Feeling the love in the Dominican Republic🫶🏻

Written by: 
Gillian Davidson

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Wow! What a day!! The team started off by heading out to Los Alcarrizos to visit the Days for Girls sewing group.  It’s located on a very busy, narrow street full of vendors, shops, cars, dogs and people. We were greeted with smiles and excitement.

We quickly left for our time in one of the schools in town. It was a busy school with many students from grades 1-12. The team quickly realized that we can plan all we want, but we have to be ready to adapt and change plans. Normally, we would split in three groups and spend a couple of hours with the class going through the lesson and then working on a craft with grades 4-8. However, the entire team was instantly brought into a narrow room full of students grades 10-12. We knew immediately that the craft was out of the picture as half of the students didn’t have a desk to work on.  When we were just getting into things, the head teacher informed us that we were out of time, and the other classes were ready for us. We were split into teams and off we went. Abby and I were in one classroom, Barb and Patty were in another room, and mom was floating between the two groups, trying to get pictures. After only 15 minutes the head teacher popped his head in again to let us know that we were almost out of time and we would go to the next class. Debbie compared this to speed dating. LOL! Even with all of the excitement, through quick thinking the team pulled it off. We ended the school trip with a quick teachers meeting where we were able to give them the prepared crafts so they can do them in the classroom with their students on another day.

We headed back to the Days for Girls house for lunch. While en route, we heard a funny noise which, after stopping, we found out was a flat tire. The team quickly gathered our things and started off on foot. Luckily, it was a short walk through town, and we were greeted by an amazing group of women ready for us with a delicious hot lunch. We thanked the sewing team and were able to give a gift to each woman on the team, thanks to Patty and her granddaughter.  

After lunch, we were fortunate to travel to a second school to watch the Days for Girls do their presentation of women’s health to a group of students. I had some fun with the students outside the classroom by answering questions about Canada and why we are here in the Dominican Republic. The children here are so bright  and spirited; they ask lots of questions and are always full of smiles and laughter. We have been fortunate enough to have the best translators with us through this journey; Jasmine, Anna Patricia and, of course, Luis Miguel have been rock stars, and we couldn’t have been successful this week without them. The team sadly said their goodbyes to a couple of our translators as tomorrow will be our last day working here. 

The day wasn’t over, though. Back at our home, we met with Richard who brought us to a beautiful family for a home visit. We met Juanita who lives in a small duplex with her special needs daughter, granddaughter and elderly father. Juanita takes care of her family and the local church helps support them. Dario was excited to show us the beautiful 3 bedroom home that they are currently building for Juanita and her family. This was the perfect way to end our last evening here. The entire team has been shown the love and hope that this community shares for one another. 

After all that this day has brought the EVE team, it’s safe to say that we were happy to sit down and enjoy a delicious meal together. The cooks here have taken such good care of us, and every meal has been delicious and different from the last and full of Dominican flavours. 

Tonight we go to bed with full bellies and love in our hearts for the beautiful community of Juan Tomas. 

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