Day 3: What makes a home?

March 4, 2015

It is legitimately impossible to understand what it’s like to walk in these peoples’ shoes – and so challenging to try to fathom the circumstances and take in the result of it all that it’s almost too difficult.

In America, we are separated by all sorts of things; social hierarchies, facial features, body types, clothing, beliefs, and most obviously, technology. While poverty is definitely not unheard of in the US, we have malls, an array of foods, entertainment and opportunities everywhere we turn our eyes. Generally, necessities are a given, to the point where things that are truly not necessities have become so. We don’t know any differently – we get a glass of something that’s probably not water (although you’ve got clean water right under your nose), a bowl of food that’s probably the furthest thing from natural, and we sit down for our “mandatory” debrief in front of the television after a long day. 

In the Dominican, the men and boys will set off into the fields to work under the scorching sun for the equivalent of pennies. Women and girls – many of whom are mothers between the ages of thirteen and sixteen – will stay behind and tend to the children and homemaker tasks. They will keep clean their house the size of your garage, which will averagely house eight people. They will fill buckets of dirty water for themselves and the children; cook a meager meal over hot coals in the already boiling heat, hand-wash and hang the pair or two of clothes they have and watch over the swarm of children running free about the batey.

But they watch them with smiles, and all the kids are smiling too. They are happy to see us and happy to simply be surrounded by love, not jealous that our clothes match better than theirs or that we have cell phones we pull out of our pockets to take pictures of them, or even that we came from the city in a bus when the majority of them will never leave the batey at all. The adults are grateful for our services, and, it seems, mostly on the behalf of their children. The kids play with each other day in and day out, wrestling playfully, ignorant of gender, style, the shape of someone’s nose, belongings, etc. – and do not seem bitter to be in the situation they are.

They have dirty water, torn hand-me-downs, maybe a pair of shoes, and stray animals. So which one of us is blessed?

-Emily D.

 

Day 2: Fun Times In The Dominican

March 3, 2015
We have made the best of our situations and it feels good to put a smile on the little kids/adults faces and have them swarm us for donations. I will be moving here within a couple years. Hope you love the cold. its 80+ here and sunny with an amazing breeze. Only bad thing in the whole trip is the smell of the burning trash and the sugar cane factory. Everybody is so nice and willing to help you out or take your money. I have also learned how young people here have children so young but the b...
Continue reading...
 

Day 1: Maine to Dominican Republic

March 2, 2015
Hello from La Romana!

We all made it here safely! After a long day of traveling, we made it to La Romana :) We ate dinner with the other group that is here from the United States and went to church. After church we roamed around the city together and came back to Casa Pastoral (where we are staying) to play games and hangout with each other. After a long day and a very early morning, it was nice to just relax together. 

FYI: We have a spotty internet connection but we will post when we can!

More...
Continue reading...
 

Santa Lucia Medical Clinic

March 27, 2014

Today we worked really hard on helping with the medical team. 

Some of the things we did were, taking people's blood pressure, giving out parasite medication to children and helping in the school. When I was giving out parasite medication, we had to mark their hands to know that we already gave it to them. I marked them with a smiley face and they were all happy :) After an exhausting day of work we got to go to the beach for dinner!!  That was refreshing!! I’m looking forward to doing wate...


Continue reading...
 

Batey Santa Lucia Medical Clinic

March 27, 2014

Coming to the Dominican Republic was a curse at first. I wanted nothing more than to get the next flight back home. After spending four days helping all the people, I could stay here forever.


Putting in twenty water filters in just a couple hours was crazy. It warmed my soul and made me feel amazing. The elders had tears in their eyes as they thanked us for giving them clean water. I will never forget that.


Today we worked at Santa Lucia as a medical clinic. I worked in the pharmacy, puttin...


Continue reading...
 

