La Republica Dominicana
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La Republica Dominicana

Dios es bueno, mis amigos.

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La Republica Dominicana
Holly Page

Dios es bueno, mis amigos.

I returned home from the Dominican Republic last night and I honestly don’t think my heart could be more full. So prepare yourself to read all about the adventures that were experienced on this trip. (I apologize for the fact that this is all over the place, I couldn’t pick just one thing to talk about. So this won’t be eloquent, just straight facts. I hope you can understand some of what happened during this past week.)

Before we arrived, we were given site assignments. I was assigned to work at Genesis, which is a special education school. The kids had just finished their school semester, so I was there to help run a summer camp for them. The first day at site was just a day of preparation for the beginning of camp, such as painting a schoolroom, setting up crafts, and making posters.

The next day was probably the most frustrating day I have ever experienced in all of my 16 years of life. I was assigned to work in the kitchen for the morning, and I was so excited because I’d get to help make the kids meals and get to know the teachers. Boy, if only I knew the struggle to come. I walk down the stairs to the kitchen and ask one of the teachers how I could assist her. Little did I know that all four of the teachers spoke zero English. We all tried for about 10 minutes to understand each other, but I guess it just wasn’t working. They ended up shooing me out of the kitchen and sent me to work in game time and crafts, which was still a struggle because of the language barrier and many of the kids were non-verbal, but I believe that is where the Lord knew I should have been during the week, and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. He used the struggles of not being able to communicate with language, and taught me how to have patience and show extreme grace.

At the end of the week, everyone working at Genesis had to tell which of the kids we would switch places with and then we were asked to explain why. The others that went before me stated how they would switch places with various kids because of the pure joy they had in every circumstance. I felt bad during this time because my answer was not even close to any of theirs and I felt as if I wasn’t understanding the purpose of the exercise. So, nervously, I proceeded to explain to my team and site leader that I would switch places with a 12-year-old boy whose name is Juan Carlos. My reason for that was this: Juan Carlos doesn’t have a mental disability, unlike many of the children at the school. Juan Carlos has a degenerative disease that is very similar to ALS. He is able to walk at this period in time, but only short distances and with the help of an aid along with a walker. He is able to talk as well, but we were told it takes him too much effort to use his vocal chords, so he chooses not to. One thing that I noticed about Juan Carlos throughout the week was that he watches everything intently. During recess, he sits and watches all of the other kids play soccer and chase each other, never missing anything they do. He’d giggle whenever one of the kids would tease the others, but wasn’t able to add his own input. My heart went out to him seeing this, because I know that the likelihood of him ever being able to play and joke around with the other kids is slim to none. So, Juan Carlos is the child that I would switch places with because I have no physical or mental impairments. I can run, jump, swing, play soccer, and speak with ease. And I know with all of my heart, that if it were physically possible, I would switch places with him in a heartbeat. Just the thought of Juan Carlos being able to experience everything he yearns for makes my heart swell.

Now, moving onto the weekend and the trip home.

On Friday afternoon, my site along with two others went into the mountains and hiked to a waterfall. And let me tell you, it was quite the adventure. We had to jump fences, avoid mud pies (and the creatures that created them), and walk along water pipes. But finally, after 64 years of trekking to our destination, we made it. It was honestly one of the most beautiful things that I have seen in creation, but sadly I didn’t get to capture any pictures of said waterfall. But you can enjoy this picture of part of the hike. (I’m at the top of the hill).

On Saturday, we went whitewater rafting. Yes, that’s right. Holly Page, international whitewater rafter, at your service. We also explore the town and shopped at the local stores and ate thebesticecreamever. So, all in all, it was a good day. Now, for Sunday… Sunday morning was great, we all got up, packed our luggage, ate breakfast, and hopped onto the open aired busses to go to church.

It was their Father’s Day, so at the beginning of service all of the fathers were recognized and congratulated. Afterward, we worshiped our Elohim in Spanish, and then listened to our dear friend deliver to his congregation what the Lord had spoken to him that week. We then headed to the airport, where the craziness of traveling would hit us… hard.

First, our flight to Newark, New Jersey, was delayed for two hours. Which would have been fine, but we were scheduled to land at 8:45 and our next flight left at 8:55. So, with all of our hearts we prayed that we would make the flight to Atlanta. Our prayers were answered because our flight to Atlanta had also been delayed for two hours. But the Lord really has a sense of humor. Although we did in fact make it to our flight on time, the airline kicked all 20 of us off of the flight and sold our seats because they were overbooked.(Again, Lord, with the patience.) So, we were given vouchers to get rooms in a hotel and were told that our new flight would take off at 2:30 p.m. the next day. #ThanksUnited. I guess we need to be more specific in our prayers.

Now, we are all home safe and sound and all I can say is, “Dios es bueno.” God. Is. Good.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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