January 4, 2012

First Impressions

Burlington HANDS Team:

Hello all!!

Sorry for the delay in blogging...technical difficulties and all that. But we are up and running...and working. So here's what's been happening!

Day One: Sunday/Monday...they kind of morphed together. It was a whole lot of travelling! More for Jon and Lauren, since they had to take a bus from Ottawa, but we all managed to make it to Buffalo by 3am. We arrived around 3:30 DR time (an hour ahead of Ontario time) into some glorious heat and humidity. Which, by the way, has stayed over 25 degrees during the day, and drops to a comfortable 20 at night. We hear it's frigid in Ontario.

Also, Gil wants everyone to know that the food is fantastic! We all agree...they have fed us incredibly well and the cooks are wonderful...for their food, graciousness, and hospitality. Everyone here has been incredibly welcoming, and we're learning to communicate with them despite our lack of Spanish.

And...the work. Let's say it has been an experience for some of us! There are many muscles in our bodies that we weren't aware of until yesterday. We have gotten a lot accomplished, however, and everyone is enjoying the work. They started us off backfilling trenches and mixing cement, and then we moved onto laying bricks and mortar. We've also enjoyed meeting our fellow workers as well as some of the teachers at the school.

Perhaps the most interesting part of our day is the drive to and from the job site. Daniel, our driver, gets us there and back safely, despite the insane traffic and driving that goes on around here! We get a fantastic glimpse of Dominicana culture through the windows of our yellow van, from the houses, to the cars they drive (and the amount of people they fit into them), to the roadside meat stands and the millions of fascinating things inbetween!

That about sums it up for now...we'll be back soon with more exciting stories to tell!

Hope all is well, wherever you are! Until next time...

Dios le bendiga! (God bless)

-- the team

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