January 13, 2015

Day 9

Burlington 2015 HANDS Team:

Today is the last full day of construction for our team. We were up early as we have every day, had a hearty breakfast of oatmeal, toast, fresh pineapple, great coffee and then we were on the road again.

Driving in the DR is always interesting; for those who have been in and around Santo Dominigo, you will know what it's like. You need to see, smell and hear it to understand it. The constant sound of horns, the sound and smell of exhaust, very few stop signs, fewer traffic lights, no pollution control, vehicles that most of us would not be seen driving in, all make for an interesting trip wherever you go.

Almost as many motorcycles and mopeds as cars and trucks all trying to go in the same direction. Most of the people on motorcycles and mopeds are without helmets, most of the motorcycles have 2 to 4 people on them including babies, mopeds loaded with crates of vegetables, tools or supplies, trucks with guys sitting or standing in the back; all trying to jockey for a lane. Add as many buses of varying sizes to the mix and this is driving in the DR. Vehicles making lane changes with no signals because many vehicles don't have any. Major intersections that have more vendors hocking their goods than vendors in a mall. Vehicle repairs done along the street make driving a challenge; one intersection had 2 large trucks parked at the curb with most of their parts missing.

To add to the character of the DR, brightly coloured shacks along the road, multiple small store fronts and someone always trying to sell something in their own little space. Not to mention wandering cows in the countryside,stray dogs everywhere, potholes and speed bumps across major streets.

On our arrival at the school, we did some more clean up as areas were being prepped for parching of walls and pouring more concrete. We spent some more time interacting with more students and got a real sense of how happy most of them are in their surroundings .
After lunch, some of us got to try our hand at parching cement on one of the walls we had made. By mid afternoon we started our last pour of concrete, about 4 yards worth to the third floor! After a steady relay for one and half hours, we finished pouring this section.
All in all we accomplished a lot in the short time that we had here at Renacer. What an awesome opportunity God gave to us to be able to do this work as servants in His kingdom.
Upon returning to camp and following a refreshing swim, we had another delicious meal served by our hosts. Afterwards we spent some time in the Word and talked about how the past week had changed our perspective on how our fellow believers live in the DR.

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