Batey Santoni

March 25, 2014

Today we took a bus out to the bateys, we installed about 20 water filters. I liked putting the water filters together being able to help people makes me feel really good about myself. seeing the smiles on these peoples faces after we installed them was very inspirational. after we finished with the water filters we handed out bubbles and many of different things, most of the kids didn't know how to blow bubbles and i enjoyed showing little kids how and making them happy. I wish these people ...


Continue reading...
 

Dream~Land

March 25, 2014
The United States Of America, the place we call home. A place so good to us that we take advantage of. Coming to the Dominican Republic has been a blessing. The first day was pretty hard. New place and new faces. Everyone speaking a language that most of us can't understand. I was extremely home sick and wanted nothing more than to go home.

This morning we headed to batey Santa Rosa. Seeing all the children so excited to see a bus full of people was shocking. Their houses were nothing but shac...
Continue reading...
 

Basketball

March 25, 2014
After a long day in the hot sun of the bateys, repairing contaminated filters, the day for some of us got even longer, playing a local club basketball team outside. Though later in the evening the heat still caused us to dehydrate very quickly. Despite an early lead we were beat by a large deficit. Installing filters tomorrow. -Ben

Continue reading...
 

A sea of sugarcane

March 25, 2014

The sugarcane plantations surrounding La Romana remind me a lot of the American heartland--but while Nebraska is covered in corn stalks, La Romana is a sea of sugarcane (if you've never seen sugarcane, it looks, in fact, pretty similar to sweet corn). The cane fields extend for miles, with some mountains in the distance, and they're punctuated here and there by a dirt road, some train tracks, or a rough steel water tower on concrete struts. Occasionally, one might see the plantation w...


Continue reading...
 

day 1.

March 24, 2014
I had so much fun, and I met these two kids and they are really cool, one of them was named Sunny, and the other one's name is Dimilio. -Ernie
Continue reading...
 
 

Day 3: What makes a home?

March 4, 2015

It is legitimately impossible to understand what it’s like to walk in these peoples’ shoes – and so challenging to try to fathom the circumstances and take in the result of it all that it’s almost too difficult.

In America, we are separated by all sorts of things; social hierarchies, facial features, body types, clothing, beliefs, and most obviously, technology. While poverty is definitely not unheard of in the US, we have malls, an array of foods, entertainment and opportunities everywhere we turn our eyes. Generally, necessities are a given, to the point where things that are truly not necessities have become so. We don’t know any differently – we get a glass of something that’s probably not water (although you’ve got clean water right under your nose), a bowl of food that’s probably the furthest thing from natural, and we sit down for our “mandatory” debrief in front of the television after a long day. 

In the Dominican, the men and boys will set off into the fields to work under the scorching sun for the equivalent of pennies. Women and girls – many of whom are mothers between the ages of thirteen and sixteen – will stay behind and tend to the children and homemaker tasks. They will keep clean their house the size of your garage, which will averagely house eight people. They will fill buckets of dirty water for themselves and the children; cook a meager meal over hot coals in the already boiling heat, hand-wash and hang the pair or two of clothes they have and watch over the swarm of children running free about the batey.

But they watch them with smiles, and all the kids are smiling too. They are happy to see us and happy to simply be surrounded by love, not jealous that our clothes match better than theirs or that we have cell phones we pull out of our pockets to take pictures of them, or even that we came from the city in a bus when the majority of them will never leave the batey at all. The adults are grateful for our services, and, it seems, mostly on the behalf of their children. The kids play with each other day in and day out, wrestling playfully, ignorant of gender, style, the shape of someone’s nose, belongings, etc. – and do not seem bitter to be in the situation they are.

They have dirty water, torn hand-me-downs, maybe a pair of shoes, and stray animals. So which one of us is blessed?

-Emily D.

 

Day 2: Fun Times In The Dominican

March 3, 2015
We have made the best of our situations and it feels good to put a smile on the little kids/adults faces and have them swarm us for donations. I will be moving here within a couple years. Hope you love the cold. its 80+ here and sunny with an amazing breeze. Only bad thing in the whole trip is the smell of the burning trash and the sugar cane factory. Everybody is so nice and willing to help you out or take your money. I have also learned how young people here have children so young but the b...
Continue reading...
 

Day 1: Maine to Dominican Republic

March 2, 2015
Hello from La Romana!

We all made it here safely! After a long day of traveling, we made it to La Romana :) We ate dinner with the other group that is here from the United States and went to church. After church we roamed around the city together and came back to Casa Pastoral (where we are staying) to play games and hangout with each other. After a long day and a very early morning, it was nice to just relax together. 

FYI: We have a spotty internet connection but we will post when we can!

More...
Continue reading...
 

Santa Lucia Medical Clinic

March 27, 2014

Today we worked really hard on helping with the medical team. 

Some of the things we did were, taking people's blood pressure, giving out parasite medication to children and helping in the school. When I was giving out parasite medication, we had to mark their hands to know that we already gave it to them. I marked them with a smiley face and they were all happy :) After an exhausting day of work we got to go to the beach for dinner!!  That was refreshing!! I’m looking forward to doing wate...


Continue reading...
 

Batey Santa Lucia Medical Clinic

March 27, 2014

Coming to the Dominican Republic was a curse at first. I wanted nothing more than to get the next flight back home. After spending four days helping all the people, I could stay here forever.


Putting in twenty water filters in just a couple hours was crazy. It warmed my soul and made me feel amazing. The elders had tears in their eyes as they thanked us for giving them clean water. I will never forget that.


Today we worked at Santa Lucia as a medical clinic. I worked in the pharmacy, puttin...


Continue reading...
 

Batey Santoni

March 25, 2014

Today we took a bus out to the bateys, we installed about 20 water filters. I liked putting the water filters together being able to help people makes me feel really good about myself. seeing the smiles on these peoples faces after we installed them was very inspirational. after we finished with the water filters we handed out bubbles and many of different things, most of the kids didn't know how to blow bubbles and i enjoyed showing little kids how and making them happy. I wish these people ...


Continue reading...
 

Dream~Land

March 25, 2014
The United States Of America, the place we call home. A place so good to us that we take advantage of. Coming to the Dominican Republic has been a blessing. The first day was pretty hard. New place and new faces. Everyone speaking a language that most of us can't understand. I was extremely home sick and wanted nothing more than to go home.

This morning we headed to batey Santa Rosa. Seeing all the children so excited to see a bus full of people was shocking. Their houses were nothing but shac...
Continue reading...
 

Basketball

March 25, 2014
After a long day in the hot sun of the bateys, repairing contaminated filters, the day for some of us got even longer, playing a local club basketball team outside. Though later in the evening the heat still caused us to dehydrate very quickly. Despite an early lead we were beat by a large deficit. Installing filters tomorrow. -Ben

Continue reading...
 

A sea of sugarcane

March 25, 2014

The sugarcane plantations surrounding La Romana remind me a lot of the American heartland--but while Nebraska is covered in corn stalks, La Romana is a sea of sugarcane (if you've never seen sugarcane, it looks, in fact, pretty similar to sweet corn). The cane fields extend for miles, with some mountains in the distance, and they're punctuated here and there by a dirt road, some train tracks, or a rough steel water tower on concrete struts. Occasionally, one might see the plantation w...


Continue reading...
 

day 1.

March 24, 2014
I had so much fun, and I met these two kids and they are really cool, one of them was named Sunny, and the other one's name is Dimilio. -Ernie
Continue reading...
 

Ah, the good ol' days in the Portland airport. Here, Marie and Page share their excitement. Here in the D.R., they continue to be excited. They are wonderful people.

About Me


I'm a teacher at the REAL school on Mackworth Island in Falmouth, Maine. The REAL school is an alternative school working with at risk youth and dedicated to the philosophy that learning happens best when doing. Service learning is a large part of what we do with local, national as well as international service trips happening on an on-going basis.

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