April 30, 2019

April 28-29

International Block Learning Trip - London & Toronto HANDS Team:

Hello everyone, I’m so excited to be writing this blog for you today! As I write this, laughter fills the air and smiles are all around.  Many are writing their journals while music is playing over the speaker. Bracelets are being made, books are being read, and conversations are being had.

            The past two days have been exciting ones. After going to Franklin’s church and hearing beautiful music and a great sermon about being Christ’s bridegroom, we headed to the mall. There we connected with friends and family and hoarded the mall for supplies like bug spray and snacks for our nine day trip away to the “village”.

            After we were all packed (with a few scares including bugs), we headed off to Monte Plata. The ride up was beautiful. We were able to see the mountains up closes and the different small villages on the way. Many games ensued including people claiming cows as theirs by saying, “my cow!” to see who got the most, and teasing Caleb about having to pee to the point where we had to pull over for him.

            Our two and a half hours were up and we finally arrived at the Centro de Ministerios.             We were greeted by a very large puddle and our cook Elena. We settled in to our new home (which had mosquito nets, Yay!).  Girls and guys chose their rooms to sleep in and we set up our communal space. It took a little getting used to the sketchy spiral staircase, but we’re used to it now.  For dinner, Elena made us salad, white rice, and ham.  After dinner, we did circle time and headed off in our separate ways for the evening.

            Today (Monday, April 29th) we were told we would be painting all day at the Juan Calvino school set across from us. For breakfast, we ate some scrambled eggs, fruits like mangoes and cantaloupes, bread, and cheese. After enjoying our breakfast, Henry came up to us and told us that since it’s labour day here they don’t have any supplies ready for us. Instead, we got ready and took a walk around the neighbourhood to explore.

            We went around the town and saw the different buildings and were extremely hot. We came back to base and ate an early lunch of tuna and sandwiches. We met up with the teachers at the Juan Calvino school and headed on the bus. For there, we travelled an hour and a half to the river to go for a swim.

            We arrived around 1:30 and got in the river. The river was cold but very refreshing. We explored small waterfalls, hopped across rocks, swam in the river, and even jumped off of trees into the river. We were having a great time, when all it started to thunder. It started to rain and we all scrambled across the slippery rocks back to the shore.

            By the time we made it to land, it was pouring. We ran as fast as we could through the mud and back to the pavilion. The teachers had put all our bags inside and we grabbed our towels. They also had prepared a delicious feast for us. We were served hot dogs, mini sausages, pork chops, chicken, and beef slabs. Then we all huddled in a circle to keep warm and watched the teachers dance to the music playing.

            By 3:30, we headed home. We got on the bus in our soaking wet towels and bathing suits. We all put on a dry shirt and tried to got dry. By the time 5:00 rolled around we made it back to base. We all took showers and put on the dry clothes, which mostly consisted of sweaters.

            We ate some rice and beans and beef for supper and went to our small groups for the first time in the new base. At 8:30, we had our circle time. Kimberly talked about gestures and greetings Dominicans do and how we only make people feel poor when we take pity on them. Then, Mrs. MacDouell arrived safely. Some greeted her with hugs while others met her for the first time. She got settled in to her new room while we split off to do our various nightly activites.

            I’d like to thank to thank you for praying for us on this trip. I ask that your continue to pray for health and safety, growing friendships, and that we would continue to grow in our faith here. Adios!

P.S. Happy birthday Oma

Lauren Wright


Apr 30, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Hi Lauren

Thanks for your birthday wishes and the surprise birthday phone call. We hope celebrate with you soon.

Love Oma

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