Thursday, July 3, 2014

DR Team #2 - June 19, 2014

Both weeks have been awesome!  Volleyball, soccer, and basketball camp was great!  The Sunday night church service was really cool.  We clapped and Daniel and I danced by kicking our legs out.  It was so much fun!  I wish every church service was like that.  I was so happy!  We went to the sports complex again today.  The Dominicans were a little better at soccer.  They didn’t use their hands as much and I scored a goal.  We also had track races which was fun.  I got 2nd place.  Tonight at dinner, we celebrated Sam and Jeremy’s birthdays, so we got cake.  I love it here and I feel amazing!!!!
~Ian Rath

         The first thing that I noticed as soon as we arrived in the Dominican was that the airport had become much more organized in the last two years. The second thing that I noticed was that the bus ride from Santo Domingo to Barahona was longer than I remembered.  The week as a whole has not been nearly as hot as I remember it being here four years ago, but we were also digging holes for five hours a day in the sun.

        The first day that we had sports camp I was teaching in the bible study.  I was impressed with how my Spanish speaking has progressed over the last two years. That day was the only day that we had an American versus Dominican basketball game, which is disappointing because we lost. Saturday was more of the same minus the basketball game of course. Sunday was pretty amazing actually. It is really amazing how the Dominican people go all out in their worship and are not afraid to look stupid or pull out all of the stops. The second service in particular was more like a party than a church service, if you were out of context you would have thought you were at a party.

        Monday we had more sports camps, and for the first time we had a soccer station so Griffin and I lead that. Tuesday Griffin was sick so I was on my own at the soccer station, but other than that it was pretty much the same. Tuesday going into Wednesday was when I was not feeling so well, so on Wednesday during the competitions I sat out most of the day.  Today I feel better and it was the day I had been looking forward to all trip playing a legitimate soccer game against the Dominicans. It was nothing like playing a high school soccer game in the U.S.  For one, they have like twenty people playing on their team and we only had eleven. We ended up tying  2-2 so nobody was too upset. Overall, the experience has been different in some ways and better in some ways.
~Jake Bixler

Hello to all back home!

The past 7 days have been absolutely amazing.  June 12, the first day we arrived, was a very long but exciting day full of travel. All the flights went very smoothly. It was not until 7:45 pm that we finally arrived to the school. It was great to be greeted by those who were staying for another week, and old friends that I made last summer. After the first day, the rest have flown by. We have been quite busy having the sports camp for the younger kids until 12, and then lunch and one hour to spare before we start camp with the older kids. It was awesome to see so many old friends at camp the first day, and pick up with conversations as if a year had not even gone by! Sunday of course has been one of my favorite days of the trip, because of the amazing church services we attended. They are definitely full of lots and lots of singing and dancing. From outside the church, it might sound similar to a party. One song at the end of the service lasted for 17 minutes! In the US, that would never happen. We don't have “enough time for that”. Our nightly devotionals that have been held with only our group, have truly pressured us to think and pray for what God wants us to do when we return back to the states. I know that all of you will help and encourage each and everyone of us, which will help tremendously.
Today was our last day with the campers, and it was a great time. We took them to the Olympic Villia, and played soccer with them. To get to the Villia we had a 20 minute walk. It was great to see more of Barahona, and see some of the houses of the campers. Of course the game of soccer we played was Americanos vs Dominicans. They played with many different rules than what we do, played with 19 people on the field, had four goalies, and called everything a handball. We were losing 2-1, with only a few minutes to go when we scored to tie up the game. It was great to be able to play a game of soccer while I was here, even if it was similar to running in sand with a few patches of grass. To conclude the day we had a homemade meal that Ruth and Carlota cooked for us, with birthday cake to celebrate Sam and Jeremy’s birthdays. Tonight we will also have to say goodbye to all of our older friends!

-Kayla Trevino

DR Team #1 - June 6, 2014

            Today I helped out with VBS. In VBS, we taught the kids about the first two days of creation. I am so happy that I know more Spanish now. It is amazing how I can communicate with the kids. Even though my Spanish isn’t that good, the kids always help and correct my Spanish. It made my heart swell when the kids said the Bible verse, John 8:12. I can only speak a little bit of Spanish, but you don’t need the same language to communicate with the kids. It feels like God is communicating through me to the Dominicans.
When the kids came into the classroom, we have to introduce ourselves and say our age. Apparently I’m tall for my age… The kids couldn't believe that I was 15 years old. I was about a head taller than most of the boys, and they were about 17 years old. I love it! I am towering most of the kids. It feels amazing to finally be one of the tallest. This trip has been so fun and life changing. When you are here, it always reminds me that I am so blessed. I couldn’t ask for better people to be on the trip with.

- Gabby Lyon

Today I helped out with teaching the kids how to play volleyball. We had 4 volleyball stations, and I helped with teaching the kids how to set the volleyball. Luckily, we had Griffin in our group to help instruct the kids. I really don’t know any Spanish at all, so it was a blessing to have someone to help instruct the kids and tell the kids what to do. It was also a blessing to have Moise’s sons, Daniel and Jonathan, to help us get the other kids doing what they needed to do. Daniel and Jonathan both know so much English that they would understand what we needed the other kids to do and explain to them what we needed them to do.
My favorite part of the trip so far has been communicating with the Dominicans and playing sports with them. It was so amazing to see how much they understood us when we were playing sports. We played basketball for an hour today and by the end of the game I could understand “Traveling” or “Double-Dribble” in Spanish. It seems like sports are a universal way to communicate with everyone around the world. Whether you know Spanish and can speak it fluently, or have never taken a Spanish class, you can always communicate through a smile, and a helping hand.

- Joshua Seitz