February 24, 2017

Paparazzi

Trinity HANDS Team:

Monday will be Independence Day here in the DR, meaning our schedule had to be changed around. Monday will bring parades and parties all over the country and everything will be closed, including the schools. So instead of our original plan of working today and visiting other schools on Monday, we went to visit a different school today and then worked in the afternoon at Belen.

On the way to the new school, we got lost. We ended up driving around a small community trying to find the school we were supposed to be at. During this time we stumbled upon a small parade from a local school. The kids were excitably waving flags and walking through the streets. Because the schools will be closed, they were doing early celebrations. The school we visited put on an assembly where they sang, did skits, spoke and danced. They were re-enacting parts of history that were vital to attaining their independence. John was kind enough to tell us what parts of history they were portraying and what the significance was. At one point the boys at the front started to fiddle around with something we couldn’t quite see. After about a minute suddenly we heard what could have been a canon going off and everything around us shook. The boys at the front had set off a banger, it signifies the moment the DR became independent and they set one off and the whole country heard and knew what had happened.

When it was time to leave everyone started trying to take pictures with us. We couldn’t get away and after one person was done taking a photo another person was stepping up wanting their picture taken away. We eventually had to just leave otherwise we would have been there all day.

At lunch time we were welcomed into the home of Santos, the principal of Belen and pastor of the local church. It was close enough to the school that we were able to walk to it, our first time being able to walk out on the street. Melka, one of the teachers at the school, welcomed us as always and made sure we all had a seat in the house. With all of us in the house there was no room left for anyone else they were forced to sit elsewhere. She has taken to calling Tina “Mama Tina”, Art “Papa Art”, Ron “Papa Ron”, and Jeff “Papa Jeff”. After we were all done eating it was photo time again. Photo after photo with them as this was going to be our last day on the job with them. Most of them we will see on Sunday again for church but then that’s it. Unfortunately all the photos were on their phones so on Sunday we will have to do it all over again so that we can get the photos (when we look nice and aren’t dirty from working).

Normally you just see the houses on the street as you pass them by in the van; however there are layers and layers of houses that you can’t see. When you see a path between two houses, it will lead to another house and then another path or house. We were lucky enough to take one of these types of paths back to the school, a scenic long way of getting back.

We ended the work day by hulling a new pile of sand up the roof and sifting more sand for them to use. The workers were very appreciative and there were many goodbyes as we packed up and left.

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