes,A spirit of willingness to serve and learn,
Rogers, Katy, and I shared a room together. Even though we all went to bed really late, I loved my group because we went to sleep and liked sleeping.
We got up around 7 am (now we are on Day 1) for showers and last minute repacking of pajamas (don't forget to use that toothbrush!...repack that too!) as well as trying to figure out if anything was missed when packing so late/early.
The Groves were to meet us in the church parking lot at 1045, then we began rounds of hugs (and tickles) then packing suitcases into vans and cars. There are 19 of us American's on this trip (I specify American because later we will have some Dominican's with us) and putting a bazzilion bags and suit cases and duffle bags and pack backs and instrument cases into 3 cars is the Dominican level of adult Tetris.
At the air port, we stood in line for what seemed like a long time to get our tickets (it took longer to get our tickets, than to walk to security, get through security, and go to our gate) but standing in line with my best friend (Katy) and Knepps and the Groves...it was lots of fun.
We had Chipotle for lunch (it's so yummy) then sat waiting for our plane. On our plane we got out to the runway and sat there for a moment. What made it so amusing was that the Captain had come on the intercom saying that there were no planes around and so we shouldn't have any delays...then we had a delay. But it was a very short one, only a few minutes.
Our flight went from Dulles in Virginia to Miami in Florida, here we went to Ku-va (a little Cuban restaurant in the air port). Katy and I were the rebels and decided to order hamburgers since it was our last chance to have "American" food for the next 16 days. Hehe...
The flight from Miami to Santo Domingo in the DR was pretty uneventful as well (Thank you Lord!) which is a vast improvement upon last year. The ironic thing is that we still got to our rooms at the same time as last year, at least this time it was planned to arrive at 1:30 something in the morning.
It was really fun with so many people getting their passports stamped for the first time! Some didn't seem to really notice (maybe it had to do with it being way past everyone's bedtime...) and some were really excited about it. I think I am in the group that was too tired to care, because I am realizing that even now I haven't looked at the new stamp in my pass port.
Tomas met us at the air port, and helped us load our luggage into the trailer, then we packed like sardines into the van. On the way to our apartment I talked with some of the Groves, James, Andrew, and Knepps about the culture of the DR.
Things we are keeping our eyes out for:
Why do the Dominican's paint their houses with such vibrant colors?What are the moral issues of the people in the Dominican Republic?Why is the DR in the state it is in now because of those issues?
Babes or now "Bebe", was giving lots of great thoughts about those questions, for a 9 year old I was impressed, what's more, she was doing it well after my mind had turned off. Props to you Bebe!
At the apartment we loaded all the luggage into the living room then divided into two groups. The Groves (8) and the Raimundos (4) stayed at the apartment, and the "rest of us" (7) went to the local pastor's home. First evening here, and we're driving through the city of Santo Domingo and we see a prostitute go get into a truck. It is something so very, very common here. When the "rest of us" group got to the house, we drank lots of GOOD water ate bananas went went to bed.
This house has internet, so I am able to update you, but this is a rare treat as most days and places I'll be in the DR do not have internet. I will try to post as many updates as I can for you all!
Please pray for:
- our group to continue to bond,
- no one to get sick eating or drinking anything they shouldn't,
- chances to minister to the people,
- that we would learn and mature as Mr. Raimundo teaches,
- that we would continue to be sanctified through living so close to so many for so long
Flights were good.
I like everyone.
Bananas are amazing when you are super hungry.
Don't drink the water...but please continue to brush your teeth.
8 hours of sleep is wonderful.
Internet is a special treat in the DR!!!
Pray for us.
...have a nice day. ;-)
"For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ."