January 25, 2014

Break day

Kitchener HANDS Team:

At the beginning of the week, Victor asked our group where we would like to go for our day off. We, as a team chose the mountains where we could either white water raft, horseback ride or go fishing.

Our morning started early. We didn't have breakfast at the ministry centre because it was too early. Danielle picked us up in a white van today (more sturdy), and we were on the road around 6:30.

We got to witness a beautiful sunrise coming through the mountains. One of the first things you notice as you leave the city is the fresh air. We seen farmers harvesting their rice fields, and workers setting up their venders booths for the day. We took a short stretch break before Danielle locked the shifter in 1st gear and we climbed the mountains at a very slow pace. We reached our destination- Ranch Baiguate, about 2 1/2 hours drive all together.

We enjoyed a fantastic buffet style breakfast including fresh fruit, eggs, mashed pimentos, ham, and French toast.

I was part of the group that went rafting. We watched a short safety video, got into our wetsuits, life jackets, and helmets, then took about a half hour safari type ride out of the little city and further up the mountain. They launched the boats and off we went. Not even 5 minutes into the ride, and Chris had already been thrown out of the raft by the wild rapids! The water was pretty chilly, but we soon got used to it with the hot sun beaming on us. The trip lasted a couple of hours, 11km on the Rio Yaque del Norte, and there were quite a few challenging rapids. There were many laughs with our guides, we all had a great time!

We returned back to the ranch and learned of the other groups horseback riding adventure. They enjoyed a lovely ride along some trails and had a stop at a beautiful waterfall. The trip was shorter then expected, so when they returned the manager showed them how they grow and harvest their own macadamia nuts.

We had another buffet style lunch with guess what? Chicken and rice! Along with some salad greens. We had a couple hours to spare, so we explored the ranch/resort. We lounged by the pool, enjoyed the luscious scenery, and read our books. We left the ranch around 3:30 and headed back to the ministry centre. On our way back, we pulled over to buy some DR type spiced pound cake (Mozorca) which is a favourite of theirs. We also pulled over to check out how the rice grows, to see how the vendors make their smoked sweet potatoes, and to see how they grow oranges.

When we arrived back at the ministry centre around 6:30, dinner was waiting for us. I tell you, we never go hungry here! It consisted of rice, spagetti, and pork with vegetables.
We did our devotions from John, prayed and sung a couple songs together. The rest of the evening we spent playing games and relaxing. It was a great day of relaxation from all of our hard work, but a tiring day, all our butts hurt!  We have now experienced the beauty amongst the affliction that Mario showed us the other night in his slide presentation.


Adam and Justin
Jan 26, 2014 at 8:47 am

Grandma on a horse? She even looks happy.

Jan 26, 2014 at 10:12 am

Really enjoying following the experiences of your team via the blog. We look forward to the update every day. Keep up the good work.....and enjoy each other and the DR people for the rest of the week. We will pray for your safety for the rest of your work time and trip home.

Hank & Marg
Jan 26, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Minnie: Never thought you would like this type of transportation. It looks good on you. We enjoy reading your blog. You must all be loosing a few pounds with all your hard work. Blessings to all of you for sacrifices and commitment to help the DR people. May our Lord reward you in His own special way!

Jan 27, 2014 at 6:39 am

Harriette, your JK students will enjoy seeing this picture. We showed them one of you working on the job site. It helped give them a better understanding of where you are and what you're doing in the DR.

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