Thursday, April 10, 2014

Friday in the DR

 This is what we woke up to
 spending a few minutes on the beach before our bible study

 the kids and jeremy

 Family picture

 Heading out towards the bus

 this was our transportation for the week. it was such a blessing to have air conditioning on it..I was surprised about that but excited. most of the people drive motorcycles in this area of the DR. they are everywhere!  we saw whole families riding them (no one wears helmets) with four people loaded up. two year olds would be riding on the front. brian saw a man with a mattress on the back of his and another person holding a 100 lb bag of rice while riding.  since gas is $6 a gallon I can see why motorcycles would be more prevalent.

 Las Palmas School

Each class has a Dominican and a American teacher so they are learning in both Spanish and English. They learn math, reading, and science in English then History, Bible, and  ? something else in Spanish.   Most of the younger students only spoke Spanish making it for an interesting morning of teaching art. The school is walled in and has a locked gate at the front with a guard 24 hours a day. 

 They go to school from 7:30-1:30 each day. Schools there don't have cafeterias so the kids bring breakfast to eat but go home for lunch.

 They enter here to go in the school or courtyard

 some of the kids were having recess while we were there. they had this swing set, a batting cage, basketball court, and balls to play with.

 The girls and women were in charge of teaching 14 classes from preschool to fourth grade an art project. We decided on rainbow loom bands (before we knew there would be preschoolers) then these girls organized it all.

 playing tag while we prep

**funny note: we had extra time with the little ones and played duck, duck, goose. they knew a similar game but wondered why in the world a goose would chase a such a great point! their game was called "cat, cat, mouse"...much more appropriate!

 We split up into two groups. Dawn and I worked with Cailey and Cora while Michelle and Lora worked with Emily and Julia.

 There are around 40 children in a class in a room that's about 10 x 12. As Cailey pointed out,
it's about the same size as her bedroom. We walked in and introduced ourselves to these happy kiddos who were excited to get started. Some of them already knew how to loom but most were able to learn that day.

 By the smiles and sweetness of the children, one would never know the hardships they face daily. It was so much fun to love on these children!

 ** the school doesn't have air conditioning (as no place there does) but they keep the windows and doors open so the breeze felt awesome.

 Cailey and I loved all the sweet kiddos!

 While we were doing art with the kids the men and boys were outside doing hard labor. They worked on landscaping the yard area (which is something they needed help with). They spent hours hacking away at a tree stump that would not budge. The tree had been cut down because it had giant fruits that would fall on the kids and could actually really injure one. We left with the stump still there but not because of effort. The men and boys were so nasty and sweaty that we let them have their own seats on the bus back to the church for lunch:).

 I just had to take a picture of this sweetness!  These were the two and three year olds we made bracelets for. Their faces would just light up and they'd say "gracias" when they were given theirs.

 After saying goodbye to the awesome teachers and students we went to wait for the bus to come bring us to the church for lunch.

**I met some awesome teachers whose stories of how they became missionaries there were so amazing to me. They were just normal people who left everything and went as a single person to teach English to the kiddos. They need three teachers for next year, including a first grade one. I have to say that I immediately looked at Brian and said we had to move:)

 sweet Cherie is pregnant and spent the morning feeling yucky but she is SUCH a trooper and a great servant

 we thought this tree in the middle of the courtyard was beautiful

 After lunch we were given a tour by the Pastor Gary. We learned about their heart for missions, church planting, and serving the community. As I sat and listened it seemed like the same thing JD would say at church. Even though this is a very poor area they still support missionaries they've sent out in different countries. They also support their own church with funds from the members. This map was made with a magnifying glass and a piece of wood. It took 30 hours for the artist to burn the world onto the wood just by using the sun!  It was gorgeous up close..the picture does not do it justice!

 Next up was the sewing shop that Alison (Gary's wife) runs with another lady. They employ women who had been on the streets and give them a way to support their family by selling or renting out hundreds of dresses. They do all the altering there as well. They have a great vision and would eventually love to have a bakery, hair salon, and jewelry shop to employ many more people. I can't wait to see what happens!  (They are very wise with funds and will only start something that can be self supporting).

 These pictures were taken from the bus ride out to visionland. It fascinating me that people used power lines to hang up their laundry!  They did this all over the streets as there were so many power lines.

**Apparently the power goes out randomly several times a day but we didn't notice it while we were there.
 I wanted to take a picture of the firetrucks for Ephram:)

 The church owns these 42 acres of land that they have named Visionland. In the coming years they hope to build a professional academy baseball field similar to the ones used in major league baseball training facilities (as baseball is LIFE over there) a highschool, some safe houses for women, etc. Again...their vision is amazing. They really want to reach the people and have servants' hearts.

 a hammock on visionland...apparently they wanted to all sit together

*they put a wall up around visionland and have built a house so that someone can live there and make sure nothing gets stolen.

 As a part of our tour they took us to see where the Atlanta Braves training facility was...Brian was thrilled:)

 Julia and Cailey were much more interested in the stray dogs all over. Drove me bonkers! She would come back with flea bites all over her legs!

 After the tour, us girls/women were dropped off at the safe house so we could teach the girls how to sew a pair of shorts. Really Lora, Michelle, and Dawn were there to teach while the rest of us were just there to assist:).

 The first day was craziness because they thought there were five working sewing machines but it turns out that only ONE worked. Dawn was amazing and was able to get everyone started.

The girls were learning how to cut out the pattern for shorts.

 many times I found this girl outside...with a stray.!  she sure felt sorry for the animals!

 While we were at the sewing workshop, the men were back at the church moving boxes down with a pulley system. More physical labor..they were amazing!

When we got back to the hotel we were ready for showers and CRASHED into bed. 

God started tugging on our hearts this day...we sure did love the people there!

No comments: