Day 3: What makes a home?

Posted by Paul Field on Wednesday, 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.



blog comments powered by Disqus
 

Day 3: What makes a home?

Posted by Paul Field on Wednesday, 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.



blog comments powered by Disqus

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.

Blog Archive

 
Make a Free Website with Yola